Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Mathilda, Rudi and Father Ignatius fight soldiers of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Rudi invokes the Morrigu and the shadow of a great scythe seems to move with his sword. Ignatius invokes four angels and behind him are vast wings, wheels or eyes, a blue-mantled figure touching his forehead and sword and a shining radiance. Mathilda also sees something inside the Cutter...
I know of at least three scenarios that can encompass all of these phenomena:
a Christian world view in which the gods exist but as demons;
a pagan world view in which the Biblical figures are one of many coexistent pantheons;
an sf scenario where high tech beings are able to masquerade as mythological figures, as happens near the end of Poul Anderson's The Avatar (see here).
A variation on the pagan world view is Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, where the gods are dreamed, then exist outside the Dreaming for as long as they are believed in and worshipped. See here. I confidently expect SM Stirling to have devised an ingenious explanation that may or may not connect with any of these scenarios.