Monday, 28 September 2015

Old And New Reading

The previous post omitted details about the Solar System in the future histories mentioned, e.g.:

there are seven other rational species in the Solar System in Heinlein's Future History;

the Jovian moon Ganymede is colonized in Heinlein's Future History and in Anderson's Psychotechnic History;

in Larry Niven's Known Space future history, the colonization of the Martian surface is not economically viable but the colonization of the Belt is - whereas, in Anderson's Harvest of Stars future history, one reason to colonize Mars is that it can supply goods to asteroid bases.

Meanwhile, a copy of SM Stirling's Under The Yoke (New York, 1989) has at last arrived by post. The book is dedicated:

To Dave and Poul,
for their kind words.

And always, to Jan.

In the blurb on the back:

"It's an exciting, evocative, thought-provoking - but of course horrifying - read." -Poul Anderson.

So what can Poul Anderson fans do except also read and be excited, provoked and horrified? The Draka are well on their way towards world conquest and the von Shrakenberg family is back although represented by different members.

However, the end of September approaches and we have reached a round number of posts for this month. Consequently, I might take some time for other activities and for reading Under The Yoke before returning to the blog in October.

Addenda, 29 Sept '15: More details -

Known Space begins with the exploration, in the last quarter of the twentieth century, of Mercury, Venus, Pluto and Mars and the possible discovery of life on the dark side of Mercury back when it was thought that Mercury had a dark side. It later features an explosion on Pluto.

Poul Anderson's The Stars Are Also Fire includes SM Stirling among its Acknowledgments.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Huzzah!!! At long last, you finally got your copy of Stirling's UNDER THE YOKE!!!

And, I completely agree with what Poul Anderson said about UNDER being thought provoking, exciting, horrifying, etc. I only wish I had thought to look at the dedications page in my copy. We both know who "Poul" was! And "Dave" is almost certainly Dave Drake, an occasional co author with Stirling of various books they have written. You've already found two connections with PA in UNDER. You might find more, such as Andersonian turns of phrase, allusions, etc., in the book proper.

And the von Shrakenberg family interests me, because Stirling uses that family to show how the Draka are not cardboard monsters and cliches. And also to show how some of them were themselves troubled by Draka ideas, beliefs, deeds.


Paul Shackley said...

We read about villains who want to conquer the world but how often do we read about the world being systematically conquered?

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Not often, that's for sure! I have tried to recall other novels which describe a systematic conquest of the world, but none I've thought of seems to quite fit. I did think of Poul Anderson's story "Soldier From The Stars." And Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's FOOTFALL shows us aliens trying to conquer Earth. But nothing like Stirling's four Draka books comes to mind.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your mention of the Jovian moon Ganymede reminded me of the evocative use made by Poul Anderson of Ganymede in "Murphy's Hall." We see first a hopeful "fiction within the fiction" alternative and then the "actual," grim reality Anderson used for developing the points he was making in that dystopian story.