Thursday, 3 March 2016

Important People

Structurally, a future history has an earlier period and a later period and the earlier period has a pivotal character or characters who are builders of the future:

in HG Wells' The Shape Of Things To Come, Gustave de Windt, author of Social Nucleation (1942);

in Robert Heinlein's Future History, DD Harriman, "The Man Who Sold The Moon";

in Isaac Asimov's future history, Susan Calvin, robopsychologist;

in James Blish's Cities in Flight, Senator Bliss Wagoner, secretly behind the spindizzy and the antiagathics;

in Blish's The Seedling Stars, Jacob Rullman, inventor of pantropy, the science of human adaptation to extraterrestrial environments;

in Blish's Haertel Scholium, Adolph Haertel and Thor Wald, inventor of the Dirac transmitter;

in Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History, Valti and Fourre;

in Anderson's Technic History, Nicholas van Rijn, leader of the independents in the Polesotechnic League, and David Falkayn, discoverer of Mirkheim and Founder of Avalon;

in Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium future history, John Christian Falkenberg, mercenary.

Wells' Philip Raven dreams an "Outline of the Future" whereas Asimov's Hari "Raven" Seldon predicts the future. Raven's dreamed text includes a chapter on Karl Marx and Henry George.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your last paragraph beat me having to ask why you omitted Hari Seldon as a "pivotal character" from your first mentioning of Asimov's works.

I'm still rereading Blish's THEY SHALL HAVE STARS, but I do see your point about Senator Wagoner.

And I would have included Manuel Argos and Dominic Flandry as two of the pivotal characters we see in Anderson's Technic Civilization stories.


Paul Shackley said...

I was trying to concentrate on "earlier periods," though.