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[Book]: Rhymes With

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Posts

  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited June 14
    credeiki wrote: »
    ...once again I'm sort of mad I wasted my time reading this, although maybe not that mad about the time because now I'm sort of familiar with a popular scifi property that I wasn't before. I am mad at the authors for not doing something more interesting with a neat setting though, and I'm also mad that they clearly don't see women as people.

    This seems a bit extreme of a take on the authors' view just from poorly used secondary characters in one book.

    I (perhaps uncharitably) think that, based on their actions and rhetoric, quite a number of men don't exactly view women as people*, although sometimes they make exceptions for individual women who are close to them; I don't think the authors are particularly unusual for this. They certainly wrote a book in which no women displayed agency and all women merely acted as instruments to fulfill men's stories. It's true there were not a lot of women in the book, so we only saw a small number or sample size of women, in which 100% of them served as instruments. People say in the TV show there are women who have agency (including some who don't in the book) so it's quite possible this changes in latter books. But I already gave the authors 500 pages (plus however long that other Daniel Abraham book was that I read a while back) so I don't particularly need to give them more space to prove themselves.

    *where, admittedly, I'm using strong rhetoric** to condemn a tendency to consider a woman as an object for men first, rather than as a person in her own right. Authors who struggle with this, e.g. Stephenson, tend to do much much better when they use a woman as a perspective character, because it forces them to consider her interiority

    **because I think this tendency is very harmful

    credeiki on
    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudMahnmutdennis
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Instead now I'm rereading The Peripheral in preparation to read Agency, which I finally got in paperback, so I'm very excited. I can't remember The Peripheral much at all but I love the way Gibson writes, always. There's so much interestingly-phrased, intensely specific focus on the material that just really works for me.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    SummaryJudgmentV1m
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    ...once again I'm sort of mad I wasted my time reading this, although maybe not that mad about the time because now I'm sort of familiar with a popular scifi property that I wasn't before. I am mad at the authors for not doing something more interesting with a neat setting though, and I'm also mad that they clearly don't see women as people.

    This seems a bit extreme of a take on the authors' view just from poorly used secondary characters in one book.
    Not really. Book 1 is pretty lame when it comes to compelling characterization. The show gets there MUCH quicker.

    MahnmutCptHamilton
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    ...once again I'm sort of mad I wasted my time reading this, although maybe not that mad about the time because now I'm sort of familiar with a popular scifi property that I wasn't before. I am mad at the authors for not doing something more interesting with a neat setting though, and I'm also mad that they clearly don't see women as people.

    This seems a bit extreme of a take on the authors' view just from poorly used secondary characters in one book.

    I (perhaps uncharitably) think that, based on their actions and rhetoric, quite a number of men don't exactly view women as people*, although sometimes they make exceptions for individual women who are close to them; I don't think the authors are particularly unusual for this. They certainly wrote a book in which no women displayed agency and all women merely acted as instruments to fulfill men's stories. It's true there were not a lot of women in the book, so we only saw a small number or sample size of women, in which 100% of them served as instruments. People say in the TV show there are women who have agency (including some who don't in the book) so it's quite possible this changes in latter books. But I already gave the authors 500 pages (plus however long that other Daniel Abraham book was that I read a while back) so I don't particularly need to give them more space to prove themselves.

    *where, admittedly, I'm using strong rhetoric** to condemn a tendency to consider a woman as an object for men first, rather than as a person in her own right. Authors who struggle with this, e.g. Stephenson, tend to do much much better when they use a woman as a perspective character, because it forces them to consider her interiority

    **because I think this tendency is very harmful

    I mean, literally the next book has 2 main POVs as women. Both of whom are pretty big fan favourites even.

    I think you are noting "this book doesn't have any of it's female characters as main characters" and ascribing a ridiculously uncharitable and unsupportable accusation based on noticing that.

    chrono_traveller
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    Nah, cred is mostly right

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
    MahnmutFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nah, not even close. Daniel Abraham at least has a ton of other books with prominent female characters done well imo.

    Like, if your take from Leviathan Wakes was just "I thought the female supporting characters were poorly done", I could see that. "they clearly don't see women as people" is miles past that and straight into absurdity.

    chrono_travellerSeptusAsthariel
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Or it's possible cred just doesn't like the book, and has valid concerns about how he's felt about previous books by the same author. He didn't tell you that your enjoyment of the series is a clear indication that you are an awful person.

    I agree in that I think the series gets better about the agency of female characters, but also there are 10 billion odd books out there. If cred didn't like the first and doesn't want to read the other 9 or whatever, it's not the end of the world.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    It’s a pretty understandable mild hyperbole — the Julie plot does leave a weird aftertaste, and iirc there is a stretch in the early series where Naomi feels kinda… instrumentalized… for the men in the plot.

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
    credeikihtmFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Or it's possible cred just doesn't like the book, and has valid concerns about how he's felt about previous books by the same author. He didn't tell you that your enjoyment of the series is a clear indication that you are an awful person.

    I agree in that I think the series gets better about the agency of female characters, but also there are 10 billion odd books out there. If cred didn't like the first and doesn't want to read the other 9 or whatever, it's not the end of the world.

    I didn't comment on whether Credeki liked the book or not. That wasn't the substance of the comment that started this discussion.

    As I noted before, there's a difference between "I didn't like the book" or "I thought it had bad/no female characters" and "I think the authors don't see women as people".

    Shadowhopechrono_traveller
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    I don’t understand why you’re taking this legitimate criticism so personally

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    I don’t understand why you’re taking this legitimate criticism so personally

    I'm not taking it personally at all. I thought it was a ridiculous statement and I clicked agree on someone else's post that initial made the comment and left it at that. But if people want to further discuss the issue, we'll discuss it I guess. Just like you are now.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Sorry, I'm was probably overreacting. I've just also felt recently like a lot of threads have gotten a little aggressive with the group think and its been something that's been building up in my brain. Apologies.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    If I’m being honest the books are kind of crap, and the TV series improves on them in every way.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    If I’m being honest the books are kind of crap, and the TV series improves on them in every way.

    I'd have agreed with you about the TV series being a universal improvement in the first couple of seasons. The book version of the last season was a lot better than what we got on Amazon.

    Unrelatedly: Just finished The Blacktongue Thief, which was really pretty good. It managed the trick of making a big story feel very personal.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    edited June 15
    I really need to pick that one up but I might have to wait until it comes to paperback.

    knitdan on
    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    ...once again I'm sort of mad I wasted my time reading this, although maybe not that mad about the time because now I'm sort of familiar with a popular scifi property that I wasn't before. I am mad at the authors for not doing something more interesting with a neat setting though, and I'm also mad that they clearly don't see women as people.

    This seems a bit extreme of a take on the authors' view just from poorly used secondary characters in one book.

    I don't know that I'm mad at the authors, but...
    ...Miller was definitely creepy, and in later books...
    ...Marco, Naomi's ex, was super cringey. I pretty much abandoned the series after Earth got the Alderaan treatment solely in order to prove what an asshole he was. Making him obsessed with Naomi (and insanely jealous of Holden) added a kind of gross "the hero and villain are in competition for the girI" aspect to the story that it just didn't need. He would have been much interesting as a semi-sympathetic revolutionary leader rather than a mustache-twirling misogynist who's sublimated but obvious hatred of his ex is what really drives him to do all the bad things he does. He's just another embodiment of entitled male revenge ideation.

    knitdanMahnmut
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    edited June 15
    htm wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    ...once again I'm sort of mad I wasted my time reading this, although maybe not that mad about the time because now I'm sort of familiar with a popular scifi property that I wasn't before. I am mad at the authors for not doing something more interesting with a neat setting though, and I'm also mad that they clearly don't see women as people.

    This seems a bit extreme of a take on the authors' view just from poorly used secondary characters in one book.

    I don't know that I'm mad at the authors, but...
    ...Miller was definitely creepy, and in later books...
    ...Marco, Naomi's ex, was super cringey. I pretty much abandoned the series after Earth got the Alderaan treatment solely in order to prove what an asshole he was. Making him obsessed with Naomi (and insanely jealous of Holden) added a kind of gross "the hero and villain are in competition for the girI" aspect to the story that it just didn't need. He would have been much interesting as a semi-sympathetic revolutionary leader rather than a mustache-twirling misogynist who's sublimated but obvious hatred of his ex is what really drives him to do all the bad things he does. He's just another embodiment of entitled male revenge ideation.

    I want to clarify that, like shryke has said, my observation/objection about credeiki's post wasn't about the criticism of the book (I agree that there are significant shortcomings to the book), but the jump from the perfectly reasonable criticism about the characterization/motivation of certain characters to "the authors clearly don't see women as people" is an unwarranted and unreasonable conclusion.

    Specifically:
    I agree that, in particular, a lot of Miller's motivations, particularly at the beginning were creepy, but I think that was (at least partly) due to the author's wanting to have Miller fit into the "noir detective" cliche. He's not supposed to be a "good guy". He's a washed up jerk, that is having an mid-life existential crisis about what his life/legacy is. I think we're supposed to doubt Miller's intentions. Is it that he really wants to do a truly good thing or is it just because he's infatuated with Julie? I don't think he even knows himself at the beginning. Though by the end, I think he has come to terms with that he's doing this case basically as a way for him to feel better about himself ("the one good thing before he dies" kind of deal). But I could see someone disagreeing with this, since I admit that I enjoy the series and have some rose tinted glasses view of the books (and that its been like 10 years since I read Leviathan wakes).

    As to the execution of said plot, I think in adopting the cliche's of the noir detective, it comes with a lot of baggage (specific to this discussion, the sexism) that I agree the author's didn't do much to address. But, really, outside of Holden and Miller, most of the other characters got the short shrift in terms of characterization, even Alex and Naomi didn't really get much characterization in the first book (were they even viewpoint characters?).

    I have enjoyed the series for what I view it to be, a kind of "space opera" where things are overly dramatic and this plucky crew is there at just the right/wrong place at the right time to help save the day and make the universe just a bit better. I realize that isn't for everyone, and it can be corny at times (I mean my friend and I have a running gag about how Holden always chooses the most naive, stupid decisions, but it works out because he's the paladin!).

    Anyway, this got to be a really long winded way of saying, again, that to denounce the authors as not seeing women as people, is something that I feel is not supported at all in the books.

    chrono_traveller on
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett
    ShadowhopeN1tSt4lkerDrovek
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    edited June 16
    Anyway, this got to be a really long winded way of saying, again, that to denounce the authors as not seeing women as people, is something that I feel is not supported at all in the books.

    Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t say that.
    In fact, I think Naomi, Bobbie, and Avasarala are all pretty great characters.

    The issues I have with it are that while it ticks a lot of the checkboxes I want for a paper brick Space Opera series, the authors’ plotting fails their world-building:

    -Holden is an egregious Gary Stu.

    (Spoilered for later books)
    -The Earth gets fridged.
    -Marco is a terrible, uninteresting villain.
    -The protomolecule ends up being kind of boring.
    -As you mentioned, the noir-ish aspect of Miller’s subplot are a mismatch for the setting and problematic in a lot of ways classical noir has always been problematic.

    It has some good stuff, but after Marco blew up the Earth and the story just moved to other planets, I kind of realized the authors were just going to keep moving the Roci and her crew on to new places, and they were never really going to do anything interesting or conclusive with the parts of the setting that seemed cool at the start.

    htm on
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited June 16
    Yoooo OK those are some pretty massive spoilers to be randomly dropping into a conversation about book 1 without tagging it

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Yoooo OK those are some pretty massive spoilers to be randomly dropping into a conversation about book 1 without tagging it

    Assuming this was directed at me, I added nested spoiler tags to my previous post.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    I don’t understand why you’re taking this legitimate criticism so personally

    I'm not taking it personally at all. I thought it was a ridiculous statement and I clicked agree on someone else's post that initial made the comment and left it at that. But if people want to further discuss the issue, we'll discuss it I guess. Just like you are now.
    I think its pretty legitimate criticism to say that women weren't characterized well in the first book and perhaps not that well in later books. One could argue that no one is really characterized well at all given that its a fairly standard political-military space opera that just happens to have elements of horror/alien scifi.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    I like this random blog post regarding book one and I had several of the same criticisms a few years ago. I was told the authors couldn't possibly have been dealing with queer ideas and characters poorly in the first book even though there was the use of at least one slur and a lot of boys will be boy stuff in the first book. This was in the same thread maybe two or three years ago.

    In defense of the authors, they have grown a LOT in the books afterwards also as the general attitude regarding equity in scifi has also changed and evolved.

    But Cred doesn't have an outlandish opinion on the first book. It was a criticism of the book at the time!

    Heres a random blog about it.
    So, I mentioned this previously, but I was able to enjoy Leviathan Wakes, despite me critiquing the orbital mechanics and realizing that recent science* would throw a monkey wrench into the plot. But I'm used to that; sometimes things shape out that way.

    So, Leviathan Wakes hits a sweet spot in SF for me by being about the time when humankind has the Solar System as its playground but hasn't moved to the stars. Too often it seems like authors are in a rush to make up some fancy FTL drive to get to the aliens and the worlds that don't require terraforming and it's nice to see looks at our backyard, even if it's not as nice as the green fields over the fence. Of course, I'm biased there, since I spend a lot of time working in the backyard so to speak.

    Anyway, the plot follows two characters. Miller is essentially a noir-style cop on Ceres who gets told to locate a Earth VIP's daughter who is out being all Social Activist on Ceres. Holden is an Earth guy making a living hauling ice from Saturn to the asteroid belt for water when his ship sees a distress call coming from a small rock in the outer Belt.

    Then shit hits the fan as thing start blowing up and political tensions between Mars, Earth and the Belt mean everyone starts shooting at everyone else. And of course Miller's missing woman is related to the abandoned ship Holden finds.

    My strongest critique of Leviathan Wakes has to do with gender and sexuality politics. While their are characters that seem like the author (or authors, as the Corey is a pen name for two authors) considered the character as going either way -- the captain of the Martian battleship for one, and Miller's boss for another -- the two most prominent female characters feel like they are female because Holden and Miller are heterosexual males. Julie Mao, Miller's missing woman who he builds up a creepy infatuation with without ever having met her (and the text does seem to imply creepiness when we can get out of Miller's head), feels like a Woman in the Refrigerator. (Also spoiler spoiler things that I can't mention about the end.)

    Naomi, one of Holden's crew, also feels like she was female so Holden could pine after her. Now it might be that it's something about Holden that, after all the messed up shit he and his handful of crew members get put through, he'll form a bond with all of them and become infatuated with any of the women that he found sexually attractive. But… Naomi was the only woman among the four. Making Amos or Alex female would have done a lot to cut the idea that Naomi was female so Holden could have sexual chemistry with someone, and otherwise all male crew.

    (There's also little things, like Miller breaking teenagers being stupid into 'boys trying to impress girls' and most of the marines being male, and one of Holden's crew using what seems like a homophobic slur to denigrate some assholes who were shooting at them. And the closest thing to a queer character, even in the background, being Holden's eight parents being in a poly marriage.)

    It just… I expect more of a work written in the 2010s. Especially one that does really well in making space look international. I want the gender and sexual politics to look like something other than mainstream media plus Heinlein-style group marriages.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. I stayed up late finishing the last hundred pages and I want the sequel. Like I said, it's hitting my sweet spot in the 'solar system is the playground'. But because I enjoyed it, I do have to point out what didn't work for me.

    * Recent science that a member of my research group is doing!

    https://beccastareyes.livejournal.com/518387.html

    credeiki
  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    Started reading Lovecraft Country. Very good so far, and I appreciated the sensible practicality of the protagonist when
    he reacts to discovering a nefarious eldritch plot by hitting everyone within striking distance with a mallet and then attempting to scarper immediately. Eminently reasonable.

    QuidJealous DevaCptHamiltonMoridin889V1m
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Started reading Lovecraft Country. Very good so far, and I appreciated the sensible practicality of the protagonist when
    he reacts to discovering a nefarious eldritch plot by hitting everyone within striking distance with a mallet and then attempting to scarper immediately. Eminently reasonable.

    LC had a lot heavier start than i was expecting. I have not seen the show and when our library group picked it i thought it would be a fun read. I was not prepared.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Re: Neal Asher

    Reading the Cormac books, and the little "infodumps" before each chapter have definitely gotten increasingly... libertarian? I don't know that I would have picked up on it so clearly if we hadn't just had this conversation, but it feels pretty fucking obvious coming out of that conversation.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
    redxEcho
  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    Asher has recently made it clear he’s a giant prick.

    redxFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudEchoMoridin889V1m
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Had I been more politically aware when I was reading Asher's stuff I wouldn't have based my user name and many game character names based on his books. It was 12+ years ago but it is what it is now. Thankfully unless someone is familiar with his works and/or his political leanings my name doesn't mean or represent anything particular which is good.

    Asher may have always been an asshole but with the pervasiveness of social media it's really come out into the open. It's a shame because I do like the Cormac series of books, but it can be hard to separate the creator from their creations when the creator is a really problematic person.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I just want expecting it to be so obvious in his older books. Just read a section where he's going on about how liberals in the 21st century didn't want anyone to feel responsible for their actions, divorcing them from the sense of free will so that they would be more easily controlled. Maybe it's just a case of points that at the time were considered fanciful projections, but it feels like something I would hear from Tucker Carlson or w/e.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod
    Next week sees the 10 year anniversary of the publication of A Dance With Dragons. The month after will see the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    When a major motion picture has a bit making fun of your inability to deliver a long-promised book it’s got to be a major blow to the ego.

    People hating the ending of the show has got to be demoralizing as well, since I can’t imagine the major story beats are all that different from how he planned to wrap things up.

    So why bust your ass to bang out something that you already know will be met with derision?

    He’s never going to deliver the last two books. It’s simply not going to happen.

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Especially when the last two books were generally regarded as the weakest in the series, with ADWD in particular getting a lukewarm reception. That book was like 1000 pages of set up for two climaxes which didn't occur.

  • IlpalaIlpala Just this guy, y'know Texas booniesRegistered User regular
    Feast for Crows wasn't even bad it's just. The book is like entirely nadir. Which is half the reason I don't mind cutting into it with ADWD to follow it chronologically because it also helps break up the oppressively depressing bits.

    FF XIV - Qih'to Furishu (on Siren), Battle.Net - Ilpala#1975
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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    Next week sees the 10 year anniversary of the publication of A Dance With Dragons. The month after will see the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series.

    This is another reason I like Sanderson. The man writes damn near compulsively.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited July 1
    Quid wrote: »
    Bogart wrote: »
    Next week sees the 10 year anniversary of the publication of A Dance With Dragons. The month after will see the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series.

    This is another reason I like Sanderson. The man writes damn near compulsively.
    Erikson is like that too, I don't know how he manages tome after 1000pg tome.

    Though I'm not loving book six (The Bonehunters) as much as the last one. It's very unfocused; a lot of plots that will probably come together but so far have little to do with each other. Y'Ghatan was the only part of the book that has really grabbed me, and that's largely due to it being a cohesive story that stays focused on the same event/location for over 100 pages. When he's jumping place to place every five pages I have more trouble getting into the story.

    Kaputa on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    Brody wrote: »
    Reading the Cormac books, and the little "infodumps" before each chapter have definitely gotten increasingly... libertarian? I don't know that I would have picked up on it so clearly if we hadn't just had this conversation, but it feels pretty fucking obvious coming out of that conversation.

    I finished his latest, Jack Four, the other day, and he got rid of those blurbs. I get the impression this novel is intended as a fresh entrypoint for new readers since there is a ton of Polity novels now - it's very self-contained and apart from some occasional references to other books, it works as a stand-alone novel.

  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    He actually has the chapter blurbs collected online: https://www.nealasher.co.uk/polity-encyclopaedia/

    Most of the books have them written from a handful of recurring personas/sources. Here's the one mentioned above:
    Sins of the father: It was long accepted in the twenty-first century that an abused child might well grow into an abuser, and in that liberal age evidence of childhood abuse was looked upon as an excuse for later crimes. This was, remember, the time when many considered poverty sufficient excuse for criminality – a huge insult to those poor people who were not and would never become criminals. The liberals of that age were soft and deluded, and had yet to reap what they had sown in the form of ever escalating levels of crime. Their view of existence was deterministic, and if taken to its logical conclusion would have resulted in no human being responsible for anything, and the denial of free will (which as it happens was their political aim). Luckily, a more realistic approach prevailed, as those in power came to understand, quite simply, that removal of responsibility from people made them more irresponsible. However, this is not to deny the basic premise that our parents create and form us though, knowing this, we have the power to change what we are. In the end, there are no excuses. And so it is with AI: we humans are the parents, and they are the abused children grown to adulthood.

    – From ‘Quince Guide’ compiled by humans.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited July 1
    Bogart wrote: »
    Next week sees the 10 year anniversary of the publication of A Dance With Dragons. The month after will see the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series.

    The first book was published in 1996. The second was published in 1999 (which is a bit understandable since no one knew how exactly it would be received). The third was published only a year after that in 2000. That’s 4 years.

    The fourth came 5 years after that. The fifth six years after that. Now it’s been 10 years with nothing else. Getting from the fifth to the sixth book has already taken 10 times longer than the span from the second to the third and there isn’t even an estimated release date.

    I think the handwriting is pretty much on the wall here.

    Jealous Deva on
    QuidCptHamilton
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    A few years between books is fine if it's a consistent number of years.

    Solomaxwell6
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Echo wrote: »
    He actually has the chapter blurbs collected online: https://www.nealasher.co.uk/polity-encyclopaedia/

    Most of the books have them written from a handful of recurring personas/sources. Here's the one mentioned above:
    Sins of the father: It was long accepted in the twenty-first century that an abused child might well grow into an abuser, and in that liberal age evidence of childhood abuse was looked upon as an excuse for later crimes. This was, remember, the time when many considered poverty sufficient excuse for criminality – a huge insult to those poor people who were not and would never become criminals. The liberals of that age were soft and deluded, and had yet to reap what they had sown in the form of ever escalating levels of crime. Their view of existence was deterministic, and if taken to its logical conclusion would have resulted in no human being responsible for anything, and the denial of free will (which as it happens was their political aim). Luckily, a more realistic approach prevailed, as those in power came to understand, quite simply, that removal of responsibility from people made them more irresponsible. However, this is not to deny the basic premise that our parents create and form us though, knowing this, we have the power to change what we are. In the end, there are no excuses. And so it is with AI: we humans are the parents, and they are the abused children grown to adulthood.

    – From ‘Quince Guide’ compiled by humans.

    Yeah. The first couple of books' blurbs weren't as politically charged, but The Brass Man was like someone turned on a light switch or something. This and the one on capital punishment are very "uh... wut?"

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • dennisdennis Executive Peasant Registered User regular
    Even if Asher intended them to be his expression of The Truth (which I don't doubt he did), I class them with the other entries which are flat out shown as incorrect. For example.
    Cormac (Ian): Yet another mythical creation of hero-starved humanity. Earth Central Security does have its monitors, its Sparkind, and troops, and yes it does have its secret agents. But let us be honest about these people: they are, on the whole, grey and characterless. Again this is all about what we want to believe. We want this super agent who so easily sorts out all the bad guys for us. Cormac is to ECS what a certain agent with the number 007 was to MI5. At best he is a fictional creation, at his worst he is a violent and disruptive role-model.

    – From ‘Quince Guide’ compiled by humans.

    Also, in one of the Gordon entries, there is the line "The Quince Guide (which I do not believe was compiled by humans, more likely, was compiled to mislead humans)".

    In other words, I find it humorous to class the author among "mislead humans."

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