Sunday, 19 March 2017


Science fiction, including Poul Anderson's sf, covers interstellar empires. This can lead to reflection on the reasons for imperialism whether planetary or interstellar. See here for an alien empire and many other posts for the Terran Empire of the Technic History.

SM Stirling's Sir Nigel Loring summarizes the British Empire pithily:

presence of mind;
pinching land.

He adds:

"'...keeping the bloody Frogs out.'"
-SM Stirling, The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Eighteen, p. 497.

("Frogs" are the French.) Sir Nigel might perhaps have summarized this anti-French policy as "prevention" or "pre-emption."

Stirling reminds or informs us that horses injured in battles scream and that the historical castles of Britain and Europe would become useful again if history took a different course. Poul Anderson imagines orbital forts like Hell Rock.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I was amused by how Sir Nigel reminded us of the old, centuries long rivalry between Britain and France. Somewhat more seriously, from at least Henry VIII's time it was standard British policy to oppose or prevent any single power from dominating or unifying the Continent. Because the rise of such a colossus would inevitably be a mortal threat to the existence of an independent Great Britain. And that is one reason for why so many in the UK, led by Euro skeptics or UKIP, don't want Britain to be part of the EU.