Saturday, 15 October 2016
Van Rijn's Time
There are four short stories in this category. I count "Esau" because it is mainly about Dalmady. Instead of continuing to buy bluejack from Solar, the Baburites have installed computer-controlled robots on Suleiman to collect bluejack directly. The computer will have merely rudimentary awareness unlike the fully intelligent computer that Martian Minerals Inc. has about that time put on Wayland. The Baburites' action is legitimate competition whereas Dalmady's resetting of their computer might count as piracy?
Dalmady has an Andersonian moment of realization. First:
"...the old, old legend crashed into his awareness." (The Van Rijn Method, p. 544)
What old legend? The title might be a giveaway. And the original title was "Birthright."
"Dalmady sprang to his feet with a whoop." (p. 545)
He trembles, feels chills along his nerves and explains:
"'I have an idea.'" (ibid.)
Quiz question: in which stories do van Rijn and Falkayn each have a moment of realization?
Dalmady reflects that, if he loses Suleiman, he might get a job somewhere cleaning latrines. (p. 537) Anderson acknowledges in Mirkheim that, although there are great opportunities in van Rijn's time, many individuals will be unlucky or unsuccessful. (Rise Of The Terran Empire, pp. 139-140 and see here.) However, I argue that technology can facilitate the building of a society in which educational and economic resources are deployed to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to develop fully and freely. This is one of the fundamental issues that arises in some of Poul Anderson's works.