Friday, 5 April 2013
Coming Of Age
Adolph Haertel, seventeen at the beginning of Welcome To Mars, matures on Mars;
Jack Loftus, seventeen in The Star Dwellers, is twenty by the end of Mission To The Heart Stars;
Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry, seventeen in Ensign Flandry, is seventy in The Game Of Empire.
The four Blish novels mentioned so far are presented as juveniles. DeFord has been shot by the time of Earthman, Come Home. These four characters come of age.
Flandry heroically fights Earth's enemies whereas Loftus equally heroically negotiates with the powerful energy beings called Angels. When the Angels, having flown from the Coal Sack nebula to Earth, dramatically entry the UN Assembly Chamber, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of the United States must stand down to allow Jack to complete the UN-Angel treaty that he had begun to negotiate in the Coal Sack. Blish makes this climactic scene as dramatic as a space battle.