Kiril, identified in dreams as “the
cook”, would know how to forage, in a land like hers. And she’d do better than most, possessed as
she is of unusual intelligence. And all
the rest of the scene would have to follow from that. As for a starving child fainting from the
smell of grease, I know an old survivor of the Depression who did that, as a
Some might think that I write too often
of child geniuses. First of all, I dream
of them all the time, and that would justify it enough, considering that I have
embraced writing from dreams as my life’s work.
But also, they’re not as uncommon as people think. The official cut-off line for genius is the
top two percentile rank. That means one
in fifty. That “fifty” encompasses the
entire spectrum of intellect, including those so profoundly disabled that
they’re institutionalized, people that you never meet on the street. If you exclude anyone who drops below the
average, that drops the percent down to one in twenty-five. Now, people who actively engage in trying to
solve crises—the sort of people likely to wind up as major players in a novel—would
tend to be above average in intelligence.
Now we’re talking one in an even smaller, if indeterminate number, maybe
one in 12-18. Aside from Fireheart
Friendclan, who would skew everything, I have a whole lot more characters than
As for Malcolm eating pages from the
cookbook, he wouldn’t be the first, in the face of starvation . As Sanzio well knew when he slipped the book
through the bars.
I wrote the initiation of Bakr and
Aziz, though I have dreamed of their presence among the revolutionaries at and
after Cumenci. I needed some explanation
for them being there.
When it came to Sanzio’s thoughts, I
barely had time to ask myself what he might be thinking of, congruent to the
initiation celebration, and it just gushed out, almost faster than I could
type. Disturbing. And Malcolm’s thoughts would naturally
follow, too. And that’s when I suddenly
realized that later events which I had blamed on Sanzio had actually been Layne
Aliso’s plan. It has her stamp. And it doesn’t really fit Sanzio, though he
always follows orders.