Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Four Senses In The Bahamas

The single Draka and Samothracian on Earth/2 contend not only physically but also electronically. Because of the latter's hacking, the former's Bahamian mansion is inherited by our NYPD detective and the investment banker, now a happy couple.

"They...turned to look at the mansion. The hot Bahamian sun beat down, and the air smelled of sea and pine and sand, huge and clean. The sound of breakers on the reef came faintly over the roof."
-SM Stirling, Drakon (New York, 2000), p. 397.

Does this author consciously and deliberately address four senses or does any skilled writer automatically do so? -

the sight of a large, beautiful home;
the heat that we enjoy on holidays in such locations;
three clean smells;
the sound of the sea, not threateningly loud but safely faint.

"'And now it's all ours...'" (ibid.)

A happy ending, deserved by the characters and the reader, especially after the previous three volumes.

"Hand in hand, they walked under the arched gateway. The ironwork Drakon flared its wings above, its empty eyes staring out into the sun." (p. 398)

The Drakon flares its wings menacingly but its eyes are empty before the sun of a world free from the Domination.


  1. Kaor ,Paul!

    Commenting on your last sentence: the omnibus edition containing the first three Draka books, THE DOMINATION, has Henry Carmaggio warning a subordinate against the temptation to be complacent. He said the New Race Draka now KNEW our Earth existed and were trying to find us. And they could still conquer us if Earth/2 was found before he finished using IngolfTech to modernize our planet to the point where the Draka could be beaten off or defeated.


  2. Sean,
    Thank you. But how does Henry appear in a collection containing only the first three books?

  3. Kaor ,Paul!

    I don't have a copy of THE DOMINATION, only seeing it in bookstores. We see Henry and his subordinate as part of a framing device prefacing the collection and again after THE STONE DOGS (and possibly interstitial comments between the volumes, but I'm not sure). I think their discussion takes place at least ten years after DRAKON.

    One weakness of THE DOMINATION is that the appendices were omitted. A pity, because the information given there about the history, science, and technology of the Draka timeline is interesting.


  4. I learned the four-senses technique from Poul -- in fact, we talked it over lo these many years (back in the 1980's, if I recall correctly).

  5. Replies
    1. Dear Mr. Stirling,

      Did you and Poul Anderson ever talk over the possibility of him writing a story set in the Draka timeline?

      Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

    2. To tell you the truth, I never had the nerve to ask him! Tho' he did enjoy the stories, and wrote a blurb for "Under the Yoke".

    3. Dear Mr. Stirling,

      It was PRECISELY that blurb by Poul Anderson which convinced me to get my copy of UNDER THE YOKE, even if it meant I read out of sequence from MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA.

      And you did authorize a collection of stories by other writers, including some prominent ones like Harry Turtledove, featuring the Draka. I simply wish you had worked up the never to ask Poul Anderson for a contribution! (Smiles)

      Merry Christmas! Sean