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Everything posted by mormont

  1. I think the key to Tanaka and Teresa is the climactic scene with Duarte. Recall that Teresa is the first to try to physically separate him from the station, but Tanaka is the one who actually does it. Teresa and Tanaka are there to contrast one another. Teresa is Duarte's actual daughter, his chosen heir, the one person who (until now) he's had a human connection to, but she rejects his ideology, rejects the protomolecule and the destiny he sets out for her, runs away and spends the book making human connections with James and the crew. Tanaka is Duarte's metaphorical daughter, someone who was with him from the beginning and bought into his fascist ideology, and who spends the book rejecting human connections. Tanaka only cares about her independence and views human interactions through a lens of power dynamics (including that final confrontation), while Teresa has genuine compassion for her father. That's why Tanaka can succeed at severing Duarte's connection to the station (and thus to the rest of humanity) while Teresa cannot. But the cost to Tanaka of asserting her independence is her life. That's a theme we see throughout the book - the benefits of human connections weighed against the importance of being an individual. It's humanity's individualism (contrasted with the collectivity of the protomolecule builders) that saves them from the Goths long enough for that scene to even take place. And it's Holden's individual decision and self-sacrifice that saves humanity in the end as well, and that's even called out as ironic in the text, given his professed beliefs. Anyway, to get to that we have to spend a bit of time with both characters and while I agree the school diversion could have been cut or at least replaced with something else, I think it worked OK for me. It's really setting up that later conflict: Teresa is saved in the school scene because of her connections to the crew, while Tanaka fails because she doesn't work with her team, she just tells them what to do.
  2. I do love that the show is going out without compromising. This is the story, we're not going to cut it to fit the time we have left, we're going to tell it the way we think it should be told and if we run out of episodes, well, we can try for more.
  3. If Kit and family only show up to fulfil the purpose they have in the story, they don't fulfil the purpose they have in the story, because we don't know them and have no reason to care. They become obvious story levers instead of characters. Those earlier chapters with them set the scene. There's a bunch of stuff in there about how Bakari has personality (at least in the eyes of his father) despite being very young, and about the family dynamics that let us care about their fate. I don't feel the first part of the book drags so I don't see a problem to solve, but if I did, this wouldn't be the solution. ps recalling those early scenes, I have to say poor Giselle. I guess she wouldn't exactly have been dropping by Nieuwestadt weekly but as things turned out, she never got to see Kit or Bakari again. But somehow Alex wound up getting to spend the rest of his life with them. And it was all because of Alex's best friend in the world. I feel like Giselle gets a seat at the high table at the We Hate James Holden Club meetings, which I believe are very well attended.
  4. I'm not sure you really understand the purpose of Kit's chapters if you think it could have been accomplished with those two chapters.
  5. Just finished this, got it for Christmas! Not much to say about the wider scope stuff with the Romans and Goths other than that I found it a satisfying conclusion. I wondered how the guys would pull that off but they did it really well. On Kit's chapters, I think folks have missed the role those are playing in the narrative. They're not there to provide an explanation of why Alex leaves at the end, that's largely ancillary. They're there to provide an emotional grounding to the big conflict between Duarte and the gang. Kit and his family are the argument against Duarte: characters whose biggest concerns are making a career choice and thinking about how that will impact on their family and their child's health and whether the baby is keeping the neighbours awake. That they happen to be related to one of the main characters provides an emotional resonance that would otherwise be hard to achieve. At the same time, they're not familiar characters like Prax or Filip who have been part of the bigger picture, so they're more representative of the ordinary humanity that Duarte is going to remove. (One of the biggest moments for me in the book is when the Preiss goes Dutchman and for a minute I was thinking they were really going to kill off Alex's son, daughter-in-law and grandchild and have him be partly, unknowingly responsible for that and wow, that would have been a major emotional move. Even as it is, Alex must have found out about that afterwards and that would have given him a few sleepless nights...)
  6. Both Ty and Daniel have very strong connections with GRRM personally and the fan community here in general.
  7. At this stage having Harris on screen more is about the only thing that could get me to watch again, so this is not a good indicator.
  8. Hate to disagree, but I didn't see any significant improvement here. There wasn't enough story for an hour even with two parts. Heck, there wasn't enough story for half an hour. It's wallpaper at this point: you can safely be checking Twitter and not miss anything. The entire episode summary would take maybe six lines. But worse, we're three episodes in and I don't know what story it is Goyer wants to tell here. He's barely scraped Asimov's story and some things he's doing suggest he's going to tell a very different version of that. Well, fine. But could you get on with telling it? ETA - I kept thinking, if I was a viewer with no background with the books who didn't know what Foundation was about, would I now, three hours in, have any idea what Foundation is about? Unfortunately I'm not sure I would have more than a vague notion.
  9. Two episodes in and while this looks good and has some great actors in it, I'm feeling that my original scepticism was the right reaction. I'll give it one more episode but so far, it's as leaden and lifeless as I feared. Everyone's very intense, all the time: Seldon can't so much as pick up the laundry without speechifying. Also, it's not a particularly good idea to drop a recurring character for the whole of your second episode. And that scene with Raych and Seldon at the dinner table seemed like it was taken from a whole different series that just happened to feature the same two actors. Didn't relate to the two characters we've been shown till then. Can anyone tell me in what way episode 2 furthered the plot? I'm going to stop now because I'm literally making myself mad.
  10. Yeah but that doesn't work quite the same way. It's a good dumb joke, but just a dumb joke. To get to the phrase 'we're definitely dwarfs' takes more setup work than the obscure play on words really deserves, and that's what makes it funny, to me anyway.
  11. I'd rate Soul Music as slightly above Lords and Ladies myself, but the latter never really grabbed me. Soul Music does contain one of my favourite Pratchett jokes in 'We're Definitely Dwarfs', as I do adore the genre of totally-disproportionate-amounts-of-setup-leading-to-a-fairly-obscure-pun.
  12. Doesn't look like a great move to me. To replicate Disney+, Amazon need more than just a grab bag of content, however many gems it contains.
  13. I mean, I am not male-attracted but even so it's undeniable. Ben Barnes is a handsome man, and Archie Renaux, Julian Kostov, Kit Young, these are all attractive people. It's fine though. I have Amita Suman to look at.
  14. I mean, yes, it's a trope, and like everyone some tropes annoy me and some I am fine with.
  15. I mean, that's fair. He's not a generic wish-fulfilment figure. Let's put aside the physical disability, because the show does take pains (excuse me) to show that and I know Leigh comes at that from the POV of someone with a disability. The emotional side of things, though, yeah, you do see that a lot in author insert characters in fanfic or RPGs. As I said above, it's the idea that the character's social ineptitude and sadness is down to how nobody understands them, except for the object of their (hidden) affections who can see past their facade to the truth of the sensitive soul underneath. The wish fulfilment here is obvious: it's not that I have no social skills, it's everyone else who is too insensitive to realise my true awesomeness! Shit, I was the same myself when I was fifteen. So I think it's one of those things where I roll my eyes a little bit, but at the same time, it's not for me. That doesn't make it bad. It appeals to other folks, and that's fine.
  16. Yeah. It's a bit, basically: you're meant to assume the goat is going to be sacrificed or thrown to the Volcra but it's actually just to keep the passengers from freaking out. I agree on Nina and Matthias. I assumed that was fleshed out for contractual reasons - to have the actors available they needed to give them more to do. I really liked Mal: Archie Renaux helped a great deal though. He sold the character well. I didn't like Kaz, but that's a holdover from the books and not the fault of Freddy Carter. Kaz is just too reminiscent of a character type I've run across in RPGs and fanfic too much. You know, the troubled brooding antihero who can't relate to people, but who the gorgeous girl is secretly in love with, and who is soooooo smart that he can go toe-to-toe with the arch-villain using nothing but his brains. A Gary Stu type.
  17. Biting the heads off Jelly Babies is like 90% of their appeal.
  18. Ormond: yeah, among the WSFS community there have been many people saying the same thing. The trouble is getting them to agree on a change. It took a lot of work just to get the Lodestar Award added to the Hugos. Literally years. To amend the Best Related category would be at least as much work and first you have to find people who care enough to do that work.
  19. It's not so odd when one recalls that the WSFS is a society of nerds and we nerds love a loophole. 'Hey, technically you could nominate almost anything in this category... hmm...'
  20. This is a good illustration of an important thing to remember about parenting - kids at every age are exposed to and influenced by stuff you don't know about and can't control. Your job as a parent is to equip them to respond to those things. For that situation, I'd be explaining calmly that that is not an OK word to use: it didn't upset you but it could be hurtful to someone else, so please don't use it. Don't quiz her about where she heard it, as she might not actually remember and in many ways it doesn't matter anyway. What matters is that she knows not to say it.
  21. Hard to imagine or not, that did happen in the letter columns of various magazines I was reading at the time. (Ah, letter columns... fandom of three decades past.)
  22. Opinions vary. I love The Colour of Magic, and read it when it came out - I had to put the book down I was laughing so hard - but it is true that it's not representative of what the series becomes, nor of Pratchett's best qualities as a writer. It's a more-or-less straight satire of what were (then) the most famous examples of fantasy tropes. If you've never read Fritz Lieber or Anne McAffrey, for example, I can see it might not land. But the problem is that, as Wert's review notes, book 2 (The Light Fantastic) is on the one hand a different kind of novel, more like how the series will develop, but at the same time a straight sequel to The Colour of Magic plot-wise and character-wise. So it's not a great starting place either. Equal Rites (book 3) is arguably a decent starting point but not the strongest of the early books, Mort (book 4) is fine but I think works better if you're already familiar with the Discworld's version of Death, and Sourcery (book 5) is back to Rincewind stuff so is also a poor starting point IMO. Which is why I'd normally recommend Wyrd Sisters (book 6). Technically Granny Weatherwax has appeared before in Equal Rites but you don't really need to have read that, as the core stuff about her really only gets developed here. All the other characters are new. The book is a parody like The Colour of Magic, but of MacBeth, which is culturally significant enough that you'll get the gags without needing to have read it. By virtue of being a parody of only one thing, it has a stronger through line than The Colour Of Magic's scattershot approach, and the story and characters independent of the parody elements are much stronger than in The Colour of Magic. You'll care more about them. But it's still early enough in the series that you won't be lost by references to earlier books and can see Pratchett still developing as a writer. So all in all, that would be my starting suggestion.
  23. And also Wolverine. Why? Doing Laura as Wolverine would be a solid idea, at least as exciting as using Miles as Spider-Man in 'Into The Spider-Verse'.
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