Saturday, 12 July 2014

Multiverse: A Candle

Raymond E Feist, "A Candle" IN Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois, Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds (Burton, MI, 2014), pp. 287-303.

Raymond E Feist's Flandry story goes more than one generation into the future. Maybe I should stop posting spoilers? Here are some questions instead of statements:

Is there a second Emperor Josip in Flandry's lifetime?
Was Aycharaych not the last Chereionite?
Did some of the others survive the bombardment of their planet?
Enough of them to make a difference?
Is this story set in a divergent timeline in which the Long Night is averted?
Thus, instead of Roan Tom, Allied Planets and Commonalty, will there be a Terran Empire that recedes but does not collapse and even re-expands?

These are not rhetorical questions. I am genuinely puzzled by some of them, like does the reference to Josip imply a divergence at an earlier date? But here is something that I do agree with:

"'...since Olaf Magnusson's betrayal...The Roidhun of Merseia suffered by that failure. His power was almost god-like before, but after...'" (p. 302)

And again:

"'The Merseians are just as hamstrung as we are since the Magnusson fiasco. Their race pride got the best of them and their clients are pulling away.'" (p. 303)

I had already deduced that their agent Magnusson's failure to seize the Terran throne by force was the demoralizing blow that started the Merseians' decline.

I have read CJ Cherryh's story of a second Flandry generation but not all at one go and maybe need to reread it. So far, it strikes me as covering not the issues but characters talking about the issues. And I do not think that a human being and a Schothian would be able to interbreed.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I like the idea of seeing a grandson of Dominic Flancry in Feist's "The Candle" (probably by a son of Sir Dominic and Lady Miriam?). And, yes, I was puzzled by the mention of an Emperor Josip who did not seem to have been the Josip who was Emperor Georgios son.

I have to disagree with C.J. Cherryh's idea of Flandry having a daughter by Queen Gunli because of the sheer UNLIKELINESS of different races/species being able to be fertile with each other. No matter how superficially alike in appearances to each other two different intelligent races might be, their GENES will be so different that no interbreeding will be possible.


Paul Shackley said...

Yes, STAR TREK and (some) SUPERMAN need to be rewritten accordingly.
There is not only the mention of a Josip but also the mention of Chereionites as still a power in the Roidhunate but now withdrawing from it.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

It was prescisely such IMPLAUSIBILITIES as human/alien interbreeding which helped to make STAR TREK and SUPERMAN so unconvincing to me.

I'll need to reread Feist's "The Candle" to see what he says about the Chereionites. I preferred how Anderson handled them in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS and THE GAME OF EMPIRE: the Chereionites had disappeared/become extinct, and Aycharaych had either been killed or had vanished.