Thursday, 21 April 2016
An Indefinite Number Of Earths
The human mind has the extraordinary ability to attend to events on an indefinite number of Earths, only one of them real.
On Earth Real:
we celebrate the Easter Rising of 1916;
Britain debates its membership of the European Union;
the Queen of England celebrates her 90th birthday;
she is visited by the President of the United States;
I blog about Poul Anderson.
In two fictional timelines:
Manuel I proclaims the Terran Empire;
Lysander I is hailed, "Imperator."
How does Lysander compare with Manuel? I have yet to finish reading Prince Of Sparta by Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling which ends when Lysander becomes Emperor. Lysander appears in a series of novels whereas Manuel appears in just one short story. Both futures histories show us pre-Imperial conflicts, the First Emperor and the later Empire. We expect continued global conflicts in our immediate future but not that they will be ended by an Empire.
Poul Anderson shows us events long after the Terran Empire and there is still time for Jerry Pournelle to show us events long after the Second Empire of Man. Will the Moties escape from their system? Will other intelligences be discovered? What other forms of interstellar organization will human beings devise? More importantly, what might happen that is completely unexpected? Poul Anderson shows us humanity spreading, diversifying, evolving and encountering new astronomical objects, including an unprecedented source of new wealth. A new history begins just as his Technic History ends.