Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Van Rijn And Flandry

I have nearly finished mentally revising Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization. I agree with Baen Books that seven is the right number of volumes but not about how to divide the series between the volumes. My present idea for volume titles is:

I. Rise Of The Polesotechnic League.
II. Decline Of The Polesotechnic League.
III. Rise Of The Terran Empire.

IV. Young Flandry And The Terran Empire.
V. Captain Flandry Of The Terran Empire.
VI. Admiral Flandry And The Children Of The Terran Empire or The Molitor Dynasty.

 VII. After The Terran Empire or The Post-Imperial Age.

Nicholas van Rijn is born some time in Volume I and dies some time in Volume III whereas Dominic Flandry is alive at the beginning of Vol IV and still alive at the end of Vol VI. Also, van Rijn appears in ten of the twenty four works in Vols I-III whereas Flandry appears in thirteen of the fifteen works in Vols IV-VI.

The entire series is a future history both because van Rijn and Flandry are centuries apart and also because there are other installments before, between and after. Whereas Robert Heinlein's Future History is a future history series, Anderson's Technic History is both a future history series and two character-based series, thus a higher synthesis of earlier literary forms.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think you made a mistake with your proposed title for Volume VI: EMPEROR FLANDRY AMD THE CHILDREN OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE. Dominic Flandry had no ambition or wish to become Emperor, and certainly not by a violent usurpation of the throne. Perhaps you meant EMPEROR HANS AND THE CHILDREN OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE?

And I favor THE POST-IMPERIAL AGE as a title for Volume VII.

Yes, two characters "set the tone" for the Technic Civilization series, Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry. Yes, I agree that PA, partly by accident, created a "higher synthesis" of the literary form invented by Heinlein.

I said "partly by accident," because van Rijn and Flandry stories were originally separate series. It was PA's decisio to mention Old Nick in THE PLAGUE OF MASTERS, which linked or brought them together. With very fruitful results!


Paul Shackley said...

An error. Corrected. Thanks.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Anytime! And either ADMIRAL FLANDRY AND THE CHILDREN OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE or THE MOLITOR DYNASTY would be good titles for Volume VI. The former is more descriptive and the latter is shorter.