Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Continuing The Early Technic History

In the previous post, I set out an agenda: to continue reading the Poul Anderson's Planet Stories ebook, but have not found time for this as yet. I also celebrated the contents of the opening five short stories of Anderson's History of Technic Civilization and added that we all know what happens next. To recapitulate yet again -

Companies of the Polesotechnic League variously:

remain independent and practice free trade, e.g., Nicholas van Rijn's Solar Spice & Liqors;
exploit extrasolar beings and arm barbarians;
form a cartel, the Home Companies, that merges with the state of the Solar Commonwealth;
form a rival cartel, the Seven in Space, that controls extrasolar governments and secretly arms the Baburites.

David Falkayn:

was a younger son of an aristocratic family on Hermes;
became apprenticed to Martin Schuster on Earth, then Ivanhoe;
next was a journeyman and factor for van Rijn on Garstang's;
then was a Master Merchant leading a trade pioneer crew for van Rijn;
led the mission that saved Merseia from the effects of the radiation emitted by the nearby supernova, Valenderay;
saved Technic Civilization from the external threat of the Shenna;
became rich from the indutrialization of the rogue planet, Satan, but continued pioneering;
found Mirkheim, then founded the Supermetals Company, to help the planets that were being excluded from the benefits of Technic Civilization;
married van Rijn's granddaughter, Coya Conyon, then stopped pioneering to raise a family;
saved Technic Civilization from the internal threat of the Baburite War;
led the joint human-Ythrian colonization of Avalon.

The League was dissolved.
The Commonwealth fell.
Barbarians raided Earth and enslaved Terrestrials.
Manuel Argos led a slave revolt and founded the Terran Empire.
And we all know what happened after that...

What a history! And such a summary makes clear that Falkayn's historical achievements are greater than either van Rijn's or Flandry's.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

First, a minor correction: David Falkayn married Old Nick's GRAND daughter, not daughter. Second, while I agree with what you said about the importance of Falkayn's achievements, esp. his role in SATAN'S WORLD and in his founding of the Avalon colony, I would not minimize too far Dominic Flandry's own achievements. Esp. his role in saving the Tigeries and Sea People of Starkad, the elimination of the danger posed by both Aaron Snelund and Hugh McCormac, and his prevention of a Scothanian attack and invasion of the Empire, etc.

And I still have affection and admiration for Nicholas van Rijn! If his own achievements doesn't seem as MAJOR as those of either Falkayn or Flandry, I would put that down largely to how Old Nick spent most of his life in less troubled times than those of his grandson in law or Flandry.


Paul Shackley said...

First, thank you for the correction about Coya. Of course I knew that but perpetrated a typo. Secondly, Flandry's achievements are indeed more significant than I implied.