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Asterite34
May 19, 2009




Genre fiction, like most fiction, has a pretty low batting average of actually overall "Good" stuff in it, but even in stuff that's frankly terrible and you maybe only viewed out of irony or morbid curiosity, there's sometimes a tiny spark of cleverness, an interesting coherent nugget in a mound of poo poo.

For example, The Jedi Prince book series are, by all metrics, teeeeeeeeerrible. But even they have moments that make you go, "heh, that's neat."

In this instance, it's when Zorba the Hutt (Jabba's estranged dad who just got out of Space Prison to find his son stranged to death by a stripper) decides to go to Cloud CIty and play cards with Lando. He cheats by marking the cards with a dye that's only visible in ultraviolet light that HE can see, but Lando CAN'T. It's a stupid plot contrivance to excuse this random ancilliary character taking over Cloud City and forcing the main cast to bumble around in Hologram Fun World or whatever, but it was a neat moment of "oh yeah, these are aliens, they might see stuff differently" and was a fun scifi detail in an othersie dumb cash-in book for children.

What are other examples you can think of where terrible scifi or fantasy stories had small redeeming moments?

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denereal visease
Nov 27, 2002

"Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own."

Exploring the idea of human brains as hardware and language/customs as software/OS is the best part of Snow Crash imo, every other detail from that book is completely forgettable.

The multiverse/parralel timeline fuckery at the end of Anathem was very cool but the rest of that bog was a loving slog.

"Poor novel with one interesting idea" is my synopsis of every Neal Stephenson book I've read...

e: genre crossover and loosely off-topic but I hope that the idea of the Loa living in cyberspace as told in Count Zero ends up as a Voodoo boys-centric DLC for CyberPunk2077

denereal visease fucked around with this message at 14:31 on Jan 23, 2021

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Asterite34 posted:

In this instance, it's when Zorba the Hutt (Jabba's estranged dad who just got out of Space Prison to find his son stranged to death by a stripper) decides to go to Cloud CIty and play cards with Lando. He cheats by marking the cards with a dye that's only visible in ultraviolet light that HE can see, but Lando CAN'T. It's a stupid plot contrivance to excuse this random ancilliary character taking over Cloud City and forcing the main cast to bumble around in Hologram Fun World or whatever, but it was a neat moment of "oh yeah, these are aliens, they might see stuff differently" and was a fun scifi detail in an othersie dumb cash-in book for children.

Thereís a similar little joke in The Bacta War book. Since all of Rogue Squadron resigned from the New Republic, they decide to paint all their X-wings in whatever colors and patterns they want. When seeing this, Wedge comments on one thatís seemingly basic all white, only to be told itís a masterpiece if you can see the UV spectrum.

Phobeste
Apr 9, 2006

never, like, count out Touchdown Tom, man

the expanse books are realistically pretty good airport thrillers at best but a big plot of the last couple books is a dipshit trying to do cold war game theory with unknowable interdimensional aliens and getting Drastically Owned for it which is pretty cool

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





It is known that much of the later-era Star Wars EU novels, covering the Vong War and their fallout, are terrible books, but at the conceptual level there is a lot of neat ideas in them. The whole notion of the Vong as an extra-galactic threat demanding evolution on the part of the New Republic and its allies, and the trials and tribulations suffered by the New Jedi Order in their role in that conflict are neat ideas on paper.

Particularly I've always been drawn to the inherent tragedy of Jacen Solo's fall to become Darth Caedus. The drive for it being born from the emotional wounds he took fighting the Vong, the slippery slope aspect of it where every step along the path to hell was framed as reasonable right up to the point of no return, and the ultimate ending of having to be stopped by his twin sister, was all very classically Star Wars but also a pretty fresh way of playing out the old notes.

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





The Killing Star basically did the dark forest concept before the three body problem but with some genuinely awful characterization and reasons for the attack on humanity.

Silver2195
Apr 4, 2012


denereal visease posted:

"Poor novel with one interesting idea" is my synopsis of every Neal Stephenson book I've read...

The Diamond Age had several different interesting ideas. They didn't really fit together into one novel very well, though.

Bogus Adventure
Jan 11, 2017

"When I started here all there was was lampshade warehouses and leather bars, the serious leather bars where you wouldn't get in unless you had a rubber ball stuffed in your mouth, the wine list was tattooed on the bartender's face. That kind of place."

-Bogus Adventure



The opening chapter of Snow Crash about The Deliverator and his 'pooning Kourier adversary is a loving work of art. It's a shame that the rest of the book goes down the route with Y.T. and the frequent mentioning of her "dentata" among other things.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Devs is mostly crap but it does a good job of portraying how creepy it is when you run into somebody who Really, Truly Does Live Their Life According To Philosophical Determinism.

Lawman 0 posted:

The Killing Star basically did the dark forest concept before the three body problem but with some genuinely awful characterization and reasons for the attack on humanity.

The reason for the attack on humanity stuff was just simple game theory stuff. The characters and general writing are still absolute garbage though.

Bogus Adventure posted:

The opening chapter of Snow Crash about The Deliverator and his 'pooning Kourier adversary is a loving work of art. It's a shame that the rest of the book goes down the route with Y.T. and the frequent mentioning of her "dentata" among other things.

Snow Crash is my go-to example of a novel that starts strong and just gets weaker and weaker as it goes.

Defiance Industries
Jul 22, 2010

A five-star manufacturer




Remember Me is a 2013 game that didn't seem to make any impact whatsoever and I think I got in a humble bundle. It's not much to write home about, but the game's morality mechanic of "you have the ability to alter people's memories, and you can change people's personalities by how you do it" was a clever integration of game mechanics and the setting (which was pretty stock cyberpunk stuff).

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Tulip posted:

The reason for the attack on humanity stuff was just simple game theory stuff. The characters and general writing are still absolute garbage though.

Yeah that's like fine but I'm pretty sure that the reason the one alien gives is that they watch star trek from interstellar tv broadcasts and get mad about the borg?

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



More Neal Stephenson chat: some of Fall; or Dodge in Hell's relevant sci-fi concepts are remarkably relevant - even more so than when written a few years ago. Specifically, his discussion about anonymous identities, trust online, filtering information feeds, post-Truth societies, Ameristan etc. The book has important concepts like brain uploading, how brains make a coherant world etc, but the earlier concepts I listed are good candidates for things that we'll have to address in the near future.

As Silver mentioned, The Diamond Age is a gold mine of neat ideas - although ones we likely won't realize in our lifetimes.

I'm reading Accelerondo now. Very similar to NS in terms of sci-fi concepts, hardcore-nerd metaphors, and biting language. Too early for me to post about the ideas here yet.

Dominoes fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Jan 28, 2021

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

Flight of the Trickster is basically "Neat concepts in a crap story: the book". You've got crazy biological technology in space doing crazy things written by someone who forgets who the characters he is writing are in real time. For example, one character had to kill someone in a Darwinian "survival of the fittest" fight-to-the-death test in order to graduate is also a coward who has never been in a fight nor ever hurt someone before.

Who What Now
Sep 10, 2006

In the cheery brightness of the 41st millennium there is only CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!


In a couple 40k novels it's mentioned that on the very rare occasion a Space Marine interacts with their HUD by "blink-clicking" to open or dismiss communication channels, video feeds, and vitals info for squadmates. It's never explicitly stated what this entails, but I like to imagine that the giant space men are constantly winking and blinking inside their helmets. Plus it does seem like it would be a reasonably easy and intuitive way to interface with a computer hands free IRL, especially for people with conditions that make use mice or touchscreens difficult or impossible

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

I actually like his books but Greg Egan's work is pretty universally "high concept weird science thing with a story loosely draped around it".

One of my favorite of these high concept weird science things was in Quarantine (spoilers for a 30-year-old novel) where it's established early on that at some point the Solar System was surrounded by an opaque bubble, and it turns out to have been done because (a) the thing where observing quantum events forces them into a particular state is specific to humans and (b) aliens would like us to stop collapsing their quantum waveforms every time we look at the sky, thanks.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Who What Now posted:

In a couple 40k novels it's mentioned that on the very rare occasion a Space Marine interacts with their HUD by "blink-clicking" to open or dismiss communication channels, video feeds, and vitals info for squadmates. It's never explicitly stated what this entails, but I like to imagine that the giant space men are constantly winking and blinking inside their helmets. Plus it does seem like it would be a reasonably easy and intuitive way to interface with a computer hands free IRL, especially for people with conditions that make use mice or touchscreens difficult or impossible

That sounds like a fairly reasonable description of how Jason Becker communicates and composes music.

docbeard posted:

I actually like his books but Greg Egan's work is pretty universally "high concept weird science thing with a story loosely draped around it".

One of my favorite of these high concept weird science things was in Quarantine (spoilers for a 30-year-old novel) where it's established early on that at some point the Solar System was surrounded by an opaque bubble, and it turns out to have been done because (a) the thing where observing quantum events forces them into a particular state is specific to humans and (b) aliens would like us to stop collapsing their quantum waveforms every time we look at the sky, thanks.

lol nice


That reminds me of the serial fiction, UNSONG, where the core conceit is that Jewish mysticism is just 100% correct, which we find out the very hard way when Apollo 8 crashes hard into the firmament and all the hard work the angels put in to making a universe where math and physics worked on rational principles starts to fall apart as heaven starts leaking into earth. Miracles can be readily accomplished by anybody who has a soul speaking any of the many, many names of God. The story starts a few decades into this, when the process of discovering (and copywriting) new names of God has been formalized and turned into a lovely gig economy type of work.

It's a fun enough read but it suffers from some of the obvious serial fic problems, and it's about religion but written by somebody who is pretty clearly an obnoxious atheist edgelord.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Seveneves (Neal Stephenson's not doing well in this thread) has the concept of a tethered city that can be raised and lowered by an in-orbit truss, I thought that was pretty neat.

The Safehold series has a really strong opening. When mankind reaches the stars, it gets annihilated by an alien species that is some sort of ur-orthodox civilization that is completely stagnant in its development but has giant amounts of ships and is good at the steller genocide thing. Mankind manage to fool this race, concealing a fleet of ships hyperspacing to an earth-like planet. They then terriform the planet into an earthlike one, start cloning humanoids, etc. Here's the thing, though: the aliens are listening for radio transmissions, so a socitey needs to be engineered to a low level of tech and staying there for at least a few hundred years. The Scientists in charge of this decide the way to do this is to set themself up as angels of Gods (if not immortal than they are very long lived thanks to future meditech) and pass God's holy writ to the people, which is a series of religious commandments. Different angels pass down different codes, and while the main goal is to discourage scientific advancement, some of the religious scripture gives the population of safehold something of a break, detailing things like agriculture, hygene, diet, some basis for equity between sexes, laws against slavery, why lead is an abomination in drinking water because it curses the population, etc.

Now what happens next: when I read the first book, I figured this was a plan to make humanity come back. Keep safehold safe until the reapers go back to sleep, then have your civilization set up essentially as a lab to emphasize fighting against superior or overwhelming power, so when humanity is ready they can return to the stars and not alert the reapers until humanity is ready to bring it. The oppressive socitey is made to break down in the long run. This is not what happens. Instead, the scientists become split over what the end goal is (permanent stasis vs. not that) a war happens, and all the angels are killed, along with a continent which was bombarded from orbit. Then, a failsafe activates: 800 years after the angel war, the mind of a dead Swedish-American woman awakes in a cyborg shell, in a subterranean fortress made when the world was first altered.. She has access to the sum total of human future tech: perfect cyborg bodies, AI servants, all the knowledge and technology of mankind. And her job is to break the permanent stasis, with the world of safehold in a late medieval/early renaissance period. After learning and observing the world for a century or so, she sees a Thirty Years War-esque religious schism forming, and backs the not-American side.

This is all quite cool, but things go downhill from there, as the entire point of the series is "wow, the Protestants are good and the Catholics are terrible." The woman makes herself a male cyborg, gets herself a Katana, starts calling herself Merlin, and sells himself as a wizard with access to hidden knowledge. Did I mention that because of electrons, she can move as fast as bullet time and has superhuman strength and speed? Because the author is so with the good guys, they are basically flawless, which as far as characters go is deadly dull. You get that weird Star Wars prequel thing where the only relatable characters are the bad guys, because as awful as they are mostly, they at least have more recognizable human motives. If you really specifically like military history or the development of technology it's still readable, but everybody else can check out.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Nebakenezzer posted:

Seveneves (Neal Stephenson's not doing well in this thread) has the concept of a tethered city that can be raised and lowered by an in-orbit truss, I thought that was pretty neat.
That third section of Seveneves felt distinct from the first two: It was full of neat scifi concepts like the one you mentioned. (See also: coerced rapid evolution, and the orbital-entry glider/hook/grease system). The constant stereotyping the different races during that section felt obnoxious, and I don't think an explanation was given for why the races diverged instead of interbreeding more.

PoptartsNinja
May 9, 2008

He is still almost definitely not a spy




Soiled Meat

Who What Now posted:

In a couple 40k novels it's mentioned that on the very rare occasion a Space Marine interacts with their HUD by "blink-clicking" to open or dismiss communication channels, video feeds, and vitals info for squadmates. It's never explicitly stated what this entails, but I like to imagine that the giant space men are constantly winking and blinking inside their helmets. Plus it does seem like it would be a reasonably easy and intuitive way to interface with a computer hands free IRL, especially for people with conditions that make use mice or touchscreens difficult or impossible

Elementals in BattleTech have a similar thing, but rather than blinking they stare at particular HUD elements to activate them. They're not quite Space Marine level, but Elementals are still two meter tall genetically engineered super soldiers who are known in-universe for being very focused and intense; and it's no wonder when their equipment trains them to stare whenever they want to change radio frequencies or jettison their missile backpacks.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Dominoes posted:

That third section of Seveneves felt distinct from the first two: It was full of neat scifi concepts like the one you mentioned. (See also: coerced rapid evolution, and the orbital-entry glider/hook/grease system). The constant stereotyping the different races during that section felt obnoxious, and I don't think an explanation was given for why the races diverged instead of interbreeding more.

AFAIK the explanation is that Stephenson wanted to write a story that explained the classic Sci Fi scenario of all the different aliens being mostly human looking bipeds and if they interbred he wouldn't have been able to do that.

Stephenson is not a good writer, which is kind of unfortunate because he has good ideas and he used to be a good enough writer but lost the plot somewhere.

Admiralty Flag
Jun 7, 2007

I do not wish to create joinder with your stank ass



Slippery Tilde

It's not a book, it's a video game, but I'll mention it anyway: Knights of the Old Republic was for the most part just rehashed and warmed over Star Wars tripe, but it had one great part to it: assassin innocent protocol droid HK-47. You know it, meatbag.

(Of course, KOTOR 2 took everything a step further, even managing to redeem some of the lame parts of KOTOR 1: Carth Onasi --> Attton Rand, Jolie Bindo --> Kreia, the lame Wookie sidekick --> Hanharr, etc.)

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




The entire premise of Ready Player One would have been really loving sweet in the hands of practically any author other than Ernest Cline.

Defiance Industries
Jul 22, 2010

A five-star manufacturer




nine-gear crow posted:

The entire premise of Ready Player One would have been really loving sweet in the hands of practically any author other than Ernest Cline.

Well yeah, The Last Starfighter was a pretty fun movie.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




Defiance Industries posted:

Well yeah, The Last Starfighter was a pretty fun movie.

I said Ready Player One, not Armada

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


There was a story I read where humanity is involved in a massive foreverwar across the galaxy with a race of bugs, and then one ship gets nearly destroyed and the last surviving crewmember has to escape down to a nearby planet that has a medieval level society. Eventually the ship's computer analyzes the situation and says that help won't be able to arrive in a thousand years, although it was possible the bugs would arrive in a couple hundred, so the survivor decides to build a new kingdom to prepare the world for the bug invasion and give it a fighting chance.

Which seems interesting as a premise, but then it's just a slightly different twist on the old isekai formula where the protagonist gets ahead with cheat abilities (in this case nanomachines and guns) and uses his future knowledge to make such amenities as a hair dryer, and improbably the supporting cast is mostly women who feel extremely obligated to him. I guess it's pretty rare for a manga to run with a sci-fi premise like that in the first place.

Admiralty Flag posted:

(Of course, KOTOR 2 took everything a step further, even managing to redeem some of the lame parts of KOTOR 1: Carth Onasi --> Attton Rand, Jolie Bindo --> Kreia, the lame Wookie sidekick --> Hanharr, etc.)

Jolee Bindo was not lame at all and is nothing like Kreia.

Admiralty Flag
Jun 7, 2007

I do not wish to create joinder with your stank ass



Slippery Tilde

SlothfulCobra posted:


Jolee Bindo was not lame at all and is nothing like Kreia.
Granted, Jolee Bindo was relatively cool compared to most aspects of KOTOR (I considered adding him and Canderous to the cool list, but really HK-47 was the only revolutionary awesome thing from the game), but for all his "grey Jedi"-ness IIRC he was more disaffected Light side Jedi than anything else, while Kreia did Grey Jedi right.

Granted, I played KOTOR twice when it came out and never since, so I could be wrong on this.

habituallyred
Feb 6, 2015


SlothfulCobra posted:

There was a story I read where humanity is involved in a massive foreverwar across the galaxy with a race of bugs, and then one ship gets nearly destroyed and the last surviving crewmember has to escape down to a nearby planet that has a medieval level society. Eventually the ship's computer analyzes the situation and says that help won't be able to arrive in a thousand years, although it was possible the bugs would arrive in a couple hundred, so the survivor decides to build a new kingdom to prepare the world for the bug invasion and give it a fighting chance.

Which seems interesting as a premise, but then it's just a slightly different twist on the old isekai formula where the protagonist gets ahead with cheat abilities (in this case nanomachines and guns) and uses his future knowledge to make such amenities as a hair dryer, and improbably the supporting cast is mostly women who feel extremely obligated to him. I guess it's pretty rare for a manga to run with a sci-fi premise like that in the first place.


Jolee Bindo was not lame at all and is nothing like Kreia.

The whole, "uplift a planet to meet x challenge," was a whole science fiction subgenre. I think the ones where they just need one orbital craft for political recognition is the best balance between ambition and "realism." One book had a monotheistic renaissance era society completely embrace technological improvement in preparation for an invasion. Then they took their victorious fleet on a crusade to other worlds, becoming more dangerous than the threat they were prepared against.

On topic for the thread: The Fall of the Towers had an interesting take on war fever. The post apocalyptic setting doesn't actually have any outside forces to fight. So they just set up a shared dream/simulation that randomly kills people, with target losses for troublemakers. The villain being an "antimatter creature" whose nefarious plan is an inversion of divide and conquer was sort of interesting. Shame the whole thing is just industrial revolution.txt outside of that.

Who What Now
Sep 10, 2006

In the cheery brightness of the 41st millennium there is only CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!


Admiralty Flag posted:

Granted, Jolee Bindo was relatively cool compared to most aspects of KOTOR (I considered adding him and Canderous to the cool list, but really HK-47 was the only revolutionary awesome thing from the game), but for all his "grey Jedi"-ness IIRC he was more disaffected Light side Jedi than anything else, while Kreia did Grey Jedi right.

Granted, I played KOTOR twice when it came out and never since, so I could be wrong on this.

I don't think Kreia was a grey jedi, she was a sith who was salty at her sudden but inevitable betrayal and blamed the force for it.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




I only know KOTOR and KOTOR2 through osmosis but I thought Kreia's whole thing was being a libertarian who hates the force because its handouts.

karmicknight
Aug 21, 2011


EEEEEEEY YO

Admiralty Flag posted:

Granted, Jolee Bindo was relatively cool compared to most aspects of KOTOR (I considered adding him and Canderous to the cool list, but really HK-47 was the only revolutionary awesome thing from the game), but for all his "grey Jedi"-ness IIRC he was more disaffected Light side Jedi than anything else, while Kreia did Grey Jedi right.

Granted, I played KOTOR twice when it came out and never since, so I could be wrong on this.

Holy gently caress no, Kreia's entire gimmick is that she seems like a Grey Jedi done right on the surface, but actually the entire idea of a Grey Jedi is stupid and wrong, she's just an aggrieved Sith who thinks the player character is a useful tool.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



nine-gear crow posted:

The entire premise of Ready Player One would have been really loving sweet in the hands of practically any author other than Ernest Cline.

The Stacks are a really great idea for cyberpunk dystopian suburbia.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



It would probably get sued out of existence but it would be interesting to see a Vampire Lestat version of RPO where you see things from a different perspective and Wade looks even more like a huge weirdo and it turns out the rest of the world didn't actually care about the whole hunt for the Easter Egg. Like Wade thought he became a world renowned celebrity but he just became "horse famous."

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Oh man I've got a bunch. But I can't remember a few of the names.

1) Iron Sunrise: every planet system has unstoppable relativistic ramscoop missiles that will be a retaliation strike to destroy the home worlds of any aggressor. Which is a cool concept by itself. So the only way to conquer territory is by infiltration of their media and government. This is let down by the bad guys being literal german-speaking nazis with a very dumb plot to maybe if they get lucky create a new, racist, hyperspace AI that exists outside of linear time to replace the current one.

2) The Ark: ftl wormholes are opened by a self-destructing torpedo because trying to open it with your own ship would rip you to shreds. Also some fun space combat sequences. Ultimately ruined by british monarchust nationalism and the aliens' disappointing dumb secret

3) There was a novel about a group of astronaut scientists getting kidnapped from a space station and being kept like zoo animals by the alien empire. I don't remember the name of it. The neat thing was that the aliens relied entirely on trek-style replicators, to the point that all the zookeepers the humans met were copies of a few originals from hundreds of years ago. The twist at the end was that when the humans escaped to get back to earth, they activated the ftl teleporter and then the door opened and they were still in the zoo, because only a copy had been sent back to earth. It was all ruined by the alien empire wanting to recruit humanity as a whole into their doomsday cult religion in a long roundabout way.

Aglet56
Sep 1, 2011


Speleothing posted:


1) Iron Sunrise: every planet system has unstoppable relativistic ramscoop missiles that will be a retaliation strike to destroy the home worlds of any aggressor. Which is a cool concept by itself. So the only way to conquer territory is by infiltration of their media and government.

Isn't this just real life, what with nukes and all that

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005







Nebakenezzer posted:

Seveneves (Neal Stephenson's not doing well in this thread)

He's doing better than Peter Watts

RangerKarl
Oct 7, 2013


SlothfulCobra posted:

There was a story I read where humanity is involved in a massive foreverwar across the galaxy with a race of bugs, and then one ship gets nearly destroyed and the last surviving crewmember has to escape down to a nearby planet that has a medieval level society. Eventually the ship's computer analyzes the situation and says that help won't be able to arrive in a thousand years, although it was possible the bugs would arrive in a couple hundred, so the survivor decides to build a new kingdom to prepare the world for the bug invasion and give it a fighting chance.

Which seems interesting as a premise, but then it's just a slightly different twist on the old isekai formula where the protagonist gets ahead with cheat abilities (in this case nanomachines and guns) and uses his future knowledge to make such amenities as a hair dryer, and improbably the supporting cast is mostly women who feel extremely obligated to him. I guess it's pretty rare for a manga to run with a sci-fi premise like that in the first place.


I think I'm still subscribed to this exact LN. It's terrible, I've never seen such listless worldbuilding.

The conceit of programming being Actual Magic in certain scopes is a nice one, but all the anime I've seen suggests that it's just a tool to get Dragon Quest style spells in their show.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

Tulip posted:

I only know KOTOR and KOTOR2 through osmosis but I thought Kreia's whole thing was being a libertarian who hates the force because its handouts.

This take is usually based on one specific conversation in the game (where one of the outcomes is that she gives you poo poo for giving money to a beggar, because then that beggar gets himself killed for that money or some poo poo), but it's not the core of who Kreia is, or even the point of that event (notably she will also give you poo poo for NOT giving the beggar money). Specifically her point there is that actions can have consequences you can't foresee and that intentions, good or bad, aren't enough of a justification when things go wrong.

What's interesting here is that there's literally (and I mean LITERALLY literally) a dungeon that screams at you that you have to make and commit to a side, while Kreia's spent the whole game to that point telling you not to do this.

I haven't played KOTOR 2 in years (and I have a feeling that it's better remembered than replayed at this point in my life) but there was a lot of interesting stuff in that game. Pity it fell apart completely at the end (to the point where I've always thought of it as the best 3/4ths of an RPG I've ever played).

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

RangerKarl posted:

The conceit of programming being Actual Magic in certain scopes is a nice one, but all the anime I've seen suggests that it's just a tool to get Dragon Quest style spells in their show.

I know I read a couple of novels with this premise (the usual "person from our world gets stuck in fantasyland, discovers that mundane activity is the key to wizardry in said fantasyland") but I remember almost nothing about them beyond the premise.

I do remember a fun moment from Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger books, where the protagonist (whose best friend at this point in the books is a sapient talking otter, and many other animals also talk) starts a conversation with a rabbit only to get a lot of incredulous stares from all his friends because WHY THE gently caress ARE YOU TALKING TO A RABBIT, EVERYONE KNOWS RABBITS DON'T TALK.

Regarde Aduck
Oct 18, 2012

haha


Grimey Drawer

muscles like this! posted:

It would probably get sued out of existence but it would be interesting to see a Vampire Lestat version of RPO where you see things from a different perspective and Wade looks even more like a huge weirdo and it turns out the rest of the world didn't actually care about the whole hunt for the Easter Egg. Like Wade thought he became a world renowned celebrity but he just became "horse famous."

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VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020
Film and TV can't have subtext, there's NO TEXT!! Let me spend 10 years fucking up threads because I genuinely don't believe in "meaning".

Tulip posted:

I only know KOTOR and KOTOR2 through osmosis but I thought Kreia's whole thing was being a libertarian who hates the force because its handouts.

I always think of the anarcho-capitalist who went to archaea and got beaten up because he (the story doesn't specify gender but let's be real: it is a he) was a fascist. He kept screaming about the "non-aggression principle" while getting beaten up.

Kreia is basically what that guy does next.

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