Tuesday, 20 September 2016



Nicholas van Rijn:

"shrugged like a mountain sending off an avalanche." (p. 654)

- thus validating his granddaughter Coya's nickname for him, "Gunung Tuan." (p. 647)

Coya thinks:

"...Nick van Rijn! You keep complaining about how moralistic my generation is." (p. 654)

Van Rijn says:

"'...as youngsters like you, Coya, get more prudish, the companies and governments get more brutish.' She answered: 'The second is part of the reason for the first.'" (p. 659)

Here are two differences that we recognize:

"'...you don't smoke neither,' he said. 'Ah, they don't put the kind of stuff in youngsters like when I was your age.'
"'A few of us try to exercise some forethought as well as our consciences,' Coya snapped." (p. 648)

Van Rijn says:

"'You better hope, you heathen, and I better pray...'" (p. 655)

Thus, we get indications of social changes on Earth and wish that we could see more of them.

Coya, an astrophysicist, tells Captain Hirharouk the purpose of their expedition. If a supernova had a sufficiently large planet, then the core of the planet will have survived, coated with valuable supermetals. She comments:

"'It took a genius to think this might be!'
"She grew aware of van Rijn's eyes upon her.'" (pp. 667-668)

Whom is she complimenting? Van Rijn organized this expedition. But he had the clue of the existence of the Supermetals Company. Coya knows that David Falkayn thought that "...this might be..." ten years earlier and thus that Falkayn might be behind Supermetals. And how much does van Rijn suspect?

Is Poul Anderson claiming to be a genius for writing about the Lodestar? No, because he tells us that John W Campbell gave him the idea. "Lodestar" was first published in a John W Campbell Memorial Anthology.

Generationally, Falkayn is intermediate between van Rijn and Coya but, despite their age difference, he will marry Coya.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think one important point to keep in mind about "Lodestar" was how Falkayn felt guilty, even remorseful over not reporting his discovery of Mirkheim to van Rijn. Because that violated his duty as both an employee of Solar Spice & Liquors and the oath of fealty he had sworn to Old Nick. True, he believed doing something to help the poorer planets of Technic civilization, human and non human, was important enough to justify his behavior, but it gnawed at Falkayn's conscience.