Saturday, 6 April 2013
The Star Dwellers and Mission To The Heart Stars are companion volumes;
The Quincunx Of Time and Midsummer Century are, very slim, companion volumes;
each of these diptychs is loosely linked to one other, shorter, work;
the two shorter works, "A Dusk Of Idols" and "A Style In Treason," were collected in Anywhen;
each of the diptychs also refers back to an earlier work featuring Adolph Haertel;
Mission To The Heart Stars summarizes the plot of "Common Time," collected in Galactic Cluster where it does form a linear sequence with two other stories;
The Quincunx Of Time refers, less directly, to Welcome To Mars;
one other novel, A Case Of Conscience, refers to Haertel and is Volume III of the After Such Knowledge Trilogy;
two parallel linear "tetralogies" are the pantropy series, collected in one volume, and the Okies series, collected in four regular volumes or one omnibus volume.
These fifteen regular-sized volumes contain six series with mutual cross-references and sometimes even overlapping contents. Since Volumes I and II of After Such Knowledge are, respectively, a historical novel and a contemporary fantasy, they seem to be far removed from the remaining thirteen volumes. However, the central character of Volume I is Roger Bacon, the founder of scientific method, thus an early predecessor of Blish's fictional scientists, including Haertel.