Sunday, 10 December 2017

Swords (Or "S&SX3")

Fantasy includes "Sword and Sorcery," e.g., Conan.
Sf includes "Sword and Science," e.g., John Carter.
Historical fiction includes "sword and sandals," e.g., Ben Hur.

Poul Anderson wrote:

Conan The Rebel (see above);
The Broken Sword (fantasy);
other fantasy novels;
The Golden Slave (historical);
Rogue Sword (historical);
"Son of the Sword" (prehistorical);
The High Crusade (historical sf) -

- and Flandry fences twice (sf).

Thus, Andersonian comprehensiveness.

SM Stirling's Emberverse:
loss of science;
return to "sword and sandals";
also, return of sorcery.

These reflections were prompted by reading an account of a slave galley in Stirling's Prince Of Outcasts.

7 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Slave manned galleys? Such things has occurred, but I recall as well mention in one of Anderson's books, I think, that well paid free men were used for the galleys of the Eastern Roman Empire, because it was simply more efficient that way. Also, such men could be trusted with weapons, which increased the number of crewmen who could fight at need.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
A fictional future society leads to discussion of history.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

It does! And I think it was in the first volume of Anderson's THE LAST VIKING: THE GOLDEN HORN, that I came across mention of the Eastern Empire wisely preferring to use well paid free men for rowing naval galleys.

I'm currently reading THE CHANGE, a book of stories set in the Emberverse by various authors edited by S.M. Stirling. I've reached "The Venetian Dialectic," where we again see manned galleys.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
I have yet to read any CHANGE short stories.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think you would like this collection. Stirling's contribution is very much worth reading, one or two of the others were only so so, but the others, so far, are also worth reading.

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

Slave galleys were a late-medieval and Renaissance development, due to changes in shipbuilding and naval tactics, and an enormous overall increase in the size of navies.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Understood! I had the vague impression galleys fell into disuse after the Battle of Lepanto because warships became too LARGE to be rowed, as a rule.

Sean