Science Fiction Planets Poul Anderson's Mirkheim

About the planet Mirkheim described in the book Mirkheim by science fiction writer by Poul Anderson.



Location: Somewhere in the galaxy near the inhabited worlds of Babur and Hermes.

Discoverer: David Falkayn, a leading merchant in the Polesotechnic League, a director of the Solar Spice & Liquors Company, a man determined to see that the wealth of Mirkheim is shared by all intelligent races.

Book: Mirkheim (1977), by Poul Anderson.

Description: Half a million years ago, a giant sun with an equally giant planet exploded into a supernova, unleashing the unimaginable fury of an overheated stellar furnace, spewing enromous energy and superheavy elements into the surrounding space. Only the size of the planet, 1,500 times bigger than Earth, preserved it from utter destruction; even so, the planet lost most of its mass. There remained only the molten metallic core, which collected some of the stellar material ejected by the star in its death throes. The result was a stark, cold world with no atmosphere, plated over with heavy metals and superheavy atomic elements, a smooth, glittering, featureless ball of enormous value to all the intelligent, space-venturing beings whose need for such minerals has forced them to search the galaxy for mining facilities. The discovery of Mirkheim prompts a war between the various economic and political factions of Earth and the intelligent beings of Babur, who are just venturing out into space. David Falkayn and Nicholas van Rijn must fight to preserve their freebooting way of life, as well as the peace of the galaxy, while making certain no one faction gains control of this treasure world.

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