Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Peregrine III

"'Your people rally well,' said Joachim."

- Poul Anderson, The Peregrine (New York, 1979), p. 118.

A puzzling statement, which I think should read either:

"Our people rally well," said Joachim or
"Your people rally well," said Trevelyan.

I do not remember its title but there is a Star Trek: original series episode in which the Enterprise crew have been induced to live peacefully on a paradisal planet but Kirk thinks that he has to get them back into space. By substituting "Joachim" and "Peregrine" for "Kirk" and "Enterprise," we transform the summary of the Star Trek episode into a summary of The Peregrine but must add that the latter is much better in several ways.

In The Peregrine, the Alori, a humanoid but non-human race, have evolved to control their environment organically as some human beings learn to do on the planet Freehold in Anderson's "Outpost of Empire."

The profundity of the difference between humanity and Alori is shown at the end when the Alorian Esperero asks to shake hands with the fleeing Joachim. "It might be a trick..." (p. 179) but is not, merely a gesture of friendship from a representative of an irreconcilably different culture.

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