Sunday, 29 July 2012

Harvest Of Stars

I am starting to reread Poul Anderson's Harvest Of Stars tetralogy:

Harvest Of Stars (New York, 1993)
The Stars Are Also Fire (New York, 1994)
Harvest The Fire (New York, 1995)
The Fleet Of Stars (New York, 1997)

- a later, major work, totaling about 1670 pages.

A few Anderson novels start with a prologue that makes more sense after reading the novel and that can be skipped when rereading. Harvest Of Stars starts with a one and a half page "Epilogue" that will certainly make more sense when reread afterwards. A planet called Phaeton is, apparently, ending with hordes of volcanos and falling hills. There is a first person narrator who has access to the consciousnesses of animals as they experience and fear shuddering ground and shrieking wind. Names of terrestrial animals are listed.

The narrator says, "Farewell, beloved!" (p. 2) To the sundering planet? (I am not sure.)

Part One, entitled Kyra, starts in the viewpoint of a woman called Kyra and, again, makes references that we must read on to understand - but we are also confident that Anderson's writing will make sense of it all.

The Fleet Of Stars, as I noticed when counting pages, ends with a two word Chapter:

"FENN WOKE." (p. 403)

Having read these works over a decade ago, I have no memory of who Fenn was. I now embark on a new voyage of discovery. Leaving Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry far behind, we accompany Poul Anderson into a new universe.

Addendum, 30/7/12: I got this wrong. Phaeton is not the planet. But that's my point. The text is not fully comprehensible initially. But it does make sense later.

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