Saturday, 19 March 2016

Parallel Histories II

Robert Heinlein's Prophets ban space flight but are overthrown by the Second American Revolution which establishes the Covenant.

Isaac Asimov's psychohistorians are unable to prevent the Fall of the Galactic Empire but plan to build a Second Empire in a thousand years. The Plan begins with a surviving center of civilization called the Foundation.

James Blish's Bureaucratic State bans space flight but cannot ban atomic research and is overthrown by the Exodus of the Cities after the independent rediscovery of antigravity. Flying cities overthrow the Vegan Tyranny and the Earth police suppress interstellar empires.

The Psychotechnic Institute of Poul Anderson's Solar Union is unable to prevent the Second Dark Ages and the Coordination Service of his Stellar Union is unable to prevent the Third Dark Ages. Unions and Dark Ages are succeeded by several Empires, then by a Galactic civilization.

Anderson's Solar Commonwealth becomes a corporate state but declines and is unable to resist invasions by the Gorzuni, barbarian slavers. However, Manuel Argos leads a slave revolt and founds the Terran Empire. Later, Dominic Flandry is unable to prevent the Fall of the Terran Empire but ensures that several centers of civilization survive.

Larry Niven's UN Earth-Moon government bans technologies with military applications but then uses such technologies against the invading kzinti, carnivorous slavers. The UN survives.

Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium bans technologies with military applications but is unable to prevent the Patriotic Wars which devastate Earth. However, the Exodus of the Fleet leads to the Formation Wars and the founding of the First Empire of Man. The Secession Wars are followed by the Second Empire of Man.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your mentioning of the "Galactic civilization" we see in your remarks about the Pyschotechnic stories obviously had "The Chapter Ends" in mind. As you know I'm not convinced that story truly belongs in the Psychotechnic timeline. I still think that was Sandra Miesel's idea.

And I don't think it's correct to say Dominic Flandry tried to prevent the Fall of the Terran Empire. Rather, what he strove to do was to EXTEND its lifespan. At the very end of THE GAME OF EMPIRE we see him hoping the Empire might last as long as two more centuries. Something like that was all Flandry dared to hope for.