Sunday, 12 March 2017

Colors, Coolness And...

SM Stirling, The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Thirteen, p. 352.

We started studying appeals to at least three senses in descriptive passages in the works of Poul Anderson and we continue this theme with SM Stirling.

P. 352 ends with a two-sentence paragraph. The opening clause of the first sentence gives us white clouds in blue heaven. The second clause adds coolness. Continuing to read the paragraph while looking out for at least one more sense, we are not disapponted when we find that the paragraph and the page end with the word "scent."

The description continues on p. 353 but that will have to wait for a few hours.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I like it when authors such as Tolkien, Anderson, and Stirling take such pains to describe the backgrounds of their stories. Including appeals to three of the senses.

    Alas, not all readers would agree. I've seen complaints by some that there is too much description in the works of these authors. We live in an age where even readers want their reading material to focus only on action and adventure. Careful delineation of character and background is regarded with impatience. Drat!


  2. "Silence.
    "Not a bird chirped. Not one chipmunk scurried across the slope, pursuing the arcane business of that gentle breed. High above, one lone eagle floated majestically against an intense blue backdrop of cloudless sky. Its shadow skittered down the ragged mountainside like some frenetic daytime ghost. The only scent on the breeze was that of old and brittle stone.
    "A man's scream butchered the stillness.
    "Tain wiped his shortsword on his victim's greasy furs. The dark blade's polish appeared oily. It glinted sullen indigoes and purples when the sun hit right.
    "Similar blades had taught half a world the meaning of fear."
    — "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat," Glen Cook, 1980

    1. Kaor, DAVID!

      That is detailed enough to please even me! And I noticed how Glen Cook appealed to two of the senses, sight and sound.

      I have read some of Cook's works. Mostly his stories of the Black Company of mercenaries.


    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Drat! I reread the quote David gave, and you are right! I missed the bit about the scent "...of old and brittle stone."