Saturday, 7 June 2014


Originally published on Poul Anderson Appreciation on 29 June 2013.

Although Wodenites are prominent in the Technic Civilization History, we do not see any action on the surface of the planet Woden. We are told that, although its gravity is two and a half times that of Earth, Woden's sun is so energetic that animals can grow to gigantic size.

Father Francis Xavier Axor, the Wodenite who has converted to Jerusalem Catholicism and has been ordained in the Galilean Order, gives us some details. His haizark, still comparatively primitive, are nomads in the Morning Land, across the Sea of Truth from the Glimmering Realm where the Terrans are based. In the Ascetic Hills, erosion has revealed Foredweller ruins. Such remains are eventually destroyed by micrometeoroids on airless planets or by weather and geology in atmospheres but, on Woden, they were fossilized by petrifying ash or mud.

Axor gained a merit scholarship from the University of the Galilean Order at Port Campbell in the Glimmering Realm where Fr Jaspers suggested that Foredweller ruins might provide evidence for the Universal Incarnation. Hence, Axor's search through space, eventually arriving on Imhotep in the Patrician System. Later, Dominic Flandry obtains funding for Axor's research. I would agree that the Foredwellers should be researched whether or not for Axor's reason.

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