Thursday, 25 June 2015
The Twilight Of The Terran Empire
"It is the twilight of the Terran Empire. The warriors who made it great are long gone now, and the traders of the Polesotechnic League who made it possible are the dimly-remembered stuff of legend. Alien enemies prowl its outer precincts, and Sector Governors conspire for the Throne of Man. On Terra herself, those who occupy the labyrinthine corridors of power busy themselves with trivialities and internal politics, as outside the final darkness gathers."
-Young Flandry (New York, 2010), back cover.
The blurb deploys evocative terms and phrases: twilight; Empire; warriors; legend; enemies prowling; Throne; not only "corridors of power" but "labyrinthine" ones; the final darkness gathering.
The warriors that made the Empire great include the Founder who, in the previous volume, led a slave revolt, seized a slaver ship and attacked the slavers' planet. How did the League make the Empire possible? It "...spread a truly universal civilization..." (The Van Rijn Method, p. 146), which the Empire took over when the previous system of government had broken down.
Alien enemies include not only a rival imperialism but also barbarians armed with spaceships and nuclear weapons by unscrupulous traders - the other side of the League. The corridors of power include the city-sized Admiralty Center where Flandry receives his orders in the third Young Flandry novel.
The second paragraph of this blurb describes Flandry as "...blazing a trail across the galaxy..." whereas, of course, in this era, known space comprises only one outer part of a single spiral arm. Anderson's text is more considered and restrained than an extravagant blurb.