Friday, 12 February 2016
Behind The Times
Just how out of date an isolated social group might become is shown by this exchange:
"'Do you have any idea how nice it is to find a man who doesn't feel scared of a woman who can think?'
"'Ah...' Advantages of a FirstSide upbringing, he didn't say." (pp. 421-422)
Tom has the wit to reply with a compliment instead.
Roy Tully says that the past was another country. Here, another country is the past. In James Blish's Okies series, exiles from Earth have fled to other planetary systems to preserve their ways of life so that, for the interstellar nomads, traveling further into space is like traveling into the past.
Maybe we can never get into the real past but we can find enclaves of old world attitudes. I felt that a couple of times when, as a Careers Adviser, I visited Army bases.
Blog readers will have realized that I am totally enjoying rereading Conquistador and am in no hurry to reach the end. However, when I do arrive again at the saber-tooth on p. 582, I might then tackle Poul Anderson's For Love And Glory, a late work that I have so far read only once.