Sunday, 19 July 2015

Dedication And Quotations

The Michelson-Morley experiment in our timeline becomes "'...the Jawaheer-Morley experiment...'" in the Angrezi Raj.
-SM Stirling, The Peshawar Lancers (New York, 2003), p. 155.

The Raj is in a timeline where history diverges but not physics. The same discoveries are made but by different scientists or in different circumstances.

Poul Anderson's name appears twice in my edition of The Peshawar Lancers although not in the text. First, the dedication is:

In memoriam:
To Poul Anderson

This is entirely appropriate. Several aspects of this novel, not least the colorful descriptions, are worthy of Poul Anderson.

Secondly, Anderson is quoted commenting on Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time.

Chapter One of ...Lancers begins, quite properly, on p. 1 of the text. It is preceded, after the cover, by twelve unnumbered pages. Let us number them i-xii.

pp. i-iii are quotations about some of Stirling's novels.
p. iv lists Other Books by S.M. Stirling.
p. v is the title page.
p. vi is publishing information.
p. vii is the dedication.
p. viii is blank.
p. ix is Acknowledgments.
p. x is blank.
p. xi is a short verse, unattributed.
p. xii is blank.

p. i is headed:

The Peshawar Lancers

p. ii is Islands in The Sea of Time

p. iii is Against the Tide of Years and On the Oceans of Eternity

On p. ii, Anderson is quoted as saying:

"A perfectly splendid story...endlessly fascinating...solidly convincing."

Over pp. i-iii, Harry Turtledove describes Stirling's research as tight, meticulous and impeccable. Library Journal also describes it as impeccable

The extent of Stirling's research is shown by the number of italicized non-English language words in his text. I have stopped googling them because this was interrupting the narrative too much. 


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

It would have been logically impossible, unlike what we see in CONQUISTADOR, for Poul Anderson to be mentioned or alluded to in any way or form in the text of THE PESHAWAR LANCERS. The former novel is set after his birth and death, the latter 48 years before he was born in our timeline. Bur, of course you knew that!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The strange or archaic words we see so often in THE PESHAWAR LANCERS is something to be admired, not criticized. I do concede that if Stirling has a weakness as a writer it's in sometimes putting in too much technical detail explaining how to run a farm using mid 19th century technology (as I saw in the DIES THE FIRE series).