Monday, March 28, 2011

Spoiler Thread for AI War

Post any comments you have about the book in this thread. Nowhere else, please. Thank you.

114 comments:

tkin1t3asy said...

Just downloaded the book. It is a shame it is after 2AM and I need to get some sleep before work tomorrow or I would spend time reading it right now.

Matthew said...

Hmm. Footprints in the sand. As good as walking through a wall, almost.

Concerning Adrian Hiles and any other PKF turned. I have to wonder if Denice or combat computer cracking was involved? I can believe Trent could turn *some* PKF Elite. But this specific PKF Elite, without being detected? That strikes me as challenging, even for him. I wonder if we'll find out more about how he did it. I wonder how long Trent had to talk with Vance while they fell to earth together. That must have been one hell of a conversation, and we only got bits and pieces.

32% of the way through the mobi edition, the word "be" is missing from a sentence. I'll track it down precisely later. I noticed a few other very minor mistakes on the way through.

Sean Fagan said...

One question that just occurred to me is... What has Trent figured out about Storyteller? As unusual experiences go, it's gotta stick out even for him.

I liked the ending more than the ending for tLR.

Dan Moran said...

Trent, Ralf, Denice have a longer conversation about this in Live Fast And Never Die. Ralf has turned into one of those conspiracy buffs ... except he's almost always right. He's figured out that time travelers were present the day Carl was conceived. Between the three of them they have a pretty good idea of the truth.

Dan Moran said...

You do find out how Hile was turned. No telepathy involved.

slauderd said...

Shorter than I would have liked, but a satisfying read.

I quite enjoyed the Trent humor during the last bit with Vance/Melissa. Especially the bit when Melissa realizes his plans for the Unity. Well done.

Matthew said...

re: Hile, I am glad no telepathy was involved. That whole situation strikes me as borderline unethical for Trent to participate in even assuming Hile was willing to sacrifice himself; if Hile was in fact pressured or coerced, it would strike me as significantly out of character. But I still want to know how it happened.

Another interesting point is that Hile seemed to be sticking to nonlethal techniques. I read his actions as delaying Vance at the cost of his life, not trying to kill Vance. Which is, well, impressive -- in a way, more impressive than Trent's catch-me-if-you-can, because Trent is at least intending to run as fast as he can and live as long as he can. For Hile, it's all up in that moment.

Re: Storyteller.. I'm ambivalent about that aspect of the Continuing Time. For me the stories flow best when sticking close to Trent. Throwing in aliens and time travelers is good seasoning but too much is problematical.

That said, I am curious to see what Ralf has figured out, and HOW he figured it out, and what gets done about it.

Matthew said...

Slauderd: I especially liked Melissa's "Oh, no" an instant before Trent the Geek answered Vance's question...

Dann Cutter said...

Ah... its like that first beer after a long hot day. Course, I can never drink just one.

Mel's turning felt a bit 'quick' for one devoted to duty. It's a military thing - hard to walk away from, regardless of the discontent.

Hey Dan, did you ever find if you had any hardcopies left of Last Dancer in the remaining boxes in the storage unit. (RE: Final 8 circa email 4/5/09)

Dan Moran said...

Dann, I did dig up that box. Send me your address again.

Matthew said...

Dan, is that a box of leftover quietvision hcs? I'd like one of tLD too, if there are enough left?

King Krak, All-Seeing, All-Knowing said...

First Trent-ism spotted:

"...In the long run,” Trent said to Captain Bittan, “there’s only two reasons to ever do anything: to enjoy yourself, and to help other people enjoy themselves.”

----------

Btw, there are going to be a lot of people looking to read The Last Dancer soon.

Dan Moran said...

BTW ... Melissa turning vs Melissa trying to kill Trent? I wrote both scenes. And went back and forth on them a dozen times. I still don't know I picked the right one, except that I went with the one that made me happy. That's treacherous territory, when you like your characters too much.

Wrote a sex scene with them too -- 20 years ago. Took it out a decade ago. It's weird saying "I don't know" about my own work ... but I don't know if they slept with each other. And don't care, either -- it's not anywhere near the core of what's happening there.

Dan Moran said...

Last Dancer will be up soon. (An omnibus edition of the CT stories will be up, too -- a day or two.)

Dan Moran said...

TLD hardcovers -- I owe copies to 3 or 4 people to this day. I don't think there are any extras -- there's one box sitting in the crawlspace behind my pantry that I need to dig out and have needed to dig out forever...

Dana said...

So I wonder, if Unity has chosen to commit suicide, with Lt Daniels on board, has Daniels also decided to die, or is going to be able to escape?

Matthew said...

Hmm. I'm not sure that suicide is where the Unity is headed. Make the UN think it was suicide, maybe.

Dan Moran said...

Part of the reason (a small part, admittedly - mostly it's been overwork & drama) ... this book took so long to see the light of day was I kept trying to respect decisions I'd made a very long time ago. This book isn't plotted any differently than it was back whenever, in big strokes ... but the motivations, the understanding of what's happening to whom and why ... Ken was a Johnny Reb. Michelle Altaloma was involved with the brother of the guy who took the hostages. Trent and Melissa slept together....

A year or two back I bit the bullet and scrapped everything I didn't like -- and was immediately further away from finishing than I'd been. But I got rid of about 5 scenes I'd grown to hate, rewrote a new throughline for most of the characters (except Vance -- he didn't change) ... and was instantly happier.

I hope my 18 year old self isn't mad at me. This isn't the Trent he set out to write. But I've collaborated with that boy as best I can, and the things he thought and believed are not, on the whole, the things I think and believe today.

This was a longer comment than I meant to write.

Dan Moran said...

The changes to the next two sections were/are much larger. The relationship between Trent and Denice has changed a *lot.* I didn't like Denice much almost the moment I got done writing her, in "Last Dancer" ... I like her a great deal in this book. She grew up.

Matthew said...

re: the quickness of Melissa's turning... while I agree it could have been explained further (and perhaps we'll get some of that in the other parts), I think it does make sense. She had just a little while ago killed someone and had a moment of bonding with Trent-as-someone-else about it, and was then forced to make a snap judgement to stay or to run.

I can buy that her snap judgement at that moment would go in favor of Trent. I am more skeptical that Trent would expect it to happen. I can see him hoping for it, but not letting his own survival hinge on it. And I wonder if Melissa is going to have trouble reconciling her instinctive decision once she has time to think about it.

Dan Moran said...

Trent didn't let her kill him in the version where she tried to. Though that would have been a great, Douglas Adams screw you to the world, if I'd been inclined to go there. "And then Trent *did* die. Mohammed Vance went on to crush everyone who had ever opposed him, and took up bonsai gardening late in life while ruling the entire solar system with an iron fist. The End."

Dan Moran said...

http://speculativefiction.org/weblog/entry/39384.jsp

First review.

Dana said...

So, essentially, Trent does finally get to steal a cool spaceship. Perhaps he can lose his regret about the Flandry.

Kurt said...

Ok, a Doctor Who shout-out just upped your coolness factor, which I thought had maxed out years ago.

Anonymous said...

And I'm reading it on a handheld.....

Jay said...

Echoing Anonymous' comment...

I read TBB on a handheld that can surf the web, check email, holds all of my passwords and bank account information (but can't actually generate or process transactions yet) and holds more data then the Macintosh SE that I owned when I first read The Long Run.

Jay said...

I have to say, forget walking through a wall or vanishing off of a remote island.

Having Trent tell Vance "Killing is wrong" within arm's reach is one of the most impressive things I've seen him do yet.

Re: Adrian Hilés and others; is this the sowing of the seeds of the Peaceforcer Rebellion?

Dan Moran said...

What a smart man.

Gary said...

Today is the big 40 for me. Started the book last night and finished just after midnight. That counts as a birthday present to me. Good memories as way back when I was younger I would stay up to all hours of the night reading great books like this. Not something I get to manage often these days with between kids & work.

Thanks Dan.

The first thought in regards to Hile that ran through my head was that Trent co-opted him using the battle computer software and Monitor's close proximity of expansive hardware to do the number crunching. But Hile did not show any surprise as one would expect if his body sudden'y wasn't doing what it was supposed to and the thought was quickly discarded. My next deeper thought was that Summers did more than anyone thought before it was his time to go. Hmmm?

Vance is going to need to take up bonsai and rock gardening anyway to deal with the rage he is going to be bottling up after this incident.

James Millar said...

It was a strange experience for me, reading a book that I had been reading excerpts from for years. I had quotes from this book in my UNIX .sig file in the late 90's.

Damm it's good to be back in the action... Thank you Dan.

Mike G. said...

Read it and enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to the next parts.

Like other posters, I read it on handhelds :) In my case, a Blackberry and an iPad.

I bought Melissa's change of heart. But I'm really curious about how Hile got turned, although I suspect that Trent-as-Black-Beast could probably manipulate anyone's psyche into pretzels, maybe better than Denise could.

Mike G. said...

Curse you, Blogger (the site, not Dan :) ). Now I have to leave another comment, just to get follow-ups emailed. Grrr.....

Brad said...

I couldn't have picked a better week to sprain my ankle and be home from work. Just finished the book. I'll write more when the adrenal high fades. I wonder if Melissa and Denice will ever meet. That would be an interesting conversation.

"So."
"Yeah."
"They never *call* the next day."

Dan Moran said...

They do meet. And talk about angels.

Dana said...

At risk of the invoking the ghost of Chuck Norris jokes, I should note that Vance could probably simply intimidate Bonsai trees into shaping themselves into the proper form.

Anonymous said...

I'm only half-way through the book, and I already agree with the speculativefiction.org reviewer: It was indeed worth the wait.

Later,
KarlBob

Dave Aitel said...

Has anyone else pointed out the distinct lack of AIs warring? :>

(I assume the AIs in question here are Ring and Trent, but I'd always thought it was a larger movement of AIs...perhaps an AI controlling the Unification itself? It's not like voter fraud is difficult these days! :>)

Dan Moran said...

AIs warring doesn't really kick in until Trent's on Earth. Doesn't get intense until end of book, at the risk of saying too much.

Matthew said...

Dave,

Did you miss the following minor facts?

1) Trent is now a replicant AI
2) Monitor is an AI now at war with the PKF
3) Ring is a replicant AI (the Eldest, in fact) and appears to want Trent dead.
4) Ralf is a replicant AI presumably on Trent's side (and possibly now calling himself something else)

I'd say Monitor's defection starts a shooting war, and I have to wonder if Monitor is still Monitor or if Monitor is running Trent 3.0 since the Black Beast is toast.

And if anyone was wondering, the specfic reviewer is me.

Matthew said...

Dave, sorry, on second read I note that you did call out Trent and Ring. I agree we're still in the setup phase for most of this book, but we do have at least four AIs on the field.

Mike G. said...

Matthew, it's not clear to me that Trent ever "replicated" out of the Black Beast. Unless physical Trent has done that with the backup copies, say from that nice little orbital data hub he took over with his cool code phrase :)

I'm assuming Data Watch WILL melt down all the hardware from the Halfway hub now that they know Trent's been back there *again*.

'Selle Altaloma better make herself scarce. I can't believe the PKF didn't recognize her before, and a post-Trent investigation would certainly get her.

Matthew said...

Mike,

I think Trent is as replicant as he wants to be. Regardless of how replicant he is *right now*, the fundamental change has already been made.

Mark Owen said...

Didn't mean to be anonymous before with the handheld comment. Got to say it's been a long time since I've been so enthused about an immediate read.

I really enjoyed that DKM's choices required challenging reconciliation with his alliance to his younger self. Goes hand in hand with the maturation of Trent (and Denice, looking forward to that). Seems like it was meant to be this way, despite the wait.

Does the author's having run the gauntlet on these choices mean the next section(s) will find a blazed trail?

Thanks again Fatsam. Hope this process and book release feels like the success it is.

Dave Aitel said...

FYI: https://lists.immunityinc.com/pipermail/dailydave/20110329/000117.html

Anonymous said...

I also bought Melissa's turning, she had spent a fair amount of time thinking about Trent and dwelling on Vance's hold on her that, in a way, she was priming herself for Trent's offer to run. Killing that man would have put things into a sharper focus as well.

A conversation between you, and 18 yr-old you regarding AI War? There's a conversation I'd happily listen in on.

Thanks again for the book, well written and a great read and I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing, when you describe Trent meeting Michelle Altaloma and comparing genie designs, do you mean to say that the Johnny Reb engineers who designed the True Breeds could out-do Suzanne Montignet? I thought she was the Michaelangelo of genetic engineering (for some reason I was going to say Picasso, but that wouldn't have been appropriate for obvious reasons).

Rob

jlhobbs13 said...

So happy tuesday morning to get AI War that I ended up late for work. Definately worth it though.

About Adrian Hiles turning . . . When Vance was chasing after Trent towards the end of the book he was going over how he had known Adrian since they were at the PKF Academy and that he had introduced him to his now dead wife. Vance could not recall what the cause of her death was shortly after the TriCentennial but I have a feeling Trent knows.

Dan Moran said...

"On the shoulders of giants." Yes, I mean that reb desiners, 10 years later, did a better job than Suzanne Montignet. This is fairly normal in technology -- certainly in my field. The first person to write something insanely cool is normally unusually bright. Other people come along and copy it and build libraries and write utilities and build an ecosystem that permits the merely competent to do a better job than the genius did a decade earlier.

Anonymous said...

That makes sense. I guess I'm just a bit prejudiced against anything that seems to take away some of Trent's unique-ness and bad-assery. At least he still has the Tytan NN-II.

Rob

Anonymous said...

That should be badass-ery rather than bad-assery. It's amazing the difference a correctly placed hyphen makes.

Rob

Anonymous said...

We've known for many years that Melissa would one day go on to write, or at least be extensively quoted in, The Exodus Bible. Now it appears that she'll be writing from the standpoint of a friend, rather than the loyal opposition.

Hmmm. I can't find the quote just now, but there was something from the Exodus Bible about Trent disappearing, rather than dying. I wonder if that event is when he abandons his body and goes fully Inside. For all we know, he could become The Source.

KarlBob

Dave Aitel said...

I really liked "Shell"'s re-appearance. Fact is, girl hackers are rare. In our normal world, I can count them on one hand and not run out of fingers, and the rule of thumb is that they all come from government. Shell is no exception.

In any case, she's an interesting character, and if she's sitting deep inside Halfway there's no doubt she's done something interesting as well. It will be good to see what!

Dan Moran said...

"I wonder how long Trent had to talk with Vance while they fell to earth together. That must have been one hell of a conversation, and we only got bits and pieces."

Very likely, down the road, I'll publish a couple of them. They wouldn't have worked in the book -- I worried they talked too much as was, a long conversation just before the end of the book -- but I think it worked OK. (Don't misunderstand, I don't *have conversations sitting around -- just fragments I saved for later.)

Rob said...

Dan --

You've finally made Vance irredeemable. At the close of TLD when he tells Mirabeau there are worse things than losing to Trent, and winning with Eddore is one of them, I thought there was a good chance Vance would rise to the occasion, realize the corruption of the government he served, and redeem himself by putting himself in opposition to Eddore and trying to make some kind of penance for the ways he enabled Eddore's rise.

In TBB, well. What he does to Melissa -- what he tries to do to Melissa -- seems to make it clear that whatever Vance's agenda is, redemption isn't part of it.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's definitely realistic -- how many times in real life have we all seen people turn away from a shot at redemption? -- but I'm not sure if what I want in reading material is a mirror of so many people I know IRL.

With luck Vance will get another shot at redemption. The next one will be harder -- as they tend to be, as we grow older -- but maybe he'll actually take it.

Dan Moran said...

I don't think Vance is going to be *redeemed,* exactly. But there's a lot of space left within the margins of that.

Brad said...

As far as girl hackers are concerned, well, I suspect there are more out there than you think.

"...the Trinity that hacked the IRS Dbase? I thought you were a guy!"

"Most guys do."

As far as redeeming Vance goes:

He's in many ways a good man, which is what makes him such an effective villain.

Put yourself in his shoes:

The Unification is a good thing. It keeps the peace. The peace isn't perfect, but there's no genocide, (telepaths excepted) no rogue nanotechnologist has turned the world into a grey goo, no strategic nuclear war. You don't have any of the ideologues running completely rampant like Mao, Stalin or Hitler.

But it does have enemies. There's a whole bunch of dangerously mercenary hypercapitalists in the Belt who have a lot of rocks to throw at you. With the technology available in your time, a small group of people can do a huge amount of damage. The Unity is your big stick. You have to protect it. Even if it means a small sacrifice to the greater good. Even if that's a big sacrifice to you as a person. Because you've done it. Because the sacrifices of your fallen comrades will be for nothing if you don't do everything you can.

Jay said...

Two observations on my second read-through:

1) Did anyone else notice that Trent has a kid in the world now? Or should we assume that 21st-century Mormons have no objection to abortion?

2) Why did Laval, the PKF who stopped Trent and Melissa on the running track, have a pumped laser? Maybe things are even less stable in the PKF than Melissa realized...

If I had to guess how Trent turned Adrian Hilé -- someone who is probably as devoted to the U.N. as Vance was, at least once upon a time -- he probably convinced Hilé and the others that the U.N., and the PFK in particular, have lost their way and that there's a better way for the world to be run than the way it has been for the past 60-odd years.

Joe said...

Finished reading it on my iPhone, which was nearly unsatisfying. There's something about the smaller screen and having to load pages that makes it harder to jump into the story and be absorbed by it as I have been in the past with traditional paperbacks.

There's something different about Dan's voice when writing Trent. I'll have to go back and re-read TLD, but I recall not liking the non Trent scenes/episodes/passages as much.

I bought Melissa's flip easily though. This wasn't something that was instant, it seemed to be a gradual thing, and she needed that 'shakabuku' moment where things were able to change. Vance holds onto people, the 'greater good' line Trent uses, (See, I can't get back into the book to find the exact quote since it's on my damn phone...) and she can finally see a way out

I like it. I waited, and now I'm satisfied. And I'm hoping not to have to wait *quite* as long for book 2, but I know I will.

As an aside, Dan, how are you storing these story ideas and fragments, so we can reconstruct them from your hard drive like Douglas Adams...

Sean Fagan said...

Vance is a good and honourable man.

Vance is also a pragmatic man.

There are two quotes in the book that are related to that: the AI's definition of "honorable," and the description of the state of Occupied America.

In Vance's case, Dan's done a great job of showing how good and honourable can lead to evil.

Adam Getchell said...

March 8, 2080 is a Friday. Enjoying it so far, but will have to look at my info theory notes.

bourgon said...

Dan, thanks for this. I've been reading and whooping and loving this book. My wife's been looking at me everytime I erupt into giggles or Keanu-like "whoa"s.

And then it ended. *frown*

How long until we get books 2/3? Ballpark is all I'm asking, here. A year? 5? 18? From reading the posts (sorry, was actively avoiding the fragments since I didn't want to run from part-I-already-read to part-I-already-read), the book's been written, but maybe not finished.

Many thanks.

Dan Moran said...

Book 2 -- god, can't believe I'm saying this -- *may* be out this calendar year, 2011. I'm not even going to take a wild guess at book 3.

Trent doesn't have a kid, btw. He cured one of the Mormon girls of her virginity, he didn't get her pregnant.

Dana said...

Further proof that Trent is a humanitarian. There he is, hiding out on Mars, with a huge price on his head, and he still takes the time to cure women of pesky things like that.

Matthew said...

Jay,

1) Yes, I noticed. I wonder if having ~50% of Trent's genemap will give the kid trouble in the future.

Hile: That sort of argument would work for pretty much anyone, though -- that is, it's a low-probably conversion argument that doesn't play to Hile's personality at all. I can buy say 1% of PKF being reachable with that generic argument. But I presume such people would also have trouble with security screenings and such.

In Hile's case there needs to be something more potent and personal. Hile is in a position of trust close to a paranoid obsessive hypercompetent Elite (Vance) who is *specifically* paranoid about Trent getting to his people and who has *already* set one of his people out as a trap for Trent. Has he been a sleeper agent for years? Has Trent been running psych profiles through the Black Beast to manipulate people into turning?

Melissa is understandable as a snap decision in a crisis situation. Hiles is not; he was part of the plan. So, how was he turned and why wasn't it detected?

I look forward to the answers.

Dave Aitel said...

I guess the other point of view is that sex with a human must be pretty weird for an AI. It's essentially inter-species. It makes much more sense with for Trent to be hooking up with an Elite cyborg who can at least think at his speed occasionally.

Possibly even talking to a normal human would be intensely boring for someone like Trent?

Jay said...

I could have sworn that the waiter who told Trent that she got married off said something about being in a family way, but I was incorrect. :)

Still, that would be an interesting bit to pop up somewhere down the line.

I'm curious what Trent and Denice's child would be like, with his DNA having an extremely high correlation to hers; It was mentioned that Denice and David were probably much more powerful than Carl and Jany due to powerful recessives...

Dan Moran said...

"I'm curious what Trent and Denice's child would be like"

:-)

bourgon said...

":-)"

Oh MY.

Jay said...

Oh, HELL no. You can't drop a hint like that and walk away. Foul! I say! FOUL!

Jay said...

"I can't find the quote just now, but there was something from the Exodus Bible about Trent disappearing, rather than dying."

There's a section in The Last Dancer, after Trent talks with the Name Storyteller (in the body of Neil Corona) where it is said that Trent "died, and rose again, and then vanished from the Continuing Time".

Sean Fagan said...

Well, Trent & Denice's child either grows up an insane telepath who steals a FTL ship, or does something really important.

Jesse Wendel said...

I think I've told Dan this privately. But now that the book is out...


About a year ago, there was a two to three minute interval that lasted about an hour; I thought I was having a heart attack. Turns out I wasn't.

Either instantly after I figured out it wasn't the big one, or while still thinking I was about to die, my first non-heart-attack related thought was, "Shit. I'm never going to read AI Wars!" And I cursed in an (even for me) exceptionally filthy way.

This is a true story.

Once I realized both it wasn't a heart attack and that I was going to live out the day, I went back to waiting.

It has been worth the wait. *is happy*


Speaking of living...

Given Trent planned on living through his showdown with Vance, Melissa's laser was touching his HEAD. Even fadeaway wasn't going to put her down before she killed him. He couldn't count on her coming to his side. I buy all of the rest of the getaway; I haven't yet figured out how he takes out Melissa in that moment (unless it involves Monitor, or over-riding Melissa's hardware in some way.) But with her laser to his head, that seems like quite a gamble to me. On the other hand, not being an AI, I haven't gamed out the odds quite as deeply as Trent did. *laughs*

Finally, I still haven't figured out how Trent left the island.

Within the capabilities of even current-day tech would be: mini-sub -- like the Navy SEALS use -- which could sink down to a real sub. The min-sub comes to 50-60 feet from shore while 2 SEALS swim to 3-4 feet out in the water (so there are no footprints) and extends a board/ramp out to Trent supported by these two SEAL-equivalents (downsiders) -- the board itself can be BRACED from the water so it is supported; it just needs to have the Seals hold the back, Trent on the front, and the weight on the pivot point which is in the water. Trent then jumps up (gene), gets on the board with all the weight going down into the water leaving no mark, scrambles across into mystery, and is out into the water where he drops into 3-4 feet of water at the end of the board/device. Breaking down the device as they go, within 60 seconds they are far enough out to go under (with rebreathers) leaving not even a ripple behind -- it's an island; there are waves. (Vance takes 2-3 minutes to get out; he sees nothing.) Once under they swim out and down, then use the mini-sub to join up with a real sub, lock inside her, and run away...

Dan Moran said...

Daniel November is Denice's grandson.

SF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
colomon said...

Jesse: Trent had plans, and he hoped to live, but he didn't have a fool-proof plan: he knows he might very well die during that confrontation. My guess is he didn't have a way to stop Melissa in the situation that actually arose, other than converting her.

KillJoy said...

Dan:

Great read, I've been following Trent closely since TLD. One thing to point out tho, in Chapter 2 as Trent is spooling the contents of the Hosea 8:7 archive into the 5 x 600TB infochips which is slightly less than 3 petabytes not quadrabytes, just FYI from a storage geek. I'm spreading the word to all my SF buddies, DKM is in the hunt again!
Can't wait for the next installment!

quarkwright said...

OMG.
The Long Run has been my favorite novel for a very long time. I'm gonna have to think long and hard to decide if this topped it or not. Only thing I didn't like was that it ended. :(

I noted a couple of places I thought might need corrections - you probably already have them noted, but I will dig them up and post on FSand tomorrow.

I was curious how Trent got his upgrades into F.X. Chandler's old house. Being it was abandoned for years, and so close to Unity/Halfway... how did he manage to get the work done without being noticed, and without any workers letting anything slip? He stopped and spoke to F.X. before the Yovia switch; if that was when he arranged it, he had even less time to emplace everything, and security in the area would have been even tighter...

I am also picturing the assasin from the Temple of Toons returning to Earth and becoming one of the first to preach the gospel of Trent...


Thank you, Dan, for the gift of this story.

Dan Moran said...

You're welcome. As to "the first to preach the gospel of Trent" ... this is the opening paragraph of "Crystal WInd" ...

As has been his habit for fourteen years now, the Preacher spends forty days and forty nights out on the Glass, in this summer of 2094, waiting for the light of God to call him home, waiting for the columns of ruby laser to descend from the burning sky and claim him.

J.D. Ray said...

IIRC, after heat death claims the universe, heroes from across the CT, including Trent, come together on The Ark of Aesop to create a pocket universe where humanity can continue to thrive (The Collapse of All Levels). In that pocket universe, we have stories like "The Sheriff of Shokes," etc. So, is that where Trent goes after disappearing from the CT?

Also, IIRC, The Source is not Trent, though I can't remember just who it is right now. Do I have it correctly that Named Storyteller is Georges Mordreaux, the Enemy of Entropy? Or at least one iteration of him?

OK, it's late, and it took most of my processor cycles to pull this out of deep storage.

One last bit about Vance: I'm still rooting for him to come through.

Jay said...

Do I have it correctly that Named Storyteller is Georges Mordreaux, the Enemy of Entropy? Or at least one iteration of him?

I don't know about that, but the beginning of Emerald Eyes makes it very clear that he's a descendant of Carl Castanaveras.

I thought that DKM said at one point that other than some naming similarities, there was no connection between the events in TAB and the events in these books.

Sean Fagan said...

No, Storyteller isn't Georges. (See The Last Dancer, when Storyteller has his conversation with Trent: Storyteller -- all of the Great Gods with the possible exception of the God of Players -- are worried that Trent might be another Envoy.)

It's splattered across The Armageddon Blues, The Last Dancer, and The Gray Maelstrom, but there are some hints about the Envoy. (And an even bigger one in the unpublished sequel to tAB. I do wonder if Dan knows where the Envoy came from...)

Jesse Wendel said...

Dan said in this thread: a) Daniel November is Denise's Grandson, b) as of the time of “The Big Boost” Trent has no children, and c) Dan strongly implied that Denise and Trent are going to have a child together, which child will become the parent of Daniel November (that’s an assumption, but a logical one for story purposes.)

What we also know from TLD: Denise had a dream/vision set 30 years later – which would be in 2107 -- Daniel is 8 years old, is in Public Labor in Chino California, and is being watched over by Robert Dazai "Tommy Ho" Yo.

Questions raised:

From 2080 (end of The Big Boost) -- with Denise NOT pregnant -- to 27 years later and her Grandchild being eight years old, seems fairly close. Let’s check…

We know Trent is now on the earth (although possibly lost under the ocean -- *grins*) Let’s say by the end of 2081 Daniel’s mother (or father; but let’s go with mother) is born. Thus Daniel must be born in 2099, with his mother pregnant in 2098. That makes the mother 17 at the age of Daniel’s conception, which is quite possible and not especially even remarkable as long as she escapes the MPC. Being the daughter of Trent and Denise, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Next, how is it that in 2107 Daniel’s Parents (and Denise, for that matter) are absent from the picture, or if not absent, are either in Public Labor or believe the best place for Daniel at age 8 is in Public Labor with Robert? What the frack happened? Answer: We don’t know.

We know what happened to Trent -- he vanished. See The Exodus Bible and the avatar of Chai'ell November, the Name Storyteller for what few details we have on this.

Which does not tell us where are Denise or either of Daniel’s parents when the founder of the House of November is playing basketball in Chino and rooting for the Lakers (presumably.) Question unsolved.

Dan Moran said...

Damn straight he's rooting for the Lakers. Who've, by the time of his birth, appeared in 80 NBA Finals, winning 40 of them. While the Boston Celtics are still stuck at 17 ....

I merely extrapolate here, based on past results.

Amy said...

We also know (from obscure CT miscellany) that Daniel November's parents are Linda Jamieson and James Ripper.

Curiouser and curiouser...

Ross said...

Awesome, just awesome. Been waiting a long time and it was very satisfying :)

I did notice a couple of possible inconsistencies. Early on it mentions the cracker on the Unity that splits water and feeds the hydrogen to the torches. Later on the Unity is being loaded with stasis bubbles of metallic hydrogen fuel. Why both?

Also, when Vance is chasing Trent through Chandler's old house, he sees Trent's residual heat floating in the center of the corridor. But when he removes his glove, he's in vacuum. With no atmosphere, the IR from Trent's passing would have hit the walls and been absorbed.

Jesse Wendel said...

Amy said:

We also know (from obscure CT miscellany) that Daniel November's parents are Linda Jamieson and James Ripper.


Given Denise (and Trent) are Daniel November's grandparents, the likely scenario is Denise gives birth to a son, James, by Trent.

James Ripper is son of Douglas Ripper and Denise -- either through adoption or more likely, through James being born while Denise and Douglas Ripper are married. (We can presume in the age of gene-typing, Douglas knows he is not James' bio-Dad.)

This below makes sense from the facts. *shrugs* Which isn't to say it's correct. Heh. There is a * where I (or Amy) doesn't have a fact to back things up for sure, i.e: good speculation as told above.


Trent*-Denise-[Douglas Ripper*]
|
------------
|
Linda Jamieson-James Ripper
|
|
|
Daniel November

Anyone else have any other suggestions/rebuttals/ideas?

Jesse Wendel said...

Those lines in the three-gen chart should have gone from Denise to James to Daniel.

Stupid Blogger.

Dana said...

I was interested to see Vance's comment on Islam/the history of Pre-Unification violence.

Between that conversation, and Mormons on Mars, it was good to see that there are still more faiths out there than just Buddism and the church of Eris. I never quite bought the prominence of the Erisian faith rising in such a short time.

Dan Moran said...

Ross -- the systems are redundant. Ship burns a *lot* of hydrogen when boosting; the cracker is more for day to day ops, though it can also be fed to the torches.

The IR is an error. Not sure how to fix it either.

Mike G. said...

On the IR: maybe he can see the heat difference on the decks/walls/overhead/doors where Trent touched?

Or maybe even just disturbed surface dust, on the assumption that dust would eventually clump to surfaces in a vacuum (and not vacuum weld solid). I have no idea whether it would actually DO that or not, of course...

Sean Fagan said...

Dana, there are also a lot of Catholics. In fact, Melissa is quite a devout Catholic, which undoubtedly factored in to her reasons to defect, rather than go on a prolonged mission to kill thousands, if not millions, of innocents.

Dan Moran said...

Belinda Singer was Jewish, though I'm unclear if I ever made that explicit.

One of the things I've always disliked about SF is that "religions die out" thing. Not while people stay people, they won't. (Not saying that's a good or bad thing, but it would be false to fact to ignore it.)

Sean Fagan said...

Well, you instead have a multi-universe church which is pretty effective with conversion... 8-)

Dana said...

Doh! I don't know how I managed to forget that Melissa is Catholic.

On another topic, it occurs to me that in addition to Hile, Trent has also ideologically "infected" Colbert.

He hasn't turned him, exactly, but I suspect that the promise to not kill anyone makes Colbert at the very least considered unreliable by Vance and PKF leadership.

The thing is this: Trent doesn't actually have to turn very many PKF in order to forment a rebellion. He just has to prod Vance into taking harsh measures to root out supposed "disloyalty." The harsh measures, in and of themselves, can prompt the very mutiny that they are ostenibly trying to prevent.

marcus eubanks said...

Ahh. I have been waiting for this book for what, fifteen years? I'm almost afraid to read it - sort of like when you save yourself a Raymond Chandler novel or a Dashiell Hammett story just in case you need one at some point . . . You *have* saved yourself a couple, haven't you?

I'm still not caught up to the end of the bits & pieces that Mr. Moran has released over the years, but I will be before too long, and yes, I'm going to read the whole damned thing.

On the plus side, between family with kids, work full-time and school part-time, it may take me a few weeks to make it through the entire story, which in truth will be okay.

I can't wait to come back to this thread when I've finished the book, so's to see what you all have had to say.

Dan Moran said...

http://slothman.livejournal.com/162311.html

Second review I'm aware of.

Sean Fagan said...

Well, I'd posted a brief comment in <LIsBAp.Cs2@kithrup.com>


I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not quite as mad-cap as _The Long Run_, but I
thought it had a better ending... when I finished reading it, I was grinning
and giggling with joy for a while.
,

and then another one in <LIstw1.178y@kithrup.com>

Hey, kudos to Dan there: picking a new ending is *hard*. I think Charlie
Stross wrote about that, once.


Hopefully the formatting worked well there.

Sean Fagan said...

Second try... first one may have been killed by authentication issues.

Is this the first main-CT-continuity book that hasn't had a narration by Storyteller?

Dan Moran said...

Believe so.

He doesn't show up in the rest of it, either, except being referred to in a discussion between Trent, Denice, and Ralf. He's back again in Crystal Wind, but I thought his presence (he *used* to have some dialog in it) was distracting from Trent's story, which gets more urgent as it goes along.

The Lay of the Rose starts with the Snafu equations quote: "Badness Comes in Waves." It seemed best to keep him off screen and just let the trauma hit.

Sean Fagan said...

Hrm, it is a bit of a loss, because I had presumed that the Tales of the Continuing Time were Storyteller's, um, Story.

So... are we ever going to actually see what the Time Wars are? And why the Zaradin all left the timeline?

Dan Moran said...

I'm not sure Storyteller has any first-person dialog in TLR, come to think of it. He does in EE and Last Dancer, certainly.

I'm going to finish Trent's story -- through Crystal Wind. I'm going to finish Lord November. I'm going to write (it barely exists) "The Always Rising of the Night." I'm going to write *something* about Camber, though the possibility of 8 novels is pretty fucking remote at this point.

Could I finish this story -- everything, through Collapse of the Levels, in the next 20 years? Almost certainly not, based on past results. The money to do it isn't there so far ... though epub may change that. Let's hope.

Sean Fagan said...

Oh, I was confused -- the Name Historian has a bit at the end of tLR; I thought it was Storyteller.

J.D. Ray said...

I always thought that was just a typo or something, because (IIRC) at the beginning of EE, or maybe it's in one of the shorts on Kithrup, he's referred to as Named Storyteller.

Noting what Dan said above about the success of ePub, I suggest we all renew our efforts to market the CT stories on FS&. It's in our best interests as consumers, it seems.

Dan Moran said...

Or Amazon... sold 2nd copy of freeway there other day. CT stories should be up next week, just waiting on covers. Certainly Amazon reviews will be helpful. (The books link to fsand ... apparently Amazon is ok with that.)

Sean Fagan said...

There a quote, "the god Named Storyteller," in Emerald Eyes, according to Google. It's easy for me to check the website, and the only time it's "the Named Storyteller" is when someone from the lists -- not Dan -- says so. A mistake, in other words. (And, hey, there I am on July 25th, 1998, correcting someone.)

Ben said...

On a reread... what exactly is the insanely exciting project that Yovia and Sub-Chief Wilson are/will be working on at Mars? The Source?

Dan Moran said...

It's related, though not as specifically as you might think.

Sean Fagan said...

I'd assume that Trent was planning for the AI war he knows is coming, and specifically wanting to have something ready to deal with Ring, should it emerge victorious (as, I presume, both Ring and Trent expect it to).

Anonymous said...

"Adrian’s wife had died not
long after the TriCentennial, Vance couldn’t recall what the cause
was."

My guess would be she died of shame at what her husband had been involved in, what she had been involved in, but that she took her murderer with her.

There isn't much that would make a man like Adrian Hile turn against his friend Mohammad Vance and the PKF.

counsgreen said...

Will we get a book about Daniel Novemeber and about Lady Blue?

Dan Moran said...

Ola, yes. Daniel November, probably not.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chuck said...

A few things...

Vance says he saw Andrew Strawberry play in the pocket. Wasn't Rev Andy one of "the most feared linebackers"?

Regarding Adrian Hile, maybe I'm being arrogant in my reading between the lines, but I thought it was pretty clear that his defection had something to do with his wife's death.

Something else that occurred to me...though this is a REALLY long shot...but DKM has put allusions into his writings before... The name "Hile" reminded me of the character Hile Troy from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. If you make the connection to him...to "Troy"...to trojan horse...and then to betrayal/defection?

Regarding Trent dying and then living and disappearing, I seem to recall that Vance kills Trent. Am I misremembering? I always assumed that's what the "dying" was referring to, and that the living again and disappearance is one of the bases for The Exodus Bible.

Catfish N. Cod said...

How did I miss this getting published??? (Oh yeah, work.)

So, essentially, Trent does finally get to steal a cool spaceship. Perhaps he can lose his regret about the Flandry.

Called it! April 16, 2008 2:47 PM. Google it. Clearly, I am young, hip, cool, and in control.

Now, a couple of points to address:

===================================
In the description of the Unity in chapter twelve, Trent notes that there were one hundred thirteen decks near the torches, while bulkheads were every seventy-five meters down the length of the ship.

But it is also made quite clear that the ship is designed so that relative down is oriented (correctly) against the direction of thrust, i.e., towards the torches.

I am still trying to visualize the Unity, but this part of the description gives me hives. If bulkheads run the length of the ship from stem to stern... aren't they the surfaces that will be perpendicular to "up" and "down"?

I mean, this may well be right, but it runs contrary to wet navy terminology, where decks were perpendicular to the gravity vector and bulkheads were parallel. It may well be that in a foulup between downsider designers and Halfer construction teams, the names were switched. But even downsiders aren't stupid enough to mount chairs on a surface that will be a wall, not a floor, when thrust begins... which means that chairs are mounted on bulkheads.

Am I getting this right? Or is my image of the Unity ninety degrees off?

===================================

Second big question: The Unity is thrusting sunward. Now, this could have two possible meanings:

1) The Unity is thrusting against Earth's orbital motion relative to Sol, such that it will lose orbital energy and drop into a closer orbit. This would imply Mercury as a destination, since Venus is not worth visiting... or else, Monitor feels like sundiving as a way of destroying a lot of unwanted materiel that the SpaceFarers might be tempted to use.

2) The Unity might literally be thrusting with its vector aimed at Sol. That would put it into an orbit with more energy, not less, as it would accelerate as it passed closer than Earth... which would imply a destination outside Earth's orbit, but on the other side of the System.

Which is it?

===================================

Double checking -- "I wear a Stetson now" is an Eleventh Doctor reference, yes? The key being the next line: "Stetsons are cool." It could just as well have been a fez, but I have a harder time seeing Trent wear a fez by choice.

===================================

Turning Hile by hacking and turning Hile by persuasion are not mutually exclusive in my view. Trent could have used his knowledge of the Elite's codebase to make it possible to communicate with Elite -- find the turnables and turn them right under Vance's nose.

===================================

And finally: THANK YOU. Seven dollars seems a pittance compared to the relief you have given by finally restarting a story I discovered by chance eight years ago... then despaired of ever learning the end of.