Sunday, 2 October 2016

Fantasy, Future History And Time Travel

Today there have been two obstacles to blogging:

I have been on a coach trip to Birmingham;
I am still engaged in other reading.

However, memories of reading Poul Anderson's works continue to generate posts on:

the Time Patrol;
the Technic History -

- and on more than these, but those are the three other posts dated today. Ys is a fully realized city, the Time Patrol is a fully realized organization and the Solar Commonwealth is a fully realized society. Gratillonius, King of Ys, Manson Everard, Unattached agent of the Patrol, and David Falkayn, Master Merchant of the Polesotechnic League, are fully realized characters, different from each other.

Ys is destroyed and the Commonwealth falls but the Patrol endures - as far as we know.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Have you ever wondered what you would say if you ever MET Nicholas van Rijn at the Old Phoenix inn? What questions would you ask him? What might you talk about?

    And Old Nick was also a very well "realized" character!


    1. Sean,
      I would ask him about his early life, how he started etc.
      If he was in his very old age, I would also ask about his later exploratory mission outside known space.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Good points! I too would like to have seen even one Young Nick story from Poul Anderson. And how far did Old Nick in that final exploratory journey? To the opposite side of the Galaxy? Or to one or both of the Magellanic Clouds?

      And would you talk about philosophy and theology with Old Nick? More than one character were surprised to discover how well read he was!


    3. Sean,
      I would be interested to hear his views on issues like the efficacy of offerings to St Dismas and comparative theology.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      A bit facetiously, the way Old Nick loudly promised candles and IOUs to St. Dismas reminded me of how Sumu the Fat, the gangland boss we see in "The Plague of Masters", promised a dozen joss sticks to his pagan gods on Unan Besar while hearing Dominic Flandry's tales about that fictional space ship!

      More seriously, we Catholics believe God sometimes delegates some of His power and authority to the saints. And that, with His consent, the saints can hear the prayers of the faithful addressed to them, asking the saints to intercede for them with God. And, for worthy causes, be given power by God to perform miracles or healings. I think that is what Old Nick would say if you asked him seriously.


    5. Sean,
      Van Rijn often sounds facetious but I think that he is genuinely pious.

    6. Kaor, Paul!

      I agree! Beneath what I suspect was his deliberately mangled Anglic and his comic protestations about being fat, old, poor, and lonely, Old Nick was a very serious person. Including being genuinely devout.