112 master grey


11/17/15 Koen Watches Over 07

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  1. Well, that’s… a dream, I hope.

  2. Now, I’m not one to use profanity lightly or frequently. That said… Holy shit! This strip…

  3. …did you just casually have almost everyone on the planet murdered?

  4. @Hahtse, yes, everyone on the mainland just perished.

  5. Well, this most certainly is no longer a science fiction morality play and is a fantasy one. The energy released here can only be rough guessed at, but it is many magnitudes of order beyond what is needed for the whole planet to no longer be inhabitable by any higher life forms, and possibly any life forms at all. Those mountains are now magma, the atmosphere a superheated plasma. Nothing would be left.

  6. Oh my, so we can say that Julie failed in her mission…

    How sad.

  7. @Gnarlydoug, it is certainly not hard science fiction. 🙂

  8. @KARLOS F
    Julie has not truly totally failed yet. Her own people can still be saved if she can defeat or talk the last Yontengu out of destroying the last of the land.

    It’s no kind of science fiction, it is a pure fable. Which is fine, I like fables. It was however a jarring transition to go from willing suspension of disbelief within a thin veneer of a sci-fi context to one of pure allegory and symbolism.

  9. @GnarlyDoug, well, wikipedia defines it (which is also how I define it): “Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative concepts such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.”

    Are you sure you don’t mean “hard science fiction?” Which wikipedia defines as: “Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail or both.”

    I mean, I hear what you’re saying, and I think we agree in concept, but it’s simply semantics in the way.

  10. @GnarlyDoug, can we be sure Julie was not in the land already crumbled to the sea? I’m learning that anything can happen in this story…

    And to both of you Christopher and GnarlyDoug: To me, definitions or categories are futile… If it is sci-fi, fable or whaterever I’m just looking for a good story.

    Sorry, I don’t want to sound mean, rude or anything…

  11. Well, I live by the sea, in an area that is being eaten away by landslides. Once the land gets down to the water, the currents take it away, so it doesn’t have to be all that energetic.

    On the other hand….we are talking about destruction caused by one of four gigantic living creatures created by other creatures, which have just been re-awakened, fully fit and ready to go, after untold centuries… I think it’s pretty clear we are not in a universe governed by strict scientific laws.

  12. @KARLOS F.
    We do know she wasn’t killed because the first two panels state she gets out of bed in a few days, and that the Yontengu rampages and then rests during that same time. In fact it is hinting at synchronicity.

    As for genres and their usefulness, I partially agree and partially disagree. Genres are good for establishing expectations of tropes and story modes, but also can be limiting and sometimes breaking them is very useful.

    The key words are “speculation” and “science”. By the dictionary this means “the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence”. It does not however include the concept of known impossible concepts. If ‘science fiction’ means ‘anything we imagine’ then the very term itself loses all value as a word to distinguish genres of fiction. No point in even having words that do not label a concept in a distinguishing way since that is the point of language.

    We don’t know if there are parallel universes, aliens, etc. Methods of FTL travel may even be possible despite the speed of light. Hard science fiction is based mainly or totally on what we know can be true, ‘regular’ science fiction is based on what might be true, while fantasy is based on what is highly unlikely or known to be untrue. We’ve known the basics of kinetic energy calculations for a long time, the amount of energy being released here is is immense. Imagine a giant meteor hitting the continent with enough force to destroy it, that is a similar level of energy, just done over a few days by the Yontengu. It would not be as ‘explosive’, but the total E is the same, enough to probably liquify the crust of the planet at least. There is no escaping that. That is IMO why it is now in the realm of fantasy, not science fiction.

  13. @GnarlyDoug, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this, although again, I think we’re only disagreeing about semantics.

  14. Umm. I think one of the rules of the interwebs is that, no matter how obvious, the following needs to be said by someone. I guess I’ll take one for the team…

    Well. That escalated quickly.

  15. Well, science has a way of opening one up to the possibilities, especially when it comes to unknown worlds.

    There could conceivably be a way for this to happen within the bounds of basic physics. 1) We don’t know how stable this planet’s continents were in the first place, for all we know much of it was below sea-level to begin with. 2) We don’t know how this Yontengu did what it did in any detail. One could have equally questioned how the water Yontengu “made water”…

    Since such explanations would only detract from the story, I think we would all agree that this is certainly not hard science fiction.

    Btw didn’t we suspend disbelief regarding history, sociology, (xeno-)biology, and plain probability theory when the Anaarden and the Human escape ships met up by coincidence in the first place? 😉 I never understood why physics has this air of absolute sanctity in SF – nearly everyone dies and we squabble over where the heat went as it left their cold bodies?

    Storywise, that the Yontengu could and indeed would kill everyone has been systematically built towards (even in the face of the “innocence” of the characters and drawing style). That this now occurred in terms of a visceral image (flooding) that we can intuitively understand also works well (to say the least). The reader is free to substitute “turning the continent into uninhabitable wasteland” presumably without affecting the flow of the story.

  16. I don’t get it. First, there is one land mass, the “sole continent”. Then it has been said (love passive voice) that “everyone on the mainland just perished”, so that means everyone. Period.

    No need to figure out how to get dem gloves off now, eh?

  17. “Mainland” meaning “except for that little spit of mountains.” Sorry the confusion.

  18. @ANDREAS
    True enough, we suspended disbelief several times. We can chalk this one up to nanites slowly replacing the entire land mass over the past thousands of years and just doing the Earth Yontengu’s bidding. The Water Yontengu might have had an internal portal to another part of the ocean was just a giant spigot.

    I can make just about anything fit into the ‘science fiction’ model if I want. I’m just saying you got to go pretty far out there to make this one work.

    True, we are mainly arguing semantics about what qualifies as ‘science fiction’. It is not the semantics however that is really important. What I’ve been trying to say, but poorly I guess, is that this strip jarred out of my willing suspension of disbelief. That muted the emotional impact of the mass death described for me, which I presume you wanted maximized, not minimized.

    In short, I was making a gentle writing criticism that for me (I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else and maybe I’m a lone weirdo and you can ignore what I have to say) your breaking out of my zone of expectations was large enough that it overshadowed the real content you were trying to get across. A little more setup earlier on that the science of this ancient people was true super-tech would have probably prevented this.

  19. I understand what you’re saying, and am sorry you feel that way. I think the science throughout was consistently implausible enough that I’m comfortable with what I wrote, but know that I hear you.

    @Andreas, yes! 🙂

  20. And that’s what I intended to say: that we were just arguing about semantics, when the really important thing here (to me) is the story…

    But anyway, there’s a positive thing: good reflexions were made here.

    You did give enough warning really, it’s as much my prejudices about ‘science fiction’ as anything. I appreciate that you heard me though, and no worries, I do think this is a well done story.

  22. Semantically, separating “Fantasy” from “Scifi” is difficult, as fantasy is basically the SciFi of the distant past. Given “science marches on,” most likely much of our current SciFi will soon be pure fantasy by the “known to be impossible” test. Most of our interstellar works (Star Trek) already are, by any reasonable definition. The Theory(s) of Relativity, both Special and General, have been confirmed about as well as our Newtonian thermodynamics have, and without any provisos. Anyone complaining about waste heat dynamics should complain the same about any and all FTL.

    Storywise, I can heartily agree on the “consistently implausible” bit. Each bit of uncovered tech shown has been so over-the-top powerful that I fully expected the suit to be bulletproof, and was genuinely startled that she was wounded by simple gunfire.

    On the “suspension of Physics” side, there are a number of ways to reduce and disperse the heat produced: granite, like our continents are founded on would take enough impact to melt much of the continent to crack it deeply, but shale and sandstone, for instance, crumble much more easily. Also, breaking the crust into chunks and dumping those into the sea would help at first, but would get very labor-intensive and slow down progress as the volume filled by the smashed rock would be greater than that of the solid continent. Throwing the chunks might be a good compromise between speed and “not melting.”

    However, the greatest defense of the continent from melting is the sea itself. Water is a tremendous heat sink and thermal conductor, and the waste heat would mostly result in very wet weather in the vicinity (whole hemisphere) due to massively increased evaporation. A worldwide ocean would dump most of the collected heat into the higher reaches of the atmosphere, especially as the heat dispersed got truly massive. If it was deep, it could handle truly phenomenal heat input, added relatively slowly. Unless the yotengu itself bathed regularly, it would *more than* duplicate the fire yotengu’s “scorched earth” effect, but once it’s all smashed and submerged, who cares?

    It’s obviously very “soft” scifi, but it makes a intriguing story and a great comic, which is the point. You’re welcome to critique it on storytelling grounds, that’s a whole different ballgame, but as I seem to recall this comic beginning with FTL colonists, you really can’t expect super-hard SciFi, so ease up on those “It’s gotta be real to be good” expectations, please.

    @ Christopher Baldwin, you may use this post any way you please, or ignore it. Just my two bits.

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