Thursday, 29 March 2018
Cairncross And The Milky Way
Edwin Cairncross, Grand Duke of Hermes:
"...turned his glance from the Milky Way. Its iciness declared that the Empire was an incident upon certain attendants of a hundred thousand stars, lost in the outskirts of a galaxy which held more than a hundred billion. A man must ignore mockery."
-Poul Anderson, A Stone In Heaven IN Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (Riverdale, NY, 2012), pp. 1-188 AT II, p. 26.
Cairncross' response to immensity is to ignore it.
Emperor Gerhart receives Cairncross in the same tower as Hans had received Flandry:
clear dome with view of roofs and ocean;
Germanian dolchzahn rug;
a model of Hans' first corvette.
We wondered whether the La Reine Louise disaster resulted from sabotage. See here. Cairncross inwardly asks the same question about the spaceship crash that killed Gerhart's elder brother. Gerhart's father was a usurper. Is Gerhart a fratricide? How low can the Empire sink?