Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Galactic Centre

James Blish presented two (or three) empires occupying the centre of our galaxy.

(i) In "This Earth Of Hours," the culminating story of the Galactic Cluster trilogy, there is a telepathic Central Empire.

(ii) A different central civilization is unnamed in The Star Dwellers, referred to as the Heart Stars in "A Dusk Of Idols" and self-identified as the Hegemony of Malis in Mission To The Heart Stars.

(iii) The existence of such an empire is suspected in ...And All The Stars A Stage but, if it exists, it could be (i) or (ii).

The Hegemony would be a perfect recurring villain for a series but Blish used it only to make a couple of points about the nature of society and civilization and then turned his attention to other issues. He has been described as a careful writer, another example being that the sequel to Black Easter could have been a mere riot of demons throughout the world. Instead, Blish thought through the philosophical implications of his fictional premises, then wrote a different kind of outcome. 

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