Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Lives

Poul Anderson, Operation Luna (New York, 2000), Chapter 29.

"...we live day by day, taking whatever joys come by." (p. 265)

In this novel, Poul Anderson celebrates American family life more than in any other work. Steve and Ginny Matuchek have three children and a witch's familiars serve as household pets. Steve and the two older children camp in a remote highland canyon:

not spectacular but beautiful;
red walls;
grass;
pinon;
juniper;
sweet herbs;
a gurgling stream;
fishing;
swimming;
birds;
stars;
a campground.

Although Steve is writing an account that will be put under a hundred-year seal, he confines himself to describing the environment but does not tell his future readers of the time that he spends with his children. However, we see their family life earlier and later in the novel. We have known Steve and Ginny from their first meeting through their relationship, engagement, marriage, honeymoon and early parenthood and now see them as parents of a growing family. We also see their older daughter, Valeria, as an adult in A Midsummer Tempest and she is referred to as a woman with a spectacular life, along with Gunnhild, Moll Flanders, Sojourner truth etc in "Losers' Night." (The women in question are not the "Losers" of the title.)

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And, of course, by moving to New Mexico or Arizona, the Matucheks escaped the ghastly mid western winters we see mention of in OPERATION CHAOS!

    But, to me, the real point of "Losers' Night" were the losers we saw in that story. Winston Churchill was a "loser" in that story, but we see him leaving the Old Phoenix as determined and undaunted as ever. Qualities which were to help lead the UK to victory in WW II.

    The other losers should not be forgotten either. Such as Queen Mary I, the Spartan king, Theo van Gogh, etc.

    Sean

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