Saturday, 27 September 2014
More On Shalmu
Poul Anderson never refers to "grass" on another planet. He always describes the local equivalent. On Shalmu, there is silver psuedograss that whispers when it moves.
The Clan Towns of Att were ordered to enslave the Yanduvar folk since the former have rifles whereas the latter have only poisoned arrows, although also a promising culture now being destroyed. The Council of Att debated long before it was forced to comply. The unwilling slavers are paid, which helps them to pay the increased taxes.
Flandry, noting the illegality and injustice but also proceeding warily while gathering intelligence, lectures his men on the biological and cultural diversity within the Empire:
a planet where high radiation, high mutation rate and food shortage make murder and cannibalism necessary for survival;
sophonts with more than two sexes;
some that regularly change sex.
Flandry is glossing over the wrongness that they have seen on Shalmu but does say that he will report it and, of course, we know that he will take extreme and irregular measures when he can.