Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Sandra, Eric, van Rijn and Falkayn meet in the wardroom of the Hermetian space fleet flagship which has stonebark wainscoting, cyanops leather and pictures of:

Cloudhelm seen from an Arcadian hill;
the Rainbow Desert;
nighttime phosphorescence in the Corybantic Ocean.

None of these names has had to be specially invented for this scene. We have seen Falkayn in a forest of stonebark and rainroof and Sandra hunting a cyanops in the Arcadian Hills. Falkayn has flown over the Arcadian Hills beyond which lie Starfall and the Auroral Ocean. The single Hermetian continent, Greatland, separates the two Oceans.

Anderson has made Hermes seem to be such a real place that he is able to evoke its quiddity again by a few brief phrases describing the room in which the Grand Duchess, her son, her son's father and the father's protege hold their fateful meeting about the future of Hermes.

JRR Tolkien is rightly commended for his detailed creation of Middle Earth. How many fictitious planets are realized in the History of Technic Civilization as well as in Anderson's many other works of hard sf?

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