Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Science And Combat

Poul Anderson can apply scientific principles even while describing a fight scene. Turning and attacking his Dathynan pursuers, Adzel expects them, after some experience of his hoofs, hands, tail and fangs, to scatter and flee because, if the instinct to attack rashly had not been coupled with an equal tendency to stampede, then the species could not have survived.

Ammonites and dinosaurs died at the end of the Cretaceous;
large mammals died at the end of the Pliocene;
Dathynan species are wiped out by periodic solar flares.

The tribe is the fundamental unit of human society;
the matrilinal clan of Cynthian;
the migratory band of Wodenite;
hierarchical polygynous families under an absolute patriarch of the Shenna.

Understanding this, Nichloas van Rijn looks forward to making a lot of money from the Shenna. His grin is broad and smug - until he realizes that he faces a month long journey with no beer in the ship.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember how much I was amused by the last bit, Old Nick forced to travel a whole month with no beer! If ** I ** had been one of the crew I hope I would have had the forethought to hold back a couple bottles of beer and sell them to Old Nick at a million credits each! (Laughs)