Saturday, 5 July 2014

Wings Of Victory II

The Grand Survey spaceship Olga was on a three or more year mission to seek out strange new worlds and new civilizations, to boldly go where no Terran had gone before. One of the Olga's discoveries was an uninhabited, potentially colonizable, terrestroid planet. Later, the explorers of this planet provisionally named it Gray after the captain of the Olga. Later again, its colonizers called it Avalon but its largest city came to be called Gray. Thus, the casual reader encounters a Captain Gray in the second story of Baen Books' Technic Civilization Saga Volume I and, seven centuries later, a city of Gray in the concluding novel of Volume III but might not notice the historical continuity represented by these names.

The Olga always sends a minimal team of three for first contact with a new race. On the inhabited terrestroid planet of Ythri, Gray sends:

Vaughn Webner, xenologist;
Aram Turekian, pilot;
Yukiko Sachansky, gunner.

Gray thinks that women make better gunners because they are better at watching and waiting. There will be conflict between Webner and Turekian and a relationship between Turekian and Sachansky. The narrative is quite complicated. The first person narrator is on the Olga but not on the contact team. She mentions, then quotes, Manuel Gonsalves, another crew member. Her name and profession, Maeve Downey, planetologist, are revealed not in the text of this story but in the Ythrian Hloch's introduction to the following story in The Earth Book Of Stormgate.

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