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Kalbear

Persepolis Rising (Book 7 of the Expanse) - SPOILERS

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Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Ajûrbkli said:

So the consciousness loss thing was an attack meant to kill the Ring Builders, right? So the Ring Builders must've been some sort of... conscious energy pattern or something?  A species that only had RAM and no hard-disks.  The disruption of consciousness killed them, but only causes humans to reboot.

That's right along the lines of what I was thinking!  And this type attack seems to be accompanied by "the bullet" / "eye of an angry god" strange sphere of non-dark / non-light that appears on The Tempest in Persepolis Rising and that Elvi drags Miller through to kill all the proto-artifacts on Ilus in Cibola Burn.

But in other situations, like when the ring gates are overloaded and eat ships, the "anti-ring-builders" seem to have a different kind of attack that is perfectly capable of killing humans too.  The victims include a whole bunch of Inaros' ships in Babylon's Ashes and the battleship Barkeith that was part of Duarte's splinter faction and tries to pass through along with other ships in the epilogue to Nemesis Games.  And we know those people don't just "go elsewhere," they die.  Fom the point of view of Barkeith's captain, "Sauveterre did not notice his [own] death."

Both types of attacks seem to cause humans to suddenly see the world around them as individual fundamental particles and waves with all the space between them, to various extents.  This last effect seems most pronounced for those right at the point of attack, either going through the sphere like Elvi, or in an eaten ship like Sauveterre and Inaros.  Drummer and the others in Sol system during the destruction of Pallas by The Tempest also seem to experience something like this - she notices the tea interacting with her mouth at a microscopic level - but not quite to the same extent.  I'm not sure if this is because she is far away from The Tempest where the attack comes.  Her chief science guy, Tur, seems to think that whatever effect it was happened everywhere at once, but it must fade away at some distance or those in other systems across the galaxy would have felt it too.

Edited by Wethers

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When are we going to get the title for the next novel? Based on the last two titles, I'm thinking something on the lines of The Gordian Knot.

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Loved the book and the setup for a big conclusion to the series. I agree the 30 year gap didn’t have characters change much. It didn’t bother me too much though. 

Given the last Duarte chapter, he seems to be taking on the mental characteristics of a Protomolucule maker species with the seeing thought patterns. I’m guessing he becomes an unstoppable force but then is killed when he’s close enough to one of the Protomolecule killer species Events. In other words, when everyone in the Sol system lost 3 min of consciousness, such an attack would kill Duarte because he is more like the Protomolecule maker species now. 

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On 12/12/2017 at 6:33 AM, red snow said:

Really glad I put the book on pause to read the last two novellas. Both provide insight into duarte and his planet - especially "strange dogs" which I can't see how it can't come into play.

 

Haven't we already though?  I assume the dogs were the spark for Cortazar's research in the pens and what he's doing to Duarte.

 

On 12/12/2017 at 6:54 PM, larrytheimp said:

Looking forward to the remainder of the Holden/Duarte dialogue. 

 

I eagerly await the return of ProtoMiller once Duarte throws Holden into the pens.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 2:07 PM, unJon said:

Loved the book and the setup for a big conclusion to the series. I agree the 30 year gap didn’t have characters change much. It didn’t bother me too much though. 

 

Agreed.

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13 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

 

Haven't we already though?  I assume the dogs were the spark for Cortazar's research in the pens and what he's doing to Duarte.

That's a very good point - especially with the use of "pens". I was kind of hoping they were still wild cards that Duarte hadn't got access to yet - 

images of the kid grown up with her undead brother and the dogs in tow.

. But it would make complete sense that they were part of the reason Duarte was on the road to immortality.

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On 12/27/2017 at 9:11 PM, Bronn Stone said:

Though PR does get a bit of credit because Singh was put in his role precisely because of these traits, by leadership that wanted him to fail because of them.  He wasn't promoted over his head by accident or happenstance.

I don't think this is quite right, if only because Duarte is smarter than that. He took care to make this a win-win. If Singh had had the edges knocked off him in the rock-tumbler, great. Duarte has a second-gen Laconian in charge, proving that his society produces the people he needs it to. A demonstration to Laconians, and everyone else, that Laconia is a meritocratic - and meritorious - society.

But there was another scenario in which Singh didn't take the lesson, and Duarte had planned for that too.

Duarte, by the way, is a fucking monster. I have absolutely zero sympathy for him, none. Whatever one thinks of his aims, his methods are autocratic and his rule dictatorial. He himself is intelligent, but he's also blinded by his ego. If he shows mercy, it's because mercy serves his purpose. If being brutal serves him better, he's brutal instead. And that he knows and cares about the difference doesn't excuse him - in fact it makes what he's doing worse. He's consciously choosing to do wrong in the service of a greater good, believing that he knows better than anyone else and that gives him the right to decide how they live and whether they die. Fuck that guy.

Edited by mormont

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

I don't think this is quite right, if only because Duarte is smarter than that. He took care to make this a win-win. If Singh had had the edges knocked off him in the rock-tumbler, great. Duarte has a second-gen Laconian in charge, proving that his society produces the people he needs it to. A demonstration to Laconians, and everyone else, that Laconia is a meritocratic - and meritorious - society.

That was my take away too.  If Singh had smartened up and rose to the occasion, he becomes a valuable addition to the Laconian military.  If not, he gets to be a sacrificial lamb to show the people that Duarte won't suffer incompetence and senseless brutality among his officers.

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15 minutes ago, briantw said:

That was my take away too.  If Singh had smartened up and rose to the occasion, he becomes a valuable addition to the Laconian military.  If not, he gets to be a sacrificial lamb to show the people that Duarte won't suffer incompetence and senseless brutality among his officers.

What I find particularly subversive, in a way, is that it's Singh's genuine love and longing for his family - normally very positive emotions in storytelling - that lead him to overreact. But at the same time, it's a toxic masculinity issue - he has all these emotions but he's so afraid that revealing them will lead to being perceived as weak.

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This was such a slog to get through.  The time jump was a good idea but completely unbelievable.  It probably would have worked better if there had been other POV's who had lived in the same world where Holden and co were minor celebs but who were regular people.  Someone else's POV might have given the sense that there was a passage of time.  Even the planet we saw was a fledgeling one.  Our favorite characters were all the same as they were when we last left them, just with some creaky bones.  How can 30 years go by without a single thing changing about a person? It was as though the authors understood they needed a time jump to give Laconia the chance to build the resources needed to actually take control of the known universe with just a handful of ships but they were too busy or lazy to actually think through what that time jump would mean for the rest of the cast.

Probably the only thing I mildly enjoyed about this book is how for a moment we were all a bit like Bobbie where Duarte's plan seems like an elegant one, a plan we dream about.  One nation under peace, where can I sign up.  But then, as Mormont points out, a bit of thought on it and you can't ignore that Duarte is a horrific person.  Even if we ignore all that he did in the past to murder bullions, this book kicks off with notes about how he uses his population for human experimentation. 

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Yeah, @Dr. Pepper, the more I've thought about it and talked it over with my wife, the more I think that the 30 year gap might have been fine if they had the Roci crew shown from the perspective of the other characters instead of their PoVs. So show that crazy belter bomber gal as one, show Clarissa as another major PoV, have that sleazebag that betrays them, have some youth around. 

Showing what everyone else thinks of Holden and the rest of the crew would allow us to project what we think they would be like in 30 years while also giving us a new perspective. Doesn't have to change the story much - Clarissa would be the major PoV, I would bet - but it would at least give some 'change' to the characters without needing to do a whole lot, as the major change is how everyone else views Holden. 

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Personally, I didn't mind the thirty year gap all that much.  It was thirty years of relative peace and stability.  Mars and Earth aligned.  The Belt played nice and formed their own government that worked together with the EMC.  Yeah, Holden and company tend to get into trouble, but there was only so much trouble they could get into while everyone was playing nice and working together to rebuild the solar system after Inaros tore it apart and forced everyone to unite.  

You could argue that Holden and his crew didn't change all that much outside of Alex getting married and divorced again, but in general people don't change much.  They were essentially a family and they stayed together and kept doing jobs.  Not sure what you'd expect to change all that much in a time of such relative stability.  No doubt Holden and crew continued to get into trouble from time to time, but it was a lesser trouble considering the circumstances.

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57 minutes ago, briantw said:

You could argue that Holden and his crew didn't change all that much outside of Alex getting married and divorced again, but in general people don't change much. 

Yeah, no. I disagree absurdly strongly. 

There might be certain personalities and viewpoints that don't change incredibly, but think about what you were like 20 years ago - what your friends were like, what your goals and dreams and views were like. Think about how many times you've fallen in love, or changed jobs, or moved. Or wanted to do those things. 

Now imagine going through some of the most insane crises the universe has ever seen. You don't just go back to things being normal. That is ultimately the triumph of Lord of the Rings - that Frodo and Sam both have a massive cost to their victory, and things don't go back to being the same. 

Heck, we see this in Bobbie's arc - where she goes from Martian marine to liason for Avasarala to gunny on the Roci in about 3 years. Things do change. And it is pretty implausible to think that in 30 years absolutely none of them change in personality or values or life events or anything.

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1 hour ago, briantw said:

Personally, I didn't mind the thirty year gap all that much.  It was thirty years of relative peace and stability.  Mars and Earth aligned.  The Belt played nice and formed their own government that worked together with the EMC.  Yeah, Holden and company tend to get into trouble, but there was only so much trouble they could get into while everyone was playing nice and working together to rebuild the solar system after Inaros tore it apart and forced everyone to unite.  

You could argue that Holden and his crew didn't change all that much outside of Alex getting married and divorced again, but in general people don't change much.  They were essentially a family and they stayed together and kept doing jobs.  Not sure what you'd expect to change all that much in a time of such relative stability.  No doubt Holden and crew continued to get into trouble from time to time, but it was a lesser trouble considering the circumstances.

Agree with everything @Kalbear wrote, but in addition, the bolded just makes it all the more absurd.  Why on earth are people still hiring the Rocinante?  They are unreliable and they don't follow orders.  They are so much the same that their actions are still resulting in potential systemic change.  Their actions with Freehold could have set off a system wide war, trade wars at the least, if Laconia hadn't shown up. Everything about the crew is the same as when we left them 30 years ago, even their going all cowboy on missions.  This is why we really needed other POVs to tell us what the rest of the known universe thought of the Roci crew.  The time jump just doesn't work when it comes to the Roci POV.  

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8 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Agree with everything @Kalbear wrote, but in addition, the bolded just makes it all the more absurd.  Why on earth are people still hiring the Rocinante?

I see no issues with that. At least at first, the Roci crew are going to get jobs from political connections and general celebrity. Do a few of those well, and the rest follows. 

8 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Their actions with Freehold could have set off a system wide war, trade wars at the least, if Laconia hadn't shown up.

How so? Who was going to go to war over it?

It was certainly going to cause Drummer a political headache, and force the issue of whether she was running a trade union or a government, but no trade war, still less a war, seemed imminent. 

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8 hours ago, mormont said:

I see no issues with that. At least at first, the Roci crew are going to get jobs from political connections and general celebrity. Do a few of those well, and the rest follows. 

That would explain how they might have high profile and important jobs in the years immediately after we last saw them.  Might even carry them for a decade.  But 30 years?  No way.  They can only ignore the parameters of the job or completely alter relationships between governing bodies so much before that celebrity status no longer holds weight.  Which is why alternative POVs would have been helpful.  They could have clarified reasons why the Roci crew's star keeps shining so bright even though they can't seem to do what they're hired to do.

Quote

How so? Who was going to go to war over it?

It was certainly going to cause Drummer a political headache, and force the issue of whether she was running a trade union or a government, but no trade war, still less a war, seemed imminent. 

Holden's decision causes more than just a headache.  It fundamentally alters the nature of the Transport Union and in turn changes the TU's relationship with governing bodies they interact with.  Signatory planets didn't agree to terms with a government, they agreed to terms with a trade union.  If the TU is now a government, they are basically Laconia and they'll have to do certain things to annex a bunch of worlds who maybe don't want to be annexed.  If it remains a union, then Holden's actions show that first violation of the union contract incurs pretty minor consequence.  What if ten worlds do what Freehold did?  Twenty?  One hundred?  What number need flout the rules before the minor consequence then becomes too burdensome to the TU?  I think it's pretty valid to point out that Holden ignoring the parameters of the job he was given could have easily resulted in a lot of disruption in the system.  

The only reason we don't see any of the fall out from Holden's decision is because Laconia showed up.  

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3 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

That would explain how they might have high profile and important jobs in the years immediately after we last saw them.  Might even carry them for a decade.  But 30 years?  No way.  They can only ignore the parameters of the job or completely alter relationships between governing bodies so much before that celebrity status no longer holds weight.  Which is why alternative POVs would have been helpful.  They could have clarified reasons why the Roci crew's star keeps shining so bright even though they can't seem to do what they're hired to do.

I think it's reasonable that they're still getting plenty of work - with so many worlds being settled there should be enough work for anyone who has a ship available. However, I'm not sure what Drummer was thinking sending Holden on that particular mission, she should know him well enough to be able to predict how he'd react to the orders to cut Freehold off so that they'd probably starve.

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4 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

That would explain how they might have high profile and important jobs in the years immediately after we last saw them.  Might even carry them for a decade.  But 30 years?  No way.  They can only ignore the parameters of the job or completely alter relationships between governing bodies so much before that celebrity status no longer holds weight. 

which very strongly suggests that for 30 uneventful years they pretty much didn't do that.

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19 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I think it's reasonable that they're still getting plenty of work - with so many worlds being settled there should be enough work for anyone who has a ship available. However, I'm not sure what Drummer was thinking sending Holden on that particular mission, she should know him well enough to be able to predict how he'd react to the orders to cut Freehold off so that they'd probably starve.

Yeah, good point.  There are plenty of people who would need to hire Holden.  It's more that I'm baffled heads of governments or the TU would do it.  

6 minutes ago, Bronn Stone said:

which very strongly suggests that for 30 uneventful years they pretty much didn't do that.

Only the authors made the point of telling us that nothing had changed with our group, other than a stray marriage and kid and some creaking bones.  Even while in Freehold is pointed out that Bobbie is used to adjusting to going off script.  She can read Holden so well, they've been doing it so long, blah blah blah.  It's why alternative POVs would have improved things in the book.  I assume the authors were too lazy to bother. 

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45 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Only the authors made the point of telling us that nothing had changed with our group, other than a stray marriage and kid and some creaking bones.  Even while in Freehold is pointed out that Bobbie is used to adjusting to going off script.  She can read Holden so well, they've been doing it so long, blah blah blah.  It's why alternative POVs would have improved things in the book.  I assume the authors were too lazy to bother. 

The previous books focused on the missions that went wonky, but there were plenty of indications that there were previous missions that all went fine.  The books cover the exceptions, not the rule.

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