Saturday, 5 March 2016

Aeneas

The text of this post is copied from here.

..a complicated colonial society. Seven centuries earlier, scientists wanting to study the unusual natives of the planet Dido which is unsuitable for human habitation colonized another planet in the same system, Aeneas, where they established a University that attracts human and non-human students from other systems. Survival in the sparse Aenean environment required cultivation of large land areas with both native and imported plants and animals. Horses and green six-legged stathas were imported as transport animals. During the Troubles, “Landfolk” relationships became semi-feudal and the University incorporated military training into its curriculum. Near the main University campus is a statue of Brian McCormac who cast out nonhuman invaders.

Later immigrants seeking a refuge or a new start are excluded from the tri-cameral legislature by a property qualification for the franchise but form subcultures: tinerans, Riverfolk, Orcans and highlanders. Orcans guard ruins left by space-traveling “Ancients.” “Lucks,” small pets kept in Tinerans’ caravans, are telepathic parasites left by the Ancients. Most Townfolk, belonging to ancient guilds, identify with scientists and squires. However, industrialization in the urban area known as the Web has produced manufacturers, merchants and managers whose interests are closer to those of the Empire which forcibly annexed Aeneas after the Troubles and re-occupied it after Hugh McCormac’s rebellion. Chunderban Desai, High Commissioner of the Virgilian system, consults Thane of the University and Jowett of the Web about McCormac’s Landfolk nephew who will inherit tri-cameral Speakership but meanwhile attacks Imperial troops, then hides among tinerans before traveling with Riverfolk to meet the new Orcan prophet.

I summarize Aenean society in order to convey the richness of detail in Anderson’s fictitious planets.

4 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And one point to remember about Aeneans is how they tended to be a pious people, even if expressed in different ways. Aycharaych, the Chereionite master spy serving Merseia, noticed this and sought to use it as a means of undermining the Empire. Selecting Jaan as his victim, whom Aycharaych duped and brainwashed into believing he was a real prophet, using a doctored form of "Cosmenosis" he hoped would trigger a jihad which would split apart the Empire.

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kaor, Paul!

    I've been wondering if Cosmenosism, minus the parts deliberately inserted by Aycharaych to foment subversion and jihad, might have been something you would have agreed with. Some of your blog pieces or comments, plus your interest in Zen Buddhism, makes me wonder if you would have!

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sean,
    I think I have commented on this before and will look at it again.
    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I can't recall you commenting about Cosmenosism, in or out of the works of Poul Anderson. I've been thinking about this largely because of a comment you left on Wright's blog, to the effect that you hope rational beings exist with minds superior to ours. An idea of which I'm frankly skeptical, btw.

      The closest example I can think of in the works of Poul Anderson speculating about MORALLY superior beings (as distinct from merely able to DO things we can't) is his short story "The Martyr."

      And while I might be wrong I think Pere Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., also speculated about what might be called a "Catholic Cosmenosism." It's been a very long time since I read any of de Chardin's works, so I can't be sure. I do recall criticisms of his work saying de Chardin's views came dangerously close to the error of pantheism.

      Sean

      Delete