Friday, 26 September 2014

Some Very Obscure Planets

For the sake of completeness, let us consider some of the planets that are mentioned only tangentially in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization.

(i) When Dominic Flandry is based on Irumclaw, his pilot's data lists several nearby habitable planets, including a few with intelligent natives, although none of these worlds has ever been revisited. Imagine that: so much life on so many planets that several intelligent species can be ignored.

(ii) The fourth planet in the system of Irumclaw has an unbreathable atmosphere with dust clouds in a purple sky but is mined and therefore has a small human colony with a floating population and a shabby spaceport " the middle of an immense rusty desert..." (Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 356), where a tube stretches from airdome to airlock, but that is all that we see as Flandry's single human passenger disembarks.

(iii) Irumclaw is not on any liner routes but a Cynthian tramp freighter transports two human passengers to Ysabeau which has cities and is a transfer point to the rest of the Empire although, again, we learn nothing further of Ysabeau.

(iv) All that we know about Therayn is that it is on the opposite side of the Roidhunate from the Empire and that it is conquered by the Merseians.

How many such tangential planets are there in the History?

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