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Achaean Book Club Feb/March: Ancillary Justice

KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
edited February 14 in The Universal Membrane
After a few days with the poll, the book with the most votes was Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. You can find places to purchase it from at the link.

Thread Rules:

  • Book club #1 will run from February 14 to March 14.
  • For the first two weeks, refrain from posting spoilers unless clearly tagged (there's a spoiler option in the formatting options for posts up in the bar that lets you bold etc.) and note right before the spoiler up to what chapter/page people need to have read to not be spoiled by them.
  • When week three starts (March 1st), you may start posting untagged spoilers and discussing the book with the idea that everyone's finished reading it. If you have NOT finished reading it, you should probably stay out of the latter posts of the thread after March 1st until you do!
  • While this thread is active, we'll be voting on next month's book. Feel free to discuss that, too. The books this time are the same as last time + 1 to replace the winner.

Starting questions for discussion (but feel free to discuss whatever comes to mind, or post quotes you like, or ask questions if you're lost).

  • How does the world of Ancillary Justice differ from our own?  I don't mean technologically, since it's sci-fi, but things on the social and personal level. If we had the same technology, how different are the lives of the residents of this book? Are there cases where the technological and the social differences are inseparable?
  • Expanding on the first question, how does the language spoken in the book convey these differences?
  • Breq is not exactly human. How important is this to the story? Would the book have worked with just a human protagonist? How does this impact Breq's development?
  • How is hierarchy treated in Ancillary Justice? How do class/social status play out, and why do they play out that way?
  • The book deals often with the idea of personal and group identity. What are some examples of this, and how does it define identity, through these?
  • What are the basic themes of the book you're picking up on, and how do you feel about them?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick

It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.
Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

The Left Hand of Darkness
, Ursula K. Le Guin
A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can choose -and change - their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

As time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and simultaneously, the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph--the human capacity for change.

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.


Achaean Book Club Feb/March: Ancillary Justice 9 votes

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
11%
Rom 1 vote
The Goblin Emperor
33%
ShirszaeKietZenii 3 votes
The Handmaid's Tale
0%
The Left Hand of Darkness
22%
TruaxZackery 2 votes
Parable of the Sower
0%
To the Lighthouse
11%
Hurai 1 vote
A Wizard of Earthsea
0%
I'll read whatever other people vote for
22%
AegothZeris 2 votes
ZeniiTruaxShirszae

Comments

  • ZeniiZenii Posts: 65Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Goblin Emperor
    Book purchased, I'm looking forward to the discussion. Thanks for setting this up Kiet.
  • NazihkNazihk Posts: 991Member @ - Epic Achaean
    IMO, make the voting in another thread. That way people can discuss the books being voted on in that thread without filling this thread with posts about books other than the one being talked about.

    That aside, I've read this entire trilogy before, so I have some thoughts on it I'll post up tomorrow sometime.
    Tysandr
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    I don't anticipate the thread being so busy that it'll be an issue. Even on the inaugural thread only a few posts were actually trying to sway votes.
  • AegothAegoth Posts: 2,564Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'll read whatever other people vote for
    i'll be the sound effects
    ZackeryZeris
  • RomRom Posts: 521Member ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Stheno said:
    I promised to read out a few chapters of Ancillary Justice. We'll have our first reading, starting from chapter one, in the Achaea Discord at this time (Serenade) tomorrow.
    https://discordapp.com/invite/qqVUuBC

    B)

    Chat with other players in real time on your phone, browser, or desktop client:
    Come join the Achaea discord!
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    Read-aloud is in just over 10 minutes!
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    rrrrrrrrrrrr
    Zackery
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaPosts: 4,864Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Rrrrrrrrr~
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    Zackery
  • TruaxTruax Posts: 135Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Left Hand of Darkness
    Sorry I missed the read aloud - glad to be back to take part in what's left of the first book's discussion!
    Shirszae
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    How's everyone progressing so far, and what are they thinking? I'm up to chapter 14, and I'm really enjoying the book so far, but I'd like to know roughly where people are at before I post too much.
  • CailinCailin Posts: 211Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    ... finished it the first day ...  :# 
    My first thought was that it was very unusual and interesting to read a book from an AI's point of view. I quite liked it. 

    Not sure if this is really a spoiler, but:

    I thought at first that the author made a mistake when the main character had feelings, but I found out later that it was intentional, that "ships have feelings".

    Kiet
  • SthenoStheno Posts: 71Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Our next reading will start from chapter ten, a third into the book. I'll have some thoughts after the reading.

    Be dazzled by universal time!
    Hey, little songbird, look all around you.
    See how the vipers and vultures surround you.
  • SthenoStheno Posts: 71Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Cancelled due to illness. :mask:
    Hey, little songbird, look all around you.
    See how the vipers and vultures surround you.
  • ZackeryZackery Posts: 105Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Left Hand of Darkness
    Feel better soon!! 
  • ZeniiZenii Posts: 65Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Goblin Emperor
    I'm much slower than all of y'all. The writing style has been hard for me to grasp, so I have to read and reread a few things. I should be done by the deadline though, I'm finally getting into it and picking up speed. I agree the AI is interesting and the many perspectives and places at once. 
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    I finished the book! (like a week ago, actually, but I've been busy with other stuff so no time to really post about it).
    Cailin said:
    ... finished it the first day ...  :# 
    My first thought was that it was very unusual and interesting to read a book from an AI's point of view. I quite liked it. 

    Not sure if this is really a spoiler, but:

    I thought at first that the author made a mistake when the main character had feelings, but I found out later that it was intentional, that "ships have feelings".

    (mild spoilers up to the near end of the book):



    I guess it's a testament to how people usually see AI that you saw that as unusual. Really, I'd say the book is commenting on the usual assumption that emotions hold no value, and that the 'perfect' being is pure logic and nothing else. I wish it'd gone into more depth about this, but as it pointed out, we'd not care about each other, or our goals, or so on without emotions there.

    I liked that humans in the story still stick to this idea, somehow. We have kef shown as something people try to use in a way to become purely logical, and Breq points out how pointless it is in achieving that, even if it does block your feelings.

    At one point there's this exchange between a random soldier and Breq when she was full Justice and she narrates: "Without feelings insignificant decisions become excruciating attempts to compare endless arrays of inconsequential things. It’s just easier to handle those with emotions." Later on, Mianaai says that the AIs were all designed with emotions because that'd make them want to serve, rather than to just do something logical like exterminate everyone to save resources, or whatever the example she used was.

    It's an interesting inversion of the usual view of emotions and AIs both!

    I have more thoughts on the book, too, mainly about how interesting its way of dealing with what is 'identity' is, but I'll write on that more later, since I think most people aren't done yet.

    CailinShirszae
  • ZeniiZenii Posts: 65Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Goblin Emperor
    I'm not done yet, but I agree the exploring and defining of 'identity' insofar has been interesting. 

    I also think the demonstrations of the complexity of language and that it's also kind of meaningless in that words are words, but groups take those words very seriously. 
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    Two days left to vote for next book! I suppose the thread can stay open for people to discuss stuff in even after we start the next book, but given so far I know of like... 3 people who finished the book and almost no one posts anything about it, next month might be the last book club. I'm not running this if I don't get any interesting side reading out of it, but maybe people will feel more encouraged with the next book.
  • NazihkNazihk Posts: 991Member @ - Epic Achaean
    You might be better off seeing if they'd make a Discord channel for books


    I'm curious as to what you guys thought about the gender/language stuff in the book. When the book first came out, that was literally all I heard about it. Nothing about the plot or characters or concept. Just "OMG, everybody in the book is called 'she', this is the best thing ever, everybody should read it". So when I actually got around to reading it, I was sort of surprised to learn that the gendered langauge thing isn't really a big deal. Breq the AI is bad at picking up on gender cues, and that's all there really is to it.

    To me, it was less about gender issues and more about separating Breq from humanity, because the humans never seem to have issues with it so they obviously can tell. I also think that the gender/language thing got it way more attention then it would have otherwise gotten. 

    That aside: To the best of my knowledge, there are only three main characters in the book whose genders are explicitly stated:

    1) Breq(well, Breq's body) is identified as female in the bar at the start when somebody calls her 'girl'.
    2) Seivaarden is identified as male by Breq, which I assume she knows from his time on the Justice of Toren.
    3) Anaander Mianaai is referred to as a 'him' by the doctor Breq gets the gun from. As well, they're described with a baritone voice, which is a typically male trait.


    Anybody catch any others? Anybody have any assumptions on who is what? 


  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 13
    The Goblin Emperor
    Part of the point of the novel is that it doesn't matter. Gender is arbitrary, explained by Breq as having completely different standards in different cultures. The point isn't that Breq is an AI bad at gender, that's kind of the opposite of the point. The point is that Breq is deeply Radchaai, and the Radch has no rules for gender that other cultures take for granted:

    I saw all the features that would mark gender for non-Radchaai—never, to my annoyance and inconvenience, the same way in each place. Short hair or long, worn unbound (trailing down a back, or in a thick, curled nimbus) or bound (braided, pinned, tied). Thick-bodied or thin-, faces delicate-featured or coarse-, with cosmetics or none. A profusion of colors that would have been gender-marked in other places. All of this matched randomly with bodies curving at breast and hip or not, bodies that one moment moved in ways various non-Radchaai would call feminine, the next moment masculine.

    Radchaai humans also use 'she' for everyone, the only ones that use different pronouns are those from outside the Radch, like those from Nilt or elsewhere. For it to be about Breq being an AI bad at gender, there'd have to be an implication that anyone else that's Radchaii even acknowledges gender. It's not 'obvious' to Radchaai humans because it's not something that actually exists for them. There's not a 'real' gender behind it to them.

    Radchaii identity is based on many things, primarily class and House as far as social divisions go. Gender is just completely irrelevant to them, because their society has decided or realized that it has no point. At no point does anyone's gender according to other cultures in the book make a real difference, it's just something that confuses Breq because she was 'raised' for 3000 years without gender.

    It's not a concept that's entirely new--Left Hand of Darkness does it, too--but it is one that's uncommon, that's why people probably made a big deal out of it. It's not, though, as you said, the main theme, just a part of one of the main themes which is identity.



    Shirszae
  • ZeniiZenii Posts: 65Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    The Goblin Emperor
    I agree with @Kiet with the gender concept. The changing of languages and understanding which pronoun gets assigned where is what I found fascinating. I figured each person has a specific gender but the term used from place to place would vary so much and it didn't have as much meaning, especially since the Radch had very specific ways of breeding or having children. The changing and confusion of gender caused me a bit of an issue as far as reading goes because I had to double check what I was reading.

    As far as Identity, the exploration of identity and understanding Breq's identity has been fascinating. I think the self-awareness is a huge part and the change from almost omniscient awareness by being everywhere to only having a single body was interesting, I really liked the quote below, as well as a few other comments. 

    "Or is anyone's identity a matter of fragments held together by convenient or useful narrative, that in ordinary circumstances never reveals itself as a fiction? Or is it really a fiction?"

    This was one of those quote that made me think for a moment and just nod. As people we grow and are shaped by so many things that happen in our lives and after a while they become memories, but they shape our identity beyond name/age/etc could some things be just stories we made up as kids to explain things? Also, as people who play RP based games, understanding identity and being able to create a separate identity is fascinating as well because we create new fiction and adapt daily to this fantasy world person's life, consequences, and experiences. However, Breq's identity isn't body=centric, which is a huge step back from the world we live in. At one point Breq is having a drink while listening to music and just buys beer but stops drinking because although it wouldn't effect Breq's mind, it effects the human body and would make her more sluggish. In our world, part of our identity is based on what you look like, how well you take care of yourself, how much you weigh. This removal of the gender, because AI inhabited so many different types of humans, and the focus on the mind is a major point within the story.

    The concept of divinity, the familial hierarchies, and the use of idols all intrigue me. The Radch absorb religions because religion essentially doesn't mean anything to them, but yet they have idols and Breq who is AI has an idol as well is interesting because it shows Breq's uniqueness as well. 




    I wouldn't mind a discord chat for this. I admit I'm not 100% done, but I've been trying to make sure I have poignant parts to discuss with y'all instead of breezing through the story first and not being able to find specific parts in the story. 
  • RangorRangor Posts: 3,158Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Books were ok. :)
    image
  • CailinCailin Posts: 211Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    My problem is, I finished the book way early, had a lot to talk about, but as far as I knew no one else was done. Now I don't remember everything I was going to talk about. I can try though.

    The ending was unsatisfactory. How did Justice of Town go from wanting to kill Anaander, to doing what "she" wanted? Maybe I need to read the rest of the series. But it was confusing. Sometimes it sounded like Justice only wanted to kill the Anaander that didn't have the code, sometimes it sounded like Justice wanted to kill all of Anaander. 


    The use of "she" both annoyed and fascinated me. I like to be able to picture characters, what they look like. But it was kind of meta, the language barrier extending beyond Breq to me. I liked the bit about the Nilt word for songs.

  • CailinCailin Posts: 211Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Zenii said:
     understanding Breq's identity has been fascinating.

    MAJOR spoiler:

    It was interesting, the concept of One Esk's identity versus Justice of Toren, the ship. It seemed that One Esk was slightly different, the one who loved Lieutenant Awn. But... it was not One Esk who shot Anaander Mianaaiaaaaaa (I think I spelled that right) in the face. So it is something to think about.
    Zenii said:

    Also, as people who play RP based games, understanding identity and being able to create a separate identity is fascinating as well because we create new fiction and adapt daily to this fantasy world person's life, consequences, and experiences. 
    I watched a YouTube series (Larps the series.) that had an interesting take on how people relate to their RP character's identity. 
    Zenii
  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 13
    The Goblin Emperor
    Zenii said:
    I agree with @Kiet with the gender concept. The changing of languages and understanding which pronoun gets assigned where is what I found fascinating. I figured each person has a specific gender but the term used from place to place would vary so much and it didn't have as much meaning, especially since the Radch had very specific ways of breeding or having children. The changing and confusion of gender caused me a bit of an issue as far as reading goes because I had to double check what I was reading.

    As far as Identity, the exploration of identity and understanding Breq's identity has been fascinating. I think the self-awareness is a huge part and the change from almost omniscient awareness by being everywhere to only having a single body was interesting, I really liked the quote below, as well as a few other comments. 

    "Or is anyone's identity a matter of fragments held together by convenient or useful narrative, that in ordinary circumstances never reveals itself as a fiction? Or is it really a fiction?"

    This was one of those quote that made me think for a moment and just nod. As people we grow and are shaped by so many things that happen in our lives and after a while they become memories, but they shape our identity beyond name/age/etc could some things be just stories we made up as kids to explain things? Also, as people who play RP based games, understanding identity and being able to create a separate identity is fascinating as well because we create new fiction and adapt daily to this fantasy world person's life, consequences, and experiences. However, Breq's identity isn't body=centric, which is a huge step back from the world we live in. At one point Breq is having a drink while listening to music and just buys beer but stops drinking because although it wouldn't effect Breq's mind, it effects the human body and would make her more sluggish. In our world, part of our identity is based on what you look like, how well you take care of yourself, how much you weigh. This removal of the gender, because AI inhabited so many different types of humans, and the focus on the mind is a major point within the story.

    The concept of divinity, the familial hierarchies, and the use of idols all intrigue me. The Radch absorb religions because religion essentially doesn't mean anything to them, but yet they have idols and Breq who is AI has an idol as well is interesting because it shows Breq's uniqueness as well. 




    I wouldn't mind a discord chat for this. I admit I'm not 100% done, but I've been trying to make sure I have poignant parts to discuss with y'all instead of breezing through the story first and not being able to find specific parts in the story. 
    I wouldn't say the body stops having an effect on identity entirely. It's noted fairly early on that darker skin is considered more beautiful in the Radch, for instance. Similarly, jewellery is a physical decoration that has a lot of importance. The point is more that what is considered physically significant is entirely different--gender signifiers are moot, because gender is essentially non-existent, but beauty or class signifiers remain. Like our society, too, beauty and class sometimes cross over, with what the upper classes tend to have being considered more beautiful.

    As for religion: I wouldn't say religion means nothing to the Radch. It's more that their religion is syncretist and pantheistic, a bit like the Roman religion. The Radch is very clearly based on the Roman Empire in many ways, and this is one of them. Rather than wipe out cultures, they absorb other cultures into their own, which affords them a degree of attachment to the Radch itself. Part of this is acknowledging that every other religion is valid. Minor gods are simply added to their pantheon, supreme deities are considered just another aspect of Amaat. The Baha'i have a similar view on religion, too.

    Cailin said:
    My problem is, I finished the book way early, had a lot to talk about, but as far as I knew no one else was done. Now I don't remember everything I was going to talk about. I can try though.

    The ending was unsatisfactory. How did Justice of Town go from wanting to kill Anaander, to doing what "she" wanted? Maybe I need to read the rest of the series. But it was confusing. Sometimes it sounded like Justice only wanted to kill the Anaander that didn't have the code, sometimes it sounded like Justice wanted to kill all of Anaander. 


    The use of "she" both annoyed and fascinated me. I like to be able to picture characters, what they look like. But it was kind of meta, the language barrier extending beyond Breq to me. I liked the bit about the Nilt word for songs.

    She wanted to kill Anaander out of some sort of revenge, out of love for Awn, out of trying to 'make a difference' as was brought up in allusions to the incident with the Rrrrrrr (I still love that name). The problem is that she knew it was impossible to kill all of Anaander, and she expected, in some way, for it to be a suicide mission. Then Anaander made it physically impossible for her to kill her, and then what was Breq meant to do?

    I don't believe she happily went along with her new station, it's more that she realized she'd been thwarted completely (well, not completely, she still go to shoot a few Anaanders). All Anaander had to do was sing that song and she couldn't harm her, and this Anaander also promises her (though she's skeptical, of course) that things will change for the better, that she will make a difference. It's the kind of imperfect ending where things didn't go according to plan, it's less melodramatic and more realistic, imo. The 'hero' doesn't get to win, sometimes.

    Cailin said:
    Zenii said:
     understanding Breq's identity has been fascinating.

    MAJOR spoiler:

    It was interesting, the concept of One Esk's identity versus Justice of Toren, the ship. It seemed that One Esk was slightly different, the one who loved Lieutenant Awn. But... it was not One Esk who shot Anaander Mianaaiaaaaaa (I think I spelled that right) in the face. So it is something to think about.
    Zenii said:

    Also, as people who play RP based games, understanding identity and being able to create a separate identity is fascinating as well because we create new fiction and adapt daily to this fantasy world person's life, consequences, and experiences. 
    I watched a YouTube series (Larps the series.) that had an interesting take on how people relate to their RP character's identity. 
    Do you mean when Justice of Toren got blown up? I think it was One Var or something that shot Anaander there, yeah, but it was entirely because One Esk was a part of Justice of Toren that compelled the rest of JoT. JoT liked Awn already, it was simply that One Esk took this to an extreme. It's one of the most interesting explorations of what exactly makes up the 'whole' of someone's identity. All of us can be close to someone, but a small part of us, one of our faces, one of our moods, one of our 'fragments' as Zenii's quote calls it, can actually love that person.

    Our feelings aren't even, constant, or easily isolated. One Esk's love for Awn 'invaded' the rest of JoT, in a way. JoT even warns one of her other officers that One Esk might do something rash, but in the end JoT ends up doing it through One Var (or whoever it was) because she can't compartmentalize herself nearly as well as her designers or she herself expected her to.

    Of course, like I said in an earlier post, the AIs were meant to feel. I found the quote I meant to highlight earlier:

    '“And they’re armed ships, with engines capable of vaporizing planets. What am I going to do if they don’t want to obey me? Threaten them? With what?"

    ...

    “That’s how they were made from the start, but their minds are complex, and it’s a tricky proposition. The original designers did that by giving them an overwhelming reason to want to obey. Which had advantages, and rather spectacular disadvantages. I couldn’t completely change what they were, I just… adjusted it to suit me. I made obeying me an overriding priority for them. But I confused the issue when I gave Justice of Toren two mes to obey, with conflicting aims. And then, I suspect, I unknowingly ordered the execution of a favorite. Didn't I?" She looked at me. "Not Justice of Toren's favorite, I wouldn't have been so foolish. But I never paid attention to you, I'd never have asked if someone was One Esk's favorite."'

    So in some way it is their ability to feel that lets the ships compartmentalize the same way we do, to have conflicting goals even within themselves. It's One Esk that loved Awn, but her feelings spilled over.



    It's nice to see people posting their thoughts, either way! I know sometimes if you finish early it seems a bit pointless, but I think we might as well post early finisher thoughts behind a spoielr tag so we don't forget later.
    Shirszae
  • CailinCailin Posts: 211Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I always enjoy reading your feedback, Kiet, so well thought out. 


    It was also interesting how it said "the rumor got around that Justice of Toren liked to sing, but I didn't really. The captains seemed to like it, and I tolerated the habit." But Breq obviously liked music. She picked up instruments wherever she saw them, went out of her way to attend a concert. Did it mean Justice of Toren tolerated One Esk's habit? Or did JoT start singing out of boredom, and grew to like it? Or did I misunderstand?

    PS I looked up the songs that were listed in the appendix. It was interesting!


  • KietKiet Posts: 3,047Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Goblin Emperor
    Yeah it is ambiguous.

    When you read about it it sounds like it's just singing out of habit, but after that it seems like it's tolerating One Esk's habit that she means.I can't really say for sure, but it really seems like it's tolerating One Esk. When JoT got blown up, it seems she was always aware that One Esk was the odd one, and might act independently.


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