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David "PiperFan" JohnsonPerson was signed in when posted
02:22 UT
From the Archives: "What happened to Poictesme (and Merlin)?"

Below, another message to the old PIPER-L mailing list, from way back in February 1998, which begins with a simple observation from one of Beam's yarns and finds some potential insight into the fate of the Merlin:

Subject: What happened to Poictesme?
From: David Empey
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 17:43:23 -0800

I've just noticed that in "A Slave is a Slave", the viewpoint character
is named JURGEN, Prince Trvannion. Now Jurgen was a character in
James Branch Cabell's books about the imaginary medieval France-like
country of Poictesme, whence the planet takes its name. Could this
mean that Jurgen, Prince Trevannion comes from Poictesme? We know
that the inhabitants of planets were often quite aware of the legendary
and literary sources of the planet names: Beowulf called their second
spaceship *Grendelsbane*, which is appropriate since Beowulf killed
the monster Grendel in the poem "Beowulf". Similary, Amaterasu, named
after the Japanese goddess of the sun named their first spaceship
*Sun-Goddess*. So it's quite plausible that Jurgen would be a popular
given name on Poictesme. And Jurgen, Prince Trevannion is an Imperial
Ministerial secretary, directly under the Prime Minister, which may
give us some idea of Poictesme's importance in Galactic Imperial politics.

Maybe the Merlin plan is still at work.


Dave Empey

Dave's original message is available here:


An archive of follow-on posts which continued the discussion about Poictesme and Merlin's possible fate in the Galactic Empire is available here:



"A lot of technicians are girls, and when work gets slack, they're always the first ones to get shoved out of jobs." - Sylvie Jacquemont (H. Beam Piper), ~Junkyard Planet~
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