Sunday, 11 June 2017


Are the Lakota in SM Stirling's The Scourge Of God a bit like the Altaians in Poul Anderson's "A Message in Secret," civilized nomads who know about science and germ theory and who move books, printing presses and microscopes around in wagons? I am not about to reread Anderson's text to draw up a list of comparisons. I ought to have apprentices who can do that for me by now!

Anderson's Freeholders go further. Their post-civilization society involves living in a wilderness yet retaining and applying many aspects of familiar and newly discovered scientific knowledge. Their control of local organisms enables them to defeat the Terran Space Navy. (See here.)

All (speculative) human life is here.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Interesting, I never thought before of comparing Stirling's post-Change Lakota with the Altaians of the Tebtemgri Shamanate in Anderson's "A Message In Secret." But, I see what you mean--esp. since a Mongol university student was able to teach the now long since settled and sedentary Lakota how to again become nomads, in a more advanced form.

Apprentices? Ha!!! (Smiles)

I agree with what you said about the Freeholders seen in "Outpost Of Empire." I would stipulate, however, that the Freeholders acted as they did because they had a shrewd understanding of how FAR the Imperials would be willing to be ruthless. The Freeholders COULD have been utterly crushed if the Imperial Navy had had no moral scruples or self restraint at all. Fortunately, for the Empire and Freehold both, it did.