Missile Gap

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Missile Gap

Postby balder » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:45 pm

Current Rob's Plug is Missile Gap, a free novella by Charles Stross. I found it creepy as hell and equally awesome. Discuss!
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:55 pm

By chapter two I was intrigued; by chapter four I felt chills*. I was quite hooked after that. Chapter 10 and we're back to chills. The rest is a not-unexpected denouement. Lovely piece of straightforward, traditional science fiction with well-crafted parallel narratives.

*The phrase "MacNamara administration" might've had something to do with that.
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby balder » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:56 pm

DevilDan wrote:*The phrase "MacNamara administration" might've had something to do with that.


Oh I know, right? Stross played some wicked, wicked games in there. :twisted:
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby DevilDan » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:49 pm

Some parts of the story are reminiscent of George R. R. Martin's Sandkings, a very memorable story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandkings_(novelette)
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby SteveMB » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:12 pm

balder wrote:Oh I know, right? Stross played some wicked, wicked games in there. :twisted:


"Does a termite mound negotiate with a nuclear superpower?" ;)

Another angle to the story that gave me a chill when I realized it was

Spoiler: show
the most obvious reasons for putting the disks so close to a blue supergiant was to insure that they get scrubbed by the supernova fairly soon, cosmically speaking.
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby DevilDan » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:22 pm

Excellent thinking on the reason behind the location. I just thought of it as unattractive real estate, as it were.
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby KiltedNinja » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:41 am

Hey, this is really good. Started reading it, and have just noticed that I've been reading it for about 2 hours now.. ..luckily my boss isn't in the office today :D

DevilDan wrote:Some parts of the story are reminiscent of George R. R. Martin's Sandkings, a very memorable story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandkings_(novelette)


Yeah, those mock-termites.. Sandkings was pretty frickin good. I never read the story though, just watched it when it was on Outer Limits - (I always remember the part where the little guys make the image of the dude's face.. "I'm like a god.." (or words to that effect) - very cool.)

So yeah, this dude has a really nice style. It's got that creepy "wtf...." feeling that crawls from your toes and tries to be stealthy while making every single hair on your body stand up. *shudder* - awesome.

Plus, I think I have a couple of new signature-worthy quotes (Wrapped in a spoiler, even though it's probably not necessary..)
Spoiler: show
"A toast! To making good communists out of little purple lizard-bastards with blowpipes who shoot political officers in the arse!"

And; "We’ve found the new world and the new world is just like the old world, except it glows in the dark."


Edit : Just finished reading it, tis very good. I think I'm gonna have to read it again though - seems to me like there were a few occasions where I didn't quite get exactly what was going on, but decided to keep going and let it happen. A second read should sort that out though.

Cheers for the head's up mr Balder man :)
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby Whet Lunkhoff » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:19 pm

It was a bit of a wake-up to realise that
Spoiler: show
humanity, despite its apparent aptitude for technology and warfare, was of very little importance and couldn't even hope to keep up with the insectoid races.


Stross is a great writer, just read Halting State, it's about an MMORPG that gets robbed.

There's more of his stuff online, including A Colder War:

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm

He's even released one of his novels, Accelerando, under a Creative Commons license:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/accelerando/

Lots of stuff:

http://www.freesfonline.de/authors/Charles_Stross.html
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Re: Missile Gap

Postby SteveMB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:01 pm

Stross has a story collection "Wireless" with this story and several others ("Palimpsest" in particular ought to appeal to you if you liked this one).
Is this a real holy war, or just a bunch of deluded boopholes croaking each other?
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