Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Pirate And The Peregrine

"The Pirate" is a prequel to The Peregrine, although the latter was the earliest written installment of the Psychotechnic History and the former was the last. "The Pirate," as a new installment of this future history, has to account for faster than light interstellar flight in terms of "hyperspace" but adds the phrase, "...the tachyon mode...," (Starship, p. 219). This mode gives "...only a weak emission of super-light particles..." (ibid.) but nevertheless enables a Cordy ship to track a suspect.

Poul Anderson wanted to make a point about the importance of valuing the past (see The Pact) and the Coordination Service suited this point so this story got written. It was not intended to add to the History as such.

"The Pirate"/The Peregrine diptych forms the culmination of the Stellar Union period of the Psychotechnic History. This period is characterized by the Coordination Service, which tries to prevent chaos, but also by the Nomads who cause it - or who at least travel and trade freely without any thought of the long term consequences. The novel describes a fruitful collaboration between one Cordy and a Nomad crew who come to realize that they face a common threat to humanity.

We have come a long way from the covert war between the UN and its protean enemy but this is an authentic fictitious history.

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