Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Goth Sullus stand-alone novel

So, I recently started reading the Goth Sullus stand-alone novel, a spin-off of the Galaxy's Edge series, called Imperator.  Goth Sullus is (so far) the only character who can use TheForceNotTheForce in this StarWarsNotStarWars—although there are clear indications that that's going to change soon; Wraith's HologramNotHologram (OK, I'm probably over-using that meme by now) Ravi is all set to teach the little girl how to use the LightSideNotLi...  Well, you know what I mean.

I think it's interesting the approach that Anspach and Cole took with their ersatz Force.  Rather than it being something like the chi in a Japanese karate game, where all kinds of characters can throw fireballs at each other while karate-fighting, or whatever (which is in most respects, a closer analog to the Force in Star Wars than Western magic), it's more like The Ring.  Only one person can use it, and it corrupts him to use it.

Whether the same will be true for Prisma Maydoon, and what exactly is the story with Ravi anyway, of course, remain TBD, at least to the audience, although I expect the authors have a plan for that specifically.

No, but what I really want to talk about is how it occurs to me that there isn't any point in explaining your Fake Force, I think.  Cole has talked about that before in some podcasts and elsewhere; the idea that you don't need to explain stuff that is already a cultural touchstone by now.  How do spaceships travel the vast distances of space?  Who cares?  They do.  They did in Star Wars.  They did in Star Trek.  They did in every freakin' space opera that anyone's ever read, seen, or heard about, and given the cultural ubiquitousness of Star Wars by now, it doesn't need to be explained.

Magic, even less so.  It goes back much longer than space travel as a cultural touchstone, and all Uncle Owen had to do was call Ben Kenobi an old wizard, or that one Death Star officer call out Vader's "sorcerous ways" for us to get the point.  Now, granted, it may be unexpected to have magic and space travel in the same story, but not really.  It's very easy to get over that, and with the exception of the movement in science fiction to brand all non-hard science fiction as not science fiction—a movement pioneered by a bunch of butthurt soyboys who resented the jocks for not acknowledging their superiority due to their alleged greater intelligence, mostly—nobody much has much cared about having magic in space before.  The literature of imagination isn't limited to men with screwdrivers, just as it isn't limited to hippies who believe that they're out of their proper place in some temporal stream.  Most people love good adventure stories with all kinds of exotic and interesting things to see; and this isn't just a feature of the pulps; literally almost all of literature prior to the modern age is made up of this exact same kind of story.  In fact, our rejection (at a higher, generic cultural level) of the stories of confident heroes boldly striding through exotic and dangerous foreign climes and conquering them with a combination of his wit, will, luck and strength can, in retrospect, clearly be seen as a early canary in the coal mine of cultural decadence and decrepitude; the hallmarks of a culture that is no longer healthy and is on its way to collapse if there can't be a renewal and repentance of the false "values" that we've embraced since then.

Anyway, that's a bit deeper than I meant to go; I really merely meant to say—yeah, in AD ASTRA there's a magical power, if you will.  There are psionic knights, and there are warlocks, and whatnot.  Although I have a handwavey semi-scientific explanation for how that might be, I'm almost certainly not going to bother with it, unless I can think of an interesting narrative specifically to tell that utilizes it.  Otherwise, it just is, and... well, why not?

EDIT: As an aside, while reading the first few novels of Galaxy's Edge, I would often listen to Star Wars soundtracks in the background.  My favorite here was the Old Republic soundtrack, actually, which sounds like Star Wars, but which doesn't have specific cues that are tightly linked to the movies—like the actual soundtrack does.  Now, I find that I'm listening to a lot of hard trance, which often has a science fiction theme.  In fact, I'm literally listening to some Pacific Link tracks like "Espace", "Planetary Collapse" and "Rings of Jupiter" while reading about Goth Sullus (before he picked up that name) crashlanding in the jungle.  In at least two remixes each.

ADDITIONAL EDIT: It's interesting right about there; discogs calls "Espace" both Hard Trance and Hardstyle.  To me, "Rings of Jupiter" sounds the most overtly hardstyle; especially if you listen to the original (as opposed to Luca Antolini) remix.  Keep in mind that Pacific Link was literally the same set of guys from the Saifam group who did, for instance, the KGBs, K-Traxx, Speedwave, Builder, etc.—in other words, the founders of Italian hardstyle. 

But it goes to show you that the dividing line between some hard trance and early hardstyle is literally quite impossible to find.  "Espace" calls itself the Hardstyle Mix 2 (there's also a Hardstyle Mix 1) but it sounds more trancy; "Rings of Jupiter" calls itself hard trance, and discogs calls it that too, but by sound, it's got reverse bass, some pitched kicks, and the screechy, scratchy sounds of Early Hardstyle.  It could have more pitching on the kicks to really be there, I suppose, but again—how can you really tell exactly where one starts and the other ends?


Maurice Spann said...

I think Goth Sullus is that nightmare creature that they met on the Savage ship. Kind of a temporal loop thing. The monster you fear is really you.

Unknown said...

Great theory. i hope so