Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Mermaid Tavern

I need a break from reading about SM Stirling's Draka!

Another of Poul Anderson's colorful inns is the underwater Mermaid Tavern in "The Sensitive Man," with its aquarium, coral pillars and grottos, swordfish and murals of Neptune on the walls and windows showing nothing but green-blue seawater.

SM Stirling's Conquistador quotes a song that refers to the Mermaid Cafe.

Simon Dalgetty, whom we first meet in the Mermaid Tavern, was trained in sensitivity by an Englishman who lived in an old house in Maine. This recalls Professor Xavier and the X-Men.

Dalgetty's apparent telepathy is the hearing and interpretation of subvocalized thoughts but do most people subvocalize in this way and would it really be possible to discern and interpret the vibrations?

I can only manage brief posts at present but they are intended to provoke thought.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Alas, your discussion of Simon Dalgetty's talents, as seen in "The Sensitive Man," also reminded me of the Draka, or rather, the creatures who succeeded the Draka, Homo drakensis. They were genetically adapted to be as sensitive as Simon in hearing and interpreting subvocalized thoughts (in DRAKON).

Another thought I had was wondering whether, with training and practice, people could be trained NOT to subvocalize their thoughts. That would nullify one one of the gene engineered talents of a Drakensis.

And, of course, the telepathy of the master spy Aycharaych was nothing like anything Simon Dalgetty or a Drakensis could do. Aycharaych could genuinely sense the totally unspoken thoughts of any being he was near enough to "read."