Monday, 17 April 2017
Heroic Life And Legendary Death
When we last see Nicholas van Rijn, David Falkayn, Dominic Flandry, Manse Everard and Gratillonius, they are still alive. We know that they will die - indeed, van Rijn and Falkayn have to be long dead by the time of Flandry - but we do not see their deaths. By contrast, SM Stirling gives Mike Havel, Lord Bear, a legendary death. He is literally the King who dies that his people may live. Fatal single combat prevents what would have been a cataclysmic war. It was already a matter of legend how Mike killed a bear and became Lord Bear. The post-Change generation inhabits legendary and mythic time. They confuse stories of President Clinton and of Captain Kirk.
Stirling's alternative histories include at least three trilogies:
the Draka History until the Final War;
Nantucket after the Event;
Mike Havel's lifetime after the Change (Change Years One to Ten).
The fourth Change novel and John C. Wright's first novel should arrive tomorrow.