Monday, 3 June 2013

John Ridenour II

As far as I can see, the first reference to John Ridenour is when Lord Hauksberg says that he would, "'Rather have that Ridenour fellow...'" for the trip to Merseia. (Poul Anderson, Ensign Flandry, London, 1976, p. 76)

But Ridenour must remain on Starkad. The last reference to him in this novel is when he says:

"'You may be out of the matter anyhow, Flandry...Your orders came through several hours ago.'" (p. 89)

Flandry is to go to Merseia. And we do not see Ridenour again until he is bound for Freehold in "Outpost of Empire."

Between Hauksberg's reference to "...that Ridenour fellow..." and Ridenour relaying Flandry's orders, we see Ridenour supervising Flandry and others visiting the sea-dwelling Starkadians:

"'Follow me in close order...And for God's sake, don't get trigger happy.'" (p. 79)

He receives reports from Flandry and a colleague but grimaces and sighs about the impasse in trying to negotiate peace between Terran-backed land-dwellers and Merseian-backed sea-dwellers. Can two intelligent species share a planet when, e.g., land-dwellers' fishing impacts on sea-dwellers' resources?

Later: I was wrong. Ridenour is back on stage before the end of the novel - but I have not reread that far yet.

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