Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mirkheim, Prologue

Poul Anderson's Mirkheim has an unusual thirty-page, nine-part Prologue with dated headings.

Y minus 500,000.

A giant star goes supernova and one planet is so large that its core survives, covered in supermetals.

Y minus 28.

Benoni Strang lands on Babur and begins to cooperate with the Baburites.

Y minus 24.

This passage gives us our first sight of David Falkayn's home planet, Hermes, and informs us that Sandra Tamarin, who had been with Nicholas van Rijn on Diomedes, has had a son, Eric, by van Rijn.

Y minus 18.

Falkayn finds Mirkheim and founds Supermetals.

Y minus 12.

The Imperial Band has united Babur and Strang begins to arm them.

Y minus 9.

Coya Conyon has married Falkayn and will join his trade pioneer crew. The Polesotechnic League has become cartelized.

Y minus 7.

Eric Tamarin witnesses League injustice on Valya.

Y minus 5.

Strang's group has a base on a Baburite moon. Strang is fanatically opposed to injustices on his home planet, Hermes. I accept Anderson's characterization of Strang but hope that it can be recognized that other Hermetians may be equally opposed to the same injustices without becoming fanatics.

Y minus 1.

Mirkheim is discovered independently...

Thus, of the nine parts:

three are about Mirkheim;
three about Strang;
two about Tamarins;
one about van Rijn and co.

However, there are other interconnected themes. Van Rijn, speaking to David and Coya, complains about the degeneration of the League, Eric experiences it and Strang, we are yet to learn, is a major part of it.

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