Sunday, 14 April 2013

The War Against The Birds

One page of James Blish's Midsummer Century (London, 1975) presents a magnificently understated war for global domination between two intelligent species, men and Birds:

suddenly, the sky was full of attacking Birds;

two of the three surviving human cities "...had fallen after only a brief struggle..." (p. 102);

tribesmen died in great numbers;

bombs and torpedoes planted by descendants of penguins cut off communication between the Antarctican city and its outposts;

albatross squadrons bombed Antarctica;

however, human aircraft retaliated;

an underground laboratory released back-bred, plague-carrying birds;

Martels' free-floating intelligence "...entered and confounded the mind of the reigning King of the Birds..." (p. 103);

the glaciers will end the Birds remnant.

Obviously, this war could have filled a series of novels but here a single page suffices. Another understated war in a Blish novel is Armageddon in Black Easter/The Day After Judgement: we are simply informed that the released demons have defeated the angelic host although we do see them destroy the Strategic Air Command when it attacks Dis.

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