Friday, 28 October 2016

Spica, Star Or Sector

The planet Ikrananka is in orbit around a dwarf star. From the Ikranankan surface, David Falkayn sees, through dull light and thin air, a few stars including the white jewel of Spica. The reader thinks no more of this. The narrator has named a star. However, we later learn why Falkayn is on Ikrananka:

"A sector would be chosen, out where the traffic is still thin: Spica, for instance. A base would be established." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 99)

The star has given its name to a sector of space and Falkayn is the captain of the first trade pioneer crew. Later in the Technic History, the Spican marches are mentioned and Dominic Flandry:

"...accepted reassignment to the Spican province." (Captain Flandry, pp. 303, 304)

The sector has become an Imperial province. (See here.) Every background detail in Poul Anderson's works is there for a reason and has deeper repercussions.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I discussed in my "Sector Governors In The Terran Empire" how the Empire was divided into provinces called "sectors." Each sector was named after either an astronomically significant star or one orbited by politically influential planets.

If we ever get a FTL drive, arrangements like these might actually happen!