Thursday, 17 March 2016

Slasher And Meteor

"His grandparents had considered emigrating to the Wunderland system...If they'd done it, he might have ended up as a conscript technician with the Fourth Fleet."
-Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling, "The Children's Hour" IN Larry Niven, Ed., Man-Kzin Wars II (London, 1991), pp. 133-306 AT p. 184.

No, if his paternal (or maternal) grandparents' children had grown up in a different planetary system, then they would have had different children and he would not exist. Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series shows that the world would now be populated by different individuals if history had gone differently.

"The Slasher-class armed scout held three crewkzin in its delta-shaped control chamber, the commander forward and the Sensor and Weapons Operators behind..." (p. 184)

So the Slasher sounds like a Terran Imperial Meteor with its commander, fire control officer and engineer-computerman (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 478). Authors of military sf write with apparent familiarity about combat vehicles that do not exist yet and that, hopefully, will not have to exist.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And there's the even smaller scout boats used by the Imperial Navy that we wee in ENSIGN FLANDRY and A CIRCUS OF HELLS. Junior Lieutenant Dominic Flandry was assigned at Irumclaw during his one year stint there. These small boats were meant for patrolling the borders and be on the alert for possible troubles. They generally had only one crewman.