Saturday, 13 August 2016

Four Operations

Poul Anderson, Operation Chaos (New York, 1995) is:

"Operation Afreet"
"Operation Salamander"
"Operation Incubus"
"Operation Changeling"

An afreet is a Muslim demon.

A salamander resembles a demon but is not a separate individual. It is raised out of an energy matrix and given temporary individuality but then returned to the matrix. Thus, it is like a personified flame, with no understanding of moral constraints, whereas a demon, like a human being, knowingly transgresses a moral law.

An incubus or succubus is a demon adopting human form for sexual purposes.

A changeling is an organism resembling a particular human child but left in place of that child when the latter is kidnapped to a supernatural realm.

If there are any slight differences in Anderson's use of these terms, then I will find out as I continue to reread Operation Chaos.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And, of course, a demon is a BEING who permanently exists (altho I've thought it puzzling that we see demons being KILLED in OPERATION CHAOS).

And Poul Anderson shows us very different changelings in THE BROKEN SWORD and "Operation Changeling." But those differences were due to needing changelings fitting the needs of very different stories.