Monday, 7 March 2016

Battle On The Sand

Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series refers to seafarers, spacefarers and timefarers. In 976 BC, a battle at sea involves one contemporary ship and several far future timecycles. See here.

If space travelers colonize terrestroid planets, then those planets will have seas and seafarers. Anderson describes extrasolar battles at sea here and here.

Chapter Twelve of Jerry Pournelle's King David's Spaceship makes clear that its author understands sailing. Elsewhere, Pournelle tells us how he enlisted Poul Anderson as crew for his ocean racing sloop. (See Jerry Pournelle, "An Appreciation of Poul Anderson" IN Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois, Editors, Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds (Burton MI, 2014), pp. 277-283 AT p. 280.)

Introducing superior sailing techniques to the backward planet, Makassar, the Samualites in their ship, Subao, outrun all but one of a pirate fleet. Makassar's two small close moons cause strong tides. Thus, when the tide races out of a shallow bay, Subao and her single remaining pursuer run aground and the two crews fight on the sand with swords, lances and crossbows. Subao has the advantage of two horsemen. When the tide returns in a single wave, one horseman gallops close enough to the pirates' ship to cut their anchor line so that their ship is cast onto the rocks.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Hmmm, "Subao", isn't that a Japanese name? From a person or incident from Japanese history or legends? It looks Japanese, anyway!


David Birr said...

I got the impression Makassar was largely settled from Southeast Asia, perhaps especially the Philippine Islands -- I particularly recall an attack by a *juramentado*, the term used for Philippine Muslim terrorists in the early 1900s. There are some words from that area with which the sound "subao" would fit right in; the carabao, for instance, is a Philippine water buffalo ... the national animal, according to Wikipedia.

Subao is also a place name in China, a township-level division. I couldn't find any Japanese reference, and "bao" isn't on the list of syllables used in Japanese.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

Yes, you are right. Your comments reminded me of how I HAVE seen words or sounds like "Subao" or "bao" in a Philippines context. So, yes, the people of Makassar might well descend from South East Asia. It would also help explain why see Muslims on that planet.