Thursday, 18 February 2016

Earth In FLAG

Poul Anderson, For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), Chapter IX.

The human population is about fifty million;

human, parahuman and quantum-net consciousnesses are linked, subtly and changeably, although "...not joined in one entity..." (p. 52);

cities have been replaced by a few buildings among gardens and woods;

there are only two hostels for extra-planetary visitors, one on Oahu;

Hebo has Hanauma Bay (see image) to himself and the coral has been rehabilitated;

extrasolar colonies preserve archaic societies and interact superficially with non-human beings;

a Beta Centaurian society sends an anthropological team to gain a better understanding of Earth than is possible through verbals, visuals or virtuals;

technological progress during Hebo's nine hundred year life span is shown by the fact that a scanner checks him for pathogens in about a minute whereas previously nanoprobes would have taken several hours;

extinct species of birds have been recreated from old records;

the space traffic control officer, a modified-human, converses by beamphone and might be a virtual;

the Enigma, a research instrument comprising curved girders surrounding a glowing core, has orbited in the asteroid belt for two centuries;

the basic physics equations were formulated several centuries ago;

"'A person on Earth today can at any instant attain any chosen emotional state...'" (p. 54);

a room in the hostel can have any virtual surroundings;

an interactive program, or possibly live human beings, will deal with Hebo at the memory editing clinic. 

And, if we feel nostalgic for the more populous Solar Commonwealth (and here) or Terran Empire, then we can revisit those settings in earlier works.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Exactly! I DO feel more nostalgic for the far more populous and lively Earth of the Solar Commonwealth/Polesotechnic League and Terran Empire than I would for the Earth we see in FLAG. Frankly, it creeps me out, somehow it doesn't feel quite RIGHT. Also, I've remembered being puzzled and rather disturbed by the "Enigma". What the heck is going on there? We never really find out in FLAG. Unfortunately, PA died before he might have revealed more of what exactly is going on at Earth.


Paul Shackley said...

I have added links to posts about the Solar Commonwealth and Archopolis.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I noticed, and I have reread some of those blog pieces and the comments added to them. Esp. the ones about Archopolis.