Science fiction

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (436 of them)

Too much of blatant attempt to cause a car crash here Dom. Should've been subtler.

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:10 (twelve years ago) link

Unless you have Jagz or Jez coming as 5th column.

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:10 (twelve years ago) link

do ... not ... rise ... to ... challops ... bait ...

Thomas, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:11 (twelve years ago) link

looks like dom got barred from the of slugs and stars facebook group

DG, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:11 (twelve years ago) link

oh boo
i hate taking things seriously when they're not meant that way

Maria, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link

Too much of blatant attempt to cause a car crash here Dom. Should've been subtler.



King Boy Pato, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link

I hate like 95% of it

sonderborg, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:15 (twelve years ago) link

It is becoming a slow day. Shock therapy won't work. Well, it might. We'll see.

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:16 (twelve years ago) link

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:16 (twelve years ago) link

Topic conceived while thinking about how, due to the limited cultural and social experiences of many people working in the field of "letters", how more has been written on an explanatory and critical field about trash like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The X-Files rather than, say, The Sopranos, The Wire, or Mad Men. Surely this is going to have implications for the upbringing of our children, and our children's children. Especially when they introduce TV scripts onto English literature courses, and Domenico Passantino Jr III is being forced to write 5,000 words about Reaper.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:19 (twelve years ago) link

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:20 (twelve years ago) link

space is boring

MPx4A, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:20 (twelve years ago) link

nah space is ok

sonderborg, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:21 (twelve years ago) link

Isn't Buffy the Vampire Slayer also a really creepy concept, when you consider how, throughout literary history, the vampire was an anti-semitic caricature? And then all of a sudden you have an hour on TV a week delighting in a blonde-haired, blue-eyed devil killing racist caricatures of Jews?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:21 (twelve years ago) link

They're easy to write about coz they have organised fandom, which is waht a lot of the blather is about. (xpost)

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:22 (twelve years ago) link

Spike wasn't a jew he was a hunk.

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:22 (twelve years ago) link

I'm helping you out here.

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:22 (twelve years ago) link

I'm talking about intent rather than intangible details.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:23 (twelve years ago) link

more has been written on an explanatory and critical field about trash like Buffy the Vampire Slayer

welcome to ILX

DG, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:24 (twelve years ago) link

this thread is totally scifi

dom is absorbing all the challop energy from the rest of ilx and harnessing its power to create a super weapon

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:24 (twelve years ago) link

Spike wasn't a jew he was a hunk.

-- Raw Patrick, 3. juni 2008 12:22 (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

I thought better of making that post, but there it is!

Maria, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:27 (twelve years ago) link

Have you heard this Dom?

Hello Everyone!, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:29 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe Dom's just been influenced by the lack of professional wrestlers with sci-fi gimmicks.

treefell, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:29 (twelve years ago) link

Is it as good as Unkle?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:29 (twelve years ago) link

I like science fiction. I also think The Wire, Mad Men and the Sopranos are way way way better than Buffy or the X-Files. The vast majority of the SF I consume is in book form, which is the medium in which the huge, crazy ideas which are the genre's strong point have the most room to breathe and expand. I have also never been a Trekkie.

chap, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:32 (twelve years ago) link

Maybe Dom's just been influenced by the lack of professional wrestlers with sci-fi gimmicks.

-- treefell, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:29 (7 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

Interesting point you touch on, but I'd argue that while pro-wres and sci-fi are attempting to do similar things (play out a good-vs-evil battle while touching upon socio-political fears of the day), wrestling does so in a more interesting, more effective, and more... aware-of-cultural-history manner. Which is why professional wrestling has always been a mainstream, socially acceptable concern, but why science fiction is seen as something for malcontents.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:32 (twelve years ago) link

evidence for the defence: tarkovsky's solaris

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:32 (twelve years ago) link

Professional wrestling has always been a mainstream, socially acceptable concern, but science fiction is seen as something for malcontents? Wow, this is news to me.

Maria, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:34 (twelve years ago) link

play out a good-vs-evil battle while touching upon socio-political fears of the day

The entire multi-media genre is not as morally simplistic as its most populist extremes, you know.

chap, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:34 (twelve years ago) link

I think to dismiss ALL sci-fi is just as dangerous as you're making sci-fi out to be, but you've certainly got a point about the more mainstream, not-really-scientific fantasy-codswallop end of the scale. Oh look, Chap just said it for me.

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

No, but if were to reduce both sci-fi and wrestling down to their base level, you'd have the blue-eye versus the invader, yes?

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:35 (twelve years ago) link

Cha(llo)p, however, is a big Doctor Who fan, which is where our concordance falters.

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

all tv series sci fi is pretty shit, but most movies can be okay.

Ste, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

Professional wrestling has always been a mainstream, socially acceptable concern, but science fiction is seen as something for malcontents? Wow, this is news to me.

-- Maria, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:34 (1 minute ago) Bookmark Link

Think of all the famous professional wrestling fans. Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Idi Amin. All people who were mainstream figures.

Think of all the famous science fiction fans. John Redwood.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:36 (twelve years ago) link

Dom, where do you stand on Asimov, Dick and other such writers? Oh wait xpost I C WAT UR DOIN

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:38 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, all sci-fi is shit and evil.

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:39 (twelve years ago) link

I think if you're going to start defending your position here by reaching for the dead white guy canon, Louis, you're pretty much admitting you've lost.

Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:40 (twelve years ago) link

The only way to win on this thread is to have never read it.

Jarlrmai, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:41 (twelve years ago) link

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:42 (twelve years ago) link

Where's the MiB memory-eraser when we need it?

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:42 (twelve years ago) link

too late Jarl

think I'll check back in an hour

Matt, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:42 (twelve years ago) link

The power of belief

Reality is described as spread thinly on the Disc, so events may be affected by expectations, especially those of 'intelligent' species such as humans, dwarfs etc. Such a world is not governed by physics or logic but by belief and narrative resolution. Essentially, if something is believed strongly enough, or by enough people, it may become true. Jokes such as treacle mines and drop bears are real on the Disc; in reality lemmings don't actually rush en masse off cliffs, on the Disc they do, because that is what people believe (actually, since mass suicide would seriously foul up natural selection, they tend to abseil down them instead). This is also exploited in both wizard and witch magic. For example, if you wish to turn a cat into a human, the easiest way is to convince him, on a deep level, that he is a human.

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:44 (twelve years ago) link

okay discworld is a completely justified target for your wrath, dom.

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:47 (twelve years ago) link

not that any scifi has actually been mentioned on this thread yet

DG, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:47 (twelve years ago) link

The energy cannot be seen in its pure form. It takes the form of things and ideas. As the beauty of a flower is a form of the energy, so is the thought you just had to get some ice cream. The energy mutates at will and without it there is nothingness. The void of no perception.

The closest to a pure form of the energy is love, for love is very similar to the energy itself. Love is watered down well whiskey on the rocks while the energy is perfect whiskey tasted without it ever touching anything but your lips. Life is the glass, the water and the ice.

When the energy mutates, it leaves a void in the form it leaves behind. Life mutates into another form of the energy and death fills the void. Love continues to exist. It does not mutate as well as life. When that love cannot be given or expressed, a well is created. The more that we love and are left with no open way to express that love, the greater becomes our need to give that love where we can.

Love is what happens when the energy gives birth to life, for all things depend on it in some form. Love is how souls communicate with each other. They are otherwise alone within their own realities. If souls do not find ways to communicate with each other, they begin to atrophy.

Love is what happens when souls communicate.

The connection between certain forms of love and reproduction is not coincidental. Souls conceive as well as bodies. If the souls are not communicating at the moment of physical conception, a void remains that must somehow be filled.

Because the act of sexual reproduction naturally exposes two people to each other in many ways, it is very rarely that souls do not communicate during conception.

The energy may take the shape of love only for an instant in time, or it may maintain that shape forever. Most forms of love fall towards the shorter, those that increase in intensity over time are to be treasured.

Souls form bonds over time by communicating with each other. The strongest bonds are those forged in the creation or relighting of souls, conception.

Each soul travels and accumulates and loses energy. It takes a certain amount of energy to be relit in various frames. The lower frames require little energy to relight a soul. The higher frames require a great deal of energy before allowing a soul to be relit within them. The lower one sinks, the more difficult it is to rise to a higher frame. One must work to accumulate positive energy in order to rise in the frames. The giving of love is the greatest generator of positive energy. That positive energy is greatly reduced when one gives, not just of love but of anything, while expecting a return on investment.

Love is not an investment.

Negative energy is created by taking, and it is much stronger when nothing is given in return or when what is taken is not offered. The thief, the rapist and the murderer accumulate more negative energy than they can balance in one lifetime. A liar creates as much, if not more, negative energy than a thief.

A soul remains in one frame and its equivalents as long as it remains in balance. When it is stronger in positive energy, it rises. When it is stronger in negative energy, it falls.

A soul can be destroyed by falling too low, beyond what can be framed. Soul death is the result of having no other soul to orbit, either within the nothingness beyond frames or where no other soul will enter its orbit.

A dead soul is as immortal as a living soul.
It floats forever alone and unable to feel anything.

Those who accumulate enough positive energy to rise to a higher level of being experience enlightenment. Their souls may be able to communicate with souls at a higher level of being. The soul begins to travel before the body. The soul always connects with the next frame before the body, however it may only be an instant. Souls exist on a different concept of time where an instant outside in a frame may be as long as a thousand years within the soul.

A poor starving man, beaten and cheated by his cruel overlord has more opportunity to travel higher than he who dines at the overlord's table.

The souls of a liberated people have less opportunity for higher travel, but a frame can itself rise higher when the souls of its people as a whole generate more positive energy than negative energy. Prophets have spoken of frames rising and teachers have attempted to pass the knowledge that it can be done.

When something is taken from you, whether it is a material thing, your life or your dignity, you expel negative energy that is absorbed by the thief in question. A man who stabs another man is wounding his own soul with the negative energy he takes from the man he is stabbing. One can only avoid absorbing negative energy from taking the life of one without any negative energy. Such an soul would absorb and destroy negative energy from those who try to take from him.

The blueprint of the soul is not a document in the sense that documents are defined here. It is a living document comprised of the energy, defined by those who have written in it by existing. It is the heart of the energy.

Religions become a necessity in creating gatherings for passage together into a higher frame. At the heart of any true religion are the same teachings, surrounded by a myriad of rituals and trappings. These help to define a higher frame, and often to define a lower frame. Passage together to a frame conceived within the collective reality of the religion allows those who accumulate enough positive energy to advance to that higher frame. For those who would not follow the heart of the teachings and seek to expel negative energy, it is pointless to expect any frame advancement. For those that do follow, and believe, a convergence of souls occurs within the higher frame.

Most religions have at their heart the same code, although the translations are done within different collective realities and therefore vary within that context. The particulars change. Any religion with the code as its heart will be able to penetrate the core of individual souls, focusing their fundamental spiritual reality on a shared vision. Souls place their faith in a higher being's guidance and wisom, thus granting power to that being. A kingdom in a higher frame is more powerful and means something different than it does within this frame. The subjects of a higher frame often come to that frame through their faith in a higher being there.

It is easier to follow an existing trail into a higher frame than it is to create your own. Not only must one be able to envision the frame and create it from faith, one must then be able to populate the new frame with other souls or one will remain alone there until the guidelines of that frame allow you to exit.

Harmony is the ultimate goal of souls, but each soul's perception of that harmony is different. This is why there are very few souls one can find true harmony with. Total harmony is as easy to attain as soul perfection. We journey in search of the harmony, to experience all things and to be one with all.

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:49 (twelve years ago) link

"A Cyborg Manifesto" is a socialist-feminist analysis of "women's situation in the advanced technological conditions of postmodern life in the First World" (Penley, interview cited below). The "elementary units of socialist-feminist analysis," race, gender, and class (173) are in the process of transformation. The tools for analysis: Marxist, psychoanalytic, feminist, anthropological (173) are problematic as they are currently articulated (1985). Problems Haraway finds with each of these "tools" of analysis:

Marxism: 1. Marxist "humanism," we can only come to know the subject through labor; relies upon a Western sense of self. 2. Erases "polyvocal, unassimilable, radical difference made visible in anti-colonial discourse and practice" (159).

Psychoanalysis: 1. Relies upon the family and birth of the self "drama," which is about individuation, separation, the birth of the self, wholeness before language [Lacan's imaginary]. 2. Freudian and Lacanian (and theories based upon their work) rely upon the category of woman as other; "in this plot women are imagined either better or worse off [better off=eg. woman as goddess], but all agree they have less selfhood, weaker individuation, more fusion to the oral [instead of the written, which is the preferred "technology" of the cyborg], to Mother" (177). 3. Universalizes. In an interview with Haraway, she asks: "Can you come up with an unconscious [which she wants to "keep"] that escapes the familial narrative...or that poses the familial narratives as local stories?"

Feminism: 1. "There is nothing about being female that naturally binds women. There is not even such a state as 'being' female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices" (155). [However, though "female" is a construction, women are still historically real.] 2. Feminism in the US has been characterized by the "natural" unity of all women, not taking into account, nor allowing room for, categories of race and class. 3. The reaction [in progress?] to this imposed unity risks "lapsing into boundless difference and giving up on the confusing task of making partial, real connection" (161). Although a partial solution, why is this problematic?

"I do not know of any other time in history when there was greater need for political unity to confront effectively the dominations of 'race', 'gender', 'sexuality', and 'class'" (157). Goals of the "ironic political myth" of the "cyborg"--a utopian, "possible world." (On utopias: "Most utopian schemes hover somewhere in between the present and the future, attempting to figure the future as the present, the present as the future" [Penley, interview cited below]). Why the cyborg as a metaphor for this text?

"Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction" (150) "The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family" (151).

The cyborg does not aspire to "organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity" (150). The cyborg "is not afraid of joint kinship with animals and machines...of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints" (154). The cyborg is the "illegitimate child" of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism.

The cyborg thus evades traditional humanist concepts of women as childbearer and raiser, of individuality and individual wholeness, the heterosexual marriage-nuclear family, transcendentalism and Biblical narrative, the great chain of being (god/man/animal/etc.), fear of death, fear of automatism, insistence upon consistency and completeness. It evades the Freudian family drama, the Lacanian m/other, and "natural" affiliation and unity. It attempts to complicate binary oppositions, which have been "systemic to the logics and practices of domination of women, people of colour, nature, workers, animals" (177).

Haraway likens "cyborg" to the political identity of "women of color," which "marks out a self-consciously constructed space that cannot affirm the capacity to act on the basis of natural identification, but only on the basis of conscious coalition, of affinity, of political kinship" (156). "Cyborg" though, is grounded in "political-scientific" analysis. This analysis takes up most of the "manifesto."

Haraway's political-scientific analysis of where "we" are going: "We are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system" (161). Her "chart of transitions" on page 161-62 lists specifics. (This was later modified; in case you're interested in the changes, I've attached the 1989 chart below.) The movement she sees occurring is both "scary" and reason for coalition. Haraway, trained in biology, analyzes scientific discourse as both constructed and as "instruments for enforcing meanings" (164). "Scientific discourse," she says in the interview cited below, "without ever ceasing to be radically and historically specific, does still make claims on you, ethically, physically." Haraway argues that "one important route for reconstructing socialist-feminist politics is through theory and practice addressed to the social relations of science and technology, including crucially the systems of myth and meanings structuring our imagination" (163). The relations between science and technology, largely ignored by feminists, is a material reality which women need to be aware of--not fear or disparage. These relations are "rearranging" categories of race, sex and class; feminism needs to take this into account. Haraway's analysis of "women in the integrated circuit" tries to suggest, without relying too much on the category of "woman" (as a natural category), to suggest that as technologies radically restructure "life" on earth, "women" do not, and are not, through education, training, etc., learning to control these technologies, to "read these webs of power" (170). A socialist-feminist politics must address these restructurings.

"Cyborgs: A Myth of Political Identity" acknowledges Haraway's debt to writers of "science fiction," and finds in these texts the sources of her cyborg myth. "Cyborg monsters in feminist science fiction define quite different political possibilities and limits from those proposed by the mundane fiction of Man and Woman" (180).

Since, as Haraway sees it, the world is changing rapidly--and this is due mainly to scientific/technological discourses and the claims they make physically upon "us"--the tools that Haraway (and ourselves) find available and in use are no longer viable. The world/culture/discourses upon which they are based are changing. And the premises upon which these tools rest are those which support capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy, which may be, according to her analysis, dwindling, but only to be replaced by something as bad, if not worse, (and possibly, she seems to suggest, better). She wants to keep some kind of agency (not based upon a whole and individual self), materialism, and a feminism not based upon natural unity between women (contradiction is allowed in the "ironic cyborg myth"). Haraway perhaps isnt doing a lot that is new in this piece. What is interesting is the rhetorical strategy, the suggestion that an anti-science stance is unrealistic and ignores potential pleasures, and the potential value of science-fiction. Haraways cyborg probably wont fare well with many readers, who arent wanting to give up much of what Haraway points to as humanistic.

1989 chart
Representation Simulation
Bourgeois novel Science fiction
Realism and modernism Postmodernism
Organism Biotic component, code
Work Text
Mimesis Play of signifiers
Depth, integrity Surface, boundary
Heat Noise
Biology as clinical practice Biology as inscription
Physiology Communications engineering
Microbiology, tuberculosis Immunology, AIDS
Magic bullet Immunomodulation
Small group Subsystem
Perfection Optimization
Eugenics Genetic engineering
Decadence Obsolescence
Hygiene Stress Management
Organic division of labour Ergonomics, cybernetics
Functional specialization Modular construction
Biological determinism System constraints
Reproduction Replication
Individual Replicon
Community ecology Ecosystem
Racial chain of being United Nations Humanism
Colonialism Transnational capitalism
Nature/culture Fields of difference
Co-operation Communications enhancement
Freud Lacan
Labour Robotics
Mind Artificial intelligence
Second World War Star Wars
White capitalist patriarchy Informatics of domination

latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:52 (twelve years ago) link

I think Dom's gone to lunch

Just got offed, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:53 (twelve years ago) link

I think Dom's gone out to lunch

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:54 (twelve years ago) link

Like sci-fi fan Ben Watson.

Raw Patrick, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:54 (twelve years ago) link


(or “A Rogue and a Wraith Met in a Bar...”)

by Angela Jade

Rated - NC-17 (slash!)

Warnings - apart from the slash, there’s angst, adultery, alcohol, aberration and a bunch of other stuff beginning with ‘a’. And did I mention THE SLASH?

e-mail - ang✧✧✧@yav✧✧✧.free-onl✧✧✧.c✧.u✧ - constructive criticism and happy thoughts greatly appreciated. Flames laughed at.

Pairing - Corran/Face (implied Face/Ton)

Spoilers - mainly for “Iron Fist” by Aaron Allston, the 6th book in the X-Wing series.

Disclaimer - it all belongs to Lucas. I am not making any money from this.

Thanks and plot bunnies (MWAHAHA!) to GlimmerGirl, Angel and ‘The Girls’ for betas, comments, and laffs.

Dedication - Glim, for the inspiration.

I saw him before he saw me.

He sat on the barstool, hunched over a drink, his back to the busy room. Nondescript black flightsuit, dark hair cropped close - his body language screamed that he wanted to be left alone.

Yeah, well, him and me both.

The only empty stool was the one next to him, but I figured if I ignored him, he’d ignore me. So I circled around the crowded dance floor, claimed my place at the bar and waved at the bartender. It had been a long day and my brain was screaming for alcohol. “Corellian brandy, Essate.”

The multi-armed droid beeped an affirmative and trundled off in the direction of the brandy bottles. I picked idly at a shallow gash in the counter as I waited for its return.

“Do I know you?”

Well, well, what do you know. I could have sworn he’d been giving off the ‘shut up and leave me alone to wallow in my misery’ signals. Guess I’m losing my touch. Either that, or I’m too hacked off to pay attention.

“Depends on who you are.” I finally dragged my attention away from the stained bar to meet his eyes.

Wow. Just ... wow. A ragged scar tried to mar his features but failed miserably - he was stunning. Not ‘ruggedly handsome’ stunning, or even ‘intriguingly beautiful’ stunning. Stunning, as in ‘heart-stoppingly gorgeous’. I hoped I wasn’t drooling.

The green eyes, perfectly placed in the exquisite face, narrowed slightly. “It’s Corran Horn, isn’t it? Rogue Squadron.”

I was all set with the ‘yeah, who wants to know’ rejoinder, when the words died in my throat. Recognition hit like a torp up the exhaust. “Garik Loran?”

A wry smile curved his lips as he raised his glass in a somewhat shaky mock-salute. “Yeah, it’s me. The Face. Breaker of hearts, minds, and promises.” He drained the glass then refilled it from the half-full bottle of whiskey at his elbow. Someone was out to get seriously smashed.

Essate arrived with my brandy and I fed him enough credits to keep the drink coming for a while. I’d feel like shit in the morning, but at least I wouldn’t feel as bad as Loran, judging by the way he was slugging back that whiskey.

I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to start talking to him. It’s not like I was in the mood for conversation... Could it have been the Force? Doubt it. Or, if it was, it works in even more mysterious ways than Luke Skywalker knows - or had ever admitted to me, at any rate.

No, I don’t think there were any altruistic ‘let me share your pain’ thoughts that underpinned my motives. I was just depressed as hell and felt like venting to the world at large, and to the gorgeous man sitting next to me in particular. I opened my mouth to speak, but he beat me to it.

“You’re married, aren’t you?”

Zap. Reality bit like a pissed-off bantha. “Yes.” The brandy burned a flaming path down my throat. Hopefully it would hit my brain soon. “Very, very married.”

“You don’t sound too happy about it.”

Okay, now I was mad. I’d barely met the guy and here he was, commenting on my marriage, on something he knew absolutely nothing about. I threw back the rest of my drink and turned to give him a piece of my mind.

He wasn’t even looking at me. I’d figured, with an inflammatory remark like that, he’d at least be watching for a reaction. He just sat there, holding his glass to his lips as he contemplated the wall behind the bar. Finally he turned and raised a quizzical eyebrow. A ‘talk to me or shut up, I don’t much care’ look.

I shrugged. “We’ve got a pretty open marriage. We both work away a lot, and we decided at the beginning that it would be okay if we saw other people ... well, as long as we kept it quiet.”

“What? Was she noisy?”

Sith! The ego on this guy!! “No. It’s just ... I got back yesterday from the latest in a long line of shitty missions we’ve pulled lately, and I find her in bed with three men!” I struggled to keep my voice under control and threw back the last of the brandy in an effort to stop the shaking in my body.

“And it didn’t occur to you to jump in and join them?”

The only reason I didn’t yell at him or choke on my drink was because ... well ... for a brief moment, standing there in our sunlit bedroom, watching my wife take it from three guys, it HAD actually occurred to me. But she was MY wife, dammit... “No.”

“So did she walk out or did you?”

“Me.” Yeah, after I’d called her every nasty name I could think of, after she’d yelled at me, after I’d blasted the crap out of the comm unit, after she’d called me a hypocrite... Me, a hypocrite!

Another brandy. Still sober. “Women, huh?”

“Wouldn’t know, captain. Haven’t touched one in years.”

I watched him sip his whiskey, his eyes staring, unseeing, at the opposite wall. “You’re not bi, then?” I asked.

“No.” He turned vivid green eyes on me. “Would it make any difference?”

“To what?”

“Oh, come on!” He swiveled round to face me, his knee almost touching mine. “You’ve been hitting on me since you sat down!”

“In your dreams, buddy.” Although, now you mention it...

One side of his mouth tilted upwards and his eyes seemed to twinkle with amusement. “Yeah. Right.” He swallowed hard and turned back to his whiskey, suddenly morose again. “Like I need you in my dreams.”

If there’s one thing I can’t handle, it’s mood swings. I get enough of those at home. Brain says ‘ignore him’, other parts of my anatomy say ‘like hell you will.’ “Hey, some people like to see a Jedi show up in their dreams. Scares the monsters away.”

The look he gave me was composed of one hundred percent, pure, unadulterated pain. Eyes glistening with unshed tears, contracted pupils - I watched as his larynx bobbed up and down a couple of times. “A Jedi, huh?” His lips tightened as he returned his attention to his drink. “Don’t know that a Jedi would have been much use.”

“Whaddaya mean ‘not much use’. We’re damn useful. What are you talking about?”

He drained his glass again and looked longingly at his whiskey bottle, before apparently changing his mind. His voice was low and none too steady when he finally turned toward me once more. “The most important person in my life, the one I loved, the one I would kill or be killed for, died two weeks ago. Shot down on a backwater planet with the most pathetic medical facilities...” He paused, his eyes creasing with pain. “I went down after him. Found him... eventually...”

I watched him rub a hand over his eyes, and I felt as guilty as hell. My pain was nothing compared to his - Sith, I wasn’t even in pain, just angrier than I had a right to be.

“He was still alive then.” Green eyes burned into mine. “I could have saved him. I could have surrendered to Zsinj and they would have operated and he would still be alive today.”

“Crap.” The word was out of my mouth before I could stop it.

“What?!” He looked like he was going to hit me. What the hell - maybe a fight was just what I needed.

“Zsinj isn’t stupid, Loran. He’d have figured you and your pal out in no time flat, and you’d both have been up against the wall. And then he’d have gone after the rest of your squadron and wiped them out, too.”

It was weird. The anger just seemed to drain out of him and his head drooped forward over his glass. “That’s what he said,” he whispered. “Before he died. Before I had to...”

There was nothing I could say, no words that would ease his pain. Without thinking, I put down my brandy glass and edged my fingers towards him, just barely brushing his arm. His right hand snaked towards mine and we touched, fingertips to fingertips.

His eyes met mine. “Do you have somewhere to sleep tonight?”

“I could go home, I guess.” Even as the words left my mouth, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Mirax needed more than a few hours to cool down.

“Do you want to go home?”

“Not really.”

The self-satisfied smile was back, if somewhat diminished. His thumb brushed the length of my index finger. “I have a room in this building. Twenty-jay-two-four. You’re welcome to stay.” He was obviously trying for casual indifference, but it came over as more of a plea, his voice cracking mid-sentence.

My brain went into overdrive as I considered his offer. For a start, I wasn’t sure exactly what his offer was - floor-space, a bed for the night, something more... Seriously, I wasn’t convinced I wanted anything ‘more’ - it had been weeks ... months since I’d been with another man.

The indecision must have shown on my face. He stood up, his expression aloof once again. “Whatever you want to do, captain. The offer stands.” His hand came to rest surreptitiously on my thigh, sending a jolt of heat right through to the muscle, and those powerful green eyes met my own. “See you.”

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his back as he departed, head held high and, apart from a slightly circuitous route to the exit, no outward sign that he was roaring drunk. He stopped in the doorway, his body sent into silhouette by the brightly colored lights from outside. I held my breath as he turned his head, that immaculate profile there for all to see.

Then he was gone.

My hand was actually shaking as I lifted my glass to my lips and I quickly drained the brandy. Still too sober for a decision. Essate obligingly set another glass of amber liquor in front of me.


I don’t know how long I stood outside the door, staring at the symbols etched into its silver surface. Twenty-jay-two-four. My alcohol-soaked mind registered that it was the correct door, yet I still wasn’t entirely convinced that I shouldn’t just turn back to the lift and leave. Maybe Mirax would have calmed down by now and was either asleep or waiting up, ready to forgive my harsh words and violent reaction...

Yeah, right. Real likely.

My hand reached out of its own volition and pressed the door announcer.


I hit it again, more forcefully.

Still nothing. No answering voice, no sound of movement ... nothing. Crap. He’d gone out again. Or not come home in the first place. A dozen scenarios zipped through my brain, most of them involving him picking up some cute guy and...

The door opened, snapping me out of my reverie ... and I just stared. Wearing nothing but a pair of black shorts and a confused expression, he ran a hand through mussed hair and squinted into the light of the corridor. “Oh, it’s you.”

I forced myself to focus on his face. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“I wasn’t really sleeping.” He turned and walked into the darkness of the room. “Come on in.”

“Are you sure? I can find somewhere else to sleep if you want...”

He stopped at the huge window and stared at the city lights outside. “No. I invited you - you might as well stay.”

Well, thanks for the enthusiasm.

As my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, I looked around my room for the night. It was dominated by a large, rumpled bed; the twisted white sheeting proclaimed its occupant’s insomnia. An empty sidetable, a chair almost hidden under a heap of clothes, a two-seater couch - not much else. One other door I assumed was the refresher.

“Would you like a magnifier to check for ranats?”

My head snapped up. “Sorry. Force of habit. Used to be in Corsec.”

He crossed his arms and leaned against the window; his face was still in shadow, but his voice held hints of amusement. At least, I think it did. “Well, officer, I swear I’m innocent. Most of the time.”

I muttered another apology and indicated the compact sofa. “Should I sleep there?”

Biceps and pectorals briefly stood out as he pushed himself away from the window. “Up to you. Bed’s plenty big enough.” He tilted his head to one side. “Assuming you trust me, of course.”

Trust? Trust him to do what? Trust was what I felt for my wingmate, my squadron, my tech crew. I trusted they’d keep me flying and shoot the bad guys off my tail. Did I trust this guy not to kill me in my sleep? I watched him as he shrugged and walked back to the bed. Nice ass. “Yeah, I trust you.”

“Good.” He crawled across the bed and turned his back to me, pulling the sheets up to his chin. “G’night.”

Hmm. Okay. Don’t know what I expected, but that definitely wasn’t it. His behavior in the bar had implied he was at least going to try to jump me. I was surprised at the hint of disappointment I felt.

The silence of the room contrasted with the buzzing in my brain. Too much brandy. I closed my eyes and let the weight of an emotionally draining day saturate my body; suddenly I felt very tired.

I opened my eyes again; Face hadn’t budged, and was now making little breathy noises that I guessed meant he was falling asleep. I stripped off to my shorts, piling my clothes on one end of the couch - then I thought ‘what the hell’ and took off my shorts too. I could never get a good night’s sleep unless I was nude.

The coverings were slightly warm when I crawled under them, but the pillow was cool against my cheek. I was asleep within seconds.

But not for long.

It felt like a miniature quake, the whole bed shaking with tiny spasms. Eventually I managed to open first one eye, then the other.

It was him, Loran.

Initially I thought he was crying; his shoulders were shuddering rhythmically and I could hear him whimpering. I reached out to touch him, then changed my mind, my hand dropping short of his back. “Are you okay?”

“I ... I can’t...” More shuddering. “I need to ... but I can’t...”

“Can’t what?” I edged closer, still unsure if I should touch him.

He took a shaky breath. “I can’t ... it won’t...” Another deep breath.

Something in the way he was moving caught my eye, the regular motion of his shoulder creating a pattern familiar to anyone who’s ever shared a bed with a man. I moved up to his back and stroked his upper arm. Thought so. “You can’t get yourself off?”

“It’s never happened to me before!” The arm slowed but continued its rhythmic pumping. “Ton just had to look at me, to touch me, and I’d be half way there.”

I rubbed my hand up and down his arm, trying to slow his pace before he damaged himself. “And you’ve not had sex since he died?”

He glared at me over his shoulder, eyes red-rimmed and tearful. “I’m not a total slut. He only died two weeks ago.”

“People cope with death in lots of ways.” I shrugged, my arm creeping a little lower.

His eyes narrowed and his arm actually slowed. “You’ve lost someone, haven’t you?”

“I’ve lost lots of people.”

“And did you...?”


“Does it help?”


“Oh.” His attention turned back to the task at hand.

“Let me help.” My hand closed gently over his; he froze, then slowly slipped his hand from under mine. At least the shorts were already gone.

He wasn’t totally soft, but he wasn’t properly hard, either. I carefully stroked him and pressed a few kisses to his shoulder. “Relax.” Finally he twitched under my hand and a short, low moan escaped his lips, sending a shiver straight down my spine. I was steel-hard instantly.

He twisted his face towards me again; I lifted my head from his shoulder, wondering what he would say. He didn’t utter a word. Just wrapped his now-free hand around my neck and pulled me in for a mind-blowing kiss.

Face Loran has a beautiful mouth. And he knows exactly how to use it.

Of course, it couldn’t last. Kissing someone at that angle is okay for a minute or two, but then it just gets downright uncomfortable. And apart from that, my erection was getting squashed and his wasn’t hardening quickly enough.

I pushed him onto his back and rapidly mouthed my way down his body, over smooth skin, hard nipples, taut abdominal muscles... Sith, even his navel is perfectly formed!

I paused when I reached his groin and looked up to check I wasn’t making a complete fool of myself. His hands gripped the top of the bed, his eyes squeezed closed and his lips parted. Oh, yeah - he wanted this alright. Even if he was thinking about his dead lover, I didn’t care. He was amazing. Amazing and rock-hard. I went down on him like a starving man at a banquet.

There’s a technique to deep-throating someone, and I was taught it many years ago by Baccaria Tarase, one of the best hookers on Corellia, and her ‘nephew’, Benat. It’s one of my lesser-known talents. I closed my eyes and swallowed him down as far as I could.

It’s incredibly gratifying to make someone scream with pleasure, although it doesn’t usually happen so quickly. Poor kid was desperate. I pulled back a little and just sucked for a while, watching him squirm and pant - he never opened his eyes, not once.

Finally I closed my own eyes and stretched out with my feelings; not to read his mind, just to touch his emotions. I could sense him struggling to hold back his impending climax, trying to draw it out. He needed the release but, well, I needed something, too. He groaned, first in disappointment when my mouth left him, then in delight as I turned him onto his stomach and kneed his legs apart. I admired his cute ass as it rose up to meet me, then gave it a slap. “Hey, where’s the lube?”

One hand snaked out and pointed to a dispenser by the bed. Convenient. I slathered a handful of the stuff over both of us and considered how much preparation he’d need. A loud groan as he pushed back towards me gave me my answer - not a lot. I let my right hand slide gently over his back, caressing the length of his spine, admiring the movement of muscle under skin.

When I reached his tailbone, he pushed back once more. “Now,” he growled.

Always happy to oblige. There was a short, sharp moment of resistance, then his body yielded to mine.

Beautiful. Intense. Exquisite.

He moaned and swore and groaned and clenched his fists in the pillows. I just gritted my teeth and attempted to screw him into the bed. The pain and anger I’d been feeling for a day and a half, as well as the frustration and stress that went with my job, dissipated like mist on a warm day. Each thrust drove another demon away, wiped out another bad memory ... and made me feel damn good. I came fast and hard, then held him tightly as he finally climaxed, sobbing his relief.


Afterwards we just sat quietly, him with his back against the top of the bed, me between his thighs, leaning back against his warm chest. It had been a long time since I’d felt so relaxed.

His arms encircled me and I smiled as he kissed the nape of my neck. “Of course, I could never love someone like you,” he whispered. “You’re too serious. Not my type at all.”

“You’ve not exactly been a bundle of laughs yourself,” I replied, my eyes still firmly closed.

“No, I guess I haven’t.” He pressed a cheek to my shoulder and I could feel the warm trickle of a tear as it slipped from his skin to mine. “I miss Ton.”

“I know.”

“You’ve got to go apologize to your wife, Corran. Don’t stay angry at her, don’t let her think you care so little...”

“I will. I’ll go first thing in the morning.”

“You’ll stay the rest of the night?” He actually sounded incredulous.

“Of course. I don’t screw and run.”

“Yeah. Thanks for that.”

“You’re welcome. Always glad to help out a fellow pilot.”

“Sure. You’re a real altruist.” He blew out a sigh, tickling my neck. “What are you going to do the next time you fall out with your wife?”

“Don’t know. Try to keep my temper, I guess.”

“You could always give me a call.”

“Probably not such a good idea, Face. Much as I’d love to do this again, I’ve got to stop running from my problems.”

“I didn’t mean that.” His teeth nipped at my shoulder. “I meant I could come over to your place. You two could ... umm ... sort out your differences, and I could keep her bedmates entertained...”

I laughed as I turned to face him. “What if they’re straight?”

“Three of them?!” he replied, eyes wide with mock horror. “How likely is that?”

So cute. “C’mon. We should get some sleep.”

“Yeah.” He leaned in to kiss me.

I kissed him back.

We did get some sleep.



latebloomer, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:54 (twelve years ago) link

any tips

― shirley summistake (s1ocki), Friday, November 19, 2010 1:49 PM (32 minutes ago) Bookmark

just don't forget that There Ain't No Stealth In Space:

that whole site's a fun read

Onigaga (Princess TamTam), Friday, 19 November 2010 19:32 (nine years ago) link

dan simmons is bananas overall and pretty inconsistent afaict. read and enjoyed 'the terror', tried to read 'carrion comfort' and wanted to burn the book after 40 pages.

omar little, Friday, 19 November 2010 19:34 (nine years ago) link

Isn't Buffy the Vampire Slayer also a really creepy concept, when you consider how, throughout literary history, the vampire was an anti-semitic caricature? And then all of a sudden you have an hour on TV a week delighting in a blonde-haired, blue-eyed devil killing racist caricatures of Jews?

― Dom Passantino, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:21 (2 years ago)

nakhchivan, Friday, 19 November 2010 19:37 (nine years ago) link

SMG is a jew

Onigaga (Princess TamTam), Friday, 19 November 2010 19:38 (nine years ago) link

guessing he knew that

nakhchivan, Friday, 19 November 2010 19:40 (nine years ago) link

The "bazooka" part is accurate, but not the "hiding" part. If the spacecraft are torchships, their thrust power is several terawatts. This means the exhaust is so intense that it could be detected from Alpha Centauri. By a passive sensor.


shirley summistake (s1ocki), Friday, 19 November 2010 19:48 (nine years ago) link

Ha I have just this moment read a Reynolds short story where stealth by way of directional radiation plays a part.

xtc ep, etc (xp) (ledge), Saturday, 20 November 2010 00:12 (nine years ago) link

lol @ dom tryna use fancy pants left wing cult-crit theories to rag on nerds. 'cuz the sopranos is totes pc, right?

ed chilliband (max arrrrrgh), Saturday, 20 November 2010 01:50 (nine years ago) link

Dan Simmons is indeed bananas. I like him.

A brownish area with points (chap), Saturday, 20 November 2010 01:57 (nine years ago) link

The first and second Hyperion books are the best things of his I've read by some distance.

A brownish area with points (chap), Saturday, 20 November 2010 01:59 (nine years ago) link

been reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons...shit is bananas

― glengarry glenn danzig (latebloomer)

They're a blast, just stop after The Fall of Hyperion. I've successfully convinced myself the two Endymion books don't exist but it took a decade.

I really liked The Terror and much of the Ilium/Olympos pair (though some of the racial/ethnic stuff is a huge mess I had to SMH at). I've had Drood for a while but haven't gone back to it after it failed to grab me. As Omar said, incredibly inconsistant writer but chockfull of ideas.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 20 November 2010 02:04 (nine years ago) link

the Ilium/Olympos pair (though some of the racial/ethnic stuff is a huge mess I had to SMH at)

Yeah, there's some right weird stuff about Israel iirc. Still, lots of dazzling things going on in those books. I loved the Proust-loving robot probe thing.

A brownish area with points (chap), Saturday, 20 November 2010 13:00 (nine years ago) link

John Crowley's "Great Work of Time" blew my head up this week

Raage Saga (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 20 November 2010 13:03 (nine years ago) link

Just been to Tate Britain, saw a piece by Gerard Byrne with Dutch amateur actors re-enacting a 1963 Playboy interview with the great and the good of scifi - Clarke, Bradbury, Heinlen, Pohl, Sturgeon, etc, about the state of the world in 1984 and beyond. Very optimistic, albeit lightheartedly, sometimes even satirically, about automation and leisure, longevity, medicine and recreational narcotics, and especially the space race - space travel cheaper than air travel; the moon by the 70s and Mars and Venus by the 80s. Aside from video calls and conferencing, nothing about the information revolution. Makes you wonder what unforeseen transformations await us in the next 50 years.

xtc ep, etc (xp) (ledge), Sunday, 21 November 2010 16:57 (nine years ago) link


shirley summistake (s1ocki), Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:04 (nine years ago) link

cool i can't hardly wait!

xtc ep, etc (xp) (ledge), Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:06 (nine years ago) link

they are coming very soon iirc!

shirley summistake (s1ocki), Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:06 (nine years ago) link

Makes you wonder what unforeseen transformations await us in the next 50 years

a ticker tape of "must not fuck up" (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 21 November 2010 17:39 (nine years ago) link

John Crowley's "Great Work of Time" blew my head up this week

Oh, that is a lovely, lovely story. So good!

buildings with goats on the roof (James Morrison), Sunday, 21 November 2010 22:45 (nine years ago) link

Anyone read "The Quantum Thief" by Hannu Rajaniemi? Read some froth about it being the SF debut of the year. Amazon reviews look intriguing but make it sound kind of daunting.

moiré eel (a passing spacecadet), Friday, 26 November 2010 13:31 (nine years ago) link

That sounds right up my street.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 26 November 2010 14:01 (nine years ago) link

whenever I hear the word quantum, i reach for my revolver

e.g. delegates at a set age (ledge), Friday, 26 November 2010 14:01 (nine years ago) link

...and end unwittingly causing a typhoon in South East Asia.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 26 November 2010 14:03 (nine years ago) link

weird, i was looking at the reviews of Quantam Thief earlier as well! anyone?

zappi, Friday, 26 November 2010 15:27 (nine years ago) link

I've bought a copy, and it seems genuinely interesting but I've only read one chapter so far.

treefell, Friday, 26 November 2010 15:29 (nine years ago) link

I've been reading some Adam Roberts, he's pretty good. Not at all hard. Some real oddball concepts and fairly literary.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 26 November 2010 16:15 (nine years ago) link

Also often very funny. He moonlights writing Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter spoofs, presumably for ££.

A brownish area with points (chap), Friday, 26 November 2010 16:17 (nine years ago) link

reading the new culture, am pretty into it

shirley summistake (s1ocki), Friday, 26 November 2010 20:39 (nine years ago) link

The Quantum Thief is pretty cool. It doesn't take any prisoners though. Rajaniemi is a String Theorist by trade; the weird, cutting-edge science stuff is laid on pretty thick and with no quarter given to those who might have no idea as to what on earth he might be talking about...

Stone Monkey, Friday, 26 November 2010 21:45 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

just finished the quantum thief - it was great. a lot left unexplained but it had enough of a 'human' (or post-human even) story underpinning the crazy stuff to keep me reading. the stuff abt the exomemory + 'gevulot' was particularly cool

whitney from mtv's the city (tpp), Thursday, 13 January 2011 19:20 (nine years ago) link

i'm currently reading 'stories of your life and others' by ted

whitney from mtv's the city (tpp), Thursday, 13 January 2011 19:25 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

so are there any good SF novels of the endgame of climate change? I could google, but that's no fun.

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 July 2012 18:43 (eight years ago) link

the bacigalupi(?) thing, The Wind-up Girl touches on this. it's not about that, but is set in a post climate change, post GM crop disaster world. (i didn't like it tbh)

(wow, i spelt bacigalupi right!)

koogs, Thursday, 26 July 2012 19:33 (eight years ago) link

John Brunner "The Sheep Look Up"

Dunn O)))))))) (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:37 (eight years ago) link

I can think of a bunch of books that touch on it or use it as background (Robinson's Mars Trilogy, for example), but that's the only one springing to mind that uses it as the central focus

Dunn O)))))))) (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:38 (eight years ago) link

baccy-go-loopy is more about the exhaustion of resources than climate change maybe? but i did read ship-breaker first. i got the feeling that that was one of the coming areas in the genre, that and the neurological basis of consciousness

thomp, Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:43 (eight years ago) link

I can think of a bunch of books that touch on it or use it as background (Robinson's Mars Trilogy, for example

Isn't his new book more about that?

Like Monk Never Happened (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:44 (eight years ago) link

hm forgot Bruce Sterling's "Heavy Weather" uses some serious climate change/weather disruptions as its backdrop. it's not very good though.

haven't read KSR's latest but I wouldn't be surprised

Dunn O)))))))) (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:44 (eight years ago) link

thomp, Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:46 (eight years ago) link

Early Ballard disaster novels? The Drowned World, The Burning World...I haven't read The Crystal World so I can't speak to that one.

Neil Jung (WmC), Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:47 (eight years ago) link

thomp, Thursday, 26 July 2012 21:48 (eight years ago) linkä_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_(manga)

Roberto Spiralli, Thursday, 26 July 2012 22:30 (eight years ago) link

caek, Thursday, 26 July 2012 22:31 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Kim Stanley Robinson's 2013 is very very good (and has a load of stuff about climate change if Morbs is still checking this thread).

I wish to incorporate disco into my small business (chap), Monday, 2 December 2013 02:40 (six years ago) link

Haha, it's actually called 2312. 2013 is the year we are in.

I wish to incorporate disco into my small business (chap), Monday, 2 December 2013 02:41 (six years ago) link

five years pass...

jonathan frakes telling you you're wrong for 47 seconds

— *gated reverb snare* (@softsynthbear) April 12, 2019

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 14 April 2019 09:11 (one year ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.