Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The "Ythrian Series"

What I call Poul Anderson's "Ythrian series" (see here) comprises no less than eight works of dissimilar types:

five short stories;
two novels;
one set of introductions and a conclusion specially written for an omnibus collection, The Earth Book Of Stormgate -

- and this is not really a series. Instead, the Ythrians weave in and out of Anderson's major future history series, the History of Technic Civilization. The omnibus collection includes the five short stories so we are talking about only three volumes here although, of course, Baen Books have subsequently collected the entire History into the seven omnibus volumes of The Technic Civilization Saga, thankfully preserving the Earth Book introductions and conclusion so that Saga, Volumes I-III, read like an expanded Earth Book.

Only the first of the short stories is set on Ythri;
three stories and one novel are set on the joint human-Ythrian colony planet, Avalon;
the first of these three stories describes not the colonization but the earlier exploration of the planet that came to be called "Avalon";
the second of the novels, set much later, features an Ythrian on Aeneas but thus also discloses significant cooperation between the Domain of Ythri and the Terran Empire which had been at war in the first of the two novels;
the remaining short story features an Ythrian spaceship, thus showing how far the Ythrians had progressed since first contact in the very first story.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

One thing readers should keep in mind about the Ythrians is that space traveling and the settling of other planets by that race was more difficult for them than for humans. Ythrians NEED more room than humans in space ships and seemingly can't use space suits. Also, it was more difficult for them to physically adjust to other planets than it was for human. But most of these problems were overcome in time.

And it was interesting to see the realpolitik of the Domain in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN. Altho there were some remaining difficulties with the Empire after its defeat in THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND, by the time of TDOTHR relations between the Domain and the Empire had become downright cordial. Which was easily understood from the alarm the Ythrian felt at the rise of a Merseia dominated by an ideology of militant racism, making the Roidhunate as much a threat to the Domain as the Empire. Which meant both powers were able to settle fairly amicably their remaining, rather trivial disputes.