Sunday, 30 October 2016

Saved By Adversity?

"Chee Lan...wanted to become indecently wealthy off her commissions, in order to indulge her every whim when at last she returned to that planet which astronomy designates as O2 Eridani A II and the Anglic language calls Cynthia." (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 35)

However, she and Adzel realize that they must not allow their respective planets to suffer:

"'...while outside, the order of things that the Earthfolk brought goes tumbling down...'" (p. 290)

Instead, they must use their money and knowledge to prepare Cynthia and Woden for what is to come.

"'I don't relish the I curse it, I who imagined I'd retire to domestic comfort and expensive fun! But we'll be conferring, Adzel, for the rest of our days, yes, yes, we will.'" (ibid.)

But that sounds like the best possible outcome. Chee Lan and Adzel will stay in touch and will be doing something useful. In the longer term:

"'...could be that our races will build us a monument after they've started a whole new course of history for all the planets.'" (p. 291)

That will take time. First, the obstacles of the Terran Empire and the Merseian Roidhunate will have to be removed but then - what role will Cynthia and Woden play in the civilizations that spread through several spiral arms and eventually operate on a galactic scale as evidenced by the existence of a Galactic Archeological Society? (p. 325)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

That would have to include both the Cynthians and Wodenites modernizing more quickly than they might otherwise have done. And include the building of local self defense forces sufficient for fighting off at least some attacks by pirates and barbarians.

I would not call the Terran Empire an obstacle for such planets developing new cultures and ways of life. The anarchy of the Time of Troubles would have convinced many planets of the urgent need to achieve sufficient unity to guard against a dangeorous universe. Else why would Cynthia and Woden both quickly and willingly join the Empire after it arose? In one of his letters to me Poul Anderson said the Empire protected such worlds, human and non human like, till they were able to survive by their owe strength.