Friday, 5 December 2014


Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 25 Nov 2014:

When human beings colonize a planet, they spread across its surface and therefore build low. When the planetary population has become considerably larger, then they:

build higher;
preserve wilderness areas;
discourage procreation;
encourage emigration.

At least, these generalizations apply to the civilization served by the Commonalty - although they seem to make sense for most interstellar colonists? (We were told earlier in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization that the Gorzuni spread their dwellings underground, regarding the planet as a Mother.)

The narrator of Anderson's "Starfog" refers to "...our race..." and to "...our own culture..." and mentions something of what "We know..." about "...other branches of humanity..." (Flandry's Legacy, p. 718). Thus, this narrator is not able to give us an overview of the two or three spiral arms that have been humanly colonized. Maybe Donvar Ayeghen, President of the Galactic Archaeological Society, who commented on the much earlier Terran Empire, would have been able to do so.

Despite the usual practice of building low, the Serievan city, Pelograd, is on an island where minerals can be extracted from sea water and is therefore built high. From an office high in a tower, Laure looks down across metal, concrete, glass and plastic buildings linked by trafficways and freight cables to the automated extractor plants, warehouses, sky-docks and cargo craft at the waterfront.

Serieve is near the northern edge of the spiral arm and the galactic halo of thin dust and widely scattered ancient globular clusters. Do any explorers venture out into intergalactic space?

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