Thursday, 3 March 2016
Comparing American Future Histories
As it happens, I have copies of The Mercenary and King David's Spaceship. Since each of these works has been read maybe once and not recently, I am spared the trouble of seeking out other titles on Amazon for a while.
Since King David's Spaceship begins with a noisy crowd in the Blue Bottle and Imperial Navy officers buying drinks, we are in familiar territory, remembering, e.g., the opening passage of Anderson's "Sargasso of Lost Starships." Human beings cross interstellar distances faster than light, settle on terrestroid planets like Ansa or Prince Samual's World, build communities with hostelries like the Golden Planet or the Blue Beetle, then find that they are ruled by an Emperor in another planetary system, on Terra or Sparta.
Having enjoyed this fictional scenario in well-written works by Anderson, we expect to enjoy it again when it is re-presented by another writer - but the new writer must earn his keep. He does.