Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Causes Of Conflicts

Why wage war? What causes wars?

Poul Anderson
The Merseians are aggressive imperialists and the decadent Terran Empire stands in their way. The Merseians learn that  a rogue planet will hit Saxo, causing it to nova and destroy its planets. One such planet, Starkad, is inhabited by two intelligent species, land-dwellers and sea-dwellers, who are natural enemies like men and wolves. The Merseians begin to help the sea-dwellers, thus ensuring that the Terrans will help the land-dwellers. They carefully and gradually escalate the conflict while stalling peace negotiations. They hope to manipulate the Terrans into massing their fleet around Saxo at just the right time. The nova will vaporize the fleet and the Merseians will invade Earth. Enter Dominic Flandry.

Assessment: a plausible account of an interstellar Cold War scenario - granted the implausible premise of an FTL drive.

Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling
The CoDominium regularly dumps involuntary colonists from Welfare slums onto the terraformed planet, Sparta, while a Senator, for his own imperialist reasons, covertly funds Spartan insurrection.

Assessment: A less plausible scenario? But carefully designed to enable its authors to describe land combat in a terrestroid environment.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Unfortunately, I believe the scenario we see in ENSIGN FLANDRY is timeless. That is, similar scenarios will very likely occur thru out real world history. Because conflict is going to be an inevitable part of life as lived by real, imperfect beings, human or alien.

Don't dismiss Grand Senator Bronson too quickly! We see more of him in greater depth than we do in WEST OF HONOR and THE MERCENARY. We even see Bronson, despite being so ruthless, having some intelligent ideas about both the looming collapse of the CoDominium and what should replace it. Col. Falkenberg is even mentioned as having a high opinion of Bronson's abilities.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Drat! I should have written "we see more of him [Bronson] in GO TELL THE SPARTANS and PRINCE OF SPARTA than we do in WEST OF HONOR and THE MERCENARY."