Thursday, 9 March 2017

Another Battle At Sea

Battle At Sea
Battle On The Sand
Battle In Space
Hell Rock

To these, add the Battle of the Cutty Sark in SM Stirling, The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Eight, pp. 227-237.

I really dislike mass slaughter and hope that mankind stops doing it soon. However, it is part of our history and can be exciting to read about even when it involves a man's head being smashed like a melon dropped on concrete. (Stirling, p. 230)

When a band of archers efficiently kills a horde of attacking pirates, thus saving some of their own lives, then there is some satisfaction in reading about a job well done. As the Tasmanians approach the pirates from the rear, one looks back - and John Hordle puts an arrow through his mouth and neck from a moving platform at nearly two hundred yards. The pirate drops unnoticed by his comrades. We have celebrated Hordle's archery before.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Of course I agree with you in sharing your dislike for war. But unlike some you are realistic about it--admitting it is a part of human life and history. Albeit, I'm more pessimistic about the prospects of ending wars than you are.

I remember this incident as well, about the Muslim pirates attacking the CUTTY SARK. One of the MANY unfortunate consequences of the Change was a revival of Moorish piracy against all who were not Muslims. One of the earliest fought by the recently founded United States was against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa, because they had been preying on American shipping and enslaving the crews.


Ketlan said...

Absolutely nothing to do with Poul Anderson but seeing the recently rebuilt Cutty Sark on the blog reminded me of how I used to play aboard it when I was a kid (when the staff allowed me on without paying). My grandma, who I lived with for a while, lived just a few yards away in King William Walk. I spent many happy hours both on board the Cutty Sark and playing in the dry dock, in which the ship sat.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Ketland!

Those were easier going days if you could play on the CUTTY SARK as a boy. You sure can't do that with the US equivalent: the USS Constitution.


Paul Shackley said...

The blog is about Poul Anderson and related sf authors and any issues that they raise like religion, war, England, the Cutty Sark etc so your comment is highly relevant and adds a new dimension to SM Stirling's THE PROTECTOR'S WAR. Not only does Sir Nigel meet Prince William on the Cutty Sark but also, decades earlier, Ketlan Ossowski had played on it.