Feel That Force.
What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?


  • December 27, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    The proper term is “Mary Sue” , and yeah, they are getting some heat over it. And rightly so

    • December 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      It’s an example of the current Hollywood cultural-engineering vogue wherein “males” are either evil, or superfluous and utterly disposable. See also: “Kristoff” from Disney’s Frozen.

      • December 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        See “Cold Mountain” also.

    • December 28, 2015 at 12:13 am

      Actually, it’s an “Action Girl”. If either evil or more Goth-y but still good, it’s a “Dark Action Girl”. See TV Tropes.

      “Mary Sue” aka “Ensign Mary Sue” is a Trek Trope and is entirely different.



      • December 28, 2015 at 12:48 am

        “Mary Sue” has sort of outgrown Trek and is now a character trope applicable to fanfiction in general, and occasionally to professionally-written fiction — not always legitimately.

  • December 27, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    How did I know Sam wouldn’t get jealous over Zed’s past?

    • December 28, 2015 at 12:15 am

      Everybody has a past. And as Ringo says, “If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question”. This includes “spontaneous utterances”, which BTW are generally admissible in court.



  • December 28, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Yeah, all the other characters are so totally real, why’d they have to go and let a female be all superhero?

    • December 28, 2015 at 12:26 am

      “Totally real”?

      The Jedi are about as “real” as Tolkien characters or Superman. In a fantasy RPG universe, they’d be a nasty cross between a magic-user and a martial artist with “mystic” powers.

      It stands to reason that, after another generation or so of “selective breeding”, intentional or otherwise, they’d come up with at least one or more in their “next generation” who outstrip their elders, who aren’t getting any younger anyway.

      If you want to see how it works (and where Lucas, Abrams & Co. probably pinched the idea from), read the “Lensmen” novels by Edward Elmer “E.E. ‘Doc'” Smith, written between 1932 and 1954 and originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction (later aka Analog).

      Paying particular attention to the next-to-last novel in the series, “Children of the Lens”. Note that the “children” consisted of one brother and four sisters.

      None of whom you’d want mad at you. Trust me.



      • December 28, 2015 at 1:30 am

        Start with either First Lensman or Galactic Patrol. These days, Triplanetary is listed as the “first” novel, but it actually was written as an unrelated book, then heavily modified later so that it was a “prequel”. Unfortunately, Triplanetary as currently written contains SPOILERS for the rest of the series. So start with First Lensman (which takes place in the chronology after Triplanetary) or Galactic Patrol (the actual first-written part of the story). Leave Triplanetary until you’re done with everything else.

        A lot of people here are familiar with Heinlein. Smith was to Heinlein as Heinlein is to the current crop of writers. And no one (I mean NO ONE) has ever managed to work on the collosal scale that Smith did. The closest I’ve ever scene was David Weber with his Dahak-series, wherein there are entire fleets of moon-sized warships (The Death Star would have been an under-powered pop-gun to Dahak). No one else has thought as grandly, imagined as broadly, or cleaved to his principles while writing as closely as E. E. “Doc” Smith.

        His ideas have also populated our culture. He is the direct-inspiration for The Jedi and The Green Lantern Corp, though both properties will deny it for copyright reasons. He’s also the direct-inspiration (admited by the builders) for the naval Combat Information Center aboard warships during WWII. (I so badly want the US Navy to name their next Aegis-system the “Z9M9Z”.) He, further, was a professional chemist and it is said he is the uncredited inventor of the Glazed Doughnut!

        Dig into some Lensman novels and see if that world, the MEN(tm) who populate it, and the battles they fight -both military and cultural- aren’t a balm for your woes today.

        Psst: eon, you forgot to say “Clear Ether” ^_^.

        “I’ve got to jet…”

      • December 28, 2015 at 2:40 am
        Ed Woods

        Then there was the Skylark series.

      • December 28, 2015 at 10:58 am
        John Egbert

        You might also check out Weber’s Honor Harrington saga/series. For sheer, epic space opera done extremely well it’s almost impossible to beat.

      • December 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        For scale, the entire Haven war in the Honor Harrington series would have been a small patrol-skirmish in Lensman (That’s not hyperbole; NO ONE has written on the scale Smith did.)

        As to the Harrington series itself, the early books are excellent. But I think Weber ultimately fell prey to the syndrome wherein NYT-Bestselling authors don’t have to listen to editors anymore. He started digressing himself to death =P. If you’re having a gigantic, plot-concluding space battle, you should not interrupt it with an entire chapter on teaching sign-language to treecats…

        Elizabeth Moon’s similar Vatta series has caught my attention lately, though.

    • December 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Dang, I wouldn’t have thought sarc tags for a statement like that coming from me would be necessary around here, especially for you, eon…

      It’s frikkin’ Star Wars; the only thing “real” about it is the dough it’s raking in, and I have major doubts about the realness of that fiat currency too.

      • December 28, 2015 at 9:51 am

        And btw, my point of course was that the female badass character was totally in context, and a stroke of pure genius, guaranteeing a serious bump in XX fandom. Why would any commercial venture, ever, ignore half of their customer base?

        Why, yes I am father of a couple of pretty badass females, now 42 and 40, and a 14 y.o. granddaughter, all of whom could quite easily run superhero rings around their XY contemporaries…if they so chose…why do you ask?

      • December 28, 2015 at 1:33 pm

        Two words for you: “Red Lensman” -who still managed to be feminine and was written in the 1940s.

        (Note: some people today disparage E. E. Smith for writing female dialogue in “a stereotyped manner”. However, when his friends were urging him to start writing, he refused because he said he didn’t understand how women thought and so couldn’t write female characters. A next-door neighbor of his told him that he should just come to her. Any time a female character had something to say, she would give him the words. So he did; through his entire writing career.)

      • December 28, 2015 at 9:53 am

        Insufferable, you are.

      • December 28, 2015 at 9:58 am
      • December 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        Quite sufferable, I am, evidently 😉

        (Sorry, he brings this out in me.)

        Loves me some O.T.P. Figures, right?

  • December 28, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Two whiny guys from the same mostly desert planet are able to do great feats with minimal formal training and instruction for which nobody bats an eye (The Phantom Menace / A New Hope). A woman does the same thing, and now all heck breaks loose (The Force Awakens).

    This is science fantasy. We are kinda expected to suspend our disbelief, especially with the humans that populate the story line. 😉

    I am good with both generations of Skywalkers (and Rey) being instant heroes out the gate. In a perfect world, Star Wars would have been an epic television series in which the primary characters would have had episodes in which to follow their arcs and logically get to the place where they are able to do what they do.

    Anyway, I am not complaining so much about the legitimate criticisms of The Force Awakens. I am, however, compelled to point out that the Rey character would have been just as compelling as a white male, an Asian female, or a gender neutral Vulcan. Written well, a good character will earn the support of the audience, regardless of flaws and imperfection of execution.

    Meanwhile, Sam, Naomi, and the rest of the female cast of DBD are great because they well written, fully realized characters. The fact that the males are also well developed is a great credit to Chris’ imagination and talent.

    More Star Wars related humor, please. As a fellow nerd/geek, I simply can’t get enough of the meta-references!

    • December 28, 2015 at 7:31 am

      I haven’t actually seen Star Wars:TFA, and personally, spoilers don’t bother me at all, having said that, I don’t know if what I’m about to ask is a spoiler or not, BUT, I’ve seen articles suggesting that Rey might actually be the daughter of Han and Leia. If so, wouldn’t that make her a Skywalker, too?

      • December 28, 2015 at 8:15 am

        You’d think Leia would know, if that were the case.
        Not gonna say anything more for the possibility of spoilers.

  • December 28, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Really? Speaking as someone who was essentially characterized as a “Superman”, e.g., the smartest person in a room full of brilliant people, @ a NATO S&T conference- I’ve met met several Supermen but I’ve never met a “Superwoman”. Hence the problem I have with US Society’s continued narrative of the “Superwoman” archetype. Why? Because if women were still in charge we would of course still be living in caves if not grass huts.

    • December 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Well decorated caves.

  • December 28, 2015 at 2:55 am
    Stu Mulne

    Just thinking about E. E. Doc Smith the other night. I think I read all of those before 1954 – certainly before 1964. Perhaps a little juvenile for me today (WTH, I’m 69), but then great stuff. I’ve also read just about everything that Heinlein ever wrote, too. Mostly more “adult”, and some of his later works were seriously PG-13 or worse, and often off-the-wall, too. By then I was old enough….

    IMHO, the Lensman series was more “magic” than most of Heinlein’s stuff – I’m not sure the Juvenile audience would have been accepting of “scientific” stuff v.s. a little fantasy.

    DBD is just fun for me. I’m a tad on the Conservative side….

    (I won’t admit it, but the gals are a kick, too….)

    • December 28, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Farnham’s Freehold is very adult. And it touches on very taboo themes in today’s world. (Written in the late 50s, iirc.) And still relevant today, sadly.

      I just finished Triplanetary. It was very “magical” in its sci-fi (though not far out from its fellow scifi novels of the time). The girl in that story reminds me a bit of Sam. 🙂

      • December 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        Farnam’s Freehold was published in 1964.

    • December 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Try going back and reading them again. I think they hold up very well as stories.

      (Though when I first read them it took me a while to realize that “Computer” indicated a person with a slide-rule in the same way that Navigator meant someone with a compass and map.)

  • December 28, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Notice that in the Lensman series, the Boskinians had massive fleets, but used vice, narcotics, and political corruption as highly effective tools to undermine “Civilization” prior to conquest. Was Doc Smith as much a prophet as Heinlein?


    • December 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I keep coming back to that.

  • December 28, 2015 at 8:18 am
    Bill G

    Doc Smith’s ‘Civilization’ did not even know it was under assault by another equally large society for a long time, and then had trouble understanding how large it was. Prophetic?
    BTW, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, in their Liad novels, have at least one character running around with a large handgun called a LeDameter.
    (The main weapon of Smith’s Galactic Patrol was the DeLameter.)

    • December 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      The DeLameter (Mk. XVII) was good, but the Semi-portable was the Ma- Deuce of the Patrol! (And NOBODY messes with Ma Deuce!)


  • December 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm
    Ed Woods

    Spacehounds of IPC. Friday.

    • December 28, 2015 at 8:44 pm


  • December 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Women ARE in charge.
    If people can be arrested for “manspreading” then not only women are in charge, we are going to fall off the border of civilization and go back up the trees, naked.
    THEN . . . women are going to get a taste of “rape culture” . . .

  • December 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Did I read that right? Naomi had carnal knowledge of Zed back when they were sniping together? Whoa and Yowzah.

  • December 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm
    Gary S

    As to the bit about Rey knowing the Falcon better than Han (this might be a bit of a spoiler but it’s a small plot point) from the dialogue when Han and Chewie first find the Falcon it’s apparent she’s been stolen and been missing several years at least. Since Rey is a mechanic and a pilot it is very possible that Rey has either done work on or piloted the Falcon for the local crime boss that had it stolen and would be familiar with some of the half assed work he had her do or had done. When Rey and Flynn are trying to escape the First Order attack on Jakku they are running towards a ship to get off world and Flynn asks about a ship off screen and is told it’s garbage until the small runabout takes a strafing run from a TIE and it’s revealed the “garbage” is the Falcon indicating Rey is familiar with it.

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