Thursday, 11 May 2017
The Sergeants Anderson
Before the Change, Lawrence Thurston was a US Army Captain. After the Change, he rules the (very small) "United States of Boise" but styles himself "President" and intends to restore the USA. However, Sergeant Anderson, who has been with Thurston since before the Change, refuses to address him as anything but "Captain" until he has retaken Washington and held national elections.
Of course, we notice the Sergeant's surname but is there something else here? Does Sergeant Anderson express what Stirling thinks Poul Anderson would have said about Thurston's political pretentions? The Sergeant is differently complexioned but "...otherwise enough like his commander to be his brother." (p. 414) Does this imply that Poul Anderson would have shared Thurston's leadership skills but would have had a more realistic perspective, i.e., would have been like Thurston in some ways though not in others?
The perimeter sergeant of James Blish's Okie city, New York, is also an Anderson but cannot be any relation! A Life For The Stars is a Heinlein-style juvenile sf novel about a young man shanghaied into space whereas The Sunrise Lands is a curious combo of alternative history and Tolkienesque Quest.