Sunday, 16 August 2015


Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization presents many colonized extra-Solar planets, e.g.:

socially stratified Hermes;
Avalon shared by human beings and Ythrians;
Serbic Dennitza with its Merseian minority.

It occurs to me that colonialism is a theme common to all (?) of SM Stirling's alternative histories:

the Angrezi Raj;
the Commonwealth of New Virginia;
the Domination of the Draka;
a temporally displaced geographical area? (I have not read any volumes of that series yet.)

We need not fear that the author favors Draka oppression. Our viewpoint character, Eric, is a member of the master race but all too aware of the injustices surrounding him. I will continue to read his adventures with interest.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

One of the interesting things I noted about the first three Draka books was how it showed a fair number of Draka characters being quite decent as INDIVIDUALS. And then showing us how questionable, to put it mildly, are many of their beliefs and institutions. And this troubled some Draka, such as Eric von Shrakenberg.

David Birr said...

The David Drake / S.M. Stirling collaboration *The Chosen* had a culture equivalent to the Draka arise on a colony planet. The courage and intelligence of the Chosen were commented upon a lot. Unfortunately, to "attack anything that moved" was "their basic imperative."

One passage in particular struck me, regarding a coming-of-age known as the Test of Life. The conclusion of the Test was wilderness survival with a team of five:

" made the best time you could to the pickup station. Nobody told you exactly where that was, either. The Chosen of the Land didn't need to have their hands held. If you couldn't make it, the Chosen didn't need you -- and you had better *all* make it. The Chosen didn't need selfish grandstanders, either."

They also brought some of their slaves -- instead of "serfs," the Chosen called them "Protégés" -- into their ranks through adoption of promising children. This not only improved the Chosen stock, but amounted to a culling of intelligence, initiative, etc. OUT of the Protégés. I don't recall the Draka doing any such thing ... although I couldn't make myself finish *MTG* or even start the others, so I might have missed it.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

Yes, I too have read Drake/Stirling's THE CHOSEN, and much enjoyed the book. And I remember the "Test of Life," which was the final hurdle "Probationers" had to master before being fully enrolled among the Chosen.

And I recalled as well how the Chosen adopted from among the Proteges the most intelligent and promising from that class. No, the Draka did not do anything similar with their serfs. The most that ambitious serfs could hope for was to be enrolled into the Janissaries and rise to sergeant or master sergeant, I think, rank.

I can understand why you could not bring yourself to finish reading MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA and the next three Draka books. But, I regret that choice. They were often grim books, I agree, but fascinating. And, in DRAKON matters don't end entirely satisfactorily for the Race.