Sunday, 31 May 2015
an oppressive Solarian Empire in "Genius;"
an oppressive Star Empire in the first Kith History;
a comparatively benign Terran Empire in the History of Technic Civilization;
an all-encompassing Galactic Empire in Isaac Asimov's future history;
an Empire of the Known Universe in the Dune History;
But surely the entire idea of an interstellar empire is hopeless to begin with - especially one that either rules the entire galaxy or has an individual Emperor?
Poul Anderson makes three significant contributions:
he describes the Fall of the real historical Roman Empire in more than one work;
his Terran Empire is the least implausible of the interstellar empires, becoming increasingly credible and substantial as the series proceeds;
he shows us several interstellar scenarios in which there is no question of a multi-system imperialism ever arising.
Thus, as ever, he covers all the bases.