Inexplicably popular books.

BrawlMan

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Thaluikhain said:
Tavia, some books further in flat out is a proper action heroine, though. Although the hero doesn't recognise it and explicitly states he was worried about her safety in a way he wouldn't be about a man of comparable ability. That character was impressively thick when it comes to women, though.
Ah, Tavia from A Fighting Man of Mars. I still have to get that one. I know she is one of the first tomboyish action heroines in fiction.
 

Terminal Blue

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Hawki said:
However, worldbuilding will offer diminishing returns over time, especially when that worldbuilding is confined to a single star system.
Actually, I think one of the few interesting things about the Expanse, at least initially, is that it's entirely set in our solar system. I don't think that's something which is done enough outside of that really boring, old school "hard" sci-fi (to which the expanse series admittedly owes a fair bit).

I feel like very few interstellar science fiction series really capture the scale things get to once you start leaving the solar system. Some really scale-intensive science fiction like Warhammer 40,000 or the Culture series make a valiant effort, but often in sci-fi I feel like you could fit all of the diversity and flavour of a supposedly interstellar civilization into our solar system with plenty of room to spare.
 

Hawki

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evilthecat said:
Actually, I think one of the few interesting things about the Expanse, at least initially, is that it's entirely set in our solar system. I don't think that's something which is done enough outside of that really boring, old school "hard" sci-fi (to which the expanse series admittedly owes a fair bit).
In of itself, it's interesting, but doesn't change how (at least for me), that level of interest goes down over time. Like, the first book sets up the Earth/Mars/OPA dynamic, with the political distinctions and in the case of the Belters, cultural/physical ones as well. But as we go on, those distinctions become familiar to the reader. "Familiarity breeds contempt" and all that. I mean, yeah, Nemesis Games highlighted how the land rush beyond the gate would affect the Belters and Martians, but we're still dealing with the same players.

I feel like very few interstellar science fiction series really capture the scale things get to once you start leaving the solar system. Some really scale-intensive science fiction like Warhammer 40,000 or the Culture series make a valiant effort, but often in sci-fi I feel like you could fit all of the diversity and flavour of a supposedly interstellar civilization into our solar system with plenty of room to spare.
To quote TV Tropes, "sci-fi writers have no sense of scale."

I can't begrudge that fact of life too much though, because we're dealing with scales that are hard to fathom, and scales that we have no practical experience with, and never will (certainly not in our lifetimes). I mean, 40K covers the whole galaxy, with sections of the galaxy being divided into segmentums, but travel time is accomplished via Warp travel, which given how it works, can translate to "travel will take as long as the plot demands."

That said, whether you could fit all that diversity into Sol is another issue. Like, if we take every human culture within the Imperium, said cultures ranging from space Vikings (Space Wolves) to British Empire (Praetorians) to every other cultural inspiration within the Imperium, I don't think there's enough planets and moons within Sol for them to flourish, even if we set up multiple cultures up on the same world, and we'd have to come up with a reason as to why those cultures emerged the way they did.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Meiam said:
Man, if you have a hard time believing that near perfect Gary/Mary sue character are incredibly popular do I have an entire industry to present to you, the Japanese light novel/cellphone novel and all their anime adaptation! For those unfamiliar, the flavour of the last 5 years in anime (thankfully coming to an end) was "isekai" which feature people in the real world (usually boring nerd) getting killed and reincarnated in a fantasy land (usually generic video game) and being obscenely overpowered. The flavour of the 5 years before that were magic school, also mostly based on light novel, about kid going to magic highschool, generally they're the reject of the school who everybody look down on, despite being the most powerful person on campus.

These scenario works really really well as mass market trash. Everything that seems like a weakness is actually a strength:
I used to be pretty into Chat Roleplaying earlier and if there was one thing I quickly learned there it was that the average person is not interested in a deep story, interesting background lore or complex character studies. They want wish fulfillment. Loads of it. Most characters you'd encounter was pure wish fulfillment all the way through: In fantasy everyone was a King or Queen, some kind of Angel, Demon or otherwise supernatural being and was the best at what they did (often both magic and fighting). In modern RPs everyone was a billionaire, drove expensive cars and had a successful career as mafia leaders, international assassins or special forces operatives (or all three, for good measure).

I can sort of get it too. If your life is tough or boring and your chances of changing it are low, pretending to be someone who has it all is probably much better than reading (or making) fiction about how hard other people's lives are.
 

Agema

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Hawki said:
Okay, but all you just said was a negative for me.

You mention "a central challenge." Okay, but it isn't really a challenge. It's an annoyance. The book doesn't delve into the concept enough to have anything meaningful to say, but the concept is prevalant enough that you can't escape from it. It means that every time I encountered a character there was a 'haze' around the character because there's that extra level of ambiguity that makes it hard to connect to them, Breq being the exception because she's the POV character. I doubt I'd be that much more invested in Imperial Radch if it wasn't the case (book's fine, just didn't get drawn into it), but it's a constant little niggle, like someone poking you everytime you see the word "she," because there's that level of ambiguity you can't escape from.
It is wasn't without effort and potential corresponding annoyance, it wouldn't be a challenge. You don't have to like it: as with all art, any one individual doesn't have to enjoy or want to engage with levels that the art is working at.

We are perhaps used to a system where a story explicitly explains to us in nice, simple language how a mechanism works. But literature has always also worked by just giving us stuff as it is and expecting us to work on it ourselves. For instance the difference between the author telling us "X became angry" or "Y was a scheming liar", or just telling us what people say or do and leaving us to infer their character and feelings.

Gethsemani said:
I used to be pretty into Chat Roleplaying earlier and if there was one thing I quickly learned there it was that the average person is not interested in a deep story, interesting background lore or complex character studies. They want wish fulfillment. Loads of it.
That's partly why I lost heart with roleplaying: I wanted to see it as a story, and too many players I knew saw it as a game to get the high score in. I particularly resented the ones who somehow managed to go away and roll no attribute lower than 16 (D&D; or equivalent) for every character. Amazing how the luck always came in on the dice then.
 

Hawki

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Agema said:
We are perhaps used to a system where a story explicitly explains to us in nice, simple language how a mechanism works. But literature has always also worked by just giving us stuff as it is and expecting us to work on it ourselves. For instance the difference between the author telling us "X became angry" or "Y was a scheming liar", or just telling us what people say or do and leaving us to infer their character and feelings.
There's a world of difference there.

I can write "Bob became angry" or "Bob let out a scream, falling to the ground, pounding the cold stone so that blood from his hands flowed upon it." In other words, show, don't tell. That's Writing 101, because it's generally understood that showing is preferable to telling.

Using "she" as your only pronoun isn't that. It's simply adding ambiguity to the story while not really accomplishing anything. At best, it's trying to make a statement, and in my view, it's a statement that isn't worth the tradeoff. At worst, it's ambiguity for ambiguity's sake.
 

the December King

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Agema said:
That's partly why I lost heart with roleplaying: I wanted to see it as a story, and too many players I knew saw it as a game to get the high score in. I particularly resented the ones who somehow managed to go away and roll no attribute lower than 16 (D&D; or equivalent) for every character. Amazing how the luck always came in on the dice then.
I still play RPGs, and this grates me. I mean, I have some over-powered characters, and some min/maxed ones, and I like some builds that are designed to do certain things really well- lately, I enjoy playing a large, monstrous, inhuman bruiser that is happy to let the smart/clever ones call most of the shots, but then gets to step up and back their plays with talons, teeth and tree trunks. But it's easy to resent folks when they have uber-mensch Sues and Stus, that make all the others roles in the group superfluous.
 

Terminal Blue

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Hawki said:
In of itself, it's interesting, but doesn't change how (at least for me), that level of interest goes down over time.
It's true. I also don't think it helps that there's a lot of narrative repetition in overall storyline which means the societal conflict becomes kind of stale over time. The fact that these societies are so separated by culture and physiology that they're basically monolithic blocs doesn't really help (and also hugely overstates what is actually physiologically possible).

Hawki said:
I can't begrudge that fact of life too much though, because we're dealing with scales that are hard to fathom, and scales that we have no practical experience with, and never will (certainly not in our lifetimes).
True, but I really don't think it's that hard and people have tried to do it. It's not hard to push into the kind of scale that disrupts a person's sense of normality. When we move from dozens or hundreds of star systems or planets to millions of star systems or planets, even if that's still ludicrously small for a spacefaring society that's supposed to cover a significant part of the galaxy, your brain can at least register that as a really big number even if you can't imagine it.

Hawki said:
Like, if we take every human culture within the Imperium, said cultures ranging from space Vikings (Space Wolves) to British Empire (Praetorians) to every other cultural inspiration within the Imperium, I don't think there's enough planets and moons within Sol for them to flourish, even if we set up multiple cultures up on the same world, and we'd have to come up with a reason as to why those cultures emerged the way they did.
The thing is, those cultures are cartoons. They're the kind of thing you'd find in a Bethesda Fallout game, where you've got this society hundreds of years the future and yet everyone in it is obsessed with the popular culture of the 1950s. If we were to employ the same cartoon logic as 40k, it wouldn't be hard to imagine all kinds of weird shit existing in our solar system. You can have the pirates of Pluto complete with space parrots and cutlasses, or the solar samurai who fold their katanas a thousand times in the heat of the sun's photosphere. Where did they come from? How do they coexist? Who cares, 40k never asks those questions.

But imagine if the protomolecule never arrived in the expanse solar system. Imagine if humanity just carried on for another few hundred (or even a thousand) years without being able to leave at FTL speeds. That solar system has probably become a very big place. Mercury is probably being slowly dismantled to build a dyson swarm around the sun. Many planetoids have already been broken down by millions of autonomous robots to build countless self-sustaining orbital habitats. Artificial rings around the gas giants could exist, or be in construction. There could be many times more habitats in our solar system than there are planets in the typical interstellar science fiction civilization, and since your typical science fiction planet is a monoculture anyway, these habitats could be far more culturally diverse despite being smaller. Any weird or wonderful thing you want could live on these habitats, as they've had centuries to evolve culturally, and potentially to evolve physically as well if they choose to do so.
 

Hawki

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evilthecat said:
You can have the pirates of Pluto complete with space parrots and cutlasses, or the solar samurai who fold their katanas a thousand times in the heat of the sun's photosphere. Where did they come from? How do they coexist? Who cares, 40k never asks those questions.
40K does answer those questions though.

First, we know that for thousands of years, human colonization relied on sub-light craft, so given the tyranny of distance, you'd expect different cultures to emerge over time. After that, they're more united with the advent of warp engines, but then you have the Age of Strife, where humanity's empire is fragmented, and its worlds are left to fend for themselves. So, by the Great Crusade, you have cultures that have been isolated for thousands of years, and even in the Age of the Imperium itself, it's established that it can still take a long time to get from Point A to Point B. Yes, those worlds are going to have some common cultural threads (e.g. worship of the Emperor), but it's easy to see why human colonists on, say, Catachan, developed cultural traits different from, say, Fenris.

But imagine if the protomolecule never arrived in the expanse solar system. Imagine if humanity just carried on for another few hundred (or even a thousand) years without being able to leave at FTL speeds. That solar system has probably become a very big place. Mercury is probably being slowly dismantled to build a dyson swarm around the sun. Many planetoids have already been broken down by millions of autonomous robots to build countless self-sustaining orbital habitats. Artificial rings around the gas giants could exist, or be in construction. There could be many times more habitats in our solar system than there are planets in the typical interstellar science fiction civilization, and since your typical science fiction planet is a monoculture anyway, these habitats could be far more culturally diverse despite being smaller. Any weird or wonderful thing you want could live on these habitats, as they've had centuries to evolve culturally, and potentially to evolve physically as well if they choose to do so.
In theory, yes, but in the context of the Expanse itself, not so much. We've seen that by the time of the books, it isn't that hard to get around the Sol system, or at least it isn't up to Saturn (Uranus and Neptune barely feature). So in a world where the gate was never created, even if self-sustaining habitats were created throughout the system, we've seen that it's easy to stay in touch to an extent, and we can assume it would get easier over time as improvements were made to the Epstein drive.

As for the monoculture thing, it does make sense in the context of the setting. Earth's under the UN, with half its population on basic, so while we do see some cultural remnants that we'd recognise (e.g. different types of food), Earth's monocultural because that's the path it's gone down. Mars, I can also by, because you've got colonists with a shared goal in mind - terraforming the planet, and staying independent from Earth, plus a more militaristic culture that a harsher environment demands (also independence from Earth). The OPA's established to be fairly elastic though, and we see this - "OPA" is more a blanket term for various Belter factions, but even with all the differences those factions entail, we see the traits you'd expect - a creole developing, resentment of the Inners, physiological differences, and a culture that emphasizes the need to survive in space (e.g. learning to use a space suit as a child).

Now, the Expanse could have been written in a manner with more cultural diversity, but the monolithic elements you mention make sense within the setting.
 

Terminal Blue

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Hawki said:
40K does answer those questions though.
So, you've kind of read my argument in the opposite way to the one intended.

I'm not confused as to how diverse cultures could exist in the 40k setting. I'm saying that it's silly those cultures exactly resemble real historical cultures or stereotypes.

The comparison to a Bethesda Fallout game is due to how both setting misunderstand their own scope, especially when it comes to time. Bethesda Fallout games are theoretically set hundreds of years after the nuclear war, but everyone is still obsessed with replicating or copying pre-war things. Worse, they're obsessed with random 1950s stuff from a hundred years before the nuclear apocalypse. Everyone feels like they're LARPing, rather than trying to build a real society on the wreckage of the past, because it's absurd that so much cultural information has survived intact.

The distance between now and the year 40,000 is several times the distance between now and the founding of the first human cities, and yet vikings have survived? People are still going around in red coats, pith helmets and Victorian moustaches? Again, these are not realistic human cultures, they're LARP cultures where people mindlessly and exactly emulate historical cultures which should have been long forgotten. When I ask where they came from, I don't mean literally how did humans get to these alien planets and develop their own distinct identity, I mean what made them turn into these stereotypes? 40k doesn't give us an answer because it's not meant to be taken that seriously.

Hawki said:
As for the monoculture thing, it does make sense in the context of the setting..
My point wasn't actually that the various planets in the expanse were monocultures, it's that the planets in most science fiction settings (including 40k, for the most part) are monocultures.
 

Thaluikhain

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It's always seemed rather odd to have single culture (and single biome) planets, given that most writers presumably are from Earth where individual nations usually have several.
 

Saint of M

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Lets see here:

For Manga:

Love Hina: While Tenchi Muyo was my first Harem Anime, it did alot of things right, like haveing a protagonist that could do awsome moments and not be a the world's greatest punching bag. Love hina is a cavalcade of abuse that makes me wonder how this guy could survive and how small his spine is. I played against Goblins armies in Warhammer and 40K, and they were less cowardly and they were bloody goblins. Yes there is fanservice galor, but I've seen better with better reasons to want to hook up with the guy in Air Gear.

Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
 

Drathnoxis

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saint of m said:
Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
Really? Huh. I just listened to the audiobook for this a couple months ago, and I really enjoyed it. Holden Caulfield is kind of a nut and I found his rambling descriptions and sometimes strange reactions to be quite humorous. Pretentious isn't really a word I would have used to describe him, but I suppose it is kind of a fitting description in a way for a habitual liar.

Edit: I would say that in contrast to The Name of the Wind, this book is an unreliable narrator done right. And actually, thinking about it, there are a lot of parallels you can draw between Catcher in the Rye and The Name of the Wind. Both are narrated in the first person by a teenage habitual liar who thinks they are a lot smarter than everybody else and both feature almost no plot. Though, unlike Kvothe, Holden has a lot of personality in his descriptions and it's clear he reads a lot into other people's actions that may or may not actually be accurate, rather than just being perfectly boring all the time. Also CitR is short and succinct, where as TNotW is 700 pages of unnecessary bloat which acts like there's a much more interesting story just around the corner.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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saint of m said:
Lets see here:

For Manga:

Love Hina: While Tenchi Muyo was my first Harem Anime, it did alot of things right, like haveing a protagonist that could do awsome moments and not be a the world's greatest punching bag. Love hina is a cavalcade of abuse that makes me wonder how this guy could survive and how small his spine is. I played against Goblins armies in Warhammer and 40K, and they were less cowardly and they were bloody goblins. Yes there is fanservice galor, but I've seen better with better reasons to want to hook up with the guy in Air Gear.

Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
Love Hina is popular because it just had really varied and likeable female characters in a time where there wasn't as much variety, not because people liked the protagonist lmao. Akamatsu Ken is one of the better known romance/harem mangaka out there due to his ahead-of-the-curve tendency to capture cuteness and adorableness in his female characters in new and imaginative ways. Also, the second to last volume of LH is prolly the funniest manga I've ever read, not sure if you've gotten that far into the story, but that part where everyone's chasing the protagonist trying to marry him is just consistently knee-slapping fun.


Oh and don't look down on goblins if you know what's good for your womenfolk. *GS flashbacks*
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Hawki said:
As for the monoculture thing, it does make sense in the context of the setting. Earth's under the UN, with half its population on basic, so while we do see some cultural remnants that we'd recognise (e.g. different types of food), Earth's monocultural because that's the path it's gone down. Mars, I can also by, because you've got colonists with a shared goal in mind - terraforming the planet, and staying independent from Earth, plus a more militaristic culture that a harsher environment demands (also independence from Earth). The OPA's established to be fairly elastic though, and we see this - "OPA" is more a blanket term for various Belter factions, but even with all the differences those factions entail, we see the traits you'd expect - a creole developing, resentment of the Inners, physiological differences, and a culture that emphasizes the need to survive in space (e.g. learning to use a space suit as a child).
Isn't one of the plot points of Nemesis Games that Mars never was the monolithic culture it was presented/assumed to be? *SPOILER* Specifically that Duarte and a load of other Martians are not all that interested in the idea of terraforming Mars, but would rather seize any means to cripple Earth and establish their own hegemony. *END SPOILER*

In a similar vein, both Amos and Holden's backstories are meant to show that life on Earth is still pretty diverse. You can still grow up in poverty and be a criminal or grow up in the (sort of) rural countryside in weird family constellations. This is just very seldom explored in depth because most of the Expanse takes place in the actual expanse of space (hence why Belters and OPA are much more nuanced, we see them a lot more) instead of on Earth or Mars.
 

Hawki

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evilthecat said:
The comparison to a Bethesda Fallout game is due to how both setting misunderstand their own scope, especially when it comes to time. Bethesda Fallout games are theoretically set hundreds of years after the nuclear war, but everyone is still obsessed with replicating or copying pre-war things. Worse, they're obsessed with random 1950s stuff from a hundred years before the nuclear apocalypse. Everyone feels like they're LARPing, rather than trying to build a real society on the wreckage of the past, because it's absurd that so much cultural information has survived intact.

The distance between now and the year 40,000 is several times the distance between now and the founding of the first human cities, and yet vikings have survived? People are still going around in red coats, pith helmets and Victorian moustaches? Again, these are not realistic human cultures, they're LARP cultures where people mindlessly and exactly emulate historical cultures which should have been long forgotten. When I ask where they came from, I don't mean literally how did humans get to these alien planets and develop their own distinct identity, I mean what made them turn into these stereotypes? 40k doesn't give us an answer because it's not meant to be taken that seriously.
I don't think Fallout and 40K are the best comparisons in this case. Fallout is people conciously trying to recreate the pre-war world. 40K is cultures developing in isolation per their environment.

TBH, I don't have an issue with 40K's take on things, because if culture adapts to represent an environment, and that environment is similar to an environment on Earth, I can buy cultural traits resurfacing, especially since there's so many planets in the setting, you can kind of get luck of the draw. Fenris isn't the only ice world, Catachan isn't the only jungle world, but they're the ones that resemble Vikings and US Vietnam soldiers respectively.

Gethsemani said:
Isn't one of the plot points of Nemesis Games that Mars never was the monolithic culture it was presented/assumed to be? *SPOILER* Specifically that Duarte and a load of other Martians are not all that interested in the idea of terraforming Mars, but would rather seize any means to cripple Earth and establish their own hegemony. *END SPOILER*
I didn't see that as being indicative of fractures existing within Mars per se, more that some recognised the writing on the wall. Mars is a dying world, so better to take Martian technology and establish a hegemony, as you said. Also, from what I understood, most that followed Duarte were former Martian military, so it's less cultural schism, more military insurrection.

In a similar vein, both Amos and Holden's backstories are meant to show that life on Earth is still pretty diverse. You can still grow up in poverty and be a criminal or grow up in the (sort of) rural countryside in weird family constellations. This is just very seldom explored in depth because most of the Expanse takes place in the actual expanse of space (hence why Belters and OPA are much more nuanced, we see them a lot more) instead of on Earth or Mars.
That's more diversity of their backgrounds, rather than indicative of conditions on Earth. If anything, Holden seems to be the exception, in that he and his (very, very large) family get a farm of their own, whereas most people seem to be crammed into cities, half of whom spend their lives on basic. There's nothing to indicate that different countries have different situations. If anything, from what we see in Babylon's Ashes, there's certainly national identity, but all spread out (e.g. a Norwegian section in an African settlement).

And yeah, okay, maybe absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but from what we do see, Earth seems quite hemogenous. I've at times compared The Expanse to the First/Second Formic Wars series, which has similarities (e.g. bother series have "Belters," even if they aren't called that by Card), but differences as well (in Formic Wars, national differences are very pronounced).
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Hawki said:
I don't think Fallout and 40K are the best comparisons in this case. Fallout is people conciously trying to recreate the pre-war world. 40K is cultures developing in isolation per their environment.

TBH, I don't have an issue with 40K's take on things, because if culture adapts to represent an environment, and that environment is similar to an environment on Earth, I can buy cultural traits resurfacing, especially since there's so many planets in the setting, you can kind of get luck of the draw. Fenris isn't the only ice world, Catachan isn't the only jungle world, but they're the ones that resemble Vikings and US Vietnam soldiers respectively.
You and Evilthecat are coming at this from two different perspectives. You are arguing a Watsonian perspective, how things came to be within the lore. Evilthecat is looking at the Doylist perspective, why the writer wrote things a certain way. His point is that the writers of Fallout and 40k want a particular world state and don't really care to justify that world state in any way. Your counter point is to argue that it can totally be interpreted from the meager lore we're given. You are not arguing on the same premise or even about the same thing. Evil talks about the intention of the writer, you talk about the in universe explanations.

Hawki said:
I didn't see that as being indicative of fractures existing within Mars per se, more that some recognised the writing on the wall. Mars is a dying world, so better to take Martian technology and establish a hegemony, as you said. Also, from what I understood, most that followed Duarte were former Martian military, so it's less cultural schism, more military insurrection.
That's one interpretation, absolutely. But in the context of Martians being a highly militarized, communal society with extensive conscription in the Expanse, with the singular goal of making Mars a green, self-sustaining world, a military insurrection is the same as a social fracture. The reader punch of Duarte's insurrection is that the reader up to that point has been given the stereotype of Martians as singularly focused on their planet, with the military as their national pride, the proof that Martians can do anything. Then Duarte and large parts of the fleet revolt and we are left seeing that Mars was not as homogeneous as it had been presented and both Bobby and Alex react to this with varying feelings of betrayal.

Hawki said:
That's more diversity of their backgrounds, rather than indicative of conditions on Earth. If anything, Holden seems to be the exception, in that he and his (very, very large) family get a farm of their own, whereas most people seem to be crammed into cities, half of whom spend their lives on basic. There's nothing to indicate that different countries have different situations. If anything, from what we see in Babylon's Ashes, there's certainly national identity, but all spread out (e.g. a Norwegian section in an African settlement).
Holden is explicitly an exception, by his own admittance in Leviathan Wakes. Amos' background is a nuance however, as is Bobby's brief foray into New York when she's a liaison to the UN in Caliban's War. Both Amos' background and Bobby's trip into New York is meant to show us that while "everyone is on basic" on Earth, Earth still has serious social issues that it effectively covers up. From Bobby's chapters we learn that substance abuse and poverty are still real things (especially since people still fall through the social security net) and from Amos' chapter we learn that organized crime is still a big deal, despite Earth's pretension of order and stability. Considering that it is explicit that different countries doesn't really exist on Earth anymore, we instead get a look at what life on Earth is really like, as opposed to the uniform "everyone lives on basic in simple but decent city conditions" that is the stereotype.

Part of this is likely also to frame Earth and Mars as not that different. Both are effectively military police states with a veneer of democracy. Avasarala's chapters also works to show us that Earth's democratic system is pretty defunct in the Expanse, with a distinct ruling class keeping an iron grip on the power by acting as the grey eminence behind the throne. As I said earlier in this thread, the strength of the Expanse is that it has a ton of world building to compensate for short comings in plot and writing and the way that both Mars and Earth is nuanced from the first stereotypes is part of that.
 

BrawlMan

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Dreiko said:
saint of m said:
Lets see here:

For Manga:

Love Hina: While Tenchi Muyo was my first Harem Anime, it did alot of things right, like haveing a protagonist that could do awsome moments and not be a the world's greatest punching bag. Love hina is a cavalcade of abuse that makes me wonder how this guy could survive and how small his spine is. I played against Goblins armies in Warhammer and 40K, and they were less cowardly and they were bloody goblins. Yes there is fanservice galor, but I've seen better with better reasons to want to hook up with the guy in Air Gear.

Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
Love Hina is popular because it just had really varied and likeable female characters in a time where there wasn't as much variety, not because people liked the protagonist lmao. Akamatsu Ken is one of the better known romance/harem mangaka out there due to his ahead-of-the-curve tendency to capture cuteness and adorableness in his female characters in new and imaginative ways. Also, the second to last volume of LH is prolly the funniest manga I've ever read, not sure if you've gotten that far into the story, but that part where everyone's chasing the protagonist trying to marry him is just consistently knee-slapping fun.


Oh and don't look down on goblins if you know what's good for your womenfolk. *GS flashbacks*
Most of the girls/women aren't likeable nor funny. When you most of your girls an obnoxious level of dick, *****, pussy, or asshole (with Naru being the combination of all 4) they ain't sympathetic, likeable, or funny. I hate the double standard female on male abuse is funny (This means you too Kagome Higarashi & Anna Kyoyama). The manga industry definitely had a problem with this. Just because it's a comdey, does not make it okay or good. Naru is one of the worst "love" interests in anime/manga history and no man or woman in their right mind would stick around in relationship with that *****. She is the worst tsundere and lead to over a 1000 of imitators either being the same, or worse with little to no justification. All of the women in Tenchi, even Ryoko, are nicer than her and most of the main female cast. At least they cared and respected Tenchi. Most of the women in Love Hina don't, or Keitaro has to go through their absurd, pathetic standards. The only good thin you can say now is that Love Hina is not fondly remembered now (more so fans and non-fans from the West). Probably from people realizing that women can be abusive assholes to men, and are not to be sympathetic just because they're the opposite gender.
 

Marik2

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CoCage said:
Dreiko said:
saint of m said:
Lets see here:

For Manga:

Love Hina: While Tenchi Muyo was my first Harem Anime, it did alot of things right, like haveing a protagonist that could do awsome moments and not be a the world's greatest punching bag. Love hina is a cavalcade of abuse that makes me wonder how this guy could survive and how small his spine is. I played against Goblins armies in Warhammer and 40K, and they were less cowardly and they were bloody goblins. Yes there is fanservice galor, but I've seen better with better reasons to want to hook up with the guy in Air Gear.

Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
Love Hina is popular because it just had really varied and likeable female characters in a time where there wasn't as much variety, not because people liked the protagonist lmao. Akamatsu Ken is one of the better known romance/harem mangaka out there due to his ahead-of-the-curve tendency to capture cuteness and adorableness in his female characters in new and imaginative ways. Also, the second to last volume of LH is prolly the funniest manga I've ever read, not sure if you've gotten that far into the story, but that part where everyone's chasing the protagonist trying to marry him is just consistently knee-slapping fun.


Oh and don't look down on goblins if you know what's good for your womenfolk. *GS flashbacks*
Most of the girls/women aren't likeable nor funny. When you most of your girls an obnoxious level of dick, *****, pussy, or asshole (with Naru being the combination of all 4) they ain't sympathetic, likeable, or funny. I hate the double standard female on male abuse is funny (This means you too Kagome Higarashi & Anna Kyoyama). The manga industry definitely had a problem with this. Just because it's a comdey does not make it okay or good. Naru is one of the worst "love" interests in anime/manga history and no man or woman in their right mind would stik around in relationship with that *****. She is the worst tsundere and lead to over a 1000 of imitators either being the same or worse with little to no justification. All of the women Tenchi, even Ryoko, are nicer than her and most of the main female case. At least they cared and respected Tenchi. Most of the women in Love Hina don't, or Keitaro has to go through their absurd, pathetic standards. The only good thin you can say now is that Love Hina is not fondly remembered now (more so fans and non-fans from the West). Probably from people realizing that women can be abusive assholes to men, and are not to be sympathetic just because they're the opposite gender.
Motoko was best girl in love hina. She was practically the only one who got character development. Love Hina was decent for its time and was the best marketed harem manga. I could never get into Tenchi Muyo cuz the character design never got my attention.
 

BrawlMan

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Marik2 said:
CoCage said:
Dreiko said:
saint of m said:
Lets see here:

For Manga:

Love Hina: While Tenchi Muyo was my first Harem Anime, it did alot of things right, like haveing a protagonist that could do awsome moments and not be a the world's greatest punching bag. Love hina is a cavalcade of abuse that makes me wonder how this guy could survive and how small his spine is. I played against Goblins armies in Warhammer and 40K, and they were less cowardly and they were bloody goblins. Yes there is fanservice galor, but I've seen better with better reasons to want to hook up with the guy in Air Gear.

Books: Catcher In the Rye: I get why its considered important for literature, but at the same time this is a book done from the perspective of a whiny emo hipster you want to strangle with their own pretentiousness. There are maybe three or four fictional characters that made me want to do that, and this was one of them.
Love Hina is popular because it just had really varied and likeable female characters in a time where there wasn't as much variety, not because people liked the protagonist lmao. Akamatsu Ken is one of the better known romance/harem mangaka out there due to his ahead-of-the-curve tendency to capture cuteness and adorableness in his female characters in new and imaginative ways. Also, the second to last volume of LH is prolly the funniest manga I've ever read, not sure if you've gotten that far into the story, but that part where everyone's chasing the protagonist trying to marry him is just consistently knee-slapping fun.


Oh and don't look down on goblins if you know what's good for your womenfolk. *GS flashbacks*
Most of the girls/women aren't likeable nor funny. When you most of your girls an obnoxious level of dick, *****, pussy, or asshole (with Naru being the combination of all 4) they ain't sympathetic, likeable, or funny. I hate the double standard female on male abuse is funny (This means you too Kagome Higarashi & Anna Kyoyama). The manga industry definitely had a problem with this. Just because it's a comdey does not make it okay or good. Naru is one of the worst "love" interests in anime/manga history and no man or woman in their right mind would stik around in relationship with that *****. She is the worst tsundere and lead to over a 1000 of imitators either being the same or worse with little to no justification. All of the women Tenchi, even Ryoko, are nicer than her and most of the main female case. At least they cared and respected Tenchi. Most of the women in Love Hina don't, or Keitaro has to go through their absurd, pathetic standards. The only good thin you can say now is that Love Hina is not fondly remembered now (more so fans and non-fans from the West). Probably from people realizing that women can be abusive assholes to men, and are not to be sympathetic just because they're the opposite gender.
Motoko was best girl in love hina. She was practically the only one who got character development. Love Hina was decent for its time and was the best marketed harem manga. I could never get into Tenchi Muyo cuz the character design never got my attention.
You see, even for its time, I did not think the manga was decent. the only reason other people were starting to realize this was around 2012 or 2013. Long after the longer the hair wrapped up in all the height finally died down. I was unimpressed by the character design for Love Hina. Motoko I barely ever cared for. Even if she got the most developing out of all the girls. I'm okay with you not being interested in the character designs for Tenchi. I find the characters much more interesting in the Tenchi series than the Love Hina series. That goes for the original Tenchi, Universe (the first AU), & even Tenchi in Tokyo (the second AU lot of fans don't like). I just know a lot of harems became less interesting after Love Hina had just finished up.