Discussing the Hugo Nominations for Novel

6 views
Skip to first unread message

Richard Horton

unread,
Apr 21, 2003, 11:16:16 PM4/21/03
to
Someone in rec.arts.sf.fandom asked if there would be detailed
discussions of the Hugo nominees. I gathered he was mildly miffed at
the (negative) attention given to the John Flynn story that was
temporarily a short story nominee, and wondered why people weren't
picking apart the other stories as enthusiastically. But maybe I
misinterpreted his position. At any rate, discussion of the stories
seems a good idea, and of course some has already been going on. But
it occurred to me that I have one way or the other review a great many
of the stories this year, so why not start a thread with pointers to
what I wrote about them?

>NOVEL:
>Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick (Eos)

My review is at
<URL:http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton/bones.htm>

My favorite novel of 2002. Time travel and dinosaurs, but it's mostly
about the human urge to do science, and it's achingly melancholy.

>Hominids, Robert J. Sawyer (Analog Jan-Apr 2002; Tor)

My review is at
<URL:http://www.locusmag.com/2002/Reviews/Horton06_Serials.html>

Silly but at times interesting Neanderthal social structure. Typical
Sawyer characterization (i.e. not very good). Idiot plot. The
weakest of the nominees I have read.

>Kiln People, David Brin (Tor)

I haven't read this.

>The Scar, China Miéville (Macmillan; Del Rey)

from my SFF-Net "booklog":

The Scar is China Mieville's third novel. His second, Perdido Street
Station, was a major success, garnering him a Hugo nomination as well
as plenty of critical acclaim and, unless I miss my guess, healthy
sales. This new novel is set in the same world as Perdido Street
Station, Bas Lag, and as such fits loosely into that vague subgenre
sometimes called "Science Fantasy". That novel was set in the huge,
corrupt, city of New Crobuzon. This novel opens with mysterious doings
in the ocean, and then we meet the noted linguist Bellis Coldwine, who
is fleeing New Crobuzon to the colony city of Nova Esperancia. A
tenuous linkage to the events of Perdido Street Station is provided by
Bellis's reasons for leaving: she was a former lover of the hero of
Perdido Street Station, and she fears being rounded up as a potential
witness after the rather catastrophic happenings in that book.

The ship carrying Bellis Coldwine (as well as ocean biologist Johannes
Tearfly and a group of Remade prisoners including a man named Tanner
Sack) does not get very far, though, before it is overtaken by pirates
from the mysterious floating city Armada. Bellis, Johannes, and the
other passengers and prisoners are taken to Armada, where they are
informed they will live the rest of their lives. They cannot leave the
floating city, but they will otherwise be allowed full citizenship.
Tanner Sack and Johannes accept fairly eagerly, but Bellis is
desperate to have a chance to return to her beloved home city. Soon
she falls into league with the mysterious Silas Fennec, a spy from New
Crobuzon who is as desperate as she to return home, in his case
because he has information of a coming attack on their city. It
becomes clear that the leaders of Armada are engaged in a mysterious
project, and Bellis becomes a key figure when she finds a crucial book
in a language that she is a leading expert in. She learns that Armada
is planning to harness a huge sea creature called an avanc, and to
have the avanc tow the floating city to the dangerous rift in reality
called the Scar, where it might be possible to do "Probability
Mining". More importantly to her and Fennec, her new influence gives
her the chance to get a message Fennec has prepared back to New
Crobuzon.

The story takes further twists and turns from there -- it's very
intelligently plotted, with the motivations of the characters well
portrayed, and with plot elements that seem weak later revealed, after
a twist or two, to make much more sense. But it's not the plot that is
the key to enjoying the book. The characters are also fascinating.
Besides Bellis and Tanner and Fennec, there are such Armadan figures
as the Lovers, male and female leaders of Armada's strongest "riding",
who scar each other symmetrically during their S&Mish lovemaking;
Uther Doul, the dour and enigmatic bodyguard with a sword forged by
the creatures who made the Scar, a sword that flickers through
multiple possible outcomes, possible paths, at once; and the Brucolac,
a vampir, and a fairly conventional one, but still strikingly
portrayed. As in Perdido Street Station, Mieville invents fascinating
part-human species, hybrids of humans and other forms, in this book
most strikingly the anophelii, mosquito men, and, more scarily and
affectingly, mosquito women. In the end it is Mieville's fervent,
sometimes overheated, imagination, that drives the book. His
descriptions of cruel and dirty places, and odd creatures, are endless
intriguing. Yes, he sometimes luxuriates overmuch in grotesquerie, but
I suspect any application of discipline to his imagination would lose
us more neat visions than we might gain by avoiding the occasional
silliness or vulgarness. The book is also a bit too long -- some of
this is the author's delight in showing us this or that cool gross
notion he has had, but also I think his sense of pace is weak. A fair
number of scenes, I think, could readily have been excised or
shortened. (Such as most of the grindylow "interludes".) The other
weakness is one fairly common in certain fantasy: when so many weird
magical things are allowed, on occasion it seems that things happen,
or characters gain powers, for reasons of the plot only. But though
the book is a bit overlong, it remains compelling reading, and though
the magical happenings aren't always fully consistent, they really
don't strain suspension of disbelief too much: on the whole, this is
another outstanding effort from Mieville. I'd rank it about even with
Perdido Street Station, and perhaps slightly better on the grounds
that the plot really is worked out quite well, with plenty of
surprises and an honest, satisfying, resolution.


>The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam)

My review is at <URL:http://www.sfsite.com/06b/yr130.htm>.

Alternate history set in a world where the Black Plague nearly wiped
out Europe. Features several recurring "characters" who are
reincarnated, sort of, and keep running into each other over
centuries. I liked most of the book, didn't like the sections in the
"bardo", where the characters would discuss things while they were
dead. Wasn't convinced by the authorial fiat that allowed certain
advances to roughly parallel those of real history. Still, mostly
fascinating stuff.

My ballot: Bones, The Scar, YoRaS, No Award. (Pending reading Kiln
People.)


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Ian Montgomerie

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 1:31:39 AM4/22/03
to

Hm. Based on all the buzz on this group I recently started reading
Perdido Street Station. I'd been looking for good nontraditional
fantasy, and have found some good recommendations (discovered I love
Terry Pratchett's stuff for example). I'm not terribly fond of it.
Not just that it's fairly long and slow (due mainly to lots and lots
of redundant descriptions, and lots of "character building" scenes
with only dribs and drabs of plot movement in them).

It seems kind of like reading someone else's dream. Lots of pretty
imagery but little coherence and depth. The setting, for example, is
certainly unusual - not a lot of fantasy features exuberantly dirty
steampunk settings filled with loads of biomechanical and
cross-species hybrids. But there's so much crap thrown in
(figuratively and literally) that very little gets any depth. For
example, the world is driven by hybrids of technology and magic, but
we never get a clear idea of the capabilities of either. On the one
hand the society seems broadly based on 19th century Britain, on the
other hand there are humanoid robots doing odd jobs. With that good
ol' steampunk standby, the mechanical computer that can outperform
21st century computers by a LONG way. And good grief, SAVE me from
authors who write about computers without knowing the difference
between a virus and a bug. (And save me from the umpteenth repetition
of "computer spontaneously becomes self-aware as a result of minor
glitch").

A central aspect of the story revolves around how to use magic to fly,
but the reader gets very little idea of the general capabilities of
magic except through expository brainstorming by one of the main
characters. We only know that this character's task is hard because
he says so in the magical equivalent of technobabble. Maybe people
who read fantasy have different expectations, but I have little
patience for technobabble even when it's linked to actual science, as
opposed to being linked to a barely described magic system determined
by authorial fiat.

New Crobuzon is mostly a kaleidoscope of places, races, and gadgets
which are superficially "neat" but would need much more development
and exposure to be really interesting. Even weird things that do get
a lot of detail, such as the beetle-headed Khepri women (one of whom
is a main character), don't seem quite satisfactory to me. The idea
was cute, if biologically ridiculous - a species where the females
look like women with beetles for heads, and the males are just plain
beetles. There is some development of their society in an alien
direction - they make organic sculptures, they have lots of lesbian
sex, males are barely a part of their culture, they have compound eyes
so it's hard for them to read. But one of the main characters, who is
a Khepri, basically comes across psychologically speaking just like a
human, and her society/social experiences are extremely hard to
distinguish from those of a human who grew up in a close-knit, poor
minority ghetto and then ran away to become an artist.

New Crobuzon reminds a lot of people of London. This part is pretty
clear, but it also reminds me greatly of the D&D "Sigil" setting. I
don't play D&D but one of my favorite computer games used that
setting. Basically a giant, thoroughly dirty/chaotic metropolis, with
a lot of hybrids, immigrant populations, even the odd steampunkish
bits. A place filled with bizarre and "random attempts at coolness"
elements (although Sigil has much more of an excuse, being a unique
transportation hub). It's not great praise to the depth of something
that it reminds me of a D&D setting.

And, while I haven't finished the book, there are some _serious_
coincidences used to move the plot forward so far. Actually, I think
the plot overall starts very slowly and isn't all that strong. But
I'm thinking of things such as, the important caterpillar that not
only comes randomly into the protagonist's hands, but even after that
would have died if it weren't for the very unlikely and thoroughly
coincidental event of a drug dealer happening to get very close to it.
There are others, which I'll refrain from in case of spoilers. But I
generally have not been impressed with the unfolding of the plot.

David Bilek

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 2:08:49 AM4/22/03
to
Ian Montgomerie <i...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote:
>
>New Crobuzon reminds a lot of people of London. This part is pretty
>clear, but it also reminds me greatly of the D&D "Sigil" setting. I
>don't play D&D but one of my favorite computer games used that
>setting.

Torment?

Best. RPG. Ever.

>Basically a giant, thoroughly dirty/chaotic metropolis, with
>a lot of hybrids, immigrant populations, even the odd steampunkish
>bits. A place filled with bizarre and "random attempts at coolness"
>elements (although Sigil has much more of an excuse, being a unique
>transportation hub). It's not great praise to the depth of something
>that it reminds me of a D&D setting.
>

I disagree rather strenuously with this bit, though.

-David

Christopher Adams

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 2:17:15 AM4/22/03
to
>> New Crobuzon reminds a lot of people of London. This part is pretty
>> clear, but it also reminds me greatly of the D&D "Sigil" setting. I
>> don't play D&D but one of my favorite computer games used that
>> setting.
>
> Torment?
>
> Best. RPG. Ever.

SUBSCIRBE.

It's a real shame that Third Edition D&D doesn't include Planescape properly.
It's a fantastic setting for D&D and for a CRPG like Torment.

No sequel to Torment either! Gah! On the other hand, Neverwinter Nights' robust
toolset means that there are folks out there writing a Planescape conversion . .
.

--
Christopher Adams
SUTEKH Dysfunctions Officer 2003
Remove obvious spamblock to e-mail me.

What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold?
One's a sick duck . . . I can't remember how it ends,
but your mother's a whore.
- Sean Connery, SNL Celebrity Jeopardy

Second World War - Russian Front, not a good idea.
Hitler never played Risk when he was a kid . . .
- Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill


Luna

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 2:40:59 AM4/22/03
to
In article <m5g9avcimub9b73sb...@4ax.com>,
Ian Montgomerie <i...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote:

I'm towards the end of this book myself, and I totally agree with
everything you said. I was trying to articulate my dissapointment with
this book in another thread, but you just wrote everything I was thinking,
but in a much clearer way than I could. From the beginning I was annoyed
by the scenery descriptions, but I kept thinking "Ok, he's just setting the
scene. The story will start any minute now." But, no, actually, the
descriptions just keep going and going, getting even more wordy, and it
slows down the pace a lot. Terry Pratchett is a good example of someone
who can give you a very clear sense of place, without bogging you down.
Ankh-Morpork and Lancre feel very familiar and known to me, but Pratchett
doesn't spend pages at a time describing them to the exclusion of the plot.

Also, yes, it is really cheap when an author gives his characters a problem
to solve, but doesn't give the reader the rules. It's like having a
character in the crux of a crises reach into his bag and say "Oh, yes! I
have here this magic machine which will defeat the monster but which I
haven't mentioned up until now!" That's how I feel about Mieville's
science and magic in a broader sense.

--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna

In the beginning, there was nothing. Then it exploded.

Niall McAuley

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 11:03:25 AM4/22/03
to
"Richard Horton" <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote in message news:4u2pa.446$oU1...@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
[The Scar]

> I'd rank it about even with
> Perdido Street Station, and perhaps slightly better on the grounds
> that the plot really is worked out quite well, with plenty of
> surprises and an honest, satisfying, resolution.

I think it is stronger than Perdido Street Station, as the balance of
plot to colour is better: PSS started off too high on colour and too
low on plot.

The viewpoint control is better too, although Mieville still jerks about
with the POV when there is some cool (or really gross) scene he just can't
leave out.

Another tic which annoyed me in PSS was the repeated scene where everyone
freezes in horror just long enough for some redshirt to get slimed: I didn't
notice this at all in _The Scar_.
--
Niall [real address ends in se, not es.invalid]

Ian Montgomerie

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 1:43:05 PM4/22/03
to
Luna <luna...@NOSPAMmindspring.com> wrote in message news:<lunachick-CBD99...@news.mindspring.com>...

As I've got further I've gotten more annoyed. I still think the
descriptions are overdone and the setting has more superficial
coolness than actual depth, but that's not enough to actually make
Perdido Street Station a BAD book, in my opinion. It just means I
don't see why some people seem to think it's so incredible. But as
the plot finally got going, I've found that part to be bad indeed.
Bad enough that I'm continuing to read mostly out of morbid curiosity
about where this train wreck is going.

There's not really an actual plot, you see. There's just one of the
most amazing sequences of coincidences that I have ever encountered in
literature. When the book starts out, there are a bunch of diverse
threads to the story that don't seem to be going much of anywhere.
You wait to see how the author will neatly tie them together by the
climax, as authors typically do. But then they just spontaneously
impact each other as a series of incredible coincidences, and as if
that's not enough, various deux ex machinae pop out of the woodwork to
help move things alone.


** SPOILERS FOR PSS **


Coincidence #1: Isaac gets drawn into the main plot only because, by
coincidence, he happens to be doing research on flying creatures and
the McGuffin gets diverted to him because of it.

Coincidence #2: Isaac's girlfriend Lin just happens to be hired by a
criminal involved in the main plot, because he happens to have a
liking for her particular artwork.

Coincidence #3: The main plot only happens at all because Isaac, after
coincidentally receiving the McGuffin, figures out how to feed it. He
only figures out how to feed it because a drug dealer more or less
randomly shows up on his doorstep and ends up getting close to the
McGuffin. (The drug dealer was looking for his girlfriend, but the
whole situation was still a big coincidence).

Coincidence #4: Isaac and friends only manage to get on the McGuffin's
trail because one of his friends happened to work for someone who was
contacted by an informant. Via a complicated sequence of happenstance
and magic, that friend happened to mention the situation at the right
time, resulting in two and two being put together.

Coincidence #5: When Isaac and co go to track down the informant, they
arrive in about the same ten minute window of time that the McGuffin
does, letting them not only get the information, but also see how the
informant is immediately killed. This sort of timing convenience
happens a lot in fiction, but it still adds to all the other
coincidences in PSS. If the McGuffin had wandered by ten minutes
earlier (it has after all had days in which to find the informant),
the protagonists would have missed their major clue and the plot would
collapse. If it had arrived at the same time but the protagonists
hadn't happened to be facing away from it and towards a mirror, they'd
probably be dead. If it had arrived later, the plot might have moved
forward but missing a crucial dramatic "establish the McGuffin's power
and presence to the protagonists" sequence.

Coincidence #6: It turns out that the chief baddy formerly in charge
of the McGuffin happens to be Isaac's old teacher and sometime
employer. So when they track him down to get an infodump, coincidence
is used to provide more "personal impact" to the scene than would be
present with a random baddy.

Coincidence #7: This one's a real howler, and when I saw it was when
the book started to enter serious train wreck territory. One of
Isaac's friends betrays him (pretty much out of nowhere - things like
that do happen out of nowhere, but in PSS EVERYTHING happens out of
nowhere). But he finds out about the betrayal... because his cleaning
robot happened to spontaneously develop self-awareness just in time to
warn him. I noticed pretty quickly that it was mentioned of the
McGuffins that very nonhuman minds can be immune to their effects. If
the cleaning robot's spontaneous development of sentience turns out to
make it a timely weapon against the McGuffin, I will be Very Annoyed.

Deus Ex Machina #1: When the baddies get peeved about the McGuffin's
escape, they summon an extremely unpredictable supernatural being.
This being, so alien and unpredictable that it's behavior cannot
really be given explanation, promptly saves our heroes from certain
capture at a critical moment.


And this was just in about the first 400 pages. I expect to find the
odd further coincidence or deus ex machina in the rest of the book.

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 1:53:18 PM4/22/03
to

"Ian Montgomerie" <i...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote in message
news:6462914d.03042...@posting.google.com...
>
> [Long list of unlikely conicidences in _Perdido Street Station_]

> And this was just in about the first 400 pages.

I don't think the problem of bloat in SF can be expressed any better than
that.


Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 2:12:19 PM4/22/03
to

You think it would be a better novel if Mieville had managed to fit
that same series of coincidences into a taut, lean 150 pages?

_The Scar_ has a much cleaner plot structure, for what it's worth.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
* Make your vote count. Get your vote counted.

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 6:28:20 PM4/22/03
to

"Andrew Plotkin" <erky...@eblong.com> wrote in message
news:b840m3$pn7$3...@reader1.panix.com...

> Here, Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > "Ian Montgomerie" <i...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote in message
> > news:6462914d.03042...@posting.google.com...
> >>
> >> [Long list of unlikely conicidences in _Perdido Street Station_]
> >> And this was just in about the first 400 pages.
>
> > I don't think the problem of bloat in SF can be expressed any better
than
> > that.
>
> You think it would be a better novel if Mieville had managed to fit
> that same series of coincidences into a taut, lean 150 pages?
>

I suspect so, but I really meant the fact that we all understand "just in
about the first 400 pages" to refer to a mere fraction of the book.


David Cowie

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 9:08:55 PM4/22/03
to
On Tue, 22 Apr 2003 03:16:16 +0000, Richard Horton wrote:

>
>>Kiln People, David Brin (Tor)
>
> I haven't read this.
>

I have. In the future, you can copy your personality into a clay "ditto"
or golem, and send it out to do things for you. For example, the ditto
can go to work while you go to have fun, or if you have a lot on, you can
send out many dittos to get it all done. At the end of the day, the
ditto comes home, and its memories are integrated with your own. Or not,
if you choose. Dittos have no rights, and there's nothing to stop you
sending a ditto out to do dangerous things for you. If this fully
sentient copy of you dies, well, so what.
The plot: private investigator Al Morris has several dittos going at one
time (he's a busy man) and Al and the dittos all get mixed up in
someone's plot to extend dittos' life, and to copy memories from ditto
to ditto. Wacky hijinks ensue. If any examination of the morality of the
use and abuse of dittos ensues, I misssed it.
Verdict: fun, but may leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

--
David Cowie david_cowie at lineone dot net

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 9:33:09 PM4/22/03
to

"David Cowie" <see...@lineone.net> wrote in message
news:pan.2003.04.23....@lineone.net...


SoI should have my ditto read it?


Peter D. Tillman

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 10:33:18 PM4/22/03
to
In article <pan.2003.04.23....@lineone.net>,
"David Cowie" <see...@lineone.net> wrote:

> On Tue, 22 Apr 2003 03:16:16 +0000, Richard Horton wrote:
>
> >
> >>Kiln People, David Brin (Tor)

vt (UK) KIL'N PEOPLE
?? -- but a nicer cover (see URL below)

> >
> > I haven't read this.
> >
> I have. In the future, you can copy your personality into a clay "ditto"
> or golem, and send it out to do things for you. For example, the ditto
> can go to work while you go to have fun, or if you have a lot on, you can
> send out many dittos to get it all done. At the end of the day, the
> ditto comes home, and its memories are integrated with your own. Or not,
> if you choose. Dittos have no rights, and there's nothing to stop you
> sending a ditto out to do dangerous things for you. If this fully
> sentient copy of you dies, well, so what.
> The plot: private investigator Al Morris has several dittos going at one
> time (he's a busy man) and Al and the dittos all get mixed up in
> someone's plot to extend dittos' life, and to copy memories from ditto
> to ditto. Wacky hijinks ensue. If any examination of the morality of the
> use and abuse of dittos ensues, I misssed it.
> Verdict: fun, but may leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

I have, too, and liked it a bit more than you did, I think. But you're
right, it's not an analytical novel (which was fine by me). And it's not
in the same league as the Swanwick, imo, but an entertaining,
nicely-done novel. "A-"

Here's the pointer:
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/kilnpeople.htm

"Stylistically and thematically, Brin owes a debt to several
important predecessors. Algis Budrys' Rogue Moon (1960), with its
matter transmitter that duplicates the protagonist over and over,
is an important landmark, as is Damon Knight's A for Anything
(1959). John Varley's Nine Worlds tales, with their reliance on
old-fashioned cloning for serial identity transfer, also figure.
But, surprisingly, the most dominant influence to my ears is A.E.
van Vogt. Kiln People has the same crazed oneiric intensity and
recomplicated plotting, the throwaway mortality and "poor superman"
empathy that marked the best of van Vogt's work."
-- Paul Di Filippo, <www.scifi.com/sfw/issue246/books.html> ,
the best review I saw online.

Cheers -- Pete Tillman
Book Reviews: http://www.silcom.com/~manatee/reviewer.html#tillman
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/cm/member-reviews/-/A3GHSD9VY8XS4Q/
http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/iplus/nonfiction/index.htm#reviews
http://www.sfsite.com/revwho.htm

Peter D. Tillman

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 10:40:58 PM4/22/03
to
In article <4u2pa.446$oU1...@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com>,
Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:

>
> >The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson (Bantam)
>
> My review is at <URL:http://www.sfsite.com/06b/yr130.htm>.
>
> Alternate history set in a world where the Black Plague nearly wiped
> out Europe. Features several recurring "characters" who are
> reincarnated, sort of, and keep running into each other over
> centuries. I liked most of the book, didn't like the sections in the
> "bardo", where the characters would discuss things while they were
> dead. Wasn't convinced by the authorial fiat that allowed certain
> advances to roughly parallel those of real history. Still, mostly
> fascinating stuff.
>

And mine (a metareview) is here:
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/riceandsalt2.htm

I liked it, too:

I recommend The Years of Rice and Salt to your attention, with
the caveat that it has the usual KSR strengths and weaknesses, and
so will alternately thrill and annoy you. At least some of the
annoyances will make you think. This is a very good piece of work
by an author who knows where he's headed, and just how to get
there. Now, if only he had had an editor to blue-pencil those damn
speeches...

> My ballot: Bones, The Scar, YoRaS, No Award. (Pending reading Kiln
> People.)

Mine (hypothetical): Bones, Rice & Salt, Kiln/Kil'n. Havent't read The
Scar, and probably won't, as I didn't finish Perdido St.

David Cowie

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 9:01:03 PM4/24/03
to
On Wed, 23 Apr 2003 01:33:09 +0000, Mike Schilling wrote:

>
> SoI should have my ditto read it?

Yes. And if he says he doesn't like it, don't integrate his memories
with yours.

John M. Gamble

unread,
Apr 26, 2003, 5:40:26 PM4/26/03
to
In article <6462914d.03042...@posting.google.com>,
Ian Montgomerie <i...@ianmontgomerie.com> wrote:

>
>** SPOILERS FOR PSS **

>
>
>

>Coincidence #7: This one's a real howler, and when I saw it was when
>the book started to enter serious train wreck territory. One of
>Isaac's friends betrays him (pretty much out of nowhere - things like
>that do happen out of nowhere, but in PSS EVERYTHING happens out of
>nowhere). But he finds out about the betrayal... because his cleaning
>robot happened to spontaneously develop self-awareness just in time to
>warn him. I noticed pretty quickly that it was mentioned of the
>McGuffins that very nonhuman minds can be immune to their effects. If
>the cleaning robot's spontaneous development of sentience turns out to
>make it a timely weapon against the McGuffin, I will be Very Annoyed.
>

So, if you have read further, does the fact that the cleaning
machine didn't "happen" to develop self-awareness change any
of you opinions.

Some of your other comments i agree with, but i'm wondering if
incomplete reading may be part of the problem.

--
-john

February 28 1997: Last day libraries could order catalogue cards
from the Library of Congress.

Chris Thompson

unread,
Apr 30, 2003, 12:18:08 PM4/30/03
to
In article <pan.2003.04.24....@lineone.net>,

David Cowie <see...@lineone.net> wrote:
>On Wed, 23 Apr 2003 01:33:09 +0000, Mike Schilling wrote:
>
>>
>> SoI should have my ditto read it?
>
>Yes. And if he says he doesn't like it, don't integrate his memories
>with yours.

But you shouldn't have decided that before making the ditto, or
he'll definitely be saying he likes it ...

Chris Thompson
Email: cet1 [at] cam.ac.uk

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages