Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Realization Under Fire
"He ought to have hit, with a broad beam at such close range. The bolt struck the barricade and greasy smoke puffed outward. The Larsan dove for cover.
"What made Falkayn's hand jerk was suddenly seeing the answer." (The Van Rijn Method, p. 245)
This is the first of at least two moments of realization in Falkayn's career. This one is marked not by going tense, breaking off in mid-sentence, leaping up or shouting but by missing his shot. It makes sense. Fight scenes and problem-solving are two hallmarks of Anderson's fiction. Falkayn tries to radio the answer while continuing to fight for his life. I have never understood the technicalities of this story but have just sought elucidation by googling "constant-width polygon." (ibid.) The story definitely needs diagrams.