First edition June 1987, Berkley
ISBN: 0-425-09887-7 | $3.50
September 1988, Ace
ISBN: 0-441-18073-6 | $3.50
September 1988, Legend (U.K.)
ISBN: 0-09-953860-1 | L3.50
1 May 2004, iBooks/S&S
ISBN: 0-743-48655-2 | $14.95
For Pat, John, Sue, and Pauline,
who have been not just family,
but supporters and friends.
And for Janie and Matt, just because.
REMARKS ON THE “TRIGON DISUNITY”
by Rianth Janias
Chief Historian, Emeritus
Concordat of Worlds
Shortly after the establishment of this office, and in connection with the declassification of most Unified Space Service records, I undertook to coordinate a comprehensive review of contemporary history — that is, the six centuries since the initial radio contact between Earth and Journa.
Previous histories had either emphasized local, parochial concerns or offered a narrow, phenomenolinear view of watershed events revolving around a short list of key figures. My interests, however, were in decision-making, rather than the decisions; in event-enabling, rather than the events.
As the project progressed, the most striking feature which emerged was the prevalence of trinary conflict, to wit:
- — In the era of the Reunion, the quality of the human response was determined by the interplay of three hostile perspectives: the fear-threat of Tai Chen, the fanaticism of the Church of the Second Coming, and the ratiopragmatism of the Driscoll-Rashuri axis.
- — The character of the Reckoning was shaped by the aggressive pursuit of incompatible self-interests by the Terran government, the USS power elite, and an Earth-based conservative revolutionary organization.
- — And of course, the Revision was nothing less than a belated recognition that human history and the human prospect were being influenced by interactions with not one, but two alien intelligences.
It was in recognition of these trinary conflicts that I called our final report “A Terran Account of The Trigon Disunity.”
The report proved to be more influential than anyone involved with the project thought possible, spawning a ten-volume general abstract and, later, a three-volume popularization. Both carried “The Trigon Disunity” as part of their titles.
With the passage of time the term has come to be understood throughout the Unified Worlds as an appropriate label for the period itself, as “The Renaissance” and “The Golden Age” are applied to certain episodes in Terran history.
From an historian’s perspective, such telegraphic labels are always misleading and inappropriate. But this is especially true of “Trigon Disunity,” since it refers not to something that happened, but to how something happened.
Therefore, I most heartily recommend that the new official Concordat lexicon now under development include the term “The Second Contact” and variants (The Concordat Report on The Second Contact, the Second Contact trilogy, etc.) as preferred substitutes.