Saturday, 10 June 2017

Single Combat II

SM Stirling, The Scourge Of God (New York, 2009), Chapter Sixteen.

A band of Ranchers pursues a band of Sioux, then challenges them to a series of single combats. Both sides prefer this to an all out battle. I would not. If I had to fight, then I would want to be with my comrades, not alone.

Single combat has been an occasional blog topic. See here.

In previous posts, I have mentioned a Goth night and Lancaster Comics Day. Tonight I will miss the former because my car is off the road and tomorrow will miss the latter because I will instead travel with others to Manchester to counterdemonstrate against the English Defence League. (Definitely a situation where I prefer mass mobilization to single combat.)

We are living in times of change. Reality shifts around us. For decades, sf writers have been right to describe change and to show us how the human race responds to it. Now we participate.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I remember that incident from THE SCOURGE OF GOD! And how it was tacitly agreed the victor in a single combat had the right to take the arms and armor of the defeated warrior. Which reminded me of what we see in Homer's ILIAD.

    I am not totally unsympathetic to the English Defense League. I agree with the anger and frustration they have when it comes to Muslim inspired terrorism. I suspect many support the EDL because the two major parties, Conservative and Labor, are simply not ADDRESSING their concerns and fears. That inevitably means the rise of alternative parties, not all of whom are going to be reasonably decent.


    1. Sean,
      Single combat followed by appropriation of the defeated warrior's belongings is also green Martian practice!

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Yes, I remember that from ERB's Barsoom books! And that was also the case among the Fremen desert warriors of DUNE, where we see Paul "Mu'ad Dib" being told he had the right to the property and woman of a warrior he defeated.