Friday, 22 January 2016

Introducing The Final Society

Drakon (New York, 2000) is SM Stirling's fourth novel about the Domination of the Draka, an empire that exists in an alternative history, thus in a parallel or divergent timeline. Chapter One begins with three new headings:

MAY 21, 442nd YEAR OF THE FINAL SOCIETY (2442 A.D.) (p. 1)

The reference to a "Domination timeline" indicates that the events of this novel will involve travel not only between planets and stars but also between timelines. Thus, "Earth/1" means the Earth of the Domination as opposed to, e.g., our Earth where there is not and has never been a "Domination."

We knew that, when the Draka had conquered the whole of their Earth, then they would build their "Final Society" and, in the previous novel, we saw them win the "Final War." Their enemy, the Alliance for Democracy, then survived only as the occupants of a spaceship that was making its Exodus from the Solar System.

The opening sentence is:

"Gwendolyn Ingolfsson stood naked beside the stream." (ibid.)

We knew a character of that name and will learn to our surprise that this is the same Gwen still alive four centuries later. She is of the "New Race" and able to smell a grizzly bear one or two kilometers away. The first page is a beautiful description of nature, appealing to all five of the senses.

On " early spring day in the central Rockies...," Gwen sees:

firs in an upland valley;
western snowpeaks;
new leaves on aspens;
the morning sun;
a condor and its sweeping shadow;
flowery meadows -


whispering wind;
silence -


small burrowers;
a grizzly -


fresh -

has eaten:

hand-caught trout;

We already know that the Draka enjoy life and that they share this enjoyment with each other and with their favored serfs but with no one else.

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