Lackey (was; book length)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Sun Feb 9 07:37:21 EST 2003

--- JOdel at wrote:
> > Hm.  Will I get drummed off the list in disgrace
> if I admit that I *like* 
> > those digressions about how these people's lives
> work?
> > 
> By no means. I think that it is laudable that she
> actually gives some salute 
> to the kind of organization tthat goes into, say,
> supporting an army in the 
> field in any kind of a decent manner. The
> recognition of the part that this 
> kind of detail makes in building anything like a
> plausible depiction of 
> living in any non-industrialized society in any kind
> of comfort is one of 
> Lackey's very real strengths. 
> But she goes overboard with the minutia. I think
> that a book that Lackey has 
> in her that she is never likely to actually write,
> is a non-fiction 
> exploration on the building of a plausible,
> enlighened non-industrialized 
> society, exploring some of the alternatives as to
> whether the society has 
> magical assistance available, or whether we are
> dealing with one where magic 
> is not available to draw upon by humans. Examining
> the directions that such a 
> society might run depending upon whether it is
> secular, or a theocracy. And 
> how varying theologies or forms of nonmagical
> technology might affect the 
> directions that the society and the process of
> living in that society might 
> take. I think that it would be an interesting read
> and probably very 
> entertaining as well. But she isn't likely to
> actually ever write it.

These are the sorts of things that interest me, I've
not noticed them in the Lackey I have read - but that
hasn't been much - I must keep an eye out for more.

> (While on the subject of armies, the third Deryni
> book caught a lot of flack 
> from my circle from Kurtz having whole armies change
> sides overnight. Not 
> just once, but twice!)

I suspect that this sort thing has happened
historically although I can't think of an example off
hand. In Italy in the Conditteri era wars were
sometimes decided without any actual battles being
fought. Mercenary armies tended to surrender once
manouvred into a loosing position. Maybe she was
influenced by Lord Gro, a wonderful character in
Eddison's "the Worm ouroborus" who turns traitor and
changes sides more than twice. It was always for a
good and usually even honourable reason, and always to
the side that then began to loose (though this was
never Gro's fault as i recall)


Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list