Thursday, 16 October 2014

Minor Anomalies

"The following story was also written by Judith Dalmady/Lundgren for the periodical Morgana."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), p. 317.

"Children of [Dalmady's] moved to Avalon with Falkayn. This story was written in her later years by one of them, Judith...It appeared in a periodical of the time called Morgana." (p. 517)

Alert readers will notice that the passage introducing Judith Dalmady and Morgana comes two hundred pages after the passage referring to a second story by Judith in Morgana. This is because the order of stories in The Van Rijn Method, compiled by Hank Davis, differs slightly from that in the earlier The Earth Book Of Stormgate.

However, I agree with the placing of "Esau," introduced on p. 517, later in the Technic History since its introduction describes the philosophy and practice of the Polesotechnic Leauge as "...already...becoming somewhat archaic, if not obsolete." (p. 517) Anomalously, the introduction to the immediately following story, "Hiding Place," celebrates the League's early days with:

"The world's great age begins anew..." (p. 555)

I suggest that the introduction to "Hiding Place," which had originally opened the Trader To The Stars collection, should, in the omnibus History, be placed before "How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson," where it would then appropriately introduce the League period as a whole.

This period begins with three short stories featuring, respectively, Adzel, van Rijn and Falkayn and ends with a novel featuring all three. We see Falkayn and, later, Flandry from the beginning of their careers into their mature years whereas we first encounter van Rijn when his early days are far behind him. I will seek out what the texts disclose, although it is not very much, about those early days.

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