Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Admiralty And Admiralty

The title of this post refers to two versions of a Poul Anderson text:

(i) "Admiralty," original version, republished in NESFA collections, Vol 4, Admiralty (Framingham, MA, 2011);

(ii) "Admiralty" in The Star Fox (London, 1968).

(i) fills pp. 11-55 of Admiralty and is divided into nine sections numbered 1 to 9, preceded by an unnumbered introductory page.

(ii) fills pp. 133-204 of The Star Fox and is divided into ten Chapters numbered One to Ten.

In (i), the introductory page presents a summary that is unnecessary in The Star Fox where "Admiralty" is immediately preceded by the two earlier Gunnar Heim stories. The summary informs or reminds us that:

the Phoenix region of space is about 150 light years from the Solar System;
this region contains a French colony on the planet New Europe in the Auroran System;
the alien Aleriona from the system of The Eith have occupied New Europe and are building what will become impregnable orbital defenses;
the Aleriona are opposed only by a single, well-armed privateer, Fox II, captained by Gunnar Heim;
Fox II captures Aleriona ships and sells them in the Solar System;
however, the prize crews cannot return because Fox's movements must remain unpredictable;
the Aleriona begin to arm unescorted cargo ships;
however, despite its unexpected armaments, Fox captures the ship, Meroeth;
nevertheless, this capture will end Fox's raiding missions - we must read on to find out why.

The introductory page begins with the omniscient narrator directly addressing the reader:

"Consider his problem." (p. 11)

This leads into the summary.

In (ii), Chapter One fills eight pages, presents less summary and describes the battle with Meroeth. Missiles and lasers are deployed. Meroeth's FTL drive is disabled and its captain surrenders. Heim sends a boarding party which learns that Meroeth carries human prisoners.

The second paragraphs of section 1 and of Chapter Two both begin:

"The mess seethed with men."

Crew and liberated prisoners celebrate.

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