Thursday, 22 September 2016

Two Novels

See Cadet Loftus and Ensign Flandry, Between Galaxies and Distance And Giganticism.

When one work reminds us of another, it is worthwhile to identify the similarities or resemblances, which can be surprising.

Mission To The Heart Stars is the second of two Jack Loftus novels by James Blish and the Angels and Heart Stars of the Loftus novels are referenced in one further short story. Ensign Flandry is the first of seven Dominic Flandry volumes by Poul Anderson and Flandry cameos in a further novel about his daughter.

Similarities
(i) Hyperdrive and Haertel overdrive.

(ii) A mentor, Dr Langer, and two teenage cadets.
A mentor, Max Abrams, and the teenage Flandry.

(iii) Malans and Merseians.

(iv) In fact, the Hegemony of Malis and the Roidhunate of Merseia.

(v) Langer and the cadets visit Malis and meet the Hegemon whereas Abrams and Flandry visit Merseia and meet the Protector of the Roidhun's Grand Council.

(vi) In both cases, there is a quick exit from the alien planet and recourse to the FTL drive dangerously deep in a gravity well.

(vii) In both cases, the fleeing ship is able to evade capture by faster pursuers.

(viii) Cadet Loftus turns twenty en route to Malis. Flandry loses his youth on the long flight from Merseia.

Dissimilarities
(i) Langer and his cadets are the sole representatives of the UN to visit Malis whereas Abrams and Flandry go as members of a diplomatic mission to a planet that already has a Terran Embassy.

(ii) The Terran Empire and the Merseian Roidhunate are out at the end of one spiral arm whereas the Hegemony of Malis occupies the galactic center and the UN is allied with immortal energy beings that have known civilizations in ten other galaxies.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    We do see Dominic Flandry in three or four chapters of THE GAME OF EMPIRE, making his appearances in that book more than merely a cameo. Better to say Flandry was a SECONDARY character in GAME.

    Sean

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    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I also had in mind Brother Hugh de Tourneville, whom we see in ROGUE SWORD. He only appears in two or three chapters of that book, but I think he is an important secondary character.

      Sean

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