Sunday, 30 October 2016

Planning Escapes

"Briefly, she grew rigid. The jolt passed, her mind hummed into overdrive..." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 160)

"And then his mind rocked. He stumbled back and sat down on the bed. Chee jumped clear and watched with round yellow eyes. The silence grew huge.
"Until Falkayn smashed fist into palm and said, 'Judas on Mercury! Yes!'" (p. 191)

By now, the alert reader recognizes what is happening. First Chee, then Falkayn, suddenly realize how they might escape from their current imprisonment. More moments of realization. But they have to escape from more than physical imprisonment. What they need on Ikrananka is a stable empire that they can trade with. What they have got is an unstable empire trying to annex Ikranankans who would be more amenable contacts for interstellar trade but who are too few to form an empire and also local human beings rebelling against the current empire. How can Falkayn reconcile all the factions and unite the planet sufficiently to please van Rijn in particular or the League in general?

If Falkayn fails on Inkrananka, then he will be given a safe, undemanding routine job and, at the appropriate age, compulsorily retired. That would suit many people but not the few like Falkayn. If I were a citizen of  the Solar Commonwealth, then I would not aspire to work or seek promotion in Solar Spice & Liquor! I would welcome a career in some kind of public service with enough leisure time for reading fiction and studying philosophy.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I know a life of adventure and danger is not for everyone, but I wish so much we had such a socio/cultural/technological set up right here and now. I mean I wise we had a FTL drive now and that many humans were leaving Earth to settle other worlds or become merchant adventurers. My view is that for us to have such a frontier would be good for all of us.


    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Thanks! And right now I would settle for us having such a frontier in "just" the Solar System. That could and should have been achieved, starting decades ago, with our current knowledge and technology. See Jerry Pournelle's A STEP FARTHER OUT, in which he collected articles arguing how that could have been started using just circa 1980 technology.

      I've seen comments by Dr. Pournelle about he either has or soon will republish A STEP FARTHER OUT, possibly revised? If so, I should look into getting a copy.

      One advantage of again having a REAL frontier for mankind is that would again make it impossible for tyrants or fanatical ideologues to again try corralling all of mankind into various kinds of ruinous ideological strait jackets. See, for example, Poul Anderson's "The High Ones", showing us the gruesome results for one race of what happened when such an ideology "succeeded,"