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Mirkheim (Future History of the Polesotechnic League)
Mirkheim - Future History of the Polesotechnic League Author:Poul Anderson This novel takes place in the latter days of Poul Anderson's "Polesotechnic League" future history, which is part of the "golden age" of science fiction which began in the 1940s and extends perhaps into the late 1960s. — In Mirkheim, the Polesotechnic League is a sprawling civilization encompassing many worlds and intelligent races. Unlike many o... more »ther science fiction prognostications of the future, the Polesotechnic League is based on commerce -- none of this "Star Trek" stuff about people not needing money and so on. Here, people and aliens act pretty much like humans do today, and for the same reasons. This means that while charitable and ethical motives exist, people and some aliens alike are out to make a buck (well, a credit). Notwithstanding this similarity to present day humans, Anderson does manage to make his aliens different from humans, and he generally has a pretty good scientific basis for these differences. His speculations along these lines are often quite interesting.
In this novel, the Polesotechnic League is faced with essentially a civil war between two rival factions, for mysterious reasons that the protagonists, Nicholas Van Rijn, David Falkayn and his "Trouble Twister" team, are trying to understand and overcome. This is really a conflict between freedom and big government, and there is some typically Poul Anderson debate about the desireability of big versus small government.« less