Saturday, 20 August 2016

Withdrawal And Return

In Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword and The Merman's Children, supernatural beings withdraw before the advance of civilization. This withdrawal explains why such beings are no longer noticeably active in the world at large. On the parallel Earth of the Operation... volumes, this historical withdrawal has occurred but is followed by a return in the twentieth century. Thus, that twentieth century is very different from ours although it parallels ours: World War II is fought against the Caliphate and the enemy's secret weapons include an afreet etc.

The Merman's Children were exorcised from Europe but a few fled across the Atlantic. In Operation Luna (New York, 2000), a farseer documentary "...about the Long Sleep and the Awakening..." (p. 126) shows:

"...a dead mermaid on a beach drying to nothing..." (p. 127) -

- but adds:

"Some few held on a long while, in odd corners of the Old World or throughout the New World, the Arctic, the Pacific. But the remorseless advance of European civilization -" (ibid.)

Flight to the Americas would give temporary respite. But where would it be possible to flee to after that? Poul Anderson has the answer and it ties in with his science fiction. When they Awoke but did not like the industrialized Earth, some of the Fair Folk flew to the Moon during an eclipse. Astronomers on the goetic Earth discover that the Moon is inhabited - by recent refugees from Earth.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And Reawakened dwarves were very happy to take a major part in the modern world. As inventors, industrialists, and merchants.