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sequel or prequel?

Talk about the time traveling Kanga invasion.
Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by namelessfly   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:27 pm

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Imaginos1892 wrote:

I think there's another way. Leonovna's symbiote was...errrm...repeatedly exposed to samples of Aston's DNA over the course of several months. That [b]has to have improved his chances.[/b]

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The basic principle of Big Government is getting nine women pregnant in order to produce a baby in one month.



This technique certainly appeals to me.

This of course ensures that Thuselay women are exploited sexually by men who might be motivated by a desire to avert their own mortality as well as fathering Thuselah children

Weber's image of Ludmilla wearing only a Tee shirt only encourages this.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:44 pm

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Imaginos1892 wrote:
biochem wrote:I would have thought that they would have tried that in Milla's timeline. Given the advantages of the symbiote, I would have expected them to have experimented in every possible way to increase it's efficacy.


Yeah, but did the AUTHOR think of it?


I don't think that matters. Each symbiote only has one home. Anything that doesn't register as "home or self" is simply not.

Now there might well be some genetic trait that makes surviving exposure to the symbiote more likely. That gene is not something that the symbiote can alter. It either exists in a potential host or it does not. I further suspect that even if that gene exists the process of joining with the symbiote is nearly fatal. Absent the gene the process is absolutely fatal.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:19 pm

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namelessfly wrote:
Imaginos1892 wrote:

I think there's another way. Leonovna's symbiote was...errrm...repeatedly exposed to samples of Aston's DNA over the course of several months. That [b]has to have improved his chances.[/b]

--------------------
The basic principle of Big Government is getting nine women pregnant in order to produce a baby in one month.



This technique certainly appeals to me.

This of course ensures that Thuselay women are exploited sexually by men who might be motivated by a desire to avert their own mortality as well as fathering Thuselah children

Weber's image of Ludmilla wearing only a Tee shirt only encourages this.


Bodily fluid transfers go both ways. I suspect that Milla advised Aston to be suitibly protected.

On second thought...perhaps the acclimatization occured to Aston. He had the acceptible gene/gene set and the ....er... contact and the small amounts of bodily fluid transfers acted to prepare his body to accept the symbiote.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by namelessfly   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:27 pm

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Aston is sailing transAtlantic, solo. Why pack suitable protection? Also, when did Milla get pregnant? Was she already pregnant when she killed the Troll?

PeterZ wrote:
namelessfly wrote:
This technique certainly appeals to me.

This of course ensures that Thuselay women are exploited sexually by men who might be motivated by a desire to avert their own mortality as well as fathering Thuselah children

Weber's image of Ludmilla wearing only a Tee shirt only encourages this.


Bodily fluid transfers go both ways. I suspect that Milla advised Aston to be suitibly protected.

On second thought...perhaps the acclimatization occured to Aston. He had the acceptible gene/gene set and the ....er... contact and the small amounts of bodily fluid transfers acted to prepare his body to accept the symbiote.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:42 pm

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namelessfly wrote:Aston is sailing transAtlantic, solo. Why pack suitable protection? Also, when did Milla get pregnant? Was she already pregnant when she killed the Troll?

PeterZ wrote:
Bodily fluid transfers go both ways. I suspect that Milla advised Aston to be suitibly protected.

On second thought...perhaps the acclimatization occured to Aston. He had the acceptible gene/gene set and the ....er... contact and the small amounts of bodily fluid transfers acted to prepare his body to accept the symbiote.


You win. No raincoat. I still think any acclimatisation would have to made by the recipient of the symbiote not the symbiote itself.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by dpwiener   » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:23 pm

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I just finished re-reading (again) Apocalypse Troll, and my minority opinion is that I do NOT want a sequel. (For one thing I'd prefer that David spend his time working on the Safehold series.) But I'm content with the anticipated happy ending for humanity: Having almost 80 years to work with, plus examples of 500-year-advanced technology, plus Milla's own knowledge as needed, plus a soon-to-be-united planet feverishly preparing for the expected Kanga fleet, the outcome should not be in doubt. Humanity will have an overwhelming technological advantage and will easily be able to wipe out the Kanga fleet while suffering no losses.

Humanity will also have vastly superior FTL capability, and will be able to outrace and outflank and overtake any Kanga space craft, totally disrupting their interstellar communications and coordination. Individual Kanga ships and fleets can be detected and destroyed in detail wherever they are. And knowing the locations of the Kanga planets, the only question will be whether to totally wipe out the Kanga race once and for all or to take some less drastic action. My guess is that humans will have moral qualms about genocide even in apparent self-defense against Kanga genocide. Hence it's likely that human fleets will envelop the Kanga planets, destroy their space-faring capabilities, and confine them permanently to each of their planets so that they no longer pose a threat to other species. Probably there would be some planet-buster backup systems put in place so that any hint of a breakout or dangerous technological advance by the Kangas would result in the elimination of that particular planet and its entire population.

As far as Thuselahs are concerned, humanity will eventually be able to recreate them at will (in a hundred and fifty years?) after the Kangas are defeated and more attention can be turned to biological research. In the meantime, the number of Thuselahs will slowly grow from Dick and Milla and their descendants. I also wondered about the efficacy of giving blood transfusions to dying people so that a tiny percentage of them would add to the Thuselah population. My theory is that Milla did not provide a fully nuanced explanation of the odds of survival: Physical condition may be an important survival factor. Hence the odds are negligible for those who are dying of cancer or old age or a horrible physical injury (which does not include neuron whip effects), so giving them a transfusion would be pointless. The survival odds are much better (although still bad -- maybe 5% or 10%?) for someone in top physical condition as Dick was. That makes Milla's decision to give Dick a transfusion (and the resultant lucky success) more understandable.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:22 pm

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dpwiener wrote:As far as Thuselahs are concerned, humanity will eventually be able to recreate them at will (in a hundred and fifty years?) after the Kangas are defeated and more attention can be turned to biological research. In the meantime, the number of Thuselahs will slowly grow from Dick and Milla and their descendants. I also wondered about the efficacy of giving blood transfusions to dying people so that a tiny percentage of them would add to the Thuselah population. My theory is that Milla did not provide a fully nuanced explanation of the odds of survival: Physical condition may be an important survival factor. Hence the odds are negligible for those who are dying of cancer or old age or a horrible physical injury (which does not include neuron whip effects), so giving them a transfusion would be pointless. The survival odds are much better (although still bad -- maybe 5% or 10%?) for someone in top physical condition as Dick was. That makes Milla's decision to give Dick a transfusion (and the resultant lucky success) more understandable.

It is perhaps true that those within days of dying will make poor candidates. However, if you select people with 6 months to live, the odds may well be better, and given a choice between on the one had 6 months of slowly increasing pain and disability, and on the other hand, a 99.9% of a death within 6 days and a .1% chance of an extended life, I would have to think seriously about it. I am not suggesting that people be forced to do so, it should be a free choice, and I would want to vet the individuals I approached very carefully - don't need any megalomaniacs applying, but increasing the genetic diversity of the Thuselahs has got to be beneficial.
The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by dpwiener   » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:43 am

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fallsfromtrees wrote:
dpwiener wrote:As far as Thuselahs are concerned, humanity will eventually be able to recreate them at will (in a hundred and fifty years?) after the Kangas are defeated and more attention can be turned to biological research. In the meantime, the number of Thuselahs will slowly grow from Dick and Milla and their descendants. I also wondered about the efficacy of giving blood transfusions to dying people so that a tiny percentage of them would add to the Thuselah population. My theory is that Milla did not provide a fully nuanced explanation of the odds of survival: Physical condition may be an important survival factor. Hence the odds are negligible for those who are dying of cancer or old age or a horrible physical injury (which does not include neuron whip effects), so giving them a transfusion would be pointless. The survival odds are much better (although still bad -- maybe 5% or 10%?) for someone in top physical condition as Dick was. That makes Milla's decision to give Dick a transfusion (and the resultant lucky success) more understandable.

It is perhaps true that those within days of dying will make poor candidates. However, if you select people with 6 months to live, the odds may well be better, and given a choice between on the one had 6 months of slowly increasing pain and disability, and on the other hand, a 99.9% of a death within 6 days and a .1% chance of an extended life, I would have to think seriously about it. I am not suggesting that people be forced to do so, it should be a free choice, and I would want to vet the individuals I approached very carefully - don't need any megalomaniacs applying, but increasing the genetic diversity of the Thuselahs has got to be beneficial.

I'm sure there are unusual circumstances in which it would make sense to toss the dice on a blood transfusion from a Thuselah (assuming that Dick or Milla or their descendants are available and willing). And every once in a great while there'd be a success, which would be a good thing for expanding the overall Thuselah population. But if the recipient had to be in top physical condition to even have an outside chance, then attempted transfusions would remain a rarity. At those odds it's not a gamble a healthy person with many good years left would willingly take (even assuming a Thuselah was willing to be complicit in enabling a likely suicide).

My main point is that if physical condition happened to be a significant requirement for success, it would preclude transfusions for terminally ill patients or elderly people. Otherwise there'd be upteen millions of old and sick and critically injured people willing to try it if the choice was between dying (perhaps painfully) in the next few hours or weeks or months versus regaining health and youth and immortality. Since there's no indication that Thuselah blood transfusions were a standard treatment of last resort in Milla's universe, there had to be a good reason why they wouldn't normally work.

My secondary point is that the happy ending of Apocalypse Troll was highly implausible if Dick's survival odds were really only one in a thousand. The equivalent of winning the lottery or some other deus ex machina gimmick is a poor plot technique by an otherwise excellent author. But if Dick's survival odds were more like one in five due to all the training he'd recently been doing and his foundation as an exceptional SEAL physical specimen, then the result is far more plausible. It would make sense for Milla to attempt the transfusion, yet still be surprised and overjoyed when it worked.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:21 pm

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dpwiener wrote:snip
My secondary point is that the happy ending of Apocalypse Troll was highly implausible if Dick's survival odds were really only one in a thousand. The equivalent of winning the lottery or some other deus ex machina gimmick is a poor plot technique by an otherwise excellent author. But if Dick's survival odds were more like one in five due to all the training he'd recently been doing and his foundation as an exceptional SEAL physical specimen, then the result is far more plausible. It would make sense for Milla to attempt the transfusion, yet still be surprised and overjoyed when it worked.

Even at a thousand to one, I wouldn't consider it a deus ex machina gimmick. Dick's survival was not critical to the resolution of the main problem that the protagonists faced, it merely led to a happy ending for that protagonist. The main problem was the defeat of the troll, and the preparation for the arrival of the Kanga in 80 years. His survival or death had not bearing on either of those cases. In addition, according to the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, both worlds existed, the one in which he lived and the one in which he died. RFC merely chose to describe the one in which he lived - authorial option

If you are looking for what is perhaps his only example of a deus ex machina, look at the ending of Out of the Dark, where the gimmick is crucial to the resolution of the main problem, and I won't be more specific to avoid spoiling it for those who haven't read the story.
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Re: sequel or prequel?
Post by Garth 2   » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:29 am

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lets just hope Milla and Richard don't have a son. After all would you want that conversation....
"oh, by the way son you can never, never, I can't stress this enough, ever have unprotected sex."
"why, Dad?"
"well, um... you would probably kill your partner"
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