Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Livewell And Tempests

A few posts ago, I highlighted a fictitious place, Livewell Street, in Poul Anderson's The People Of The Wind. Now, rereading "Rescue on Avalon," I am reminded of what "livewell" is:

"After the wind-howl, this stillness felt almost holy. The air was chill but carried odors of plant life, sharp trefoil, sweet livewell, and janie."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 312.

Every detail of an Andersonian environment connects with some other detail, here the name of a street in a novel with the scent of a plant in a short story. "The wind-howl..." is another aspect of the Avalonian environment:

"...sudden tempests. The rapidly spinning globe was always breeding them." (p. 310)

The colonists have settled some of the Hesperian Islands and, from there, have moved to the Coronan continent and even begun to divide it between their two species. However, their ability to cope with or even to forecast the violent weather is as yet grossly inadequate. Thus, here is another story premise: how does a man who is allergic to Ythrians cope when he alone is close enough to rescue the Wyvan of Stormgate who has been injured in a storm?

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