Sunday, 31 July 2016

Populations, Not Individuals

Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series is about a vast organization:

"The entire organization was so vast that he could not really appreciate the fact." (Time Patrol, p. 13)

Although it focuses on one individual, the series gradually shows us many more members of the Patrol with different functions and makes us aware of the vastness.

SM Stirling's alternative history novels are about populations, rather than individuals:

the Draka fulfill their destiny;
the Angrezi Raj survives the Fall;
the Nantucketers survive the Event;
the New Virginians colonize the Other Side;
the Sky People colonize Veunus.

We remember the individuals but also the populations.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

This reminded me of how Emperor Hans told Dominic Flandry in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS that the Imperial Intelligence Corps alone was too vast an organization for him to know as well as he would have liked.