Wednesday, 12 June 2013
The climax of The Rebel Worlds is Dominic Flandry's capture of the rebels' codes so that the rebels cannot win and must go into exile. But the nature and importance of codes must not seem to come as a deus ex machina near the end of the novel. Therefore, an otherwise unnecessary remark about codes is made, then explained, earlier in the novel.
Since a novel is an artifact, each part of its text exists for a purpose. If rogue planets or codes are mentioned earlier, this is because they will turn out to be significant later. Knowing this, the sufficiently attentive reader should be able to treat the earlier, apparently inconsequential, passages like the clues planted in the opening chapters of a mystery novel and to deduce from them what will happen next.
Certainly, when the rebel leader dismisses as a daydream the possibility of reading the enemy's codes, it should occur to us that that is precisely how Flandry will defeat the rebellion.