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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    There's always the visual metaphor route, like when Schlock fended off the invasive proto-RED nannies with his 'metaphorical' plasma cannon immune system.

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2007-08-18
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2018-07-22 at 10:45 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    Th problem is that stuff icluding the AI doing hacking Ais hing is quite difficult to represent except trhough more dialogue. How exactly would you have shown t hapening except though the Ais talking betwen themsleves, ad tellin what they aredoig, which, is exactly whatthe current strip is.
    I don't mind the "wrap up what the AIs were doing after they are done" bit. I mind that we don't even get token visual metaphors showing Chinook getting trapped in a chunk of infosphere as an army of stormtrooper-oafan-AIs marches past.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    We should change the collective noun for crocodiles to "an abundance of crocodiles".
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  3. - Top - End - #123
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Ok, we have an 11+ year Chekhov's gun facing us next book:

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2007-09-02
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Ok, we have an 11+ year Chekhov's gun facing us next book:

    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2007-09-02
    Which part of that do you think is still hanging over us?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    We should change the collective noun for crocodiles to "an abundance of crocodiles".
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    The part where every race that now has effective immortality will go through everything that Vog's race went through.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by smuchmuch View Post
    Th problem is that stuff icluding the AI doing hacking Ais hing is quite difficult to represent except trhough more dialogue. How exactly would you have shown t hapening except though the Ais talking betwen themsleves, ad tellin what they aredoig, which, is exactly whatthe current strip is.
    Except he's done 'hard to show' things in the past. With a lot more detail, generally relying on puns or comedy to carry the strip. The whole "kevin-spirit-guide-this-is-in-your-head-arc" comes to mind, for example. We were getting pretty continuous updates on what exactly was going on there. Or the Tagi going mad sequence. That did an excellent job of communicating what was going on, and reminding you as the strip went on. And we got to SEE the sequence AND the resolution. Tagii, going mad, getting control back, killing the battleplate, killing thurl, then 'dieing', while the crew watches and interacts. Exaggerating for effect, but the way that sequence would go now is, Tagii goes mad, gets control in 1 strip, kills the battleplate in 1 strip 40 strips later, and kills Thurl in a strip 20 strips later, and then 3 pages into the epilogue we find out tagii died off screen to a killswitch.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    The part where every race that now has effective immortality will go through everything that Vog's race went through.
    So every "race's" memory works just like that of Vog's "race"?
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    The part where every race that now has effective immortality will go through everything that Vog's race went through.
    The problem is, it took two or three regular lifetimes before Vog's species began to go insane, so that Chekov's Gun isn't going to fire for a good 100 years or more, at least as far as humans are concerned. What makes you think there's going to be a 100 year time skip before the next book?

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Ahh, but what about book 21 after this concluding trilogy finishes up?
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
    GENERATION ω+1: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment. Remember, ω + 1 comes after ω.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Not fast enough...?
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    Not fast enough...?
    The implication is that there's an immediate threat to the inhabitants of the station which can only be resolved by copying them into the infosphere? Presumably we'll find out what that is tomorrow.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Mark me down as cautiously optimistic, this is the story I've been interested in reading about since we first went to the can full of sky.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I think I finally understand why so many are aggravated with the last couple books: Howard is trying to tell parallel stories in parallel. Consider the last book versus Massively Parallel; in Massively Parallel he told several stories that were contemporaneous without bouncing between them. Well, we bounced a little with the various "What would Schlock Do?" questions that Thurl fielded, but those were more foreshadowing and foreboding than bouncing between narratives.

    In Mandatory Failure, imagine if we just reordered the comics. If we kept everything the same up until the Maxim 39 exploded, then followed the adventures (and misadventures) of the Breath Weapon until they got taken by the Schumaker Levy. Then we flip over to follow the groups that remained in Uuplech. We follow them until their story is resolved. Then we have Puutzo prime show up. Then we see the various things inside the Eina-afa info sphere. Then we see the last couple epilogue strips. I feel like that would be a much more satisfying way to follow the story, at least as it was being posted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    We should change the collective noun for crocodiles to "an abundance of crocodiles".
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  14. - Top - End - #134
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    I do agree that would help. But I'm also just frustrated with some of the stories in general. I didn't find some them particularly compelling or interesting. I realize Howard was exploring a lot of his themes he's introduced before with immortality etc, as well as setting up more long term arcs. But I said before I would have been much more interested in reading a far more detailed follow up to the 'someone tried to start a civil war' then we wrapped it up off screen. Imagine if instead of the pirate arc and Tagon had to go through the same sequence when hunting down the culprits from civil war arc. Nothing changes in the overall meta, but we could get a lot more information and satisfaction in dealing with those opponents than with a random group of pirates.

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    I'm going to call foul if everyone is dead just to raise the stakes. If Petey had time to make a meat space comment to Kevin he had time to terraport the cities to random location. Space is big afterall. He can lose control of the generator since that's the narrative function that needs to happen.

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Presumably we'll find out what that is tomorrow.
    Or not, as the case may be. Yeah, I'm with Rockphed here--Howard is juggling too many story balls at once, and when something really interesting looks like it's about to happen, he switches to another POV. If the idea is to build tension in the reader, it isn't working, it's just building frustration instead!

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    The comment about Massively Parallel is interesting. The "norm" in story telling is to interweave all the various threads. You see it in TV shows where the A/B plots switch more than a TV switch does. You see it in normal novels where switching 3 or 4 plotlines around to show what's happening at the same time is the norm.

    Doing a full treatment of A, and then rewinding to deal with B? Generally only happens when you want to have A and B have a really messy intertwined conclusion.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Spoiler: Today's Comic
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    I'm going to call foul if everyone is dead just to raise the stakes. If Petey had time to make a meat space comment to Kevin he had time to terraport the cities to random location. Space is big afterall. He can lose control of the generator since that's the narrative function that needs to happen.
    Same here.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Well, that's an encouraging sign. But we'll see what happens from here.

  19. - Top - End - #139
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Eh - I'm pretty sure the .. andromeda pan'auri, is that the name?! .. have nothing to do with this.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Eh - I'm pretty sure the .. andromeda pan'auri, is that the name?! .. have nothing to do with this.
    What makes you so sure? Everyone in-strip is telling us that the target was Petey, and Chinook is out of the picture now. Who else would have the tech and the motivation to do this? I suppose Lota has the capability, but as far as we know he has no reason to do it--not to mention that he would probably know where Petey is and wouldn't need to walk his shots like the culprit here did.
    Last edited by factotum; 2018-08-02 at 02:22 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    What makes you so sure? Everyone in-strip is telling us that the target was Petey, and Chinook is out of the picture now. Who else would have the tech and the motivation to do this? I suppose Lota has the capability, but as far as we know he has no reason to do it--not to mention that he would probably know where Petey is and wouldn't need to walk his shots like the culprit here did.
    Yeah, and walking the shots all over the Milky Way was pretty random for anyone within it, not that it's yet been explained why it makes any sense for an outsider.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    We did get a "complicated math" hand wave. So supposedly it makes sense to some characters.
    Last edited by Ibrinar; 2018-08-02 at 10:56 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #143
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    What makes you so sure? Everyone in-strip is telling us that the target was Petey, and Chinook is out of the picture now. Who else would have the tech and the motivation to do this? I suppose Lota has the capability, but as far as we know he has no reason to do it--not to mention that he would probably know where Petey is and wouldn't need to walk his shots like the culprit here did.
    So I'm the only one who thinks it's Petey doing the shooting?

    Not that I have any shred of a clue why he'd do that. If I absolutely had to guess, I'd say he's ramping up to getting rid of the competition - some contrieved plot to find and eliminate any AI with the potential to threaten him. Why he'd sacrifice his own cities? Hm, to divert blame, and possibly to enlist the aid of the various organics.

    But I'm shooting entirely blind here, obviously. All except for that remark 'tell me more about this timing' and the raised eyebrow.

  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    So I'm the only one who thinks it's Petey doing the shooting?
    For him to do that is entirely out of character based on everything he's done to this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    But I'm shooting entirely blind here, obviously. All except for that remark 'tell me more about this timing' and the raised eyebrow.
    I think that Petey is just pointing out the irony of the next shot coming at that exact moment.

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by bbgun06 View Post
    I think that Petey is just pointing out the irony of the next shot coming at that exact moment.
    Yeah, that's Petey saying "Fascinating, why didn't you tell me this *before* several hundred million people got vapourised just now?". I never got the slightest inkling from it that it was Petey doing the shooting himself.

  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Yeah, I don't think Petey is the one doing the shooting. But the only thing that is making me think "Pa'anuri" is that they are the only named group that could reasonably do it, and the other option would be "unmentioned group we never heard of before"
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Sorley and Kevin both reached the same conclusion about the Andromedan Pa'anuri "walking their shots" independently.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    'No no - this is not a trap. Please come without armor, weapons or ships. You're my oldest bestest friends.'

    Cause protagonists never make good villains - especially not towards the very end of a series.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Nah, just is "Remember Zoojack? Well, this is just like this, but now they can shoot at us from the next galaxy over"
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  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary VIII: insAIne in the mAInfrAIme

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    'No no - this is not a trap. Please come without armor, weapons or ships. You're my oldest bestest friends.'

    Cause protagonists never make good villains - especially not towards the very end of a series.
    You really seem to have it in for Petey right now? Not only is he shooting his own cities, he's now leading the Toughs into a trap, because he has nothing better to do with his time, what with the Pa'anuri not being a threat anymore...for reasons?

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