Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Liked Characters

When we turn a page and begin to read the next chapter of a novel or the next story in a collection, it is the job of the text to hold our attention. A familiar character's name helps: Sherlock Holmes if we were reading The Strand magazine. Poul Anderson's two main series are surely the Technic History and the Time Patrol and Anderson's four most prominent continuing characters appear in these two series: Nicholas van Rijn, David Falkayn and Dominic Flandry in the History and Manse Everard in the Patrol. The first three of these characters are named in titles and appear on covers.

In SM Stirling's Change series, I am delighted to turn a page and find a reference to Sir Nigel Loring, especially when it turns out that the old devil is about to propose shyly to Juniper Mackenzie. I was pleased to learn that he had not been killed at the end of the previous volume. See here. Sir Nigel described a Provisional IRA man that he had killed as  a "poor chap" and came into conflict with a King who would not call a Parliament. I am unlikely to come into contact with a baronet who is also an SAS colonel before the Change but would certainly appreciate his company after it.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, I agree, Sir Nigel Loring is a VERY likable character, one I was glad to "know" in Stirling's Emberverse books.

Hmmm, Anderson's Terran Empire has a formal aristocracy using peerage titles like dukes and earls, but no mention was made of baronets. There are knights of the Empire, such as Sir Dominic Flandry, but that honor is held for life only, and is not hereditary. And some of the colonial worlds had local aristocracies whose titles differed from those used by the Imperial aristocracy.