Sunday, 7 December 2014

Captain Flandry, Parts I-IV

The first four Captain Flandry stories:

(I) "Tiger by the Tail"
(II) "Honorable Enemies"
(III) "The Game of Glory"
(IV) "Hunters of the Sky Cave"

are a perfect tetralogy.

(i) Flandry defeats the Scothanians in (I), is described as the single-handed conqueror of Schothania in (II) and commands a crew that includes a Scothanian in (IV). (His crew also includes two Gorzuni and one Donarrian - two other species that had been introduced earlier in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization.)

(ii) Admiral Walton, introduced in (I), reappears in (IV), where he is described as " of the last brave and wholly honorable men in all Terra's Empire." (Sir Dominic Flandry, p. 272)

(iii) Flandry learns how to lie to the telepath Aycharaych in (II), this incident occurs between some of the events in (III), which is mostly set on Nyanza, and Aycharaych congratulates Flandry on his handling of l'affaire Nyanza in (IV).

(iv) Flandry first meets Aycharaych in (II) and captures him in (IV) - but the Merseians arrange a prisoner exchange.

(IV) reveals a curious effect of the Technic History version of hyperspace. Flandry's ship, the Hooligan, while pursuing an Ardazirho craft, briefly interpenetrates it so that Flandry sees into its turret and even recognizes its pilot. Then the Hooligan matches phases and captures the Ardazirho.

(IV) is the only installment of the History to feature the Ymirites. Flandry encounters them on Jupiter before traveling to the colony planet Vixen, which plays important roles both earlier and later in the History, as does the Vixenite family, Kittredge.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I would like to bring to your attention my note "An Unexpected Contradiction," discussing how the Empire discovered Aycharaych's telepathic abilties five years BEFORE "Honorable Enemies" in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN. I discussed my puzzlement at how and why Flandry and his colleague Lady Chang-Lei had not been informed of Aycharaych's telepathic powers before being sent to Betelgeuse.

I think you need to revise your last paragraph, mentioning the Ymirites. We see those hydrogen breathing beings mostly on JUPITER, in our Solar System, not in Vixen's star system.