Tuesday, 25 November 2014


In "The Saturn Game," Minamoto's report is dated 2057. Thus, this opening installment of Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization is definitely set in the mid-twenty first century. It is a safe bet that interstellar travel begins in the following century. In Sandra Miesel's Chronology of Technic Civilization, 2150 makes sense as a round number date for the second installment, "Wings of Victory."

In the forty third and concluding installment, "Starfog," Daven Laure refers to:

"'...five thousand years of interstellar travel...'"
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), p. 717.

Thus, it makes perfect sense that the Chronology gives the round number date of 7100 for this story. (I thought before that this was just an arbitrary date.)

A linguistic computer says that the speech of the Kirkasanters, who have been isolated for millennia:

"'...appears to have remote affinities with a few that we know, like ancient Anglic.'" (p. 715)

Thus, Anglic, still spoken even during the Long Night, in the fortieth installment, "A Tragedy of Errors," has become a dead language at last. Descended from English, it was for a long time the dominant language of Terra as Eriau was of Merseia and Planha was of Ythri. There was also a "League Latin" used by the Polesotechnic League.

The narrator of "Starfog" says:

"We know that other branches of humanity have their distinctive ways, and hear rumors of yet stranger ones." (p. 718)

and refers to "...our race..." (ibid.). Thus, this narrator is not omniscient but is part of the same civilization as the viewpoint character, Daven Laure. He or she, the narrator of "Starfog," is the last historical commentator of the series, which started with Minamoto, then Hloch.

"Starfog" expresses the richness of human life on the fringe of another spiral arm of the galaxy in a remote future. I will try to convey some of this feeling in the next post or two.

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