Tuesday, 21 October 2014

More On Ikrananka

"Tidal action has forced one hemisphere of the small, eccentrically orbiting, librating planet Ikrananka to face its red dwarf sun but such slow rotation generates a weak magnetic field so that the planet retains an atmosphere although most of its water has frozen on the cold side making the warm side a slowly deteriorating desert whose inhabitants, struggling for survival in their season-less, rhythm-less environment, regard nature as hostile, believing in demons but not in gods, whereas dwellers on the edge of the Twilight Zone with rain, snow, day, night and constellations, more conventionally believe in an annually dying and rising god and a single devil whose power can be neutralized. The latter are easier to trade with."
-copied from "Unusual Heavenly Bodies" (see here). 

Fr Axor might see evidence for his Universal Incarnation here? 

"Rangakora [in the Twilight Zone] had a perfectly standard polytheistic religion, with gods that wanted sacrifice and flattery but were essentially benevolent. The only major figure of evil was he who had slain Zuriat the Bright, and Zuriat was reborn annually while the other gods kept the bad one at bay."
-Poul Anderson, David Falkayn: Star Trader (New York, 2010), p. 175.

Anderson effortlessly sketches an alien equivalent of familiar Terrestrial myths. The Ikranankans who lack this "...perfectly standard polytheistic religion..." are harder to deal with because their pessimistic belief makes them paranoid, suspicious of each other and certainly of any newcomers. Adzel insists that acceptance of missionaries be included in the trade deal:

"The Katandarans would surely leap at Buddhism, which was infinitely more comfortable than their own demonology. Together with what scientific knowledge trickled down to them, the religion would wean them from their hostility complex. Result: a stable culture with which Nicholas van Rijn could do business." (p. 205)

A result acceptable to Adzel and van Rijn for completely different, indeed opposite, reasons.

Other details: 

Anderson cleverly has the Ikranankans ride not galloping quadrupeds but leaping bipeds;
Falkayn, not yet knowing of the human community on Ikrananka, cannot believe his eyes when he sees a scene from an sf magazine cover - a young woman pursued on zandara-back by a band of lance- and saber-armed beaked natives.

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