Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Psychotechnic History II

See The Psychotechnic History.

In Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History, clones (not yet called that) are grown exogenetically, not in a host mother.

On reflection, this History should definitely be collected in two omnibus volumes:

Vol I, THE SOLAR UNION - the entire contents of The Psychotechnic League and Cold Victory plus The Snows Of Ganymede;

Vol II, THE STELLAR UNION - the entire contents of Starship plus "The Acolytes," "Green Thumb," the longer version of "Virgin Planet" and The Peregrine but maybe minus "The Chapter Ends."

For comparison, the first three omnibus volumes of the Technic History should be:

RISE OF THE POLESOTECHNIC LEAGUE;
DECLINE OF THE POLESOTECHNIC LEAGUE;
RISE OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE -

- and we know that the political framework of the League is the Solar Commonwealth. Thus, in Anderson's first future history, the Solar Union is succeeded by the Stellar Union whereas, in his second, the Solar Commonwealth is succeeded by the (interstellar) Terran Empire.

Recently, when I began to reread this future history, I became entirely focused on the future historical content of its opening three stories:

Etienne Fourre;
Stefan Rostomily;
political gangsterism;
the protean enemy;
the Pacific Colony;
the three class education system.

However, this post-World War III period is dwarfed by the much vaster context of two Dark Ages and two periods of interstellar civilization. The Un-man, Naysmith, flies his air boat to the Rockies; the Stellar Union Coordination Service field agent (Cordy), Trevelyan, flies his air car to that same mountain range but over a thousand years later in a different civilization facing different problems.

Naysmith identified the UN's protean enemy as man himself. This "enemy" destroys the Solar Union. Trevelyan, psychologically integrated, instead confronts the external problem of cosmic complexity overwhelming any cerebral or computational attempt to coordinate it. This problem destroys the Stellar Union.

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