Monday, May 3, 2010

Poul Anderson's "Outpost of Empire" (novella, armed rebellion, free): Guerrillas crush government forces

I wonder if the inspiration for story came from the process of addition of states to the US? Someone familiar with US history might want to comment.

Story summary.

Two "big powers" are fighting a war: Terran Empire & Merseian Empire. Between them, they control several hundred thousand solar systems.

Freehold is a world on the outer fringes of Terran Empire - some 200 light years from earth, & is peopled by 3 factions:
  1. "Cities": Politically comfortable with normal ways of Empire.
  2. "Free People": Men inhabiting everything outside the Cities. Their political organization is anarchy. They live in close harmony with nature, & are experts at biological weapons & unorthodox ways of using animals & vegetation.
  3. "Arulians": Aliens aligned with Merseians in current war, & living in Cities.
When Freehold was annexed by Terran Empire, the annexation treaty was negotiated by Cities. Other two groups have grievances.

This is the story of a very successful rebellion by Free People that will leave the Cities totally crushed, major defeat of Terran Empire in a military campaign, & eventually the beginning of treaty negotiations that grants Free People control over the world, while nominally keeping them subjects of Terran Empire.

Fact sheet.

First published: Galaxy, December 1967.
Download full text from Webscription.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Poul Anderson, from 1960s.