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MinDonner

Barbarian snark DOOMSDAY WARRIOR: American Glory!

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The neutron bomb dropped by Colonel Killov's Air Force had nearly decimated the subterranean world, destroying almost a third of its facilities.

So it destroyed almost a third and nearly a tenth at the same time? Is there some kind of quantum superposition of states going on here?

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AND a brand new set of racial stereotypes!

*Crosses fingers and toes*

Please!!!!!!!

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:( I feel like I'm putting a lump of coal in your stocking now. But! maybe the disappointment will be less than total? I haven't looked too closely at how this particular group* has been handled, but there are definitely strong British Empire connections. And if not, there's still like another 20 books in the series or something...

*guesses? They won't show up for a few chapters yet but feel free to speculate away...

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Gurkhas? Can we have Gurkhas?

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Gurkhas seem to specialised for our authors those who typed this stuff originally. How about Mounties? At least they won't need to have their camels parachuted in by the Australian Air Force.

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Gurkhas seems like a great guess, if we think that Stacey has heard of them. My guess would be no.

My first thought was just a generic subcontinental Indians. Perhaps it will be like a Temple of Doom redux, but with more sexual exploitation?

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Gurkhas is close, and along the right sort of lines, but not quite there yet...

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Bengal lancers?

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Much closer... but now slightly too specific! It is, in fact, the Royal Sikh Army. But that is still about half a book away...

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The Royal Sikh Army? The people that we (eventually) beat and conquered in the anglo-sikh wars. Are these guys time travellers from the 1840s? No doubt their muskets will prove to be the ultimate weapon that can bring down enemy helicopters and planes.

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I guessed Sikh correctly! Do I get a cookie? ;)

Will their secret attack have something to do with ballistic turbans, I wonder?

Thank you Min, for sacrificing your sanity for us.

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Funnily enough, that would be quite a cool technique for a better writer to use. Scratch that abysmal "picture this..." passage, and instead try to describe this beautiful field using the occasional odd, visceral, animal imagery, just so the reader feels slightly uncomfortable but isn't quite sure why, before rolling out the Surprise Deadliness... it might actually work. But here it's pretty clear that Stacy is genuinely trying to make it sound lovely, despite having spoilered us a page or two earlier. :dunno:

Sort of reminds me of the opening scene of Blue Velvet. Which, of course, is a good movie, and as such should not be mentioned in this thread.

*sneaks away*

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The neutron bomb dropped by Colonel Killov's Air Force had nearly decimated the subterranean world, destroying almost a third of its facilities.

Isn't the point of a neutron bomb to kill people without damaging facilities? Or if not the point, certainly what they are most known for.

Keep in mind that 90% of my neutron bomb knowledge comes from the Dead Kennedys song "Kill the Poor" so I may not be totally up to speed here.

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In a world where a flare-gun can take out a dinosaur, anything is possible. :D And I suspect knowledge gleaned from early 80s punk songs is still more research than the actual author did...

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So, our heroes trek back through the unlikely geography of Century City, which has apparently been really well repaired since the nuclear strike of a few weeks ago. Most of the rubble has been dumped into the "bottomless pit" north of the city, emergency lights have been strung up, and rifle production has resumed, ready to be shipped out to all the towns of America (except, presumably, the ones full of cannibals or panther-women or anachronistic diners or mutant Technicians. Say, I wonder what has happened to all that super black-beam weaponry that was the main hope of our Freefighters against the Commies? Don't tell me that this was just a one-off plot point that has been completely forgotten?!)

All these "other towns" get plenty of mention in passing, and I think it's kind of a shame that Stacy never has us actually, ya know, go there. There's just always this totally jarring contrast between what we hear about the Slow Rebuilding Of America - the national softball league, the Pony Express, all those recently-nuked delegates at the Presidential elections in their stereotypical regional outfits - and yet every time Rockson steps outside, it's like this uncharted wilderness with surprises around every corner. No-one knows where Fort Svetlanya is! No-one had even heard of the Silver Bullet Express until they stumbled across it! Oh whoops, here's a hundred-mile wide deadly meadow! You'd think on at least one of their softball away games, someone would have thought to draw a map.

Well, there's a moment of consistency here, in that the decontamination chambers are still right in the middle of the city, after our guys have already passed through a bunch of busy streets and handed their horses over to the stableboys. Purple lights, sound of a gong, the usual stuff, then some new clothes are delivered by conveyor belt. Good to see they have their post-nuke repair priorities right.

Now who is waiting outside? It's Rath! Remember him? He's the guy whose job it is to quote inconvenient regulations and try to put the bureaucratic brakes on Rock's manly adventures! Guess what he's about to do now?

"Let's-" he began.

"Not right now," the Doomsday Warrior said, brushing past the man. "I'm just not in the mood."

"It's regulations, Rock. You know that. All incoming forces shall receive an initial debriefing of at least basic successes and failures of their missions. Military Manual - Section 4, Para -"

Yes, cos I don't think the petty bureaucracy was laid on quite thickly enough yet. And bear in mind that Rock is the supreme military commander of the city, and his best effort at delaying the debriefing is to say "I'm not in the mood". :lol: Anyway, he cuts Rath off mid-quote and drawls a world-weary drawl about how he's been shot and stabbed and blown up and bitten and ACTUALLY shouldn't you be worried about the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES who I RESCUED? Eh?

Rath is suitably chastened, but gets one last jab in by inviting Rock to an "emergency" meeting about the KGB's takeover of all the Red Army bases, to be held in three hours, so you can't sleep for too long! And then our hero finally heads off to take a nap.

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Let's finish off this chapter then. Quick description of Rock's bedroom, which is of course super manly - ie. hardly any furniture, just the basics and a few "objects of beauty" he'd found on his travels. The highlight of these is a set of yard-long horns, which "glowed a dim but piercing red, almost into the infrared spectrum". Not even Shecter knows why! And Rock doesn't care! Explanations are for eggheads!

At last, he strips off and... meditates? Kneeling cross-legged(?), he cups his hands in a mudra and lets his very cells relax. Apparently he has not had even one second to relax since he set off to hunt for the President, which is patently not true as he did plenty of relaxing on the train, being waited on by slave labour.

Anyway, he soon slips into pure meditation, and the text switches to italics, cos that's what meditation is like.

Rockson rose wingless, soaring into the night sky like a satellite of pure consciousness. Higher, into clouds and ethers, into magnetic rays. He glided along the gravity patterns that shot out and up from the poles of the earth, letting their pure energy push him along like a speck of dust in a tornado.

Yeah, he's off to visit the Glowers with his mind. And surprise! They warn him of Terrible Danger. Unfortunately they now can't come and Deus Ex the Freefighters out of the next crisis, cos... they just can't, OK? But watch out for Killov! He (still) wants to destroy the planet! Rock has a vision of the earth blowing up "like a rotten bag whose garbage has dropped out the bottom". And chunks of Earth flying off to "every corner of the universe...like wheels in the infinite night". Not even an asteroid belt remained! Blah, blah, there's a bottomless burning darkness, and then Rock's suspended consciousness rushes back into his body and he goes to sleep.

Who'd have thought that taking a nap was such a production?!

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Let's finish off this chapter then. Quick description of Rock's bedroom, which is of course super manly - ie. hardly any furniture, just the basics and a few "objects of beauty" he'd found on his travels. The highlight of these is a set of yard-long horns, which "glowed a dim but piercing red, almost into the infrared spectrum". Not even Shecter knows why! And Rock doesn't care! Explanations are for eggheads!

Merica! Fuck yea!

Apparently he has not had even one second to relax since he set off to hunt for the President, which is patently not true as he did plenty of relaxing on the train, being waited on by slave labour.

He can't relax when there are black men around. :leaving:

And chunks of Earth flying off to "every corner of the universe...like wheels in the infinite night".

Doesn't sound like Rock has a real firm grasp on the concept of gravity.

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Pfft, gravity's that thing that shoots from the poles. You float on it when meditating. Everyone knows that!

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Chapter Three. Ugh, it's Killov. He's thin, he... wait, what?

"My medicines, my goddamned medicines. Where are they?"

...he has run out of drugs!!! My god, after 8 books, at last the guy is doing something very slightly different from usual! In this case, he is ripping apart various items of furniture with his "skinny pale arms", hunting for his special manganese-plated suitcase in which he transports his multifarious narcotics. The baggage handlers appear to have lost it somewhere between DC and Fort Minsk - no mention is made of the fact that the entire military HQ got blown up, Killov included, it's all the fault of the transportation guys. Just can't get the staff.

Unfortunately, this minor departure from the norm gets old extremely quickly, as Killov rants and raves about the TERRIBLE TORTURES he will inflict once he finds the guilty party, and about how much he REALLY LOVES DRUGS and how he misses them so, for the next three sodding pages. There's some dreadful withdrawal symptoms including "thick yellow sputum" and him feeling like an amoeba. At long fucking last his doctor turns up with some pills and he starts feeling better again.

The doctor, being an eeevil commie, is naturally a dubious-looking fellow - he's "obese, with jowls pushing out around his stiff collar and hanging down like red , swollen turkey wattles". It's almost not even worth pointing out how lazy it is to always (always!) show your bad guys as having some kind of physical imperfection, but this is all just so egregious that it jumps off the page by itself. It's about as subtle as those WW1 propaganda postcards about the Terrible Hun, which makes me sad for humanity.

Aaand another fucking page of Killov feeling better now he has drugs. That's literally five pages now of clumsily rubbing in the fact that our least-favourite not-really-colonel is a drug addict. WE KNOW.

Oh, no, and then the next page is him demanding to know which of his officers handled the baggage transfer. It's Kraskow. Poor Kraskow. Next page, Killov harangues Kraskow, interspersed with mentions of how much he's enjoying being on drugs again. Page after that, more of the same; and now Kraskow is tied to a chair with some belts by the other officers. The effects of the drugs in Killov's bloodstream is getting even more airtime than what he's actually doing here.

Finally, on the tenth page of the chapter, Killov starts actually torturing the guy. It takes a whole page to chop his hand off (and describe in anatomically dubious detail the various veins and bits of bone that are thereby exposed), then he does some amateur electronic surgery on a lamp cable and uses it to electrocute the inept baggage handler (another page and a half, including boiling eyeballs and an exploding brain). And one more page about how horrified all the other officers were. And the chapter is over.

FFS. :bang:

What the bloody shit was even the point of that? I mean seriously? Over 5% of the book's entire pagecount on THAT? It advanced the story not one iota, it showed us not a thing about Killov's character that we hadn't already been told a zillion times in almost exactly the same words, it provided no backstory beyond further confirmation that all commies are a) evil b ) ugly and c) incompetent... I despair.

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