Thursday, 18 April 2013

Home Is Where Earth Is

" Earthmen will come home again...but I hope they won't stay." (James Blish, Cities In Flight, London, 1981), p. 129.

Wagoner wrote that because Blish wrote They Shall Have Stars as a prequel to Earthman, Come Home. Strictly speaking, it is not Wagoner's Earthmen, the first wave of Colonials, that return but the interstellar traders who are the heirs of a later Exodus from Earth. And they certainly do not stay. Some are killed by the Earth police whereas others migrate to the Greater Magellanic Cloud where John Amalfi says:

" ' we're home...Home on Earth, for good...Earth is more than just one little planet, buried in another galaxy than this. Earth is much more important than that.
" 'Earth isn't a place. It's an idea.'" (pp. 464-465)

With that idea, we can be at home anywhere, even in the Greater Magellanic Cloud. The planet on which Amalfi speaks is in the following volume named "New Earth" and, appropriately, he had flown there in New York. In New York, New England, Nova Scotia, on New Earth and Terra Nova, people take their homes with them.

(In Larry Niven's Known Space future history, the Puppeteers' home planet turns out to be called "Hearth," a clever pun on "Earth" and "Heart.")

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