Monday, 1 February 2016

Meeting Places

John Rolfe and Manuel Argos (see here) would have much to discuss if they were able to meet between universes, for example in the Old Phoenix. In fact, we can all too readily envisage an endless series of Old Phoenix dialogues between characters from different works and worlds but such dialogues would have to say something worthwhile.

There are other possible meeting places. Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization mentions two hypothetical hereafters:

"[Emperor Hans] either appalled Manuel Argos or won a grudging approval, in whatever hypothetical hell or Valhalla the Founder dwelt."
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (Riverdale, NY, 2012), p. 380.

Later, imagining a monologue delivered by Roan Tom's ghost, the omniscient narrator continues:

"...he pauses to stuff a pipe with Earthgrown tobacco, which is available in his particular Valhalla..."
-Poul Anderson, Flandry's Legacy (Riverdale, NY, 2012), p. 458.

Tom's Valhalla becomes a fiction within a fiction: we are invited to imagine Tom drawling, explaining and smoking - but then the narrative flashes back to when he was alive. Tom belongs with the others. During the Long Night, he makes alliances that build a base for the Allied Planets and their civilizing missions.

So let's imagine, in the Inn or one of the Valhallas (Halls of the Valorous), SM Stirling's John Rolfe outnumbered by Anderson's Manuel I, Hans I, Flandry and Tom - but then joined by Eric von Shrakenberg, St Disraeli and Emperor John II. I expect that one of the Valiant Halls has a VIP lounge...

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor ,Paul!

And Holger Carlsen as well! After all, the hero of THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS is also seen at the "Old Phoenix" in A MIDSUMMER TEMPEST.

I know you have not yet read the Raj Whitehall series, co-authored by Stirling and Drake, but he too would make a worthy guest at the "Old Phoenix."

Yes, I too can see Eric von Shrakenberg, a troubled, conflicted Draka, being admitted into the "Phoenix." Perhaps in a story like Anderson's "Losers Night"?