Just when I thought that Blizzard was retreating to cliches, turning its Starcraft series into an adolescent fantasy, they decided to get a bit weird. In “The Queen of Blades” expansion, Kerrigan ends up rescuing Raynor, but not until she goes primal.
- The connections between Diablo and Starcraft became frighteningly predictable at this point…
- Demons equal zerg…
- Primal forces are not that dissimilar from primeval ones…or prime evil?
- Angels and men – specifically, so bye bye women…
- The remaking of worlds is once again a key component…
- That weirdo mysticism that become the Protoss (or the Draenei in WoW)…
Thinking about the utopic/dystopic possibilities…
The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight but there’s no place left to hide
Together Wendy we’ll live with the sadness
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don’t know when were gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and we’ll walk in the sun
But ’till then tramps like us baby we were born to run
For Springsteen, I’m guessing this scene pulsates with dystopic desire and pleasure, and I wonder if Gibson wasn’t listening to this when he wrote Neuromancer, with its invocations of last runs that will make everything change…
I guess in some ways that was what was so beautiful about that early Springsteen – he had that punk rock love for dancing on the edge of madness. Not in any rock star way, like Morrison growing too big for his britches and having the chutzpah to think that he’d show us something important (yay – I’m a shaman, and an asshole), but in a way that let you pull back (sorry for the mixed pronouns), wiser and sadder for having the view, but able to go on and forge a life on this plane as well.
Where I suddenly vanished to in my mind this morning…
As the situation of my life changes (dramatically), I find myself parsing small chunks of information, like an FBI agent or a tea leaf reader or a religious prophet, looking for meaning that probably isn’t there…
Quick reviews of two books:
Ken MacLeod – The Night Sessions. A sci-fi detective novel, based in a time after the upheavals of the religious wars. Essentially, fundamentalists became so vociferous that various religions went to war. The Mideast is still a nuclear slag zone, it sounds like, and most of the world aggressively rejects religion because of this.
- The police in Britain are still obtrusive by American standards – a cool tech they use are nano-bots called mosquitoes that can sniff for bomb-making materials, drugs, etc.
- In the war, robots became companions for soldiers, and as such attained sentience. This wasn’t a big deal, although humans try to remain vigilant about Matrixy type violence…thus the plot of this novel, as a robot has become murderous, and is copying itself.
- Arthur C. Clarke’s space ladders for the win!
- Part of the plot is fueled by how the robots seek salvation.
Karen Russell – St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.
- She obviously reads a lot of sci-fi and fantasy – her ability to create worlds that linger just on the edge of what we think of as real is stunning.
- Too many stories to talk about coherently, but the protagonists are mostly pre-adolescent, and often boys.
- As soon I write that, I realize that one of the stories is about a retirement community set in a lagoon, on decrepit boats. Of course, there is still an adolescent character who figures prominently.
- There are odd connections between the stories, with some similar or linked characters…
- Lots of odd spirituality and worries about odd conditions – one story features a camp for folks who suffer from sleep disorders, another features a girl who is a member of an alligator-wrestling group.
- The title story features nuns trying to raise the human children of werewolves.
A big thumbs-up to both.
Yep, so I’ve been trying to get other shtuff out of my head, and I’ve decided that maybe trying to piece together ways that GoT ends isn’t such a dumb idea. My original idea was that duh, the dragons and Daenerys were going to come back to Westeros to fight the Others, and then I realized that perhaps how they get there, and what happens to everyone else, might be fun to think about…
So, here goes…
- John Snow is dead, but he’s not gone. Instead (and I’ll stop apologizing for just how obvious all this is now) he becomes a warg, riding Ghost. This opens up all kinds of possibilities, including him becoming a disembodied scout (avatar?/true ghost?) in the coming war with the Others.
- Daenerys’s return to Westeros doesn’t go swimmingly. She is now at the head of another Dothraki khalasar (and even Robert Baratheon feared the khalasars, especially in an open field), but that doesn’t translate so well when tries to go back overseas. I will guess that the Unsullied rejoin her, but there are now companies of mercenaries and others sworn to opposing sides.
- Bran’s ascension to lead warg/ent/druid marks the return of the Ancient Ones. I’m still unsure exactly where Martin thinks the Ancient Ones and the Others come from, although I’m tempted to think outside genre lines and think that perhaps he’s making them extraterrestrials. Martin can be so surprising, though, and maybe he sees them as embodiments of primal forces in some sense, not so much a leap for the Ancient Ones as it is for the Others. Nonetheless, Bran and that old fantasy obsession with the Ancient (not just the Ones) will presage the arraying of all the planet’s forces against the Others. After all, all the talk about the Old Gods has to go somewhere, right?
- The Others themselves become something more than sheer chaotic force. My guess is that Martin will have them become something more than just a cypher for demonic powers. I’m guessing that they won’t become like the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, completely fully-formed creatures with motives and social structures and relationships (and no awareness of their ‘true’ identity, one of the many joys of the BSG series), but I’m hoping at least that they have motives beyond sheer destruction.
- A Stark will be back in charge of Winterfell, even after Stannis defeats the Boltons. Since this is GoT, there are more betrayals to come, although some of these will be betrayals I will welcome (the Manderleys, for instance). I’m hoping that Sansa becomes its ruler, although my guess is that Rickon will be the new Lord of Winterfell.
- The Hound will return. As a monk. Leading a band of war-like monks, perhaps Lancelot-like but with 75 percent less charm and good looks.
- The Lannisters will ally with the Targaryens. I’m not sure if it will be with the young one or with Danys, but Jaime will offer his generalship, Tyrion his cunning, and Cersei her ruthlessness. I’m very sorry that that last sentence sounded like a cartoon.
- Several characters will develop even more scars. At some point someone will need to lose their manhood but survive as a point of view character, and thus have the ability to complain.
- Martin will kill off someone else I love. I don’t know who, yet, but I’m guessing it will be one of the followers of Beric Dondarrion and what Catelyn has become. The fat bastard won’t let me get comfortable enjoying anyone.
I got a little snarky at the end…
This article, in the online version of Scientific American, led me to a term I hadn’t considered much before, “media hygiene,” i.e., the process of filtering, verifying and organizing the information that bombards us daily.
I should have figured – somebody has been blogging about this a while…