Wednesday, 26 November 2014

In Archopolis

Dominic Flandry has come a long way since we knew him as a nineteen year old Ensign on Starkad. At sixty one, he is a Vice Admiral and Knight of the Order of Manuel with a personal staff and three dwellings in different parts of Earth. These include a home base and office in Archopolis, where there is a gym with a swimming pool and a roof garden with a fountain and a bright-plumed Cynthian yaoti singing from an orange tree. It is fourteen years since Dennitza.

Flandry's guest, the Grand Duke of Hermes, stares curiously after the servant Chives, probably never having seen a green, tailed Shalmuan before. Again, I wonder what it would be like to live in a society where a person performing an ordinary job might be human or might not.

The Duke knows of Flandry's achievement on Chereion. As a rule, each installment of Flandry's biography refers to the previous one. Aline refers to "'Dominic Flandry, the single-handed conqueror of Schothania...'" (Captain Flandry, p. 280). "The Game of Glory" tells us that Flandry "...discovered how to lie to a telepath." (p. 303) Aycarayach congratulates Flandry on his "'...handling of l'affaire Nyanza.'" (Sir Dominic Flandry, p. 160)

Reconstructing periods of time as given in Anderson's texts and dates as given in Sandra Miesel's Chronology, we deduce that the Duke, Edwin Cairncross, was born in 3006. (We know that there are longer term questions about the Chronology but I am quoting Miesel's dates for convenience and to relate events during Flandry's lifetime to each other chronologically.) Cairncross' five-year hitch in the Imperial Navy included the Syrax confrontation of 3040 and, before that, the suppression of a "...Nyanzan revolt..." (Flandry's Legacy, p. 34), despite Flandry's successful prevention of subversion on Nyanza in 3035. Or does Cairncross' five-year hitch stretch from 3035 to 3040? I did not think that Naval forces had been deployed during the Nyanzan affair handled by Flandry but might have to reread "The Game of Glory."

Cairncross returned home, gained support, became Duke in 3051 and met Flandry in 3061.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I would have liked to have seen more of Archopolis when it was still at the height of its power and glory as the capital of the Empire. The glimpses we get in A STONE IN HEAVEN are far too brief!

At least we get some poetically striking descriptions of Admiralty Center, in the Rocky Mountains of North America, in both WE CLAIM THESE STARS and THE REBEL WORLDS.

To say nothing, of course, of how Terra itself became, de facto, a planet girdling city in the Imperial age. I suggested, as you may recall, that the description given of the planetary city we see in "The High Ones" as covering about twenty percent of the globe could well apply to Terra.