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The Talon House

dioscuri

ICARIAN
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Everything posted by dioscuri

  1. Thanks! That particular dog house is not one I've visited before -- I've kept on passing it by, but it looks like there are a few stories I'd love to read there. I guess Dreamer is used to being in the dog house by now! He keeps thinking that he's in charge of himself. I have a few thoughts about what position Dreamer could actually hold on Dream of Dawn without being in a conflict of interest position. I'm scratching my head on that one. I think he cannot Captain the Dream of Dawn. I'll get those thoughts together and post my conclusions. cheers, dioscuri
  2. Science Fiction as a genre in itself may have a limited life span. Its problem is that its subject matter tends to get used up rather fast. There's only so much you can speculate on and still maintain some believability with the characters you create. Good characters perhaps need to be able to transcend a genre rather than depend on it. Detective fiction ends up in the same category I think. Enigma of Flatness tackles something that hasn't been tackled in a while, that is artificial intelligence. Interest in the field of A.I. has dropped off of late seeing that there have been no major advan
  3. Oh! about science fiction authors, Harlan Ellison to be specific. You know he was a Viet Nam veteran and he published some short stories shortly after his return. I *know* this is not available anymore, if you find it, its a collectors item, that is the ORIGINAL version of "A Boy And His Dog", it is the single most shocking science fiction short story I've ever read. I could likely be rated as pornographic, the only reason it isn't is because there are no pictures in it. One of my profs brought a copy into one of the first "Speculative Fiction" classes ever taught in upper level education bac
  4. Even though I love the genre, I have not necessarily loved the writers. Arthur C. Clarke seems cold to me and Asimov, for all his creative genius seems not to have been able to create a memorable character. I still like reading Asimov however. Heinlein at one point just got to mom, home and America apple pie for me. It has been Ray Bradbury's work that really got me thinking. For some reason I just loved "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and there is something diabolically evil about "Fahrenheit 513" (did I get the title right?). I have been fascinated with his images of Venus as a planet wher
  5. Many people wanted there to be an English mythology, hence King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Apparently the field of philology has morphed into something a bit different these days. These days a philologist might even be called a linguist. But never forget that the English have a particularly rich folk song tradition which seems in some people's minds to have tended to push down the number of influencial English composers from the Rennassaince to the 20th century. Tolkein was (interstingly) a member of the Inklings, a small group of English academics who gathered together and ta
  6. hmmm I'm not quite sure what you mean. I am actually using my Mac to have it read to me. The Mac has several convincing voices which sound very human-like and very easy to listen to. The only problem is that it doesn't always get contextual meaning and pronounciation correct. A notorious one is lead (which is led (past tense and the metal -- a noun) and read (red or reed). So the program reads quite well, but it certainly does not understand what its reading. The fact that they can make the voice sound convincing even in complex sentences is quite amazing. There are ways to attempt pronounc
  7. Speaking of the Silmarillion, I just happened to have my copy handy! As I thought I had remembered, what was published as The Silmarillion was published after his death and consisted not only of the Silmarillion itself but many other interesting fragments. I remember reading comments by Tolkein himself in which he stated that his motives for creating LOTR sprang from his invention of the Elvish language. As he pointed out, every language develops in a culture and has a history. Much of the Silmarillion is just that. It was written over the entire span of his life. Jamie.wri being quite ano
  8. True enough, however, the promises and treaties that were broken and over which the Vosh call the Xanamarians Oath Breakers all happen after the fall of Kuronos and during the period of stasis. They seem to have no legends save the Prophecies which seem to point to Jamie as the one to fulfill the broken promises. It seems odd that they have no history before that since they seem at the present time to be keeping such careful documentation of their history. That they are somehow related to the Kalorians seems logical. Also keep in mind that the Kalorians had only limited immunity to the virus
  9. Well, I'm almost lost for words here! I started reading The Enigma of Flatness with little or no hope that it would be a truly good Science Fiction story and have been proven completely and utterly wrong! I've only just run across this story, and it looks like the author posts only every two or three months, but each chapter has pulled me inexorably deeper into the plot. This is a true Science Fiction story, there are no vampires, no alternate universes and no magic. Its a story in the true sense of the genre. The author gives you no hint at the beginning where this story might be heading.
  10. OMG NO!!!! Noooooo!!!!! I was just correcting a long reply to Talon when Firefox suddenly crashed (I'm using a beta version) and I've lost the post I think. We'll see if it turns up by some feat of magic or one of those quantum chance events physicists like to talk about. I'f It doesn't reappear, I'll see If I can reconstruct it. There was a long intricate stream of logic in it I'm not sure if I can reproduce .... cheers, (shaking his fist at the universe!) dioscuri
  11. Sorry, Mary Shelly did "Frankenstein" not vampires. The popularity of vampires began with John Polidori's "The Vampyre" in 1819. It is Bram Stroker's 1897 novel "Dracula" that further popularized and provided the stereotypical vampire that is the basis of the modern vampire genre of horror novels, films and TV shows. Remember, all such stories are fiction. As is TSOI. Fiction being "the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, esp. in prose form". Being fiction, the characters, events, plot lines and any other elements of such stories are all the products of the writers
  12. I have a question about gate travel. We are told in no uncertain terms that two beings cannot be touching at the time they travel through the gates, yet Liudowag and Barcepa run through the gate holding hands. Then, when Charlie is awakened, then sent away with the Ghroum, Spinoza is thrown at Charlie and travels the gate on Charlie's shoulder. At least this is the impression those two passages give. Isn't this a contradiction? cheers, dioscuri
  13. Time and time again we are told that the virus attacking the humans of the Empire is advancing far faster than anyone has admitted. That's the reason I say the Empire is in disarray. Savaron Loka up to now has been a successful manipulator of the Emperor. The Emperor does what Loka wants. His absence changes nothing, the virus is the agent that introduces the disarray inside the Empire. Gold Glass is all but gone. And the Ghdar know more than we think about ordinary soldiering. Niklas has instilled in them the Code of the Ghadar. Part of that is that they fight for their cause and they fight
  14. But then all stories about life are mysteries, none of the characters know what will happen to them, and neither does the reading audience. I've thought about placing the second book first, but, somehow, it just wouldn't work. The whole story became much more mundane, and the cold sleep syndrome affect would be of no importance because we'd know they'd get their memories back already, Most of what we didn't know would have been served up on a silver platter. Life, as we live it is a mystery. We are trapped by time, trapped because we do not know the future and because we cannot move back and
  15. True we don't know if those in Taldor Valoren activated the barrier or not, I rather think they would have as it was part of the measures to protect their children. We know it isn't the same one protecting Altinestra, I suspect Jamie sets that one up at another time before they enter stasis, no doubt there will be an answer in the next instalment as that is rather a crucial feature in the story. Although I suppose it is possible, not likely, but possible, Jamie and the others were in stasis for 100 years, woke up, found everything still in turmoil, blocked off Altinestra and went back for ano
  16. We've never truly discussed this topic because there's never been enough evidence to say much of anything. Now we have some, but just a little. We know the 7 and 81 are the 781 children or younger people who were saved during the night of flight. We've seen older Kalorians dressed in grey coats running the the Kalorian part of the operation. We know the Emperor is dead and so is a good part of his idea to move to Argon.. We know the empire is in a sort of disarray, obviously not expecting the kind of battle they had to fight. imagine being a battle hov pilot and having to fight or shoot at
  17. We really know of only one of the trio, though that the rest might have suffered the same fate wouldn't surprise me. That the trio decided to fight along side of the Ghadar wasn't that much of a surprise seeing as how much the three admired them. I was a bit surprised that Hippolito left Jamie with the Emperor and didn't wait to take custody of him once he was finished with him. We knew that Renaud hated the Emperor, though the method of Renaud's execution of the Emperor was to say the least, unique. I think it gave him a kind of back handed revenge that he allowed and armed the Emperor's ass
  18. I think that's a bad assumption to make. You never hear scientists talk about religion unless they are directly asked. Scientists know enough to make the distinction between religious faith and scientific theories based on evidence. Scientific theories change, and change radically based on research. As the theory is tested, the parts of the theory that are proven wrong are changed. Facts gained by experimental means must be able to be repeated. Miracles cannot be tested. Miracles can only be claimed by the person for whom the miracle has occurred, therefore it cannot be repeated even if the
  19. It was not my intention for this post to have anything to do with religion. I was drawing links between Earth's history (the home planet) and events at Gold Glass. As I have learned more about animals and biology in general, I have been astounded by what has been discovered, then even more astounded by what has been covered up in the name of preserving what can only be called ethnocentric ideas of the distinction between humans and animals and humans and other species. I did mean to bring into question the reaction of the human population to the Ghroum simply because they embody everything t
  20. I think that genetics and DNA in particular are more complicated that you make them out to be. Just having the same genes doesn't automatically make you a carbon copy of yourself. Everything that happens in the womb from the time of conception affects how the DNA present will be expressed. Yes, we have some observations that Jamie reminds people of the original de Valen, but then they didn't know him. All they have are stories. As far as Niklas being a carbon copy, all you have is the exclamation of one Ghroum who states: "... It is as if they just put wings on him!". We don't know what basis
  21. Basically the argument at Gold Glass amongst the scientists was between complete control of a system and those who espoused very little control of the system. Since the system involved here is life itself, this is simply an argument between evolution (complexity) vs. complete control (Intelligent design). How can you see it differently? Yes, it is couched very nicely outside the realm of religious dogma, but it still comes down to who pulls all the strings? Can anyone control all possibilities? From the very beginning, almost everything about the rise of the human population on this planet se
  22. No! No! NOT! Complexity and chaos theory were principals that Croal and Jonas of Amodon built into all their work, not just two or three Icarians. The principals of complexity go down to the very nature of the evolutionary process. Evolution itself is complex and chaotic. That is why it had the success it had. The whole Icarian race was conceived using those principals. What Croal realised after creating Loran was that one of the essential chaotic and complex things in the creation of a living being is the environment in which he/she/it is raised. That is why he chose to create Jamie and Charl
  23. The Ghroum, as we stand back and look at what horrors were done, we have hardly asked the question; Why? If the Empire under the Blackwell monarchy was capable of what it did, what does it say about humanity in general? As we have seen, they are quite willing to take the most inspried creations from Earth's past and continue the practice of performing it, and hardly ever give a thought to what it meant. Our scientists, some of the most trusted people on our planet, the ones we trust our health and well being to, the ones who are trusted to keep us from diseases which in the past have decimat
  24. I've mentioned bonding, mating pairs, mates etc. several times. There seems to be a great deal of information and some mis-information about this subject. Croal for all his genius, works basically within the model which came from Earth. His genius for creating "new species" isn't something that came from out of the blue. What he has done is managed to understand how evolutionary processes molded humans and other species into what they are now. Croal and Jonas of Amodon have realised that the forces of evolution are inherently based on a complex and what seems on the surface to be a chaoti
  25. We know there are two Jonas' referred to in TSOI. The first one is Jonas of Amodon. He is human and one of Croal's most trusted and brilliant friends. It is suggested that it is Jonas of Amodon who first concieves the Icarian project and who, for a great deal of the time is in control of it as the designer of the new species. Croal is the genetic genius that can give form to what Jonas of Amodon maps out. Both Jonas of Amodon and Croal are exponents of complexity theory. It is on those principles that the project goes forward. I think by the time the Orbs come to be created, the principals of
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