(Found) Post-apocalyptic novels/stories about an expanding Maori empire


Active Member
Nov 18, 2021
I do not recall if this was a collection of short stories, novellas or novels.

The premise is a post-apocalyptic world in which humanity is beginning to crawl out of the ashes. We see (as I recall) three "technological" cultures, based in Polynesia, in India and in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The Polynesian culture started in New Zealand and spread from there. They call themselves Maori, but (to some unknown extent) they also include the descendants of the "fretful old Ingliss." We do not know how much time has passed since the apocalyptic event.

In the earliest story, the Maori-led nation is exploring the world for the first time, on a mission to determine whether they are the only "technological" society on the planet. We meet them as they are exploring the west coast of Mexico ("now," the "Four Mexicos" as I recall) and interacting with the people. The Mexicans still have a culture, rebuilt from before the apocalypse, but it is entirely static and thus NOT what the Maori are seeking. But during the visit, the Mexican town/city is attacked FROM THE SKY by blue-eyed blondes in crude blimps, who attack by parachuting down to the surface and looting ... basically, barbarian sky pirates. It turns out that the raiders are based in a country in the Rocky Mountains. It breaks the heart of the Maori captain, because he must abandon his friendship with the static Mexicans in order to seek friendship/alliance on behalf of his people with the barbaric (but technological) North Americans.

The stories sort of "jump forward" in time, with huge gaps, and the Maori DO find other technological cultures. The one that I REMEMBER is based in India and is again completely caste-based. There may have been one in Europe somewhere, too. By the second story (that I remember) the Maori have been allied with the North Americans for some time, have civilized them to some extent and have even improved and adopted the use of their blimps. I THINK that this alliance finds itself at odds with the caste-based Indian culture.

Any ideas?
I read that too!!! But I can't remember the name of the story.

I remember that the Polynesians had built large sailing vessels in the style of clipper ships (if I recall correctly) to travel the oceans. One scene has the Polynesian hero on board an airship and realizing that controlling the airship had a lot of similarities to the sailing that he knew so well.

The airship people were using Hoover dam to use electrolysis to create hydrogen for the airships...

It was a great read. Thanks for the memories.
I think this may be Poul Anderson "The Sky People"

Here's a link to the text:

It appears to be part of a series, as described in wikipedia (link below) but I haven't read the others...

I read it in the excellent A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction
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That is DEFINTELY the series I had in mind. Maurai Federation. Doh!

I was sure the author was a “big name, but not that it was Poul Anderson. I had completely forgotten that he changed the spelling of Maori!

I do not think that I EVER realized the okdest story was from 1959.
  • "The Sky People" (short story, 1959)
  • "Progress" (short story, 1961)
  • "Windmill" (short story, 1973)
  • Orion Shall Rise (novel; 1983)
I didn't know there were others after "The Sky People". I'll be reading further. The Indian caste-based one sounds interesting: I'd like to read Anderson's take on that.