Friday, 11 March 2016

Space And Stars

Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein
A Life for The Stars by James Blish
The Game Of Empire by Poul Anderson
The Mercenary by Jerry Pournelle

These are the titles of:

a Scribner Juvenile by Heinlein;
the one Okie juvenile novel by Blish;
a Technic History novel by Anderson;
a CoDominium future history volume by Pournelle.

These four works also have in common early references to space travel and to a teenage protagonist, the right hooks to catch a certain kind of reader. Personally, if I read the first page, then I will continue to read. Anderson's character Diana sits under the sun Patricius and two moons in a place where the population drifts " and out on the tides of space." (Flandry's Legacy, p. 195)

Pournelle's fifteen year old character, John Christian Falkenberg, is in a spaceport and is described as "...a gangland youth..."
-Jerry Pournelle, The Mercenary (London, 1977), p. 15.

Many people glancing at these opening pages will read no further but some of us want to know about the tides of space and to accompany Falkenberg into a spaceship. I already know about Diana Crowfeather but let's learn more about this gangland youth.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

When it comes to bildungsromans in SF, I find myself preferring both ENSIGN FLANDRY and THE GAME OF EMPIRE to James Blish's A LIFE FOR THE STARS. Truth to say, I'm finding Crispin DeFord a bit too cliched and obvious to be quite satisfactory. Poul Anderson's depiction of the youthful Dominic Flandry and Diana Crowfeather seems much more real or realistic to me.