Tuesday, 4 September 2012

"Operation Afreet" II

In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos (New York, 1995), the neat touches continue -

The conservation of mass means that a big man becomes a big werebeast. Our hero's opponent is a very big tiger but at the expense of also being a monstrously fat man, so fat that he finds it convenient to enchant objects like a cigar and ash tray to fly towards him. A small werefox is a one foot dwarf as a man.

Crystal balls are used for intelligence gathering but can be jammed.

"Emir" has become military rank in the Caliphate that the US fights in World War II.

Under the Geneva Convention, a captured soldier is not obliged to divulge his real name because this would make it possible to cast name-spells on him. He can give an "...official johnsmith..." instead. (p. 29)

The Caliphate sect, described as "heretical" by an unspecified criterion, argues that the Prophet forbade wine but did not mention any other alcoholic drinks.

Korzybski's semantic theory is quoted as modifying the name-thing identity principle underlying magical spells but Virginia ("Ginny"), talking to an afreet unfamiliar with modern semantics can argue that she is, like him, a jinni because her name is Ginny.

Anderson simultaneously progresses his action-adventure narrative and continues to present bizarre ideas that are logical implications of his single premise.

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