Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Two villainous organizations in popular fiction, SPECTRE and THRUSH, execute their own failures. This tradition goes right back to SMERSH executing Le Chiffre, the villain of the first James Bond novel. The kzinti observe the same custom except that their failures die fighting. The High Admiral whose schemes our heroes foiled in the previous story has willingly faced wild beasts in the Patriarchal Arena, but now a member of the same house wants to regain the estate as well as to gain a full name and the right to breed. (What an apology for a rational species!)
Once before, a kzin on his home planet had to use an English word in conversation because there was no exact equivalent in the Hero's Tongue. On that occasion, the English word was government. Now it happens again, this time with the phrase, "'...purely scientific.'" (p. 6) The kzinti, aggressive feline hunters, disparage "monkey curiosity."
Our former heroes do not transport the exploratory expedition in this third story but Peter Nordbo's daughter, Tyra, whom we know, does join the expedition and is accompanied by one Craig Raden, so maybe this story will focus on her and him? (I am only just starting to read Chapter 3 of 17.)