Re: lib fic

Anton Sherwood (
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 20:39:22 -0800

Of _The Probability Broach_, I griped, and Michael Hohensee responded:

: > - All female characters are Heinlein heroines.
: If you mean that they're all tough, independent, and good shots. Sure.

I don't mind that some women in the cast fit that description. (I know
a few like that myself. Yum.) I mind that they *all* do (there are no
bad or neutral women), and that they *talk* like Heinlein.

(As for good shots - Clarissa says she never misses with a plasma gun,
and in the sequel, plasma guns are said to be notoriously inaccurate.
I've got no sense of humor.)

: > - The goodguys survive because the badguys never use their guns.
: Well, the bad guys don't want to die in a firefight any more than the
: good guys. There is plenty of shooting in the next few novels, if thats
: what you go in for.

That's not quite the point. Everyone has a gun, but when the goodguys
are captured, the badguys don't *shoot* them, but lock them in a freezer
so they can inevitably escape. (When Blofeld [or was it Goldfinger?]
said "No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die," he was alone in his
expectation. ;) )

: > - Unable to stop the badguys' evil plan preemptively (because that
: > would be coercive), our heroes blow them up accidentally.
: > This is described as a triumph of free will.
: Sure, the bad guys got it in the end. :) This leaves the good guys
: triumphant.

But where is the moral lesson that is supposed to be the whole point?
I prefer the deus-ex-machina to be a bit less obvious, don't you?

: > - As is Bear's double existence, as if gametes were chosen consciously.
: Well, they're parallel universes, guess the Bear family-trees were
: identical. [...]

Exactly. And Bear initially accepted that, with the elaboration that
because he was of Western Indian descent, the ripples of the divergence
that began in Philadelphia hadn't reached his family tree. But in the
final chapter he says, no, my parents had a son because they chose to!

: > - Griswold's chilling reputation is presented but never justified.
: They aren't at the center of the story, so why should they be focused on?

If the chronicler can't mention Griswold's without going "brr",
I'd like to know why. It's admittedly a small thing.

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*