Sunday, 7 April 2013

History In The Heart Stars Novels

James Blish's two Heart Stars novels recount pivotal events in a cosmic history:

the First Born among the stable, self-contained electromagnetic fields called "Angels" date from the first twenty minutes of the universe and might have participated in the First Cause;

the processes that generate stars also generate new Angels;

the Angels interacted with civilizations in ten galaxies before the Milky Way and collapsed three of the ten, most recently three million years ago;

they congregate in the Coal Sack Nebula where they build structures, possibly including a central living temple, from gas, dust, energy and stars;

they communicate instantaneously throughout the universe;

the Hegemony of Malis has ruled a peaceful, stable federation of planets among the Heart Stars of the Milky Way for over a million years and can detonate stars;

the Malans watched the Martians die over half a million years ago and have watched Earth for ten thousand years;

in 2050, the UN rules a peaceful, prosperous Earth;

Cadet John Loftus signs a treaty between UN and Angels;

the Angels abandon the Hegemony to unite instead with Earthmen, dolphins and other species on the galactic periphery;

after the lifetimes of Loftus' great-great-grandchildren, the young Angel, Hesperus, will inform human beings of the Angelic debate in which, because he had invoked worship of the First Cause, the First Born could not rule and were obliged instead to consult "'Our brothers everywhere in light...'" (Mission To The Heart Stars, London, 1980, p. 127).

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