Sunday, 30 July 2017

"Certain Death Unless Everything Went Right"

"They weren't simply going to a fight, they were going to a fight that was certain death unless everything went right, including actions by strangers they didn't know beyond a brief acquaintance."
-SM Stirling, The Tears Of The Sun (New York, 2012), Chapter Fourteen, p. 413.

The Rangers' Mormon allies wearing enemy uniforms emerge from a warehouse and march through the enemy capital with wagons concealing the Rangers. They are on a rescue mission. How likely would they be to succeed if this were real life? Fiction, to be realistic, has to show some failures. I am reminded of Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry and his fiancee, Kossara, concealed among Merseians marching on the Dennitzan Parliament - where Kossara will be killed in an attempted coup...

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember this incident as well. I agree, rescue missions as bold and daring as this, are more likely than not to fail in REAL life. Because SOMEONE, somewhere along the way, would have gotten suspicious and taken action that would have thwarted the Rangers and their Mormon allies. At the same time I don't deny that things like this MIGHT sometimes succeed.

And having Kossara Vymezal killed during the meeting of the Dennitzan parliament which prevented her planet from rebelling against the Terran Empire was a realistic touch.