Wednesday, 1 October 2014


Reading one work can remind us of another although we may have to analyze why. In a twelve page comic strip written by Alan Moore, a member of the Green Lantern Corps visits a very old planet that was, long ago, the center of an empire spanning three galaxies but that now is occupied only by entombed malign immaterial intelligences. In A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows by Poul Anderson, an agent of Terran Naval Intelligence visits a very old planet that was, long ago, the center of an interstellar civilization but that now is occupied only by a single survivor who simulates a still living population hologramically.

I may be alone either in reading both of these works or in being reminded of one by the other despite their manifold obvious differences. Summarized as above, Moore's fictitious planet, Ysm-Ault, sounds like a more fantastic version of Anderson's fictitious Chereion although I am sure that there is no connection.

I am enjoying both rereading Alan Moore's comic strips and starting to read the first Modesty Blaise novel. Meanwhile, I am at the uncomfortable pause between September and October. This note, written late on 30 September, will be saved and posted on 1 October.

Between the Young Flandry trilogy comprising Ensign Flandry, A Circus Of Hells and The Rebel Worlds and the Captain Flandry series starting with "Tiger By The Tail," there are two "Outposts of Empire" works, "Outpost of Empire" and The Day Of Their Return. These works follow the Young Flandry trilogy. "Outpost..." refers to Starkad. ...Return refers to Starkad, Talwin and the McCormac rebellion. ...Return also prefigures later Flandry works by introducing Aycharaych and Chunderban Desai.

John Ridenour is seen entirely externally in Ensign Flandry, where he addresses the title character curtly by his surname, but is the viewpoint character of some passages in "Outpost...," so these contrasting views of Ridenour are a possible subject for an October post.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

If John Ridenour was "curt" in ENSIGN FLANDRY, that was because he was overworked and under stress in that book. He not only had to lead the team xenologizing the Tigeries, he also had to begin the effort of making contact with the sea dwellers after Flandry captured one of the sea people for study, interrogating, and use as a messenger. So, no surprise we see him as curt!

And, then, of course, Ridenour had to begin planning the evacuation of at least some of these two races after Flandry discovered Starkad was doomed.