Pandora Series

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SadisticCynic
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Re: Pandora Series

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Apr 2017 17:30

georgiedenbro wrote:I just finished a first-time read of The Jesus Incident after having finished a second read-through of D:Void. I have to say it was a bit tough to get through. Stylistically it doesn't have the same feel as a book written entirely by FH, and I also felt it was beating around the bush quite a lot in getting to the theme in its culmination. The mystery of the kelp seemed to be built up so much that towards the end it was almost plainly obvious what the answer would be.

That being said, this book has a lot in common with Dan Simmons' Hyperion series - most notably the last couple of books. Most notably, my hypothesis that FH subscribes to the same esoteric school of thought as Simmons has mostly been validated by TJI. D:Void hinted at the idea that true consciousness is awareness that all of space and time are connected and that distance isn't what we think it is, and TJI more or less states it directly. Empathy seems to be the experience of instantaneous contact with remote lives in this book, much as it was in Simmon's four Hyperion books. I'm rather happy, in the end, to have this model of FH's thought to go on in the future, as I suspect it will elucidate some of the more obscure elements in some of his books (I'm not sure all of then employ this model of physics at the Pandora and Dune series do). It certainly goes a long way towards explaining prescience in Dune, as well as perhaps the BG and Tleilaxu abilities.


Probably a nice link to make in this vein is the strong emphasis on love in the final two Dune novels.
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

georgiedenbro
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Re: Pandora Series

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Jul 2018 13:12

I'm only 2/3 of the way through The Lazarus Effect but I'm tending to agree at this point that this book bares little resemblance to anything D:V is about. I don't dislike it, actually, although like TJI I feel it suffers from the plot progression almost feeling lackadaisical at times where you don't get pulled into the story at all but rather sort of see it happening slowly like a lava lamp. It's interesting but rarely engaging in that way where you just have to keep on reading. Also, like TJI, I feel like many of the characters seem to not emerge as more than sketches. Gallow, for instance, seems to just be a vain blowhard, and Qweets the 'confidant scrapper.' I think there is a sort of art to both having an economy of description and yet also having the characters be full, real people, and I think FH was good at that balance. Some books need to have endless backstory, description, and other material to develop characters, whereas by contrast in Dune I feel that Paul makes a striking impression almost immediately without the reader needing to be told much about him. This is tough trick to achieve and whatever gifts Ransom may have had that FH admired - such as perhaps seeing a sci-fi setting in world-building terms and using the story to tell a meta-narrative - I don't think character writing is one of his strong suits. Asimov all but said the same of himself and even admitted that he had no interest at all in romance, relationships, or even feelings to much of an extent. He was an idea man, and I do love his books for what he intends them to be. In the case of TJI and TLE, though, the stories are so contingent on us understanding the psychology of the different characters that if we're not heavily invested in them the story will feel like it's stalling. I even found myself having trouble caring about what Raja was doing in TJI, compared to D:V where all of his considerations were fascinating.

Anyhow I'm looking forward to seeing how the book ends (never read it before) and moving on to pg 50 of The Ascension Factor where I left off before I realized I'd skipped a book :p
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georgiedenbro
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Re: Pandora Series

Postby georgiedenbro » 07 Aug 2018 10:34

Just finished TLE, and looking back I'm not sure what this one really added to the mythos beyond what TJI had already established. Maybe it gave us a clearer sense that intelligence or awareness doesn't have to look exactly (or at all) like what we'd call human. I guess that's something, but I think we had more or less gotten there already in TJI. I actually like the narrative better in TLE, so there's that. On occasion my eyebrows would raise as I read the occasional peculiar and intriguing section, and although I'm biased I could swear I was reading a part FH had written in between other parts Ransom wrote. The styles were different enough that it felt like the other author stepping in.

Perhaps I'll find out more in The Ascension Factor, but I had an idea near the end of TLE about Ship, maybe spurred on by Bickel's cameo. It strikes me as unlikely that the authors intended Ship to be the actual God; either the God of Earth's religions, or 'the' deity in the universe. What they did in D:V was to try to make it a real intelligence, and perhaps conscious. It would appear that they did make it fully conscious, unlike humans who are mostly asleep. The fact that it began to speak as a God doesn't necessarily mean that it became God, or always was God, or anything like that. Assuming there was a God already out there, I would imagine that Ship becoming conscious would make it fully aware of God, to the point where it would speak God's thoughts; not because it became God, but rather because it was now a conduit for some consciousness out there, sort of like what happens to a lesser extent when kelp and human touch. I would guess that the reason Ship communicates God's thoughts is because it can help through them, and being fully conscious, can hear them clearly even though humans can't hear due to being mostly asleep.

I'll wait to see in the next book if they had a destination in mind for all this...
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"


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