Friday, 26 June 2015

Shortening The Dark Age

According to the blurb on the back of Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (New York, 2012), Dominic Flandry:

"...sees the rot in the Terran Empire on every hand and knows that the Long Night will inevitably fall upon the galaxy. His consolation is that measures he has taken while fighting to postpone the final collapse may shorten the coming galactic dark age and hasten the rise of a new interstellar civilization."

Sounds familiar? Replace Flandry with Seldon and Terran Empire with Galactic Empire and we are almost reading a summary of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. But there are a few other differences:

Asimov did not use the term "Long Night," which Anderson perhaps overuses;

Asimov capitalized the "g" of "galaxy;"

Seldon did not fight to postpone the Fall of the Galactic Empire but did try to manipulate events to shorten the dark age;

the Terran Empire governs a four hundred light year diameter volume of space which is way short of the entire galaxy;

Flandry hoped to shorten the dark age by strengthening individual planets like Nyanza and Dennitza, not by applying a predictive social science.

"'I'd like to have Nyanza well populated. When the Long Night comes for Terra, somebody will have to carry on. It might as well be you.'" (Captain Flandry, p. 339)

If anyone thinks that Anderson's History of Technic Civilization plagiarizes Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, then think again. It is different and much better.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree! Anderson's Technic History seies is far better than Asimov's Foundation series. More carefully thought thru, far more plausible characters and planets, human and non human, etc. (we only see non humans once in the Empire/Foundation stories, "Blind Alley").

And while I agree sought to help strengthen many planets to help them survive the chaos of the Long Night, he also strove to prolong the existence of the Empire to help give its peoples and races another couple of centuries of peace. THE GAME OF EMPIRE even ends with Flandry hoping the Empire might endure for as long as two more centuries.