Monday, 10 October 2016

Ammon And Flandry II

How many blog readers have read Poul Anderson's A Circus Of Hells? A lot, I hope. How many remember that Leon Ammon wore a fine scarlet tunic or that one wall of his office displayed an animation of a rose garden? See here. I had not. One purpose of the blog is to remember and appreciate all such details. It will take a while.

Flandry had originally visited Ammon on a hunch, generated by a mixture of curiosity and boredom. He might either enrich himself by accepting a job from Ammon or betray Ammon if the risk seemed too great. Here, my work ethics differ from Flandry's. I would not have betrayed Ammon, having accepted his hospitality. The further vision that Flandry might strengthen the Empire by helping Ammon comes only when he realizes the size of the prize that Ammon is after.

When Flandry is a prisoner of a Merseian, he advises delay in eliminating Ammon. When he has returned to Irumclaw, he earns Ammon's hatred by protecting and negotiating on behalf of Djana. But, if Flandry and Ammon were to re-meet in late life, they would be able to reminisce about this incident with amusement and a measure of mutual respect.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I certainly hope most fans of Poul Anderson have read A CIRCUS OF HELLS, which I consider a very good book. However, I have read criticisms of the book by readers who complained it seemed "disjointed". That is, they thought it actually comprised two very different stories, about Wayland and Talwin, which they argued did not fit well together. I disagree and I argue that a story having those two very different planets in it made CIRCUS esp. interesting.

    Much as I like Flandry, I have to agree with you in not approving of how he considered the possibility of betraying Ammon if the risk seemed too high. And I certainly hope they might have met again in later life and reminisce about the Wayland affair with a certain wry amusement and mutual respect!

    Quiz question: we see mention of the animation of a rose garden in Ammon's office. Whose office in another story had an animation of an Imperial court masked ball?


    1. Sean,
      Is it the late unlamented Snelund?

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Correct! The animation of the masked ball is in Aaron Snelund's office in THE REBEL WORLDS.