Sunday, 16 October 2016

Living In The Future

The Decline Of The Polesotechnic League (see here) would collect:

four van Rijn stories;
the trader team series, prominently featuring van Rijn;
one other League story, parenthetically mentioning van Rijn.

Volume III of The Technic Civilization Saga (see image), the only volume of that series that I have no disagreements with, collects:

the culminating novel of the overlapping van Rijn and trader team series;
two sequels set on Avalon;
a three-part introduction to the Terran Empire period which, later, will prominently feature Dominic Flandry.

In my proposed edition of the History of Technic Civilization, three entire volumes would cover Flandry's lifetime and one would cover the post-Imperial ages - not that Flandry lived longer than all subsequent ages but Anderson wrote more about him.

Getting back to the Polesotechnic League period, Anderson wrote:

an introductory trader team story, "Trader Team"/"The Trouble Twisters" (1965);
a sequel, "Day of Burning" (1967);
a prequel, "How To Be Ethnic In One Easy Lesson" (1974), expanding on information about Adzel's student days given in "Trader Team."

After three stories set entirely off Earth, "How To Be Ethnic..." shows us the Earth of the League period and gives the future a daily life. James Ching studies, takes a call from his counselor, eats dinner with his parents and visits his girlfriend who then suggests visiting Adzel. So far, Jim has only been as far as Luna but he knows of:

"...treetop highways under the golden-red sun of Cynthia!" (The Van Rijn Method, p. 183);
four-armed drummers sounding the mating call of the Gorzunian moons;
"Wild wings above Ythri!" (ibid.)

Not as yet above Avalon; Falkayn has yet to found that colony. On a local bus, Jim sees:

"...a dandified Lunarian..." (p. 184);
a blue Alfzarian;
a spacehand wearing a Brotherhood badge;
a League journeyman, skin weathered by other suns.

We remember Lunarians from another Anderson future history series but are told little or nothing about their counterparts in the Technic Histoty. This scene reminds me of a panel in a Dan Dare story: commuters in a London bus included a green-skinned Treen from Venus wearing a business suit and bowler hat and reading a newspaper - a colored immigrant.

The setting is San Francisco which recalls Trygve Yamamura and the last Time Patrol story. Asked by his counselor to represent the local Chinese community in the Festival of Man, Jim consults Library Central and learns that there was "...a Lunar New Year with fireworks and a parade." (p. 183) That is currently a big event in Lancaster and Morecambe with food stalls and a dragon. Adzel and the dragon will come together.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Unlike Jim Ching, WE'VE never even been to the Moon! And that makes me so frustrated!!!!!

I don't think the Lunarians mentioned in "How To..." should be assumed to have been genetically modified to live on the Moon. We do see mention of technological means of enabling human beings to live comfortably on Luna (as we see in SATAN'S WORLD.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think I remember reading in MIRKHEIM how Chee Lan took the train while traveling on Earth and reading the LONDON TIMES.