January 28, 2006

L E Modesitt The Forever Hero Trilogy

Wars are fought because someone can generate the impression of loss, or the impression of gain. Take away that impression, and you make it that much harder to generate support for war.

Wars can only be fought with popular support or with centralized government control. Centralized and strong governments arise because of the perception of unmet needs. They maintain power because they generate new perceptions of needs which are unmet or by fueling the impressions which lead to war—or both.

Take away the perception of unmet needs, and strong governments find it increasingly difficult to maintain power without becoming ever more tyrannical.

Who are the men who own the skies?
A tall man, a thin man, a mean one.
A man who has no heart, and one who has no eyes.
A man who laughs, and one who never dies.

Do no women own the skies?
A tall one, a thin one, a mean one?
A woman who has no heart, one who has no eyes?
A laughing woman, or one who never cries . . .

. . . you cannot own the skies and stars.
You cannot prison them with bars . . .

And yet, a steel-crossed heart,
with ports that never part,
with daggers from his eyes,
has let the captain hold the skies.

And who will melt the steel away?
Who will steal the daggers' day?

Who will split the clouds in two,
and with her heart the stars pursue?

Fragments from The Ballad of

the Captain (full text lost)

Songs of the Mythmakers

Edwina de Vlerio

New Augusta, 5133 N.E.C.

Each man expects his day in the sun. Each god raised by a culture may expect not days, but centuries in the brilliance of adoration and worship.

On men and gods alike, in the end, night falls. For men, that darkness comes with merciful swiftness, but for gods and heroes, the idols of a race, the darkness may never come, as they hang suspended in the glow of an endless twilight, their believers dwindling, but unable to turn away, their accomplishments distorted or romanticized, and their characters slowly bleached into mere caricature.

Under some supreme irony, the greater the hero, the greater the power attributed to the god, the longer and more agonizing the twilight of belief, as if each moment of power and each great deed requires more than mere atonement . . .

Of Gods and Men

Carnall Grant

New Avalon

5173 N.E.C.
Very beautiful words in a heart rending story, spanning the centuries in the life of one man, immortal yet human. The poems and the exercepts head new chapters, and whenever I read them, I noticed how strongly they connected me to the life of the main character. Eternal sadness covering eternal triumph, a very bittersweet trilogy. I know not what effect the words above might have on someone that has not read the trilogy, but for me it touches my serene core.


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