Wednesday, 5 September 2012

"Operation Afreet" III

The reader of Operation Chaos (New York, 1995) is surprised to realise (at least, I was) that the enemy had invaded the US so that the combat described in the opening chapters takes place not in Europe, Africa or Asia but at home. This is World War II but in an alternative timeline so details like where the conflict occurred can differ as well.

We learn of magical medical techniques:

sticking pins into model bacteria;
sympathetic operations on enlarged anatomical dummies;
looking at germs through a microscope with the Evil Eye!

Chapter VIII begins:

"Here we reach one of the interludes." (p. 48)

This must be an insert between the first two of the originally separate stories. We are in transition between "Operation Afreet" and "Operation Salamander." The War is winding down. Werewolf Steve Matuchek and witch Ginny Graylock are working towards getting married and thus becoming the parents of Valeria Matuchek who is already known to us if we have read the books in the wrong order. Steve plays the Wolf Man in horror films (he did mention acting experience earlier) but his real ambition is to become an engineer and to create an antigravity spell powerful enough for interplanetary travel. Forty three years after "Operation Afreet" was published in 1956, Operation Luna was published in 1999. Thus, this series spans Anderson's career.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I've wondered how Sandra Miesel's discussion of OPERATION CHAOS in her monograph THE HIGH CRUSADE might influence your own comments on that book. Also, it's a pity she hasn't expanded that work to include discussion of stories and books written by Anderson after 1978.


Sean M. Brooks said...



Paul Shackley said...

Your meaning was clear. I will have to finish rereading Operation C, then reread HC of PA. No immediate thoughts.