Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Near The End

Nicholas van Rijn quotes both Shakespeare's Hamlet and Goethe's Faust. He describes the former as "'...Old Anglic.'" (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 530)

In Chapters XVIII and XIX of Satan's World, there is a feeling of impending doom. Van Rijn knows that there is a threat to Technic civilization but also knows almost nothing about it. David Falkayn and Chee Lan in Muddlin' Through have flown into danger and have not yet returned to the Solar System. Van Rijn and Adzel must travel with a human agent of the unknown Shenna to meet some representatives of that race. They do not know what will happen or whether they will return. Van Rijn has sent confidential orders to reliable factors, district chiefs, officers and other employees throughout his company, has alerted other merchant princes, has caused Polesotechnic fighting units to be mobilized, has thus also indirectly alerted governments, whose armed forces will stand by, and has left information that will be published if he does not return.

This all sounds like the end. It is not yet the end because two further installments of the Technic History will feature van Rijn and his trader team. However, Satan's World is a major turning point:

Technic civilization will learn that it can be threatened from outside;
the next lesson will be that there are also internal problems;
the trader team will become so rich that they no longer need to go on missions for van Rijn - but they continue to do it because they want to.

Quiz question: This image is relevant for two reasons. What are they?


David Birr said...

Aside from the fact that you mentioned van Rijn quoting Goethe, I'm going to suggest that the quote in the image is relevant because of its resonance with van Rijn's comments in the end of "The Master Key":
"'Do you think they yonder is free?' he shouted. His hand chopped downward in scorn."

Note, too, the connection with a line in "The Queen of Air and Darkness": "May I never see such bitterness again. He had been taught to believe he was free."

Paul Shackley said...

A good enough answer! The quote from Goethe is relevant because I mentioned Goethe. And I had in mind the human dogs/slaves of the Shenna in SATAN'S WORLD.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul and DAVID!

I thought of the humans enslaved by the Shenna as well.