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Inclarity on the concept - Habemus plus vis computatoris quam Deus
Ramblings of a Unix ronin
unixronin
unixronin
Inclarity on the concept
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Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 28th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Sure, and I don't have a problem with that.

I actually did a partial migration, into straight military fiction, with the COUNTDOWN series. Sadly, Barnes and Noble doesn't know quite how to shelve it. It's been found in sci fi, in fiction, in politics, and God knows where else. They're not super political but they're damned harsh, occasionally mitigated by quite funny (at least, if you like Monty Python).

But, fair warning, _all_ my books are harsh to the point of brutal. They're just not for everybody.
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Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 28th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah..interesting.

Let me give you a truth in advertising fair warning. In the beginning of the first book, the main character, a colonel, walks down a line of Afghan villagers and blows their brains out, one by one, until one of the villagers divulges where certain Navy SEALs (he's Army SF) are being held. Then, since the SEALs are dead before recovered (burned alive, actually), and as he promised if they were not recovered timely, he has the men executed and turns their women and children over to some Afghans working for him, in effect as slaves, approximately the normal status of women there, anyway. And he doesn't face justice for it, since the Army is a lot more concerned with appearances and PR than it is with justice. If you can read that then you can read the rest. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 28th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah..interesting.

Actually, as I wrote it I interleaved a fair amount of humor. Some of that involves insider jokes a typical reader won't get unless he's been in and around the military quite a bit. Some is Pythonesque...or just lifted from Monty Python ("Ladies and Gentlemen, the very large and very dangerous Biggus Dickus Thornton.") Some, however, is just my own.

On a more serious note, what did you find laughable about the presentation of sundry religions? Other than the things I played for laughs, I mean. ("Father, she's _Jewish_!"..."The Holy Father would like a word with you...")
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 28th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah..interesting.

I LOVED that exchange. :)
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 28th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah..interesting.

So did I, possibly more than any other short passage I've ever written.
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unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd have liked to see a few more of the other religions get serious consideration. I find the idea of a Posleen Zen master oddly intriguing. :)
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure, but ask yourself who stacked the deck; the writer or the real world Catholic Church he was portraying? Or do you seriously believe the Church would give other religions and sects a fair break? No, they were there only as fall backs if the Jesuit failed. And, seriously, who is as good at this kind of thing as the Jesuits?
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
And, seriously, who is as good at this kind of thing as the Jesuits?
Very true. :)
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Father Dan Dwyer, S.J. was, by the way, my priest when I was a boy.
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Aaaah, so. And thus you honor him.
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC) (Link)
That, and give him the chance to sleep with Marlene Dietrick with Papal approval.
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. A boon not to be underestimated. :)
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 28th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

OK, you had me at "Monty Python". :)

There is a place for harshness. I think we as a culture don't visit that place enough, because too many of us are too fond of pretending to ourselves that it is NOT a harsh and unforgiving world (and universe) "out there". There is a strong societal tendency to pretend that everything is, or can be, or at the very least should be, perfectly safe and devoid of danger or personal responsibility. And it just ain't so.
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 28th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

More fair warning: I've long since become sick to death of armies created with an authorial stamp of the foot. The COUNTDOWN series is heavily - surely some would say, "tediously" - detailed. Maybe not as much as the ADCP-verse, but still pretty detailed. A lot of people do not like that. You may not, either.
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

I have a long-stalled story I've been working on for a long time that's at a point where I need to fill in exactly that kind of detail, actually. Not the creation of an army, but the training of a ... semi-voluntary inductee into one. And I REFUSE to handwave it.

(Capsule summary of the situation: He got the "Army or prison, son" choice because the judge and the public defender both knew full well he'd been shafted, but knew equally well that with the political clout behind shafting him there was no way in hell they'd ever make an acquittal stick.)
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Hmmm...heads up; there hasn't been a real "Army or prison, son" choice in the US in a very long time. If there's a hint of it, the recruiter won't waste his time on you.
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

I know that. This is not a present-day-US setting. It's rather more dystopian than that, and what remains of centralized US government has just gotten itself into a new war in South America (as if it didn't have enough problems).

I did, too, somewhat oversimplify the situation.
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Most basic training stories tend to be about as alike as peas in a pod. There are certain things that have to happen in any worthwhile army's basic training - technical and tactical training, conditioning of non-conscious characteristics and the body, development of conscious and intellectual characteristics, and selection (of, say, on the one hand for people to go to OCS and USMAPS, or on the other to boot from service). Those are four of the five functions of training (this is just me speaking, not anybody's doctrine) that BCT can effect.

You might try calling one of the OSUT battalions at Fort Benning and asking them to fax or mail you a company's old training schedule. That, if they'll do it, will have all the references (field manuals and TMs). And, after checking those, you would be about 90% done, the remaining 10% being how your character reacts to it.

Another thing is that, myths aside, basic doesn't really change anybody except sometimes around the margins. The kid's got to have certain things - mostly unconscious attitudes and semi-conscious emotions - that he took in more or less with mother's milk or the Army (or Marines) can't do much with him. You're not going to undo 18 years of growth and development in a mere 14 or 15 weeks.

Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Hmmmm...I really detest pimping my own books. But if you want a recommendation of something of mine that covers a nasty BCT, plus considerable in advanced leadership training...
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Go for it. I've been catching up on my book buying as it is, and anything that might help get that story unstuck is an extra benefit.
Tom Kratman From: Tom Kratman Date: December 29th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

The Amazon Legion, but don't go HC as the paper will be out in about 2 months and electronic is cheaper now.
unixronin From: unixronin Date: December 29th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you for your response - it was quite unexpected

Ah! I've read excerpts from that already, I believe, and liked it.
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