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Old February 22 2009, 09:51 PM   #68
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Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

Christopher wrote: View Post
But I guess what you're saying is that the book really gets into exploring the alien characters' worldviews and mentalities, rather than dwelling on their differences.
Yes, that's it exactly.

Admittedly, it's more that I didn't have a real-science solution for that. The basic crisis came more from Treknobabble energy fields than from real science, and so the solution was pretty much going to be applied handwavium in any case. Rather than think up a couple of paragraphs of that, I just said "We've devised a field" and focused on the more concrete science and logistics of the deployment.
Fair enough. It worked well.

Thanks, but this is one of those times where it looks like I planned something that I actually didn't. This book is largely based on an unsold spec novel I wrote over a decade ago, and in that version, there was no technological fix that the ocean-planet aliens (more dolphinlike there) had to accept; their fear of technology was just an excuse to keep the leading lady separate from her crew for long enough that she needed to undergo the change that's proposed for Aili and Riker here.

So really the work of creating the squales' society and environment was about half done back then and half done in the writing of this book. Which helped me do a richer job of worldbuilding than I probably could've within the bounds of my deadline for this book alone.
Well, whenever all that work was put into it, it showed in the final product. It's always a joy to read alien societies so well thought-out.

I'm surprised to hear that, since I was trying to make this a lighter, fun change-of-pace book after the weightiness of Destiny. It dealt with some pretty serious character baggage, but I tried to leaven it with humor and avoid getting too dark.
And it would appear that many others agree; looking back on other reviews, a lot of them mention how the humor was a huge part of it for them. And I guess there were a bunch of funny lines, but aside from Torvig and a couple of things very early on, it always struck me as the kind of humor one uses to get through difficult it always came from a place of necessity, rather than joy. Like I said, funny but not lighthearted.

Which, after Destiny, isn't necessarily a bad thing...and this certainly carried along Destiny's theme of optimism over fatalism absolutely perfectly. But it definitely was a dense, emotionally laden read to follow 5 other dense, emotionally laden reads, and it'd be nice to get something a bit lighter soon.
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