Saturday, 13 September 2014
I have reread the first eight of the twenty four numbered sections of "Iron" by Poul Anderson.
Markham, the unsympathetic character with an ambiguous attitude to the kzinti, is reminiscent of Magnusson who turns out to be pro-Merseian.
The characters investigate a remote, mysterious red dwarf that is reminiscent of unusual stars in other works by Anderson. This metal-impoverished dwarf star with scarcely any iron has an estimated age of fifteen billion years, making it almost as old as the universe. It moves quickly through our galaxy, having been ejected from its parent galaxy very early, probably by an encounter with larger bodies.
Unexpectedly, it has planets, which, even from a distance, are seen to be odd and unlike each other. We probably wonder whether they are inhabited but they can't be, can they? However, something else completely unexpected will emerge.
Thus, although the human characters hail from every planet in Known Space and have recently fought the kzinti, we recognize that we are in a Poul Anderson universe and that, like his contribution to Asimov's Robots, this story is very much part of Anderson's complete works.