Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Van Rijn POV IV

See here.

As van Rijn approaches his Kilimanjaro mansion, a new maid stands at the door. He considers making a proposition but the butler informs him that his guests are already present so he continues into the building. I trust that the maid would have been free to reject her employer's proposition without suffering any repercussions in her position at the mansion? Anderson is telling us something about van Rijn's character but what of employer-employee relationships in the League and Commonwealth?

The corridors are "...paneled in the woods of a dozen planets." (pp. 147-148) Wealth indeed. We have already been told that:

automation and the mineral wealth of the Solar System have made manufacturing cheap;
small, clean, simple fusion units have made energy cheap;
gravitics made the hyperdrive possible;
colonies want home luxuries;
home wants colonial products;
older civilizations have much to trade;
it is usually cheaper to import than to synthesize.

All this might explain how it is possible to have an economy where a mansion on one planet can have corridors paneled in woods from a dozen other planets. Anderson describes immeasurable wealth but also makes it plausible.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think Old Nick was a more than decent enough man NOT to punish the maid for declining his proposition if he had asked her and was turned down. We do see mention more than once of how his lady friends remembered him fondly!