Sunday, 22 February 2015

Fire Time, Chapters I and II

Chapter I is narrated from the point of view of an Ishtarian. Like Terrestrial horses, he has "...pasterns." (Poul Anderson, Fire Time, St Albans, Herts, 1977, p. 18) (I google words that are to me unfamiliar.) We gather that there are two other kinds of beings on Ishtar, dauri and humans. There are some indications of the peculiar astronomical relationships in this planetary system but not enough for the reader to understand as yet. In the sky, there are a Red One, a Stormkindler, a Burner, a True Sun and an Invader although I think that some of these are different names for the same heavenly body. There are two moons, Narvu and Kilivu, and the Milky Way is the Ghost Bridge.

Chapter II is narrated from the point of view of a human being, Captain Yuri Dejerine, on Luna. Dejerine plays Gean music. We remember that Gea, orbiting Tau Ceti, was Gunnar Heim's home planet. We are told that "...that planet has as old and wide a variety of traditions as ever did Earth." (p. 20) This must refer to the natives, called "Sindabans," with whom Heim grew up.

Dejerine wears, among more familiar garments, tabi and zori and converses with Ensign Donald Conway from Ishtar. They will both ship out quite shortly so something is happening but that is as far as I have read in Chapter II. It seems worthwhile to reread Fire Time appreciating such details as rich vocabulary and background information. As in real life, the closer we look the more there is to see.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I appreciate you putting in links to definitions of words used by Poul Anderson that were unfamiliar to you (or me, for that matter!). I clicked on the link you gave for "pasterns." I'm reminded as well of how we've discussed words like "trianons," another word I had not really noticed till you commented on Anderson's use of the term in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS.