Author Topic: Anne Bishop  (Read 189269 times)

Patti L.

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #810 on: March 24, 2016, 05:57:14 am »
It's the ONLY motivation, though.  There's never anyone who desperately wants to heal someone, or who is obsessed with fixing an injustice, or who started with some small error/sin and got blackmailed into increasingly bad things, then got messed up with drugs, or is doing bad things in the pursuit of knowledge in the face of poverty, and there's never anyone who was just a little wild/thoughtless, and later realizes it and tries to straighten up and fly right.
Or if there are any of the latter, they die too early to be more than spear carriers.
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

lostbird

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #811 on: March 24, 2016, 06:18:48 am »
I'm wondering if the HFL movement and its sheepish human followers are beside the point, however. I mean, the real meat in Anne's series is more and more about the how change affects nature as well as society. Namid is a world where all creatures spring from her, the top of the food chain is wholly in tune with her, but the bottom (humans) are running amok because they're don't feel the connection and are not really being kept in check by the predators who watch them. Why? Because humans are clever and make interesting things that "seduce" the Others into allowing humans to make more and more of these things. And like most of these series we all read, humans reproduce like rabbits--they're growing out of their space and encroaching on the wild places. So the theme seems to be about balance. The HFL feels like a plot device to get the conversation to where it really needs to be: how do we (the Others, Namid) bring the humans into balance with everything else?


Of course, you'd have to be blind to miss the parallels to the virulent anti-POC rhetoric of the day and how much the ignorance of the Namid humans echoes the ignorance of real humans. I'm thinking that has to be deliberate on Anne's part.


But I think the real story here is a commentary on preserving our environment, acceptance of "the Other" among us, and cooperation that leads to positive evolution.


lb

Patti L.

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #812 on: March 24, 2016, 11:55:14 am »
Good analysis of the ... theme or purpose, I guess, behind the series, but cardboard villains are still one trick ponies that annoy me.

There are some humans, the Cassandras, and their root stock, the intuitives, who kind of 'get' the balance issue, but unless there's some way to make quite a lot/certain powerful of humans understand what kind of trap they're running into, it turns into a replay of the Black Jewels.
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

katy

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #813 on: March 24, 2016, 12:05:08 pm »
This is totally beside the point, but your use of the word "meat" in the first sentence of that really made me laugh -- made me think of the way the Others refer to humans as "clever meat"  or if it's at the butcher shop, "special meat" LOL

I agree that so far the villains we've seen have not had a lot of depth.  In the case of Asia Crane (the spy from book 1), I think that's because that's who the character was -- shallow and stupid, not so much a villain because she was evil, but because she was weak and willing to be manipulated, thinking that it would get her what she wanted (fame! fortune! her very own TV show!).  With most of the other villains, we don't really get to know them well enough to know what makes them tick.  Nicholas Scratch -- the HFL leader -- seems to be a lot like many cult leaders or politicians.  He has some hidden agenda but wants to achieve his real goals behind the scenes while gaining power and money by manipulating people, playing on the fears of the masses.  He gets off on pulling people's strings, getting them to do what he wants them to, and deceiving them into thinking it's their own idea or in their own interest.  But so many of the "villains" in the story then, are just followers, being led into doing evil by believing when they're told it's good.  And there are broad swaths of grey area -- the Others are portrayed in a way that is very sympathetic, but are they good?  Not uniformly.  And, they are motivated by their own good and the good of their people, just like the humans.

One thing I think is really interesting in the worldbuilding is the very uneven level of technology.  Much of the time, this reads like urban fantasy -- everybody wears clothes we would see as normal in the current day, they have cars and TV and computers and so forth.  Yet some key technologies are missing or not yet quite developed.  Planes are a new, strange, invention only used for dropping bombs.  Long distance transportation is by train or boat.  Medicine seems to be in a somewhat primitive state, though it's hard to be sure about that, since we don't have a lot of evidence about human medicine. Thinking about the history of how technologies have developed, this seems pretty unbelievable, but if we just accept that somehow this is how it is, the implications for how groups in different areas interact and how news travels, etc. are interesting.

Patti L.

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #814 on: March 24, 2016, 12:08:32 pm »
The only glimpses we see of villains and their thoughts are Asia (thank you for pulling up her name) level. "ME, MINE" even if they're at a higher level of villainy - consider the dude who used to run Meg's "sanctuary".
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

lostbird

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #815 on: March 24, 2016, 12:48:07 pm »
One thing I think is really interesting in the worldbuilding is the very uneven level of technology.  Much of the time, this reads like urban fantasy -- everybody wears clothes we would see as normal in the current day, they have cars and TV and computers and so forth.  Yet some key technologies are missing or not yet quite developed.  Planes are a new, strange, invention only used for dropping bombs.  Long distance transportation is by train or boat.  Medicine seems to be in a somewhat primitive state, though it's hard to be sure about that, since we don't have a lot of evidence about human medicine. Thinking about the history of how technologies have developed, this seems pretty unbelievable, but if we just accept that somehow this is how it is, the implications for how groups in different areas interact and how news travels, etc. are interesting.


I guess I don't see this series as urban fantasy, even though it has some resemblance. It feels more like what Philip Pullman did with the His Dark Materials series, more high-concept fantasy with urban-like touches.


I think the lack of a certain amount of believable technological development makes sense if you consider how the Others control the resources of Namid. I was just rereading Murder of Crows on my morning commute and came across a conversation where one of the Others (Simon, I think) was explaining what their control looks like. The gist was something like (1) humans create something; (2) the Others become aware of it and think its interesting/useful/entertaining/swell (take your pick) and decide they want it, too, so; (3) the Others release just enough resources to allow more of this interesting thing to be made and shared with more humans as well as the Others. To me, this implies that they are always considering need/want vs. balance (literally and environmentally). I could imagine someone approaching the others to say, "hey, look at this new thing we've designed ... we call it an airplane. Don't you want one?" If I was Simon, I might say something like, "why do I need to fly? If I need to get a message out fast, there are Crows." "But you can get from Thaisia to Brittania faster," the human counters. "Why would I want to go to Brittania? Thaisia is my home. And if I want to go to Brittania, there are boats." Etc.

lostbird

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #816 on: March 24, 2016, 01:10:19 pm »
The only glimpses we see of villains and their thoughts are Asia (thank you for pulling up her name) level. "ME, MINE" even if they're at a higher level of villainy - consider the dude who used to run Meg's "sanctuary".


Yep, this is definitely a weak spot. We never find out the Controller's motivation (besides money, which is boring) and we only learn as he's juiced and about to die that he wants a place at the HFL table. Doesn't feel honest, though. The cardboard villain is really obvious with Nicholas Scratch. I didn't find his death satisfying at all. I thought, all this build-up and he's easily neutralized by the Sanguinati? Come. On.


But this just gives more strength to my assertion that this series is not really about the bad humans vs. the good humans.

katy

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #817 on: March 24, 2016, 01:41:31 pm »
Yes, Scratch's death was odd... if it was that easy to kill him, why did they wait so long?  OK, they don't want to set him up as a martyr, so having it happen when he's alone on the deck of a boat makes some sense -- nobody really knows what happened to him, maybe he just fell overboard, etc.  But there must have been opportunities like that much sooner.

I'm wondering how many layers of more powerful beings there are in this world.  The shapechanging Others and the Sanguinati are more powerful than humans (though it appears that the power differential here isn't as large as it may have looked at first). But then there are what appear to be "local elementals" like the girls at the lake with their horses, etc.  They usually seem to act in defense of the Others, and against the humans if they act at all, but the shapechangers and Sanguinati are also afraid of them.  And now it looks like there is yet another, more powerful layer of elementals, such as the ocean goddess we met in this book, and a group of ... somethings... who are even more powerful but only come out to destroy towns that have wronged the Others, etc.

I also wonder about the risks that are alluded to in "being too human." Simon frets about this, but it makes me wonder just what has become of past individuals who have gone this route.  Could they have interbred with humans to create the Cassandra Sangue and the intuitives?  Or are these something else entirely?  Is Meg really human, or has she just been led to believe that she is human?  And I think this is one of the central themes of the series -- what does it mean to be human? 

pondhawk

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #818 on: March 25, 2016, 06:41:01 am »

"Yes, Scratch's death was odd... if it was that easy to kill him, why did they wait so long?  OK, they don't want to set him up as a martyr, so having it happen when he's alone on the deck of a boat makes some sense -- nobody really knows what happened to him, maybe he just fell overboard, etc.  But there must have been opportunities like that much sooner."

Two things here. One, his name, has struck me from the start, because "Old Nick" and "Old Scratch" have both been used historically as names for the Devil. So, that always made me roll my eyes a little, because, really? But recall also that Scratch has been corresponding with his father (or so I assume, since Scratch addressed him as "Pater") which means that even if Scratch was easily killed, the father is still unaccounted for.

Edited because I'm still getting the hang of Quoting.

lostbird

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #819 on: March 25, 2016, 08:09:11 am »
Two things here. One, his name, has struck me from the start, because "Old Nick" and "Old Scratch" have both been used historically as names for the Devil. So, that always made me roll my eyes a little, because, really? But recall also that Scratch has been corresponding with his father (or so I assume, since Scratch addressed him as "Pater") which means that even if Scratch was easily killed, the father is still unaccounted for.

Edited because I'm still getting the hang of Quoting.


Oh, yeah, totally forgot about "Pater." Maybe the HFL isn't done after all.

Patti L.

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #820 on: March 25, 2016, 11:44:54 am »
Is Marxism dead?  Then HFL could still be with us, it'll just fracture, like communism in China.
(was just re-reading "Liars and Tyrants and People Who Turn Blue", where that's a plot-point.)
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

Patti L.

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It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

pondhawk

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #822 on: October 20, 2016, 07:29:53 am »
Ok, I'm ready to read it.

Zealith

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #823 on: December 14, 2016, 03:48:07 pm »
Sample chapter, a bit longer than the previous snippet.
http://www.annebishop.com/b.etched.bone.exc.html

Patti L.

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Re: Anne Bishop
« Reply #824 on: September 02, 2017, 12:16:20 pm »
From her Facebook public page:




Anne Bishop

Yesterday at 7:01am ยท
..
The ebook edition of STRANDED, which includes my novella "A Strand in the Web," is on sale for $1.99 from September 1 - 15. I'm told it's available on all platforms.
It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.