Thursday, 20 October 2016

Return To Satan's World

Recent combox discussion has interested me in rereading Satan's World, partly to seek any clues about ages of characters or dates of events. How does this one novel fit into the dynamic History of Technic Civilization? Satan's World features Nicholas van Rijn and his trade pioneer crew/trader team of David Falkayn, Adzel and Chee Lan. For the purposes of this discussion, the contents of the History can be summarized as follows:

two pre-League stories;
five stories and one novel about van Rijn;
one story about Adzel solo;
two stories about Falkayn solo;
two stories about the team, with an early cameo of van Rijn with Falkayn;
three other stories set in the Polesotechnic League period;
three works featuring both van Rijn and the team;
twenty four subsequent installments, including several novels!

The three works featuring van Rijn and the team are:

Satan's World;

Poul Anderson had intended to end the League sub-series of the History with "Lodestar" but later added Mirkheim which thus became the culmination of eighteen installments yet was not even at the midpoint of the History. Some characters in the History have become well-known to sf readers and are also well-known within the History, e.g.:

"'Everyone knows of Nicholas van Rijn.'" (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 341)

"'...I have encountered tales of Admiral Flandry's exploits...'" (Flandry's Legacy, p. 213)

And some of the texts that we read also exist within the History:

"Now The Earth Book of Stormgate is ended." (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 323)

As we begin to read Satan's World, Falkayn, visiting the Solar System, is a celebrity because of his association with van Rijn.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And surely one of the most spectacular exploits of Flandry was his nullification of the Scothan threat. In fact, I vaguely recall somewhere that Scotha was why he was knighted by Josip III.