Sunday, 22 May 2016
After The End?
"'...I'll be Queen, true Queen, foremost of the Nine, and the name I take shall be Brennilis!'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, Dahut, Chapter X, section 5, p. 225.
Will the Age of Brennilis be followed by an Age of a Second Brennilis, in which Ys is a world power? No. It is to be followed by the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages and the Modern Age in which Ys is a powerful myth and Dahut is remembered only by her birth name.
Ages begin and end everywhere. In Bowl Of Heaven (New York, 2013) by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven, an alien race moves its star with a large inhabited artifact through the galaxy, encountering many other intelligences. When the Bowl is invaded by explorers from Earth, one of its rulers thinks that:
"She was on the cusp of great era; of that, she was sure." (p. 121)
Is anything left after the end of a world?
"When a world ends, there's always something left over. A story, perhaps, or a vision, or a hope. This Inn is a refuge, after the lights go out. For a while."
-Neil Gaiman: The Sandman: Worlds' End (New York, 1994), p. 141.
Only for a while? But Shakespeare says that "...the great globe itself...shall...leave not a rack behind." Poul Anderson quotes that passage from The Tempest in "Star of the Sea," which is about mythological changes and the legacy of Veleda, a more beneficent influence than that of Dahut.