Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Latter Days?

In Sandra Miesel's Chronology of Technic Civilization, "Esau" (1970), featuring Nicholas van Rijn, is placed just before "Hiding Place" (1961), also featuring van Rijn. In "Hiding Place," van Rijn is out in space whereas in "Esau" he is back on Earth receiving an employee's report so I would have guessed that "Esau" was set later in van Rijn's career.

When "Hiding Place" was collected in Trader to the Stars in 1966, a newly written fictitious Introduction commented:

" 'The world's great age begins anew...' " (1)


"We do not know where we are going. Nor do most of us care. For us it is enough that we are on our way." (2)

Thus, this story heralds a new age.

When "Esau" was collected in The Earth Book of Stormgate in 1978, a newly written fictitious Introduction commented that the philosophy and practice of the Polesotechnic League

"...already...were becoming somewhat archaic, if not obsolete." (3)

Thus, this story occurs later in the History?

(1) Anderson, Poul, The Van Rijn Method, compiled by Hank Davis, Riverdale, NY, 2009, p. 555.
(2) ibid., p. 556.
(3) ibid., p. 517.

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