Saturday, 12 December 2015
Future History Continuity
"...Sofie [was] an engineer on the Pacific Colony project..."
-Poul Anderson, "Un-Man" IN Anderson, The Psychotechnic League (New York, 1981), pp. 31-129 AT p. 49 -
- and, in "The Sensitive Man," published later the same year, 1953, the narrative begins in the Mermaid Tavern which is in deep water under the caissons of one of the gyro-stabilized stations of the floating city called "the Pacific Colony," near the main anchor cable. An elevator takes the title character up from the tavern past storehouses, machine rooms, kitchens etc to a kiosk opening onto an upper deck thirty feet above the surface with a view of tiers descending to the main deck where there are people and a small park.
This "Pelican Station," holding shops, theaters, restaurants, services and entertainment is linked by bridges and boat traffic to other stations, where there are mineral-extracting plants, fisheries and experimental and research facilities. Nearby are a sea ranch and the undersea settlement of oil wells, mines, and exploration tanks.
"'I remember the tail-end of the Years of Hunger, and then the Years of Madness, and the Socialist Depression...'" (p. 51)
We saw the "Years of Hunger" in the first Psychotechnic History story, "Marius," but, since "Un-Man" is only the second story, we must understand that the Madness and the Depression have meanwhile happened off-stage.
A man called Stefan bursts through a window near the end of "Marius." A man called Stef has died on Mars before the beginning of "Un-Man." We learn:
that "Stef" was "Stefan";
that his full name was Stefan Rostomily;
that he was the original of the cloned "Un-Men."