Friday, 14 April 2017


SM Stirling, A Meeting At Corvallis (New York, 2007).

After a military defeat, the Grand Constable of the Protectorate:

smells burning napalm;
sees black smoke but also white clouds in a blue sky with night still lingering in the west;
reflects that the peach orchards should be at their peak now and that cherries and pears will bloom in April;
remembers that his wife fills the house with flowering branches and that the scent lingers for weeks.
(Chapter Seventeen, p. 468)

When he meets the Lord Protector and his consort in the Dark Tower:

fresh spring air pours through, smelling of cut grass;
there is also the scent of rhododrendons in a bowl;
there is also a "...curdled psychic stink of rage and fear...";
(Chapter Eighteen, p. 470)

And my point is:

When you already have all this, don't spoil it with wars of conquest but consolidate it with peaceful trade. I said much the same about Poul Anderson's villainous character, Dahut, here.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The problem was, like Hitler and Napoleon before him, Norman Arminger seemed unable to realize that enough was enough and it was better to be content with what he had gained. Lady Sandra and the Grand Constable were his best and most sensible advisers and they seemed to have understood the Protectorate had reached the point of diminishing returns in its efforts to expand.

So, yes, peace and trade with its neighbors was better for the Protectorate itself, as well as its enemies.