Thursday, 15 September 2016

An Even More Illustrious Career

In the previous post, I referred to the careers of Manse Everard, Dominic Flandry and Gaius Valerius Gratillonius. I mentioned Gratillonius' beginning and end points although not his intermediate role as King of Ys. But another Anderson character arguably achieved more. The phases and high points of David Falkayn's career were:

trade team leader;
savior of Merseia from supernova radiation;
discoverer of Mirkheim;
founder of the Supermetals Company;
acting CEO of Solar Spice & Liquor;
Founder of the colony on Avalon.

And Falkayn's achievements affected Flandry's period:

the Roidhunate of Mersia;
weather stations on Vixen paid for from the Vixenite share in Supermetals;
Avalonian cooperation with Terra against Merseia.

Thus, maybe Falkayn achieved more than either van Rijn or Flandry? - although Flandry did a lot to extend the lifetime of the Terran Empire.

Right now I am mentally juggling:

Anderson's Psychotechnic, Technic and Time Patrol series;
the Andersons' The King Of Ys;
Stirling's Nantucket Trilogy, part of his Change series;
Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, the opening volumes of a projected ten volume series interrupted by the author's death.

I am reading Stirling, rereading Larsson and referencing the Andersons:

the Technic History is a future history;
Nantucket is an alternative history;
the Psychotechnic History is a future history that became an alternative history;
the Time Patrol is historical science fiction;
The King Of Ys is historical fiction with elements of fantasy;
Millennium is contemporary fiction and thus could happen between The King Of Ys and the Technic History.

Pretty smart stuff - with a lot of history of different kinds.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree with what you said, mostly, about David Falkayn, while still having a fondness for Nicholas van Rijn. The latter was far more colorful and extroverted! And Old Nick also played a major role in the Polesotechnic era, as we see in THE MAN WHO COUNTS, SATAN'S WORLD, and various short stories. If he does not seem to have "achieved" as much as Falkayn (who became his grandson-in-law) I would put that down to him living most of his life in times when the Polesotechnic League had not started to disintegrate. Thus Old Nick would have fewer occasions for making crucial decisions.


Paul Shackley said...

Van Rijn strove to hold the League together as Flandry did with the Empire.

David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
Would Falkayn have had the opportunity to do as much as he did if he hadn't been Old Nick's protege? He'd still be a high achiever, but I suspect not to such an extent.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul and David!

Paul: true, what you said about Nicholas van Rijn trying to hold the Polesotechnic League together. But we only see him seriously starting to do that in MIRKHEIM, when he was already 80 years old. Even given antisenescence, I think Old Nick could only hope to live another 30 years at most. Not really much time for holding the League together. We see Dominic Flandry working to help hold the Terran Empire together for about 48 years, from age 19 to approximately age 67.

David: I agree, with Old Nick first acting as his employer and then grandfather-in-law, Falkayn GAINED the means and connections he needed for doing as MUCH as he did. Without Old Nick, still a high achiever, but not QUITE so much.