Friday, 4 December 2015


What does it mean to us when we see the stars?

(i) Astrology.
(ii) 1984.
(iii) They Shall Have Stars.
(iv) Ensign Flandry.
(v) A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows.
(vi) The Stone Dogs.

(i) A friend who is an astrologer has made true statements based on horoscopes.

(ii) in George Orwell's 1984, the ultimate insanity of the Party is revealed when O'Brien claims that the stars are small lights a few kilometers away that could easily be reached if there were any reason to.

(iii) In James Blish's They Shall Have Stars:

"...the man and the woman went to the window, and looked past the discarded bulk of Jupiter at the near horizon, where there had always been visible a few stars."
-James Blish, Cities In Flight (London, 1981), p. 128.

Measurements made on the Jovian surface have made it possible for men and women to travel to the stars.

(iv) In Poul Anderson's Ensign Flandry:

"Fathers had taken their sons outdoors when twilight ended parades and feasts; they had pointed to the early stars and said, - Look yonder. Those are ours."
-Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 6.

Men from Earth have built the Terran Empire.

(v) In Anderson's A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows:

"The chill struck full into Flandry. He raised his eyes to the fading stars. Sol would soon drive sight away from them, but they would remain where they were, waiting."
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 391.

This time, the point is that the Terran Empire has dangerous enemies among those stars.

(vi) In SM Stirling's The Stone Dogs:

"Suddenly the stars were very cold; reptile eyes, staring down with ageless hunger."
SM Stirling, The Stone Dogs (New York, 1990), p. 133.

Again, the point is that men have taken their rivalries and weapons into space.

A vast universe; seemingly endless conflicts.

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