Thursday, 1 September 2016

Between Galaxies

Not many sf writers operate on an intergalactic scale. Poul Anderson has two sets of human characters who travel between galaxies and also inorganic intelligences that leave the galaxy.

James Blish's New Yorkers colonize the Greater Magellanic Cloud and rule it from New Earth. Blish's dirigible planet, He, traverses the Andromeda galaxy. His New Earthmen and Hevians consider traveling to NGC 6822, a million light years away, but instead fly to the Metagalactic Center.

Blish's Service agents receive a distress call from a ship traveling from 8873 to 8704 in NGC 4725, eleven million light years away. His star-dwelling Angels have known civilizations in ten galaxies and have collapsed three.

"'Are there really such things as collapsing galaxies, sir?' Jack said.
"'Yes, we know of several, although they're all very remote from our galaxy, in both space and time. They're all strong sources of radio waves, and one of them - 3C273 - is actually the brightest object in the known universe, though it's so far away that, from the Earth, it's no more than a thirteenth-magnitude star.'"
-James Blish, Mission To The Heart Stars (London, 1980), Chapter Nine, p. 99.

Anderson and Blish take us there.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Hmmm, Blish's stories about "collapsing" galaxies reminded me of how some scientists think huge black holes may be devouring some galaxies. The two seems almost the same!