Saturday, 18 July 2015
SM Stirling's New Empire is founded in response to the Fall, a cometary strike, in an alternative timeline.
Stirling's Commonwealth of New Virginia is founded in response to one man's discovery of a Gate to an alternative timeline with a North America unconquered by Europeans.
Thus, Anderson presupposes our single timeline whereas Stirling assumes first an alternative timeline, then two interconnected timelines. The plot thickens.
Anderson's Manuel Argos and Stirling's Benjamin Disraeli address urgent social necessities whereas Stirling's John Rolfe seizes an arbitrary individual opportunity! But, in all three cases, a new civilization is built that will eventually transcend its Founder's idiosyncrasies. Unlike the others, Rolfe is still alive at the end of the narrative. Thus, his personality and legacy are still dominant. However, an entire alternative history of the twenty first century and beyond stretches ahead of the Earth that holds New Virginia.
Anderson shows us the History of Technic Civilization to, through and beyond the Fall of the Terran Empire whereas Stirling has as yet shown us only the early twenty first centuries of his New Empire and Commonwealth...