Saturday, 7 June 2014
The Patrician System
When I was commenting on the fifth paragraph in Poul Anderson's The Game Of Empire (IN Flandry's Legacy, New York, 2012), I skipped over an exotic place name because I had already quoted it in a much earlier post but it is worth repeating here. The aquatic vaz-Siravo from the doomed planet Starkad had been settled on Imhotep in "...the Seas of Yang and Yin..." (p. 197). This Chinese reference adds an Oriental touch to the British Raj ambiance that has already been established by the title and the opening sentence.
I should also mention five visual aids on pp. 193-194:
(i) a diagram of the Patrician System, showing the six inner planets, including the two scenes of the action, Imhotep and Daedalus, the asteroid belt and the four outer planets;
(ii) a map of Imhotep, showing Olga's Landing on a northern continent and the Seas of Yang and Yin, which are two inlets on a southern continent;
(iii) a map of Daedalus;
(iv) and (v) maps of two parts of Daedalus where events occur in the novel.
I have skipped past the diagrams and maps on previous readings but this time will refer to them as appropriate. Anderson's Introduction explains that the Patrician planets are named after "...great engineers of legend and history...although just two of them got into the story." (p. 192) We recognize Archimedes and Leonardo if not any of the others.