Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fire Time, Chapter II

(I have just been diverted from Poul Anderson by a really good film. See here.)

In Poul Anderson's Fire Time, Chapter II, Conway is going to fight the Naqsans and Dejerine is going to Ishtar where Conway's family are. Thus, Anderson presents an involved set of interactions from the outset. I was wrong in a recent post to state that Fire Time is set twenty years after The Star Fox. Dejerine, thirty Terrestrial years of age, was born in the year of the Aleriona crisis. A generation and a half have elapsed. (I call a generation twenty years rather than twenty five like someone that I corresponded with recently.) Lisa Heim, if still alive, is now forty four years old.

An organization called the Exploratory Consortium has maintained what is described as a scientific-altruistic colony among the Ishtarians for a hundred Terrestrial years. More than half of the human population is floating:

researchers on specific temporary projects;
technicians on time contract;
archaeologists en route to the dead planet, Tammuz -

- but the long term residents now include second- and third-generation human Ishtarians who resent a war that deprives them of needed supplies. Dejerine says that he understands "'...the celestial mechanics of the Anubelian System...'" (p. 26) but we don't yet understand it. Ishtar is the third planet of the star Anubelea B (Bel) and Conway refers to Anu which must be Anubelea A so is Ea Anubelea C? I know that this will all be explained as we read on.

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