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Conferences The Legacy of Korra Topic #78
Reading Topic #78
Mercutio
Member since May-26-13
901 posts
Aug-13-14, 07:39 AM (EST)
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"AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
 
   Yeah, I know. I'm two months late on this, and I've been off the forums entirely for, what? Like a full month?

It's been an annoying summer in a lot of ways and I took a few weeks where I wasn't going to pay attention to the million and one things I do online and try and get my shit together. Clear my head, you know? Get it together.

Or at least, that was the plan. The reality was that I watched all the Marvel movies again, ended up going to bed at ten in the morning, and read a lot of comic books.

Either that, or Treadstone activated me in order to deal with the whole Malaysian Airlines situation. Both situations involve Jeremy Renner watching me while I sleep, so they're hard to tell apart.

So... okay. I'm two months late to the party on AINA. This I know. I also gots to get in on As Long As I Live. A few others. But still! Here we go.

>Mizuzoku Koura, Zipangi national, born April 14, 2372;
>five foot seven, 142 pounds - he could believe that; she was a sturdy-
>looking gal, not one of those offputting muscles-on-muscles types, but
>very nicely cut

That actually seems incredibly light for someone of Korra's size, build, and athleticism. I'm 5'10 and weigh about the same, and I'm a pile of skin and bones and ridiculously out of shape. Korra seems like she ought to be up around 175 or so; there's not an ounce of fat on her and while she isn't heavily muscled, she is, as the man noted, cut.

Then again, the whole passport isn't what you'd call legitimate to begin with, because...

>No criminal record, no wants or warrants, immigration
>status clear, psion status null, no known danger to public safety,
>health, or order.

Wow. I'm amazed that whoever passed that data to Zipang in order to get that thing issued to Korra did not have their pants catch fire and sink into the swamp. :)

>The first thing that struck Korra about the New Avalon Knights
>was that their tickets were very reasonably priced. The second was that
>they had a charming (if rather small) ballpark, full of appealing old-
>fashioned touches and cleverly designed to fit in its peculiarly-shaped
>lot.

I have to be honest, this seemed a little bit off to me. Korra's familiarity with the sport is, as the text itself notes, based entirely on cultural contact with Zipang, and given Zipang's own cultural context probably all their stadiums are going to be even more old-fashioned than Puckett's Field is.

>Part of that might simply have been that it was such a nice day, Korra
>decided, and the ballpark's incredible hot dogs probably had something
>to do with it too.

Also, I don't know what things are like in other peoples necks of the woods, but around here, when you go to see the local baseball team get absolutely destroyed, there's some serious, serious drinking going on. :)

(Really, it's the only thing that makes watching baseball tolerable if you aren't a giant stats nerd; either good company, or good booze.)

>As Korra stood by one of the pretzel stands on the concourse
>behind the main grandstand and watched, a couple of them interacted with
>members of the public, providing directions and the like, always with a
>sort of casual goodwill that went well with the overall vibe of the city
>as she had so far experienced it.

Given New Avalon's staggeringly high incidence of high-powered criminals and it being the target of repeated and destructive terrorist attacks (although I suppose the latter isn't really a thing yet) one can only imagine just how hard Jim Gordon has to work to keep the police from going full-militarization.

>This time,
>instead of charging in and wrecking the joint, she faded back before
>they could spot her, considered her options, and then - with a smile -
>pulled the police callbox on the corner.

I'm amazed that the thing is unvandalized.

Also... hmm.

I'll have more to say about this at the tail end, but I do have to note that it seems like Korra really ought to be in possession of a smartphone or at the very least a camera.

>Korra rose early by her standards, meditated for half an hour,
>had a nice breakfast in the hotel's miniature café, then spent much of
>the morning with her guidebooks and maps, working some more on her plan
>(such as it was) for the week.

This also seems odd to me. I guess she hasn't bought a tablet yet? We know she's web-conversant, that's established later.

>"If you are, let me just save you some time and tell you straight up:
>The Internet lied about your chances."

Style quibble: by the late 2300s "internet" should probably be a generic term and no longer a proper noun. It's no longer capitalized by many publications right now in the early 2000s, and the movement in that direction is only accelerating.

>On Saturday, she got a slightly later start than usual, then
>made up for it by spending pretty much the whole day in the press
>archive room at the Avalon County Public Library. There, with an
>unlimited all-day pass to the deep stacks,

This also seems weird. That information should all be online, and even if it weren't, it seems off that the library itself wouldn't look at Korra strangely and gently point her towards a local terminal in which all that information was available. There'd be no need for her to go into a special archive room to access it or get a special pass to do so; these days, that sort of thing only really happens if you have a pressing need to literally place your hands on source materiel that isn't available elsewhere, and New Avalon has four hundred years on us.

>"I'll see you there," Korra assured him. "'Til then." After he
>rang off, she hung up the phone, thought for a second, then said aloud,
>"OK! New objective added: let's try not to break that kid's heart."

I like to imagine that right now Mike is considering whether the fact that he was dumb enough to have left his personal number lying around on his social media pages is outweighed by the fact that it meant super-hot ladies from space will call him using it. :)

>Instead of a snug singlet and a spacer's
>coverall with the top tied around her waist, she wore a sleek miniskirt-
>and-jacket combo, mostly royal blue leather. The skirt had a panel of
>lighter blue in front, cut to mimic the drape of a jaunty sash, and an
>angled white stripe just below the waist.

I liked the entire description of Korra's ensemble a lot. It's informative and descriptive without being long and dry.

In fact, I don't think I've said this before, and I feel like I should; you're much better at conveying descriptions of people through their clothing and bearing than you are with their physical attributes beyond the most basic ones. That's not a dig; that's just an observation. You should lean on your talent in this area more heavily when introducing new people or showing changes to existing cast.

>Not much of a drinker at her most abandoned,
>she paced herself carefully, avoiding the appearance of priggishness
>without getting more than pleasantly high.

This isn't wrong, per se (and I always lose the usage arguments anyway) but "high" is an extraordinarily archaic way to refer to getting buzzed off alcohol; I don't think it's been in widespread use that way since the 60s and 70s. I was listening to the Nixon tapes recently and he uses the term that way, in fact; but these days "high" is almost exclusively reserved for drugs rather than booze.

>A bitter pill to swallow, but one she had come to
>realize in the studies leading to her master's thesis, that the Beifongs
>hadn't been as ideal for that job as they had hoped. She had to give
>them credit for trying at least, but it had taken several housecleanings
>(some would say "purges") to get Metalbender Central's house in order.

To be fair to the Beifongs, when the Republic first got going Diqiu was probably at a state of development where the concept of a modern civil peackeeping organization was just starting to take hold. Prior to that the place probably mirrored the real world, where rather than what we'd recognize as cops you just had naked enforcers of the will of the state.

Toph and Lin were probably really, really good at being naked enforcers of the will of the state. They were probably less good at all that sissified "building institutional legitimacy" and "respecting the rights of your suspects" thing. I imagine that when the Republic told Toph that from now on, she'd need warrants to kick down peoples doors, she just stared at them like they were giant idiots.

>She tried talking to the two DJs; but since they hadn't seemed
>to register her presence when she came up, waved to them, and asked how
>they were doing, she had put the attempts on hold after the third try.
>There was something unsettling about the chrome and gold helmets the two
>men wore, though the digital LEDs blinking through their visors were
>cheerful enough.

Shouldn't she just be able to tell if this guys are all chromed up inside, though? Or if they were robots?

I have to admit, I was sort of figuring that somewhere in here, there'd be a scene where Korra is mildly discomfited by the fact that a non-trivial number of the people she meets on the street have several pounds of metal lodged inside their bodies and have what seem to her to be dangerously large amounts of electricity flowing through them. Intellectually, her briefing would have prepared her for that, but I have to imagine it would still be weird.

(Sidebar: I also imagine that Azula loves it, just loves it, when whoever her target of the immediate moment is throws heavily chromed-up cybernetic badasses at her and her crew, and she can do awesome shit like literally pull everything right out of their power cores and then hurl it right back in their faces.)

>With his mix of high-power electronic house music and his collection of
>antique computing equipment (not only from Earth, but from Salusia and
>Vulcan as well),

It is now part of my headcanon that Zuse owns a fully-functional DECstation that would be entirely capable of compiling CLULESS... and that none of the people who would be interested in that fact have any idea at all or are in fact even aware of his hobby.

>She was so into the airbending groove at this point, giving
>priority to reaction and evasion, that the next thing she did was
>practically automatic. A sudden compression of the air behind her, felt
>along her back, heralded what could have been a body rushing toward
>her.

What interests me most about this scene is that it was written well before Original Airbenders, in which basically the exact same thing happens, aired.

I mean, it is a logical extrapolation of what airbending allows you to do, but I do find the serendipity interesting.

>Explosive cannons and artillery catapults had been some of the
>preferred methods of siege warfare and even ship-to-ship combat for
>centuries,

Production trivia: in both LoK and AtlA, the production team was barred from depicting guns or cannons, because Nickelodeon. Bombs are okay; so are missiles. Other things, verboten.

This has lead to a number of interesting animation choices. It's why the Fire Navy ironclads have those deck-mounted ballistae and why their tanks didn't deliver shells, but rather had ports in them for firebenders to shoot out of. The United Forces ships we see at the end of Book 1 of LoK have what look like cannon on them, but it turns out they're actually bender-assist devices; if you look closely you'll see that their purpose is to let a firebender use them to increase precision and range. Hiroshi Sato's attack planes had torpedoes, missiles, and bombs, but not machine guns for the same reason.

They did, however, manage to sneak one past. At the very beginning of Southern Raiders, when Azula rolls up on the Western Air Temple, we can see that the airships are in fact armed with traditionally-designed Chinese-style cannons, right down to the barking-dog (in this case, barking lion-dog) motif. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.

I would ordinarily return to the fight in-progress, but, and I've said this before, I usually have very little to say about the fights. The production team has been writing people having dust-ups for a long time and they've gotten really good at it; usually there's no input needed on my part except to note particularly choice bits.

This fight actually reminded me a lot of various fights Juniper has been in over the past fifteen or so years, except Korra actually knows how to use all of her magic and Juniper isn't really there yet.

If I had to ding it on something, it was a bit tell-y rather than show-y in places. Like this:

>The cascade of water that followed immediately changed the
>entire tone and tempo of the fight.

We really ought to be able to discern that the tone and tempo of the fight have changed from the fight. We don't really need to be told that; it's the job of the fight itself to convey that kind of tempo change.

The only other thing I have to say about the fight at Zuse is that the NAPD is falling down on the job if Korra wasn't ID'd as being involved. I have a hard time believing nobody got the start of the fight on either their smartphone or hardwired recording device of choice, and likewise that nobody slammed their "emergency in progress, autodial the cops" one-button apps as soon as they hit the sidewalk, if not before.

Or, given what we'll later discover, that Zuse had time to wipe his security cams before the fuzz descended.

I know there's an attempt by Ragnar to explain the polices take on it later, but it comes across really, really forced.

>It was, for instance, where he had intended the bouncers to bring
>that awkward young woman from Zipang, so as to have less of an audience
>for her lesson in discretion.

... really, Zuse?

This makes me think less of his intelligence. For that matter, him mouthing off to Korra to begin with did that. You have cyberware yourself, Zuse. For all you knew Korra was recording everything you said and did and beaming it out of the club.

I originally thought Zuse was going to just have his bouncers toss her onto the street, which would have been entirely legal and within his rights as landlord of a private establishment. Now I just think he's an idiot.

For that matter, I'm amazed Zuse doesn't have his own internal panic button. He so far this night has not done anything illegal, I don't think, unless those firearms his boys were sporting were unlicensed and unregistered. (And if they were, he's a double idiot. Cops love busting people for "unregistered firearm." It is one of their favorite things, it's an easy collar and you can justify all kinds of additional searches on top of it.) He can probably justify the level of force used as "I was up against an out-of-control esper who refused to leave my club and started the fight when my bouncers tried to make her."

If he really thinks Korra is gonna kill him, his best bet is to have whatever chrome is wired into him call the cops on his behalf. Sure, that brings some heat down, but it gets him out of the immediate jam and it doesn't involve selling out his contacts, who are way more likely than the cops to actually murder him.

>"Maybe. But very sophisticated thugs for hire, and very
>selective about who they let hire them. Their leader's an ex-3WA TroCon
>called Slade."

May I express the hope that this is Teen Titans-the-tv-show Slade, who is actually a competently used and moderately scary villain, and not comic-book Deathstroke, who DC has been trying, and failing, to make into an a-lister for going on fifteen years now?

>"You know that stuff your display cases downstairs are made of?"
>Zuse nodded. "I like it. I like it a -lot.- If you were to round up a
>few tons of it for me and arrange for it to be delivered to the Garuda
>Trading Company on Zipang... I'd consider that a pretty convincing
>display of good faith."

However, to be fair to Zuse, I actually think he got the better of Korra here when she tried to shake him down. Transparisteel is nothing special, if Known Space-UF is anything like Star Wars in terms of production and usage. Zuse can probably buy it in long tons from any one of a dozen suppliers dirt cheap. It's a bit like a native shaking someone down for shiny beads or iron hatchets.

>She decided the jumpsuit she'd been wearing when she got to town
>was too industrial, her T-shirt and jeans too casual, and the clothes
>she'd worn clubbing too sporty.

I love how Korra thinks the t-shirt and jeans are gonna be too casual for Gryphon. I mean, yes, she doesn't know better yet; if I were gonna go meet Gryphon for the first time I'd put on nice clothes as well. But depending on the quality of the t-shirt and jeans, especially if they're label, throwing them on gives you a decent chance of being better-dressed than the Man Himself.

Sidebar: I have, at times, toyed with the idea that the notoriously casual clothing sense of Gryphon and a lot of his contemporaries is something of a front. I can't see most of them being ten-thousand-credit-suit guys (well, maybe Larry) but let me tell you; professionally tailored clothes, of any sort, are an absolute joy to wear. I once had a couple pairs of tailored jeans I got as a gift, and until some weight fluctuation happened they were far and away the most comfortable clothes I owned despite looking like off-the-rack Levis. Given the wealth of Gryphon et al., I figure there's a nonzero chance that a lot of the clothing they have that looks like something you'd toss on to tear apart an old car engine is actually far more expensive and fancy than it looks.

Yes. I think about this kind of thing. Because I care!

>They hurried back to Headquarters; as they entered the still-
>deserted lobby, he suddenly asked, apparently apropos of nothing, "Can
>you fly a jetpack?"
>
>Um, no, not really," Korra replied

Korra and Asami both vowed to take the Sato X-1 incident to their respective graves.

>"How we doin'?" Gryphon asked Skuld as he took Bell's place at
>her side.
>
>"Oh, y'know, the usual," Skuld replied lightly. "Except every
>eight or ten minutes I have a tendency to sort of try and stop time.
>It's not deliberate, but I can't seem to not do it."

I know I said this already when we hit the flipside of this awhile back, but I love it when weird freaky stuff happens around the gods. I know that The Management is big on the various universal movers-and-shakers being jes' folks, but the cosmic stuff just does it for me and I'll take what I can get.

>There was a round red
>gem set into its metal casing, like the face on a wristwatch; as he
>turned this toward her and she looked into its softly shifting scarlet
>glow, it gently touched her consciousness to impart a simple, wordless
>message: the knowledge - if she hadn't had it already - that this was
>Benjamin Hutchins, Gryphon of the IPO.

"Shouldn't that be your rank, instead of your other name?"

"It should be. Skuld refuses to change it. She thinks it's funny. She's weird like that."

>"Something to be said for that," Korra agreed, recalling the
>birth of another lifelong (so far) friend.

>Korra looked skeptical. "Me? C'mon." With a self-deprecating
>chuckle, she went on, "After today, I'm fully prepared to believe that
>you and I are fated to be insta-BFFs for some reason,

I feel like maybe this is being stepped on too hard and made too explicit. I commented on something similar during the fight scene; the writing ought to be bringing out the fact that this weird group of ancient heroes and problem-solvers have an instant rapport and connection without doing something so mundane as just telling us directly straight-out. It seems unsubtle.

>("So
>Zoner says, 'It depends - how much of a hurry are you IN to get to
>Lhasa?'").

I know Zoner isn't used much these days, out of respect for his retired creator (I assume that's the reason, anyway) but man, I kind of feel like he and Jinora would get along incredibly well while at the same time weirding everyone else the hell out. Like they'd have these conversations that are punctuated with all kinds of obscure spirit-world jargon and occasional moments of them casually violating the normal rules regarding the positions of their bodies in space and time, and it would be very disquieting to everyone who wasn't them.

Okay, so. Here we are at the end. I have three big things to say about the piece before we close out, one positive, one neutral, one critical.

The positive: the thing I absolutely loved best about this piece is something that may not even have been intended in it (I have a tendency to read in) but that I thought was quite delicious in how understated it was: namely, the thread that Korra is running without a team, and that's weird and uncomfortable for her in ways she doesn't even realize.

I don't mean to say that Korra is incompetent or doing things wrong without a team. Far from it! I'm just saying that throughout this whole thing, she was behaving like someone who would have been much more comfortable being surrounded by cheerful co-conspirators, people to bounce ideas off of and plan things out with and generally organically work out angles of approach to this big exciting new project she has embarked on. She doesn't have that; she's on her own, a long way from home, and I think she's a bit melancholic about that fact. She doesn't even have the current Naga or Pabu equivalents with her, and I bet that's really strange for her. Her behavior and comfort levels change visibly the instant she starts making connection with people she can actually talk to.

I liked that. A lot. Best single theme of this piece by far, even if it wasn't intentional.

The neutral: structurally speaking, I feel like this should be two separate pieces, one terminating after Monday (Zuse) and the second terminating... well, when it terminated. The back third of this is so tonally different from the front two-thirds that it seems like it should have been hived off.

The critical: hmm. How to put this.

I hit on this a number of times in my play-by-play, and I'm trying to be diplomatic rather than blunt, because I don't like to sound blame-y. But New Avalon seems like... a very un-futuristic version of the future. It has that kind of "this is a very dated version of what people thought the future would be like" feel that you often get when, say, watching old episodes of Star Trek or if you've ever walked through Tommorrowland at a Disney park. And that's okay, you give it a pass because that stuff was written a long time ago, but this was, you know, written three months ago, not three decades.

This is something that I feel is only ever really a problem with the "civilian" settings in UF. The military sci-fi bits of it never suffer from it at all; even the older parts of the canon, stuff written back in the early nineties, often holds up well now, twenty years later. But when you have people just tooling around on Earth or New Avalon or even Babylon 5... I dunno. It often seems like they're operating in a late-eighties technological and social mileau, just with starships and lasers and things bolted onto it.

And New Avalon, in particular, just seems like it shouldn't be like that. New Snowdonia, yes. Commander Shepard tooling around behind enemy lines in the back of beyond, absolutely. Diqiu, because they're lagging behind the rest of Known Space by one or two hundred years depending on what specific tech we're talking about. But New Avalon is supposed to be this glittering jewel of modernity, and a lot of the time it doesn't seem like it.

Anyway.

It's good to be back in action! I'll have things to say about the other pieces I've missed and in Source Materiel... presently.

Depending on what your specific view of me is, that's either a promise or a threat. :)

-Merc
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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
AINA: Extremely Belated Review [View All] Mercutio Aug-13-14 TOP
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Nova Floresca Aug-13-14 1
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Gryphonadmin Aug-13-14 2
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Nova Floresca Aug-13-14 6
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Mercutio Aug-14-14 9
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Gryphonadmin Aug-14-14 10
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review BobSchroeck Aug-14-14 14
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Mercutio Aug-15-14 17
                 RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Gryphonadmin Aug-15-14 19
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Pasha Aug-13-14 3
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review pjmoyermoderator Aug-13-14 4
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review eriktown Aug-13-14 5
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Matrix Dragon Aug-13-14 7
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Mercutio Aug-15-14 18
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Gryphonadmin Aug-15-14 20
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Matrix Dragon Aug-15-14 21
                 RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Blackbird Aug-15-14 24
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Pasha Aug-15-14 22
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Gryphonadmin Aug-16-14 26
                 RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Peter Eng Aug-17-14 28
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review McFortner Aug-16-14 25
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Matrix Dragon Aug-13-14 8
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review drakensis Aug-14-14 11
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Mercutio Aug-14-14 12
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review SpottedKitty Aug-14-14 15
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review drakensis Aug-15-14 16
             RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review SneakyPete Aug-18-14 29
  RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Peter Eng Aug-14-14 13
     RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review Terminus Est Aug-15-14 23
         RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review SpottedKitty Aug-16-14 27

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Nova Floresca
Member since Sep-13-13
346 posts
Aug-13-14, 08:18 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
   >>Mizuzoku Koura, Zipangi national, born April 14, 2372;
>>five foot seven, 142 pounds - he could believe that; she was a sturdy-
>>looking gal, not one of those offputting muscles-on-muscles types, but
>>very nicely cut
>
>That actually seems incredibly light for someone of Korra's size,
>build, and athleticism. I'm 5'10 and weigh about the same, and I'm a
>pile of skin and bones and ridiculously out of shape. Korra seems like
>she ought to be up around 175 or so; there's not an ounce of fat on
>her and while she isn't heavily muscled, she is, as the man noted,
>cut.

You might be surprised; women tend to weigh less than their height alone would suggest. For example, Sarah D'Alelio is an MMA fighter who stands 5'7", and she only weighs 135 lbs.


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Gryphonadmin
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Aug-13-14, 11:59 AM (EST)
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2. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-13-14 AT 12:05 PM (EDT)
 
>>Mizuzoku Koura, Zipangi national, born April 14, 2372;
>>five foot seven, 142 pounds - he could believe that; she was a sturdy-
>>looking gal, not one of those offputting muscles-on-muscles types, but
>>very nicely cut
>
>That actually seems incredibly light for someone of Korra's size,
>build, and athleticism.

I do research these things occasionally, you know.

>>No criminal record, no wants or warrants, immigration
>>status clear, psion status null, no known danger to public safety,
>>health, or order.
>
>Wow. I'm amazed that whoever passed that data to Zipang in order to
>get that thing issued to Korra did not have their pants catch
>fire
and sink into the swamp. :)

Her only criminal records are in countries ruled by unstable dictators, she doesn't have any wants or warrants, the Republic of Zeta Cygni has no reason to bar her entry adminstratively, she's not telepathic, and... well, she's no danger to public health. The other two are probably debatable.

>>The first thing that struck Korra about the New Avalon Knights
>>was that their tickets were very reasonably priced. The second was that
>>they had a charming (if rather small) ballpark, full of appealing old-
>>fashioned touches and cleverly designed to fit in its peculiarly-shaped
>>lot.
>
>I have to be honest, this seemed a little bit off to me. Korra's
>familiarity with the sport is, as the text itself notes, based
>entirely on cultural contact with Zipang, and given Zipang's own
>cultural context probably all their stadiums are going to be even more
>old-fashioned than Puckett's Field is.

Which prevents her from thinking it's interesting that the field she's at out in the Big Universe is pleasingly old-fashioned how exactly?

>Given New Avalon's staggeringly high incidence of high-powered
>criminals and it being the target of repeated and destructive
>terrorist attacks (although I suppose the latter isn't really a thing
>yet) one can only imagine just how hard Jim Gordon has to work to keep
>the police from going full-militarization.

Neither is really much of a going concern in 2391.

>I'll have more to say about this at the tail end, but I do have to
>note that it seems like Korra really ought to be in possession of a
>smartphone or at the very least a camera.

She rarely thinks of these things, at least right away. There's a phone in her hotel room and she doesn't know anybody who'd be calling her anyway, yet. It didn't seem important.

(She's always been like that. Back in the day, she wouldn't have had a cellphone at all if Asami hadn't invented the things and given her one.)

>>Korra rose early by her standards, meditated for half an hour,
>>had a nice breakfast in the hotel's miniature café, then spent much of
>>the morning with her guidebooks and maps, working some more on her plan
>>(such as it was) for the week.
>
>This also seems odd to me. I guess she hasn't bought a tablet yet? We
>know she's web-conversant, that's established later.

Is a person not allowed to have a way in which she prefers to do these things? Is that just not OK any more? I must have missed that meeting.

(At this rate, I'm surprised you don't take exception to the fact that she bought a notebook and a pen instead of having an opticam and neuroprocessor installed at Cyberz-R-Us in the Avalon Centre Galleria. Get with the times, girl!)

>Style quibble: by the late 2300s "internet" should probably be a
>generic term and no longer a proper noun. It's no longer capitalized
>by many publications right now in the early 2000s, and the movement in
>that direction is only accelerating.

Pfui. I suppose you think "imply" and "infer" may be used interchangeably as well. Just because people are doing it wrong in the real world doesn't mean my fictional future people have to be muppets.

Besides, there's a difference between an internet (which is a particular kind of computer network) and the Internet.

>This also seems weird. That information should all be online, and even
>if it weren't, it seems off that the library itself wouldn't look at
>Korra strangely and gently point her towards a local terminal in which
>all that information was available.

The Avalon County Public Library is not in the habit of looking at its patrons strangely; it is in the habit of fulfilling their requests. Service is what it's all about when you're a public records institution in those parts.

>>Not much of a drinker at her most abandoned,
>>she paced herself carefully, avoiding the appearance of priggishness
>>without getting more than pleasantly high.
>
>This isn't wrong, per se (and I always lose the usage arguments
>anyway) but "high" is an extraordinarily archaic way to refer to
>getting buzzed off alcohol; I don't think it's been in widespread use
>that way since the 60s and 70s.

Would you rather I made up painfully awkward, obviously contrived Future Slang the way they do in cyberpunk-themed RPGs? Chummer.

>Toph and Lin were probably really, really good at being naked
>enforcers of the will of the state.

Only that one time, and they really don't like to talk about it. (Well, Lin doesn't; Toph probably doesn't mind. In fact, she's probably sorry she can't see the photos.) Cactus juice will make a person do weird, weird things if ingested unawares.

>It is now part of my headcanon that Zuse owns a fully-functional
>DECstation that would be entirely capable of compiling CLULESS... and
>that none of the people who would be interested in that fact have any
>idea at all or are in fact even aware of his hobby.

NOTE: DECstations cannot do that. He would need a HoloDECstation. Which don't exist.

>>She was so into the airbending groove at this point, giving
>>priority to reaction and evasion, that the next thing she did was
>>practically automatic. A sudden compression of the air behind her, felt
>>along her back, heralded what could have been a body rushing toward
>>her.
>
>What interests me most about this scene is that it was written well
>before Original Airbenders, in which basically the exact same
>thing happens, aired.

And Korra didn't even have to shave her head to get it to work.

>unless those firearms his boys were sporting were unlicensed
>and unregistered.

>May I express the hope that this is Teen Titans-the-tv-show Slade, who
>is actually a competently used and moderately scary villain, and not
>comic-book Deathstroke, who DC has been trying, and failing, to make
>into an a-lister for going on fifteen years now?

Sort of neither, but closer to the former. (Colonel Slade of the UF Sky Raiders is kind of a cross between Slade from Teen Titans and Colonel Duray of the City of Heroes Sky Raiders.)

It ought to tell you everything you need to know about my attitude to the latter that not only doesn't he exist in UF, his canonical daughter Rose is a) Deadpool's daughter and b) much funnier. (I mean, she likes to be called "Rosie the Ravager", what more do you need? :)

>However, to be fair to Zuse, I actually think he got the better of
>Korra here when she tried to shake him down. Transparisteel is nothing
>special, if Known Space-UF is anything like Star Wars in terms of
>production and usage. Zuse can probably buy it in long tons from any
>one of a dozen suppliers dirt cheap. It's a bit like a native shaking
>someone down for shiny beads or iron hatchets.

It's not intended to be a profitable shakedown; it's a gesture. Making him do a little legwork and come across with a few goods in order to see if he's do-business-with-able. And it may be a relatively commonplace material (it's probably duracrys or klaster, not transparisteel), but that doesn't mean it's cheap. Not the high-optical-quality kind, anyway. Anyway, she's not trying to rip him off, she's just seeing if he can come across on a legitimate deal. If he can, her contacts at the other end will start buying the stuff through him. She's basically seeing if he can give him an incentive to go legit. First the stick, then the rutacarrot. :)

>>She decided the jumpsuit she'd been wearing when she got to town
>>was too industrial, her T-shirt and jeans too casual, and the clothes
>>she'd worn clubbing too sporty.
>
>I love how Korra thinks the t-shirt and jeans are gonna be too casual
>for Gryphon. I mean, yes, she doesn't know better yet; if I were gonna
>go meet Gryphon for the first time I'd put on nice clothes as well.
>But depending on the quality of the t-shirt and jeans, especially if
>they're label, throwing them on gives you a decent chance of being
>better-dressed than the Man Himself.

True, but like the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression; and besides, as the narration itself notes nearby, Korra feels most like herself when she's dressed like she is on her original model sheet. :)

>She doesn't have that; she's on her own,
>a long way from home, and I think she's a bit melancholic about that
>fact.

More than a bit, I suspect, though she covers it well. By 2390, Korra's life is a pretty lonely place even when she's not exploring an alien world. It's 102 years since she moved to Republic City, her original team is long gone, and (as she notes after the nightclub scene) she's sort of between peer groups at the moment. If she were the sort of person who does things like that, she'd have taken to wandering the streets of Republic City at night, singing "Raymond Chandler Evening" by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians softly to herself.

It's a Raymond Chandler evening
And the pavements are all wet
And I'm lurking in the shadows
'Cause it hasn't happened yet

>Her behavior and
>comfort levels change visibly the instant she starts making connection
>with people she can actually talk to.

Well, it's like Kyoshi told her in the flashback in What's Past Is Prologue - she derives most of her strength from community.

(Meanwhile, I had someone else complaining that Korra wanting to go clubbing with some local kids instead of just reading Fodor's was weird and implausible. There is no winning in this place.)

>The critical: hmm. How to put this.
>
>I hit on this a number of times in my play-by-play, and I'm trying to
>be diplomatic rather than blunt, because I don't like to sound
>blame-y. But New Avalon seems like... a very un-futuristic version of
>the future.

Mm. Supposed to be.

>It has that kind of "this is a very dated version of what
>people thought the future would be like" feel that you often get when,
>say, watching old episodes of Star Trek or if you've ever walked
>through Tommorrowland at a Disney park.

I congratulate you on your perspicacity, sir.

>It often seems like they're operating in a
>late-eighties technological and social mileau, just with starships and
>lasers and things bolted onto it.

Ah, the circularity of the Internet. Phil Thorne was gigging me about this on these boards 12 years ago, and I told him the same thing: It's designed that way. The UF universe in the 25th century is the future of the past.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
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Nova Floresca
Member since Sep-13-13
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6. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #2
 
   Minor question/thought bubble, in re: New Avalon, comma, Anachronisms Therein- the UF galaxy is a huge place, with several influential cultures spread all across, so would it even be possible for a major city to be "modern" all the time? I would think, barring some extremely dodgy construction practices, that most buildings would stand long enough for their architectural styling to go out of style, and possibly back in and back out again, depending.

"This is probably a stupid question, but . . ."


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Mercutio
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Aug-14-14, 02:08 AM (EST)
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9. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #2
 
  
>Her only criminal records are in countries ruled by unstable
>dictators, she doesn't have any wants or warrants, the Republic
>of Zeta Cygni has no reason to bar her entry adminstratively, she's
>not telepathic, and... well, she's no danger to public health. The
>other two are probably debatable.

I would submit that Korra's original arrest in the Republic is probably still part of her record, if for no other reason than that Lin seems like the type of person to make sure it was. :)

Fair points on all the others. I didn't know that psion meant specifically telepathic; I'd assumed it was a catch-all term for anyone psionically active, which I think bending might qualify as?

>Which prevents her from thinking it's interesting that the field she's
>at out in the Big Universe is pleasingly old-fashioned
>how exactly?

Well, I'd interpreted the passage in question to mean Korra thought it was old-fashioned to her own eyes, rather than being old-fashioned in general.


>>>Korra rose early by her standards, meditated for half an hour,
>>>had a nice breakfast in the hotel's miniature café, then spent much of
>>>the morning with her guidebooks and maps, working some more on her plan
>>>(such as it was) for the week.
>>
>>This also seems odd to me. I guess she hasn't bought a tablet yet? We
>>know she's web-conversant, that's established later.
>
>Is a person not allowed to have a way in which she prefers to do these
>things? Is that just not OK any more? I must have missed that
>meeting.
>
>(At this rate, I'm surprised you don't take exception to the fact that
>she bought a notebook and a pen instead of having an opticam and
>neuroprocessor installed at Cyberz-R-Us in the Avalon Centre Galleria.
> Get with the times, girl!)

... can you actually do that? I mean, is that a thing? I'm legitimately curious.

Also, it's less "you're not allowed to have a way in which you prefer to do things" than it is it that it seemed... odd for someone who was at the forefront of a digital revolution to be going so low-tech. You know? That seemed noteworthy to me.

>>>Not much of a drinker at her most abandoned,
>>>she paced herself carefully, avoiding the appearance of priggishness
>>>without getting more than pleasantly high.
>>
>>This isn't wrong, per se (and I always lose the usage arguments
>>anyway) but "high" is an extraordinarily archaic way to refer to
>>getting buzzed off alcohol; I don't think it's been in widespread use
>>that way since the 60s and 70s.
>
>Would you rather I made up painfully awkward, obviously contrived
>Future Slang the way they do in cyberpunk-themed RPGs? Chummer.

I'd like to note that, in general, my style notes are not meant to be accusatory, although I suppose it's basically impossible to give them without at least implying that you have done something wrong somewhere. Although that's a limitation of the language really.

They're intended more in the vein of "this seems stylistically off to my eyes, and this is why." It's like critiquing brushstroke work on a painting; right and wrong don't enter into it as much as aesthetics do.

I dunno, man. In this specific case it just seemed a weirdly archaic way to refer to getting buzzed. I pointed it out. That's kind of how I do. Sometimes that's just me spitballing, sometimes, I hope, it's actually useful.

>>Toph and Lin were probably really, really good at being naked
>>enforcers of the will of the state.
>
>Only that one time, and they really don't like to talk about it.
>(Well, Lin doesn't; Toph probably doesn't mind. In fact, she's
>probably sorry she can't see the photos.) Cactus juice will make a
>person do weird, weird things if ingested unawares.

The worst part is Lin didn't even win the bet.

Her thirst was, in fact, quenched.

>>It is now part of my headcanon that Zuse owns a fully-functional
>>DECstation that would be entirely capable of compiling CLULESS... and
>>that none of the people who would be interested in that fact have any
>>idea at all or are in fact even aware of his hobby.
>
>NOTE: DECstations cannot do that. He would need a HoloDECstation.
>Which don't exist.

Huh. I'd forgotten that; it's been a long time since I read the Core. Gryphon hasn't messed around with his Cosmic Cube for a sufficiently long enough time the precise details of how it works have begun to fade.

>It ought to tell you everything you need to know about my attitude to
>the latter that not only doesn't he exist in UF, his canonical
>daughter Rose is a) Deadpool's daughter and b) much funnier.
>(I mean, she likes to be called "Rosie the Ravager", what more do you
>need? :)

Not much more at all, really. :) You made absolutely the right call. Deathstroke is rubbish, and he only gets more rubbish every time they try and get us to take him seriously as someone who supposedly can take on the Justice League single-handed.

Also, Wade passed on his genes? That is terrifying. When I imagine Deadpool reproducing, my brain immediately goes to Athena-from-the-forehead-of-Zeus scenarios.

>>However, to be fair to Zuse, I actually think he got the better of
>>Korra here when she tried to shake him down. Transparisteel is nothing
>>special, if Known Space-UF is anything like Star Wars in terms of
>>production and usage. Zuse can probably buy it in long tons from any
>>one of a dozen suppliers dirt cheap. It's a bit like a native shaking
>>someone down for shiny beads or iron hatchets.
>
>It's not intended to be a profitable shakedown; it's a gesture.
> Making him do a little legwork and come across with a few goods in
>order to see if he's do-business-with-able. And it may be a
>relatively commonplace material (it's probably duracrys or klaster,
>not transparisteel), but that doesn't mean it's cheap. Not the
>high-optical-quality kind, anyway. Anyway, she's not trying to rip
>him off, she's just seeing if he can come across on a legitimate deal.
> If he can, her contacts at the other end will start buying the
>stuff through him. She's basically seeing if he can give him an
>incentive to go legit. First the stick, then the rutacarrot.
>:)

... makes sense. Objection withdrawn. I legit thought she was trying to shake him down.

>(Meanwhile, I had someone else complaining that Korra wanting to go
>clubbing with some local kids instead of just reading Fodor's
>was weird and implausible.

I think I saw that. (Most of the discussion of AINA seemed to take place in the preview thread, which is why I made a proper thread; apologies if I just straight missed the proper thread.)

The thing is, it would be an absolutely fair point, if that was what happened. But Korra didn't really decide she wanted to go clubbing with some local kids, which would indeed be implausible if it were just a random impulse. She decided she wanted to get out on the town and meet people (plausible, Korra is a people person) and the logical starting point for that is people she's already met who have pre-established social networks. There's Ragnar (not exactly subtle as a date) and there's Mike. She picks Mike. Mike just happens to be a college kid. So there you go.

Thing is, Mike could have been anyone. Korra met a guy at the port who was nice and welcoming and made her feel like a person rather than just Passport Holder #24601 when she got to this strange place far away from home. And he showed respect for her seal jerky, a big plus. But it didn't have to be Mike. She could have run into a corporate type who was also way cool at the baggage claim, like when Yuri met Larry, and ended up dining at Le Coq Superier after all. She could have run into a civilization hunter and ended up at an academic conference with people arguing furiously over the provenance of the Dyson Sphere. (Keynote speakers: Doctors Liara T'Soni and Henry Jones.) She could have met a fast-talking cabbie on her way into town who reminded her so much of Bolin she thought she might cry.

Lots of possibilities. Mike is just the one who actualized.

If I had to make a stab at the process, I would imagine that the fight at Hi-Rez materialized very early in the plotting and you worked backwards from there to get Korra in the door, and Mike was part of that. Shot in the dark, tho.

>There is no winning in this place.)

Well, when it comes to critiques, it's not about winning and losing. Or it shouldn't be. This isn't a field of endeavor that should be about scoring rhetorical points or proving superiority. It's about examining the unexamined, gaining deeper understanding, and honing the craft.

Also about passion for the arts. I've never understood people who review or critique professionally who come across like they're dead inside. At least summon up some honest hatred! That proves you're engaged with the materiel and speaking from a place of conviction.

>Ah, the circularity of the Internet. Phil Thorne was gigging me about
>this on these boards 12 years ago, and I told him the same thing: It's
>designed that way. The UF universe in the 25th century is the future
>of the past.

Interesting. I hadn't know that! So it's less traditionally futurist science-fiction and more... more...

Hmm. Is "futurepunk" a word? If it isn't a word I guess it is now. Futurepunk it is.

Thinking about it hard... that's a genre that exists, but not in any great quantity. Most works I can think of that'd fall into the category are either deconstructions of classic silver age narratives or nostalgic celebrations of the same.

The closest thing I can think of is actually an RPG I picked up at the same time I grabbed Atomic Robo, called Cosmic Patrol. The setting basically says "screw it, everything is the future of the 1950s minus the racism and misogyny. There are robot civilizations on Venus! Mars needs water! All your blasters have fins on them, and your rocket ships too! Bubble helmets! Weird hairdos!" and plays it utterly and completely straight.

I'm going to have to re-calibrate in the future, at least a little bit. I do at least make the attempt to approach stories on their own terms rather than on my terms. It's not a wholly possible endeavor but it keeps me at least a little honest.

-Merc
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Gryphonadmin
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10. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #9
 
   >I would submit that Korra's original arrest in the Republic is
>probably still part of her record, if for no other reason than that
>Lin seems like the type of person to make sure it was. :)

As far as is ever indicated, she was never charged with anything, just harassed and released. Which is par for the course with the Beifong Staatspolizei.

>Fair points on all the others. I didn't know that psion meant
>specifically telepathic; I'd assumed it was a catch-all term for
>anyone psionically active, which I think bending might qualify as?

The Psi Corps classification system has no idea what the hell bending is. They've never been allowed to study it. Officially it doesn't even exist. That's kind of part of why the sonsofbitches aren't lined up 45 deep at the Crescent Island Veil nexus.

>>(At this rate, I'm surprised you don't take exception to the fact that
>>she bought a notebook and a pen instead of having an opticam and
>>neuroprocessor installed at Cyberz-R-Us in the Avalon Centre Galleria.
>> Get with the times, girl!)
>
>... can you actually do that? I mean, is that a thing? I'm
>legitimately curious.

Sure, if you're the kind of person who's willing to have neuralware installed in a mall. (Numpties.)

>Also, it's less "you're not allowed to have a way in which you prefer
>to do things" than it is it that it seemed... odd for someone who was
>at the forefront of a digital revolution to be going so low-tech. You
>know? That seemed noteworthy to me.

Korra doesn't seek out stuff most of the time, and having just arrived not only in town, but in that reality, she's not up on what the gear-of-the-year is anyway. She could spend her time researching that, and whatever money she might have with her (and Korra's always been a bit vague about money) following up, or she could spend both finding out what she actually came to find out by other means whose learning curves she's already climbed. She chose the latter. I'm really not seeing how that's so weird.

>They're intended more in the vein of "this seems stylistically off to
>my eyes, and this is why." It's like critiquing brushstroke work on a
>painting; right and wrong don't enter into it as much as aesthetics
>do.

... who the fuck does that?

>Also, Wade passed on his genes? That is terrifying. When I
>imagine Deadpool reproducing, my brain immediately goes to
>Athena-from-the-forehead-of-Zeus scenarios.

You'd be even more afraid if you knew who Rosie's mother was.

>>She's basically seeing if he can give him an
>>incentive to go legit. First the stick, then the rutacarrot.
>>:)
>
>... makes sense. Objection withdrawn. I legit thought she was trying
>to shake him down.

She probably wanted him to think so (and that she hadn't done a very good job of it). Let the poor man have his pride.

>If I had to make a stab at the process, I would imagine that the fight
>at Hi-Rez materialized very early in the plotting and you worked
>backwards from there to get Korra in the door, and Mike was part of
>that. Shot in the dark, tho.

Not as such. The nightclub fight was a pretty early feature, but so was the idea that she'd make some local friends apart from the headliners. That they happened to dovetail was less working backward and more serendipity.

>>There is no winning in this place.)
>
>Well, when it comes to critiques, it's not about winning and losing.

... Do you genuinely not know that variations on "you can't win around here" are a common figure of speech (akin to "damned if you do, damned if you don't"), or are you just fucking with me now? I... can no longer tell. :)

>Interesting. I hadn't know that! So it's less traditionally futurist
>science-fiction and more... more...

It's fairly straight futurism, it's just futurism from 1991, before Ray Kurzweil ruined it. Singularity my ass.

*ahem*

Sorry.

>Most works I can think of that'd fall into the
>category are either deconstructions of classic silver age narratives
>or nostalgic celebrations of the same.

Well, deconstruction gives me a sharp pain, so let's go with classification 2.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
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BobSchroeck
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14. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #10
 
   >>They're intended more in the vein of "this seems stylistically off to
>>my eyes, and this is why." It's like critiquing brushstroke work on a
>>painting; right and wrong don't enter into it as much as aesthetics
>>do.
>... who the fuck does that?

You'd be surprised. There are people who actually make a living with stuff like that.

Then again, people make a living off just about everything imaginable; doesn't make it a virtue.

-- Bob
-------------------
My race is pacifist and does not believe in war. We kill only out of personal spite.


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Mercutio
Member since May-26-13
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Aug-15-14, 06:30 AM (EST)
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17. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #10
 
   >>I would submit that Korra's original arrest in the Republic is
>>probably still part of her record, if for no other reason than that
>>Lin seems like the type of person to make sure it was. :)
>
>As far as is ever indicated, she was never charged with anything, just
>harassed and released. Which is par for the course with the
>Beifong Staatspolizei.

Hmm, fair point. I imagine Tenzin swung a big bat with the DA.

Despite the flaws of the RCPD, I do kinda feel like when it comes to Korra's debut, they weren't really being overly fascist. Korra caused a lot of property damage and fucked up a whole street in an ill-advised attempt at vigilante justice, and when the cops quite reasonably tried to detain her for that, she led them in a high-speed chase.

Lin sort of earned the right to yell at her a bit that day.

>>Fair points on all the others. I didn't know that psion meant
>>specifically telepathic; I'd assumed it was a catch-all term for
>>anyone psionically active, which I think bending might qualify as?
>
>The Psi Corps classification system has no idea what the hell bending
>is. They've never been allowed to study it. Officially it doesn't
>even exist. That's kind of part of why the sonsofbitches aren't lined
>up 45 deep at the Crescent Island Veil nexus.

Oh, it's a Psi Corps classification?

I also did not know that. I thought it was a generic 'yeah, this person is psionically active in some way; Customs and Immigration guy looking at this, you may want to advise them on what the local laws are like with regard to that sort of thing, so that both the person and polity in question can come to a comfortable understanding' thing.

>>They're intended more in the vein of "this seems stylistically off to
>>my eyes, and this is why." It's like critiquing brushstroke work on a
>>painting; right and wrong don't enter into it as much as aesthetics
>>do.
>
>... who the fuck does that?

... a lot of people?

You seem to think that it's weird in some way. How so?

Painting is tricky. I've never worked on canvas, but I've done a fair bit of miniature building in my day, and am friends with people who do it very, very seriously. I've listened to long, involved conversations about the merits of one brush size and technique over another, and seem people critique each others work. Lots of conversations along the lines of "That color is great, but you shouldn't have tried to use it to do detail work like you did; it isn't popping the way you want. Have you considered drybrushing?"

I'm not sure how looking at a painting and saying "I see what they were trying to do, I think, but the brushwork on the background is rubbish for that; they should have done it different" is meaningfully different from watching, say, an episode of Legend of Korra and saying "I get what the writers were aiming for but they fucked it up."

>>>There is no winning in this place.)
>>
>>Well, when it comes to critiques, it's not about winning and losing.
>
>... Do you genuinely not know that variations on "you can't win around
>here" are a common figure of speech (akin to "damned if you do, damned
>if you don't"), or are you just fucking with me now? I... can no
>longer tell. :)

Honest answer?

Sometimes you seem to use "I just can't win" and equivalents in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way, and sometimes you seem to use it in a legitimate what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you-people way. And I legit have a hard time telling them apart on occasion.

>>Most works I can think of that'd fall into the
>>category are either deconstructions of classic silver age narratives
>>or nostalgic celebrations of the same.
>
>Well, deconstruction gives me a sharp pain,

You've said this before, and I still consider it to be ironic considering that one of the major bedrock pillars of the setting is Revolutionary Girl Utena with a side of Magic Knights Rayearth. :)

The former is less a deconstruction than it is completely rendering the conventions and assumption of shoujo anime down to their component atoms, and the latter pulls some Evangelion-style "this starts off highly conventional and then takes some weird left turns" action.

-Merc
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Gryphonadmin
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19. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #17
 
   >Despite the flaws of the RCPD, I do kinda feel like when it comes to
>Korra's debut, they weren't really being overly fascist.

Fuck 'em. It's like nobody in that show understands whose name is in the title. Tiresome. :)

>Oh, it's a Psi Corps classification?
>
>I also did not know that. I thought it was a generic 'yeah, this
>person is psionically active in some way; Customs and
>Immigration guy looking at this, you may want to advise them on what
>the local laws are like with regard to that sort of thing, so that
>both the person and polity in question can come to a comfortable
>understanding' thing.

That's the basic intent, but it uses the P-scale as its baseline - not as any kind of endorsement of the agency, obviously, but because its classification system is well-known and fairly intuitive. It could, perhaps, be taken as read that the phrase in Mike Zant's internal monologue is a simplification of a fairly complicated set of parameters, if one were the type to take things as read.

>>>It's like critiquing brushstroke work on a
>>>painting; right and wrong don't enter into it as much as aesthetics
>>>do.
>>
>>... who the fuck does that?
>
>... a lot of people?
>
>You seem to think that it's weird in some way. How so?
(...)
>I'm not sure how looking at a painting and saying "I see what they
>were trying to do, I think, but the brushwork on the background is
>rubbish for that; they should have done it different" is meaningfully
>different from watching, say, an episode of Legend of Korra and saying
>"I get what the writers were aiming for but they fucked it up."

Critiquing brushwork isn't like critiquing writing, it's like critiquing orthography. "Well, I see what Chaucer was trying to do, but fuck me, the man dyd lyke to use a y, dydn't he."

>Sometimes you seem to use "I just can't win" and equivalents in a fun,
>tongue-in-cheek way, and sometimes you seem to use it in a legitimate
>what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you-people way. And I legit have a
>hard time telling them apart on occasion.

Well, in neither of those scenarios does "win" actually mean "be victorious in a contest", rather a more general sense of "obtain a positive outcome". Context! It's what separates us from the apes. :)

>>Well, deconstruction gives me a sharp pain,
>
>You've said this before, and I still consider it to be ironic
>considering that one of the major bedrock pillars of the setting is
>Revolutionary Girl Utena with a side of Magic Knights
>Rayearth
. :)
>
>The former is less a deconstruction than it is completely rendering
>the conventions and assumption of shoujo anime down to their component
>atoms, and the latter pulls some Evangelion-style "this starts off
>highly conventional and then takes some weird left turns" action.

Yes, and in both (in fact, thinking about it, all three) cases you'll note that the local reaction here can be summed up as, "Well, that got unpleasant in hurry. Let's imagine for a moment what that would've been like if the people who made it hadn't turned out to be just fucking with us."

Which is sort of... I don't know, anti-deconstructionistarian.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Pasha
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Aug-13-14, 12:17 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
  
>>five foot seven, 142 pounds - he could believe that; she was a sturdy-
>
>That actually seems incredibly light for someone of Korra's size,
>build, and athleticism. I'm 5'10 and weigh about the same, and I'm a
>pile of skin and bones and ridiculously out of shape. Korra seems like

You'd be amazed how quick that fat adds up. Also, you'd be amazed at how much muscle you actually have on you, even as a skinny guy. You just can't see it because you have a layer of fat over the top that hides it. Heck, 5'10 is a good height for welterweight fighters and that's 147 pounds...

>>The first thing that struck Korra about the New Avalon Knights
>>was that their tickets were very reasonably priced. The second was that
>>they had a charming (if rather small) ballpark, full of appealing old-
>>fashioned touches and cleverly designed to fit in its peculiarly-shaped
>>lot.
>
>I have to be honest, this seemed a little bit off to me. Korra's
>familiarity with the sport is, as the text itself notes, based
>entirely on cultural contact with Zipang, and given Zipang's own
>cultural context probably all their stadiums are going to be even more
>old-fashioned than Puckett's Field is.

Mmm, yes and no. For one, she's been walking around in what's obviously a very technically advanced city, and so if the ticket takers rip the ticket in half, as opposed to doing the little scanning thing they do now, or have an actual dude walking around selling hotdogs instead of filling out a card and giving it to the user and having it delivered, those would be obvious anachronisms. Two, I always pictured Zipang as a fully modern colony with spaceport and everything. So their baseball stadium (if they have one) is probably on the smaller side with as many labor saving (if soul killing) labor saving tricks as they can get away with.

>Also, I don't know what things are like in other peoples necks of the
>woods, but around here, when you go to see the local baseball team get
>absolutely destroyed, there's some serious, serious drinking going on.

And this is how you can tell that you/your friends aren't actual fans of the game. I go to MARINERS games (mariners!) all the time, and rarely have more than one beer.

>(Really, it's the only thing that makes watching baseball tolerable if
>you aren't a giant stats nerd; ... )

Bite me, english major. ;-)


>Given New Avalon's staggeringly high incidence of high-powered
>criminals and it being the target of repeated and destructive
>terrorist attacks (although I suppose the latter isn't really a thing
>yet) one can only imagine just how hard Jim Gordon has to work to keep
>the police from going full-militarization.

I wonder if having the IPO/Experts lying around helps with that? Like, defining a general patrol cops job as "get the civilians to safety, call in backup" as opposed to "you're all part time members of the SWAT team so we can get extra federal funding to spend on 'team building' drinking outings"

>I'll have more to say about this at the tail end, but I do have to
>note that it seems like Korra really ought to be in possession of a
>smartphone or at the very least a camera.

?? I'm failing to see relevance here.

>>Korra rose early by her standards, meditated for half an hour,
>>had a nice breakfast in the hotel's miniature café, then spent much of
>>the morning with her guidebooks and maps, working some more on her plan
>>(such as it was) for the week.
>
>This also seems odd to me. I guess she hasn't bought a tablet yet? We
>know she's web-conversant, that's established later.

Sure. But here's the thing: I own a tablet. I'm quite web-conversant (I write and test tablet/smartphone software for a living. I use the things all the TIME) and yet there are many things (like looking at a map of a city that you don't know, and are trying to figure out) that having all that info spread out on the bed is useful. Maps are also like newspapers: seeing what editorial choices they make can show you what's important to a society.

>>"If you are, let me just save you some time and tell you straight up:
>>The Internet lied about your chances."
>
>Style quibble: by the late 2300s "internet" should probably be a
>generic term and no longer a proper noun. It's no longer capitalized
>by many publications right now in the early 2000s, and the movement in
>that direction is only accelerating.

I've typically seen "The Internet" as a general noun to both the information found on it (typically via crowdsourced information) or the denizens of the internet, whereas when talking about the network itself, it's generally non-capitalized. Which actually fits into the usage I typically see here.

>This also seems weird. That information should all be online, and even
>if it weren't, it seems off that the library itself wouldn't look at
>Korra strangely and gently point her towards a local terminal in which
>all that information was available. There'd be no need for her to go
>into a special archive room to access it or get a special pass to do
>so; these days, that sort of thing only really happens if you have a

I assume the pass is less a special pass and more a "you don't have a library card here, so here's the temporary." Also note that they never specify HOW she looks at the info. 'The Stacks' may actually be mostly a giant row of terminals with droids that can bring you physical copies if you REALLY need them.

>This isn't wrong, per se (and I always lose the usage arguments
>anyway) but "high" is an extraordinarily archaic way to refer to
>getting buzzed off alcohol; I don't think it's been in widespread use
>that way since the 60s and 70s. I was listening to the Nixon tapes
>recently and he uses the term that way, in fact; but these days "high"
>is almost exclusively reserved for drugs rather than booze.

"You know that when your mouth is getting dry/you're plenty high". To me, this feels like you're being picky for the sake of being picky. I knew exactly what the author meant here, without having to strain to figure it out.

>
>>With his mix of high-power electronic house music and his collection of
>>antique computing equipment (not only from Earth, but from Salusia and
>>Vulcan as well),
>
>It is now part of my headcanon that Zuse owns a fully-functional
>DECstation that would be entirely capable of compiling CLULESS... and
>that none of the people who would be interested in that fact have any
>idea at all or are in fact even aware of his hobby.

...and even Zuze doesn't realize what he's got there, he just thinks he has an antique piece of kit.

>The only other thing I have to say about the fight at Zuse is that the
>NAPD is falling down on the job if Korra wasn't ID'd as being
>involved. I have a hard time believing nobody got the start of
>the fight on either their smartphone or hardwired recording device of
>choice, and likewise that nobody slammed their "emergency in progress,
>autodial the cops" one-button apps as soon as they hit the sidewalk,
>if not before.

Yeah, this I can see, but I let it go because having that stuff changes the tone of the story from one where the whole city is basically one big SCA event to something a little more post-cyberpunky. Which is fine, cstross is among my favorite authors, but that's not why I read EPU.

>Or, given what we'll later discover, that Zuse had time to wipe his
>security cams before the fuzz descended.

Who says his security cams record?

<Cut more whinging about how people don't use tech the way Merc wants>

>May I express the hope that this is Teen Titans-the-tv-show Slade, who
>is actually a competently used and moderately scary villain, and not
>comic-book Deathstroke, who DC has been trying, and failing, to make
>into an a-lister for going on fifteen years now?

Slade from Arrow is possibly my favorite tv character in the last five years.

>Yes. I think about this kind of thing. Because I care!

FSVO 'care' ;-)

>>"Oh, y'know, the usual," Skuld replied lightly. "Except every
>>eight or ten minutes I have a tendency to sort of try and stop time.
>>It's not deliberate, but I can't seem to not do it."
>
>I know I said this already when we hit the flipside of this awhile
>back, but I love it when weird freaky stuff happens around the gods. I
>know that The Management is big on the various universal
>movers-and-shakers being jes' folks, but the cosmic stuff just does it
>for me and I'll take what I can get.

I sometimes wonder if they're 'just folks' so that weird stuff doesn't happen all the time around them. Perhaps part of the limiting process? Sort of a mental exercise that goes with it that allows them to do things like walk on a station filled with warriors without them all going apeshit and killing each other or something. Like Tyr interacting with Chad (little scene. AWESOME worldbuilding)


>I hit on this a number of times in my play-by-play, and I'm trying to
>be diplomatic rather than blunt, because I don't like to sound
>blame-y. But New Avalon seems like... a very un-futuristic version of
>the future. It has that kind of "this is a very dated version of what
>people thought the future would be like" feel that you often get when,
>say, watching old episodes of Star Trek or if you've ever walked
>through Tommorrowland at a Disney park. And that's okay, you give it a
>pass because that stuff was written a long time ago, but this was, you
>know, written three months ago, not three decades.

Meh. For all you know that map she had spread out on the bedspread? hi-rez color paper with auto updating marks, etc. The reason nobody hit their 'call the cops now' button is that getting their smartphone out of their purse when RUNNING FROM THE FIREFIGHT wasn't their first goal. And again, NA always felt (to me) like the SCA from 2400 viewing the 20th century. They're slamming about a hundred and fifty years together, and keeping all the 'good' bits (airships, awesome clubs, networked computing) around and ignoring that the bad bits (institutionalized -ism of choice, everyone face first in their phones, shitty public transportation) ever existed in the same way that nobody at an SCA event is a serf. There are PEASANTS, but not serfs. because it's Hobbsian to be a serf.

>This is something that I feel is only ever really a problem with the
>"civilian" settings in UF. The military sci-fi bits of it never suffer
>from it at all; even the older parts of the canon, stuff written back

...really? Because if I were to apply your rubrick, the fact that we have meat pilots in fighter jets (there are fighter jets in space! That look like late 1960s fighter jets! And fly like airplanes!) at all would bug the HELL outta me. The fact that there are giant robots (if you have the materials science to build them, build tanks out of those materials. It'll be a better tank), infantry troops that field what we recognize as 'guns' etc. Think of picking up a 17th century soldier (just figuring out line infantry) and dropped them off into say, the ISIS/Kurdistan lines (which is about as low a TL of conflict as exists between states or statelike organizations on the planet right now) and they'd be UTTERLY BAFFLED.

It's less that there aren't anacronisms in the warfare sections and more that you don't think about them in context, so don't give a shit.

--
-Pasha
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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pjmoyermoderator
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Aug-13-14, 01:40 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON Aug-13-14 AT 01:42 PM (EDT)
 
>>I have to be honest, this seemed a little bit off to me. Korra's
>>familiarity with the sport is, as the text itself notes, based
>>entirely on cultural contact with Zipang, and given Zipang's own
>>cultural context probably all their stadiums are going to be even more
>>old-fashioned than Puckett's Field is.
>
>Mmm, yes and no. For one, she's been walking around in what's
>obviously a very technically advanced city, and so if the ticket
>takers rip the ticket in half, as opposed to doing the little scanning
>thing they do now, or have an actual dude walking around selling
>hotdogs instead of filling out a card and giving it to the user and
>having it delivered, those would be obvious anachronisms. Two, I
>always pictured Zipang as a fully modern colony with spaceport and
>everything. So their baseball stadium (if they have one) is probably
>on the smaller side with as many labor saving (if soul killing) labor
>saving tricks as they can get away with.

Zipang, in a way, could be considered an "SCA" version of Edo/Meiji Japan seen from the late 22nd century. All of the style, none of the suck, as you said for your own/Gryph's comparison for New Avalon being "The Future as viewed from 1980's, interpreted by the people of the 24th century". So while the economy is a lot more balanced, the technology level is reasonably on par with the late 23rd century (mostly due to their own implementation of Sakoku when Sonset happened in 2288), and they have much less social stratification, the architecture is 'modern-period', most ground transportation is -not- repulsor-based (but they still have nice cars and trains), there's still a shogun (and emperor), multiple regional daimyo's, and the samurai are pretty much the entire professional class (so you've got samurai doctors, lawyers, programmers, coaches, physicists, etc).

So its baseball style is some mutant amalgamation of early 1900's Japanese baseball but with such nice advances as, oh, gloves for the fielders and and better scoring techniques. The overall field size and game size is smaller than MLB's, too.

Zipang itself made official contact with Diqiu in the early 2320's, in the middle of its period of isolation (and right on the heels of the Phoenix Flight and Korra's 50th birthday, which was their equivalent of the 1960's). So things only get muddled further from that point on, as cross-cultural influences carefully spread. The only major cross-advances have been in medical technology from the Zipang side and waterbending healing in the other direction from Diqiu; so while intrusive cyberware hasn't really made any progress (and really, there isn't a network in the lightningweb for it to take advantage of anyway), cyber -prosthetics- for limb-replacement have been making inroads (and there's been some promising inroads on chi management via the same), as well as better gene-based treatments for common genetic issues.

--- Philip




Philip J. Moyer
Contributing Writer, Editor and Artist (and Moderator) -- Eyrie Productions, Unlimited
CEO of MTS, High Poobah Of Artwork, and High Priest Of the Church Of Aerianne -- Magnetic Terrapin Studios
"Insert Pithy Comment Here"
Fandoms -- Fanart -- Fan Meta Discussions


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eriktown
Member since Jan-28-06
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Aug-13-14, 03:26 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #4
 
   New Avalon, and by extension the UF universe as a whole, is a Good Old-Fashioned Future. (Thank you, Bruce Sterling). You want a more 'current' future, go read Hannu Rajaniemi (or, if you're feeling particularly happy and positive about humanity's evolutionary choices to date, Peter Watts).


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Matrix Dragon
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Aug-13-14, 05:45 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #5
 
   >New Avalon, and by extension the UF universe as a whole, is a Good
>Old-Fashioned Future. (Thank you, Bruce Sterling). You want a more
>'current' future, go read Hannu Rajaniemi (or, if you're feeling
>particularly happy and positive about humanity's evolutionary choices
>to date, Peter Watts).

I kind of think of it as being along the lines of Gotham from BTAS. It's not meant to be a specific era of time. It's what it wants to be.

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


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Mercutio
Member since May-26-13
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Aug-15-14, 06:40 AM (EST)
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18. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #3
 
  
>It's less that there aren't anacronisms in the warfare sections and
>more that you don't think about them in context, so don't give a shit.

Mmm. Maybe, but... the thing is, all the stuff you describe still involves a setting that is more technologically and (in some ways) socially advanced than we are right now. We can't make jets that fly in space, 1960s-looking or otherwise. Or construct giant city-smashing robots. It would require materiel sciences that are well beyond state of the art and are, in effect, magical.

And once you're operating on that plane you can construct all sorts of justifications for the aesthetics. "We build giant robots because our gyroscopic and stabilizing technology are such that that particular form factor offers massive maneuverability advantages over a classic tank form in an urban environment" and suchly.

The point is, that stuff is all still head-and-shoulders above what we have right now. It's not like you have, say, Destroid squadrons that have to communicate with each other using signal flags rather than highly encrypted burst transmissions. Sometimes it seems like people in UF are walking around with less everyday tech on them than I am right now in 2014 (or at least, using it less well) and on occasion that's bothered me.

-Merc
Keep Rat


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Gryphonadmin
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Aug-15-14, 08:14 AM (EST)
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20. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #18
 
   >It would require materiel sciences that are well beyond state
>of the art and are, in effect, magical.

Are you one of those people who bitch about the square-cube law while other people are trying to enjoy Pacific Rim? Because this is basically the same argument. :)

>The point is, that stuff is all still head-and-shoulders above what we
>have right now. It's not like you have, say, Destroid squadrons that
>have to communicate with each other using signal flags rather than
>highly encrypted burst transmissions.

D'you know, I'm reasonably sure there are places in the UF universe where this is exactly the case...

>Sometimes it seems like people
>in UF are walking around with less everyday tech on them than I am
>right now in 2014 (or at least, using it less well) and on occasion
>that's bothered me.

Perhaps, although in the case of AiNA, most of those occasions seem to have involved one or both of the following:

- Korra's personal style not involving a lot of gadgetry or the inclination to spend a bunch of time getting to grips with it; or

- You being annoyed that I didn't use Ubiquitous Information Technology to make various scenes much less fun or omit them altogether.

In the former case, well, that's the character at work. In the latter, it's you trying to ice-skate uphill, I'm afraid. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Matrix Dragon
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Aug-15-14, 08:30 AM (EST)
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21. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #20
 
   >Are you one of those people who bitch about the square-cube law while
>other people are trying to enjoy Pacific Rim? Because this is
>basically the same argument. :)

Had that conversation. Thankfully NOT while trying to watch it. If I remember right, I replied with "Shut up and enjoy cargo ship kendo."

>>The point is, that stuff is all still head-and-shoulders above what we
>>have right now. It's not like you have, say, Destroid squadrons that
>>have to communicate with each other using signal flags rather than
>>highly encrypted burst transmissions.
>
>D'you know, I'm reasonably sure there are places in the UF universe
>where this is exactly the case...

"Whelp, some idiot's dumped minovsky particles across the planet. Pass me the guidebook would you? God, this is gonna suck..."

> - You being annoyed that I didn't use Ubiquitous Information
>Technology to make various scenes much less fun or omit them
>altogether.

You know, every time I see this conversation come up, I remember the mall Xavier and Magneto were walking through after falling out of the Marvel Emoverse, where some teenager in a shop leans out and tells Charles that they've got a sale on spinal shunts and nanotech muscle repair. 35 dollars, 2 hours work.

The fun thing about this future is that it doesn't feel the need to get in the way :)

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


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Blackbird
Member since Jan-2-13
25 posts
Aug-15-14, 11:23 PM (EST)
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24. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #21
 
   >>Are you one of those people who bitch about the square-cube law while
>>other people are trying to enjoy Pacific Rim? Because this is
>>basically the same argument. :)
>
>Had that conversation. Thankfully NOT while trying to watch it. If I
>remember right, I replied with "Shut up and enjoy cargo ship kendo."

And the fun thing is (materials science is my field), there's a really simple explanation for the cargo ship bit: The materials science that went into the Jaegers (assumed on the grounds that it's necessary for the film) went into the recent-construction ship.

What gets me is the powerplant on the helos.


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Pasha
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Aug-15-14, 11:44 AM (EST)
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22. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #18
 
   >
>>It's less that there aren't anacronisms in the warfare sections and
>>more that you don't think about them in context, so don't give a shit.
>
>Mmm. Maybe, but... the thing is, all the stuff you describe still
>involves a setting that is more technologically and (in some ways)
>socially advanced than we are right now. We can't make jets that fly
>in space, 1960s-looking or otherwise. Or construct giant city-smashing
>robots. It would require materiel sciences that are well beyond state
>of the art and are, in effect, magical.

...you missed the very, very important part of that phrase which was "Like Planes." Think the difference between B5 (They flew like spaceships! Kinda!) and Star Wars ("Let's have WWII Dogfights in SPACE!")

>The point is, that stuff is all still head-and-shoulders above what we
>have right now. It's not like you have, say, Destroid squadrons that

Erm, again, not really. The machines being used, sure. The actual effect? Not so much. From what we've seen, infantry tactics (and heck, armour tactics) seem to still be, basically those from the 1950s. They're recognizable to us as warfare. And I'm saying that, to someone from the 1600s, much of what we do today wouldn't be. The concept of airstrikes? Of fire control? Heck, the concept of suppressing fire is less than a hundred years old. Again, it's not that these are anachronistic so much as this isn't something you give a shit about, so you don't look at it too closely, so it doesn't bug you<1>. Heck, characters in UF regularly use SWORDS as personal combat weapons in firefights.

>have to communicate with each other using signal flags rather than
>highly encrypted burst transmissions. Sometimes it seems like people
>in UF are walking around with less everyday tech on them than I am
>right now in 2014 (or at least, using it less well) and on occasion
>that's bothered me.

Yeah, 'cause I totally know what an acoustic dampner web is, and my robot buddy always opens a little drawer on her head to use like a flashlight. Also, look at it from this direction: I can't take my phone to CANADA without hassle, and you want me to take it across dimensions?

--
-Pasha <1> I should note here to Gryph that, while I like hard mil SF that tries to do this sort of thing, I also like pulpy SF that says "Fuck it, swords in a firefight, that's cool!
"Don't change the subject"
"Too slow, already did."


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Gryphonadmin
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Aug-16-14, 02:15 AM (EST)
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26. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #22
 
   >Also, look at it from this direction: I can't take my
>phone to CANADA without hassle, and you want me to take it across
>dimensions?

Heh. Here's the thing, too. The makers of The Legend of Korra, in that situation, would totally have included a scene where Korra tried to use the phone she brought from home, and was surprised and disappointed (and possibly placed in danger) when it didn't work.

Our version, on the other hand, already knew that would happen and didn't bother bringing it, because she knows what the hell she is doing. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Peter Eng
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Aug-17-14, 03:32 PM (EST)
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28. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #26
 
   >
>Heh. Here's the thing, too. The makers of The Legend of
>Korra
, in that situation, would totally have included a scene
>where Korra tried to use the phone she brought from home, and was
>surprised and disappointed (and possibly placed in danger) when it
>didn't work.
>
>Our version, on the other hand, already knew that would happen
>and didn't bother bringing it, because she knows what the hell she is
>doing. :)
>

"You expected this."
"After fifty years of being the Avatar, you start to figure a few things out."

Peter Eng
--
Insert humorous comment here.


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McFortner
Charter Member
449 posts
Aug-16-14, 01:37 AM (EST)
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25. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #18
 
   >The point is, that stuff is all still head-and-shoulders above what we
>have right now. It's not like you have, say, Destroid squadrons that
>have to communicate with each other using signal flags rather than
>highly encrypted burst transmissions. Sometimes it seems like people
>in UF are walking around with less everyday tech on them than I am
>right now in 2014 (or at least, using it less well) and on occasion
>that's bothered me.

Don't let it bother you. There are still places in the Amazon right now where you can find groups of people who don't even use technology from the 3rd Century BC. Just because the technology is out there means you have access to it, and if you do, even want to use it. Heck, I still have a "dumb" cellphone because I just don't need or want what the latest smart phones can do.

Hm, does that make me an unbelievable early 21st Century human? :)

(That's a joke, in case you couldn't tell.)

The future is going to have stuff that we can't even imagine right now, or the End Times will have occurred and it's all moot. So in the the words of Dr. Johnny Fever, "So just sit right down, relax, open your ears real wide and say, 'Give it to me straight, Doctor, I can take it!'"

Michael

Michael C. Fortner
"Maxim 37: There is no such thing as "overkill".
There is only "open fire" and "I need to reload".


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Matrix Dragon
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1727 posts
Aug-13-14, 08:42 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
  
>The only other thing I have to say about the fight at Zuse is that the
>NAPD is falling down on the job if Korra wasn't ID'd as being
>involved. I have a hard time believing nobody got the start of
>the fight on either their smartphone or hardwired recording device of
>choice, and likewise that nobody slammed their "emergency in progress,
>autodial the cops" one-button apps as soon as they hit the sidewalk,
>if not before.
>

As was noted in the Gryph side of the scene where he and Korra met, not only did the NAPD know she was involved in the 'unspecified incident' as HiRez, but they quite admired the job she did on them :)

>
>I hit on this a number of times in my play-by-play, and I'm trying to
>be diplomatic rather than blunt, because I don't like to sound
>blame-y. But New Avalon seems like... a very un-futuristic version of
>the future.

And I gotta ask, how is that a bad thing?

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


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drakensis
Member since Dec-20-06
315 posts
Aug-14-14, 02:55 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
   >Sidebar: I have, at times, toyed with the idea that the notoriously
>casual clothing sense of Gryphon and a lot of his contemporaries is
>something of a front. I can't see most of them being
>ten-thousand-credit-suit guys (well, maybe Larry) but let me tell you;
>professionally tailored clothes, of any sort, are an absolute joy to
>wear. I once had a couple pairs of tailored jeans I got as a gift, and
>until some weight fluctuation happened they were far and away the most
>comfortable clothes I owned despite looking like off-the-rack Levis.
>Given the wealth of Gryphon et al., I figure there's a nonzero chance
>that a lot of the clothing they have that looks like something you'd
>toss on to tear apart an old car engine is actually far more expensive
>and fancy than it looks.

Given the mention early in SoS of an auto-tailor that produced Utena's uniform at WPI, I suspect most people's clothes in cities like New Avalon are tailored.

For example, you might go through the racks to pick out something you like the look on, but it's not "do they have this in my size" it's going into a booth that takes your measure and the design of the item that you want and they run up a version cut specifically to fit you perfectly.

So it is perfectly ordinary T-shirt and jeans... but by the standards of the 23rd/24th century which are much better than our 'off the rack' would be.

D.


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Mercutio
Member since May-26-13
901 posts
Aug-14-14, 03:10 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #11
 
  
>Given the mention early in SoS of an auto-tailor that produced Utena's
>uniform at WPI, I suspect most people's clothes in cities like New
>Avalon are tailored.
>
>For example, you might go through the racks to pick out something you
>like the look on, but it's not "do they have this in my size" it's
>going into a booth that takes your measure and the design of the item
>that you want and they run up a version cut specifically to fit you
>perfectly.
>
>So it is perfectly ordinary T-shirt and jeans... but by the standards
>of the 23rd/24th century which are much better than our 'off the rack'
>would be.

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that! Good point.

Interestingly, this is technology that might actually be implemented on a widescale basis within the next couple decades. Big-box retailers are looking into it as a way to remain relevant in the marketplace.

I'm looking forward to it immensely. I am oddly shaped. Not so much to look at, but my arms and legs are of a sufficiently non-standard proportion to each other that most things I find on the rack don't quite fit entirely right.

-Merc
Keep Rat


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SpottedKitty
Member since Jun-15-04
495 posts
Aug-14-14, 07:39 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #12
 
   >I'm looking forward to it immensely. I am oddly shaped. Not so much to
>look at, but my arms and legs are of a sufficiently non-standard
>proportion to each other that most things I find on the rack don't
>quite fit entirely right.

Been there, done that, can't find a t-shirt that fits right. ;)

It's shoes I'd really like to see a better fitting system for, though; I have very wide feet, so even including styles I'd never wear, any time I go into a shoe shop I can immediately toss out at least 95% of their stock from my range of choices.

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


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drakensis
Member since Dec-20-06
315 posts
Aug-15-14, 03:18 AM (EST)
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16. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #15
 
   >It's shoes I'd really like to see a better fitting system for, though;
>I have very wide feet, so even including styles I'd never wear, any
>time I go into a shoe shop I can immediately toss out at least 95% of
>their stock from my range of choices.

Same here.

D.


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SneakyPete
Member since Jun-30-04
88 posts
Aug-18-14, 02:03 PM (EST)
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29. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #15
 
   Oh, God yes; *nobody* carries a mens' 9.5 EEE in *anything*, it's always a special order.


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Peter Eng
Charter Member
1449 posts
Aug-14-14, 03:55 AM (EST)
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13. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #0
 
   >
>This is something that I feel is only ever really a problem with the
>"civilian" settings in UF. The military sci-fi bits of it never suffer
>from it at all; even the older parts of the canon, stuff written back
>in the early nineties, often holds up well now, twenty years later.
>But when you have people just tooling around on Earth or New Avalon or
>even Babylon 5... I dunno. It often seems like they're operating in a
>late-eighties technological and social mileau, just with starships and
>lasers and things bolted onto it.
>
>And New Avalon, in particular, just seems like it shouldn't be
>like that.... New Avalon is
>supposed to be this glittering jewel of modernity, and a lot of the
>time it doesn't seem like it.
>

Some of that is probably connected with the design ethos of New Avalon. While the technology underlying the buildings is state-of-the-art, there's no point in explaining how the stoves at the In-and-Out Burger actually run on nine volts of power while cooking a burger to perfection in thirty seconds. (Okay, that's a complete fabrication.)

The appearance of New Avalon, on the other hand, is all driven by a man who remembers the original World Wide Building, and so it more closely resembles a late-eighties world.

If anything, it's the reverse of what you think; it's a high-technology world with a veneer of late-eighties style, crafted by a man who has "both hands on the keyboard, one foot in the Swing Age." It's just that in writing the stories, Gryphon doesn't dwell on the technology, and so the appearance of being now-with-laser-guns comes in more strongly.

Peter Eng
--
Insert humorous comment here.


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Terminus Est
Member since Nov-5-04
461 posts
Aug-15-14, 03:14 PM (EST)
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23. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #13
 
   I vaguely remember in one of the stories dealing with the construction that New Avalon was designed specifically to look like it was old-fashioned, while having none of the failings. Which is why there are empty factory buildings that never housed factories and the like on the surface, while there's top-notch waste management, lots of road and parking space, really efficient disaster management, and a network of rapid deployment defense tunnels underneath. By a person who grew up in and loved the smallish town parts of it are made to resemble.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems to be the primary design aesthetic.


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SpottedKitty
Member since Jun-15-04
495 posts
Aug-16-14, 02:43 AM (EST)
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27. "RE: AINA: Extremely Belated Review"
In response to message #23
 
   <nod> ISTR one of the places this is outright stated is where Corwin moves into his (briefly) batchelor pad in the World Wide Building. And that's the charm of the place, IMHO.

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


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