Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Low And The High

Steve Matuchek plans to burgle the cathedral of the Johannine Church. This reminded me of James Bond creeping into Blofeld's Castle of Death. Matuchek must have read my thoughts because he denies that he will behave:

"'...like some imaginary Special Agent Vee Eye Eye.'"
-Poul Anderson, Operation Chaos (New York, 1995), p. 175.

Vee Eye Eye = VII = 7.

Even if his suspicion about diabolical inspiration for the Church is well founded, Matuchek says that:

"'...I honestly don't see what could provoke a major invasion from the Low World. That'd bring in the Highest, and the Adversary can't afford such a confrontation.'" (ibid.)

Similarly, in Anderson's The Broken Sword, the elves did not invoke the Aesir and the trolls did not invoke the jotuns because neither side wanted a premature Ragnarok. However, in Black Easter, James Blish did imagine an Adversary who was able to afford such a confrontation and who did want a premature Armageddon. Although I often say that Anderson covers every possibility, in this case we must instead look to Blish for a usually unthinkable option.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Just a tiny correction here, the great enemies of the elves in THE BROKEN SWORD were the trolls, not the goblins. The goblins were the vassals of Illrede Troll-king.


Paul Shackley said...

Corrected. Thanks.