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Richard K. Morgan's THIRTEEN

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Luke Jackson
Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 04:21 pm:   

Anyone here read Morgan's Black Man (Thirteen in the U.S.)? It's the most believable sundered-U.S. future I've read. The Pacific coast becomes the Rim, allied with the Asian nations. The northwest becomes (or remains?) the Union, closely allied with the UN. The Bible Belt and South become the Confederated Republic (a.k.a. Jesusland), which prides itself on its churchiness and refusal to go along with the human rights and ecological concerns of the UN and the rest of the world.

Interestingly, everyone looks down on the rednecks of Jesusland and tries to keep them out. Jesuslanders have to hop the fence and work undocumented in the Rim and the Union, like Mexicans now. (I haven't read yet what happens to Mexico.)

Ever wondered why we make it so difficult for Mexicans to come here and work for a pittance, while we let the rednecks roam about at will? Maybe Secession's the way to go.
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   

Heh, that's a different response than I would have received in the Asimov's basement, where I would have been vilified for my "reverse racism" and lack of patriotism!

I just noticed that *northwest* in my post should read *northeast". Oops.
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 12:24 pm:   

There you go! :-) Feels like home now.
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Elizabeth L
Posted on Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 04:32 pm:   

I love Morgan's work and am reading "Black Man" as we call it here in Canada. My comments? So far so good!
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007 - 10:37 am:   

I wonder if the name change is because we are more racially sensitive here in the States. Or maybe, the people who buy military-SF aren't likely to buy a book named "Black Man" (sounding as it does like Richard Wright's "Black Boy").
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Fabrice Doublet
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:48 am:   

`

quote:

Luke!

Whoa!

Dude!

Like, that was deep.

Fer Sure!




Welcome back home, Luke!



PS for Nightshade forumites: typical example from Asimov's basement
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:00 am:   

Yes, it's a dysfunctional home. :-)
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Fabrice Doublet
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 12:31 pm:   

BTW, Michelle West wrote a very positive review about "Thirteen" in the December F&SF. Her conclusion: "This is the first Richard K. Morgan novel I've read, but it definitely won't be the last".
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 12:38 pm:   

I have only two quibbles with her review: Marsalis doesn't really live in Jesusland, he has a layover in Miami when the sting happens. And Jesusland is the Confederated Republic.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   

I'm not reading Richard Morgan's Black Man. However, I plan on reading Fritz Leiber's collection The Black Gondolier in the near future which originally appeared as a hardcover under the title of The Weird O' It. For the paperback title to live up to the hardcover name, I think the title should be changed from The Black Gondolier to Thirteen Gondoliers or maybe The Thirteenth Gondolier.

From what I've heard, the story "The Black Gondolier" is about a kind of modern god, ghost, entity of petroleum I think. Considering the price of oil, the name The Thirteenth Gondolier for the collection seems particularly fitting, calling to mind an entity of petroleum that has our number.
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Luke Jackson
Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   

The book is excellent, by the way. You all should read it.
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Neal_asher
New member
Username: Neal_asher

Post Number: 46
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:48 pm:   

And yet, over on Asimov's (refering to comments above), there's always some discussion, argument, slanging match. It's interesting. I guess there's not so much of it over here because you are all so obviously right.
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Redrichie
New member
Username: Redrichie

Post Number: 21
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 02:44 pm:   

That doesn't really make a lot of sense, I'm afraid. Sorry.

Yeah, maybe this place does tend towards lefty-ness, but a quick check round the 'net does reveal a lot of boards/blogs/whatever that are equally (if not more so) one-dimensional, but "right" leaning.

Your very own, and those that it links to, for example. Don't see much dissent there.

Besides which, I wonder how many people have really changed their mind about anything significant from an argument on the Internet?
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Neal_asher
New member
Username: Neal_asher

Post Number: 48
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 06:11 am:   

It makes perfect sense, Redrichie. The precise point I was making is that Asimov's is not as one-dimensional as portrayed. If it was it would be a lot quieter.

Yup, my blog is one dimensional - go over there and make some contrary comments, then.

I guess, if no one changes their minds there's no point in debating anything really. So why are you here exactly?
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Redrichie
New member
Username: Redrichie

Post Number: 22
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 02:19 pm:   

But, Neal, you made that point by unfairly characterising this place as one-dimensional...

Here's the thing, if you disagree with someone about something on the 'net the debate is seldom productive. Take AGW, as an example (I know you love it), their reply usually starts with something like "I'm an engineer, so..." and that's if they're not just trying to shout you down. Interesting that I never see people who say "I a climate scientist, here's what I think..." in these situations.

Actually, in all fairness, my reasons for not bothering to get into overly many *major* arguments (spesh on the 'net) these days are probably familiar to you, looking at some of your comments on your blog (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=29616976&postID=1212723980215516383).
Because I'm generally left-leaning people automatically think they know what I think (and...why) and that's never a good start for debate. Plus, you can't always rely on other people actually having an opinion; a lot of the time, and this isn't arrogance, people are just voicing prejudice and if you challenge that you'll get the all time classic "you're so self-opinionated" (yes, who else's did you expect me to have?)

Here's one of my all time favourites - came about many years ago after I was suggesting that we really shouldn't be seeking to emulate quality countries like Saudi Arabia when it comes to the justice system:

(Unfortunately this was with my boss at the time)

BOSS: "Are you religious?"
ME: "Um, no"
BOSS: *Triumphantly* "An eye for an eye!"
ME: *checks watch to make sure I hadn't missed 15 minutes of conversation*

Point of all this rambling is, generally speaking it's hard to have a debate without contending with either rank stupidity like that, or being bullied into submission. Perhaps if the language used by people were less bellicose, it'd be more fun debating stuff. But that's the problem with the anonymity the web grants.
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Neal_asher
New member
Username: Neal_asher

Post Number: 50
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 - 01:15 am:   

Fair enough, but you might like to take another look at that same comment section now. The guy who's just posted disagrees with me about a lot, however, the kind of 'argument' you dismiss has him questioning some of his opinions.

Want to know the reason for my 'you're all so right' post, and the global warming one? To try and stir some people out of complacency simply to generate some discussion here. I'd rather slanging matches here than bugger all. Seems to have worked at least for you, but perhaps this thread, which is about Mr Morgan's book, ain't the right place for it.

People would be less bellicose in face to face encounters, but then again you get opinions that are less honest (because the fear of a punch on the nose) and those good at rhetoric win, which doesn't make them right.

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