Monday, 19 September 2016


Poul Anderson, "Lodestar" IN Anderson, David Falkayn: Star Trader (New York, 2009), pp. 633-680.

Of John W Campbell, Poul Anderson wrote:

"The lodestar of the present yarn is due to him. He proposed it to me back in 1970."
-Anderson, "Afterword," pp. 681-682 AT p. 682.

Thus, Campbell proposed two ideas that became central to Anderson's History of Technic Civilization: Lodestar/Eka-World/Mirkheim and the Ythrians' biological supercharger. However, it was Anderson who realized that the supercharger would enable beings heavy enough for intelligence to fly in terrestroid conditions.

"Lodestar," pp. 633-639, is a trader team story narrated from David Falkayn's point of view whereas pp. 639-680 are a Nicholas van Rijn story narrated from Coya Conyon's point of view. It is usual for van Rijn to be seen from a different pov. On pp. 678-680, van Rijn, Coya and Hirharouk, the captain of the Ythrian ship in which they are traveling, meet the trader team but the pov remains Coya's.

On p. 639, a double space separates the trader team story from the van Rijn story. Coya's pov and inner reflections become explicit in the fourth paragraph of the van Rijn story. The first three paragraphs could be the beginning of her reflections but read more like the omniscient narrator directly informing the reader. S/he informs us that the trader team story is set "...shortly after the Satan episode..." (p. 639) whereas ten more years elapse before van Rijn and Coya depart Earth in van Rijn's yacht, then transfer to Hirharouk's ship.

Within this narrative structure, we learn of various transitions which I will probably address in another post.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And the Ythrian "supercharger" also shows us how the Ythrians and their home planet differed from the flying sophonts of Diomedes (seen in THE MAN WHO COUNTS). Diomedes is only marginally terrestroid and humans don't find it comfortable to live there and need to take precautions to do so. Ythri was far more terrestroid--which made the flying sophonts of that planet more technically interesting.