james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
of that SF novel where it turned out mass murder was the solution?

Date: 2019-02-09 08:30 pm (UTC)
kedamono: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kedamono
Starship Troopers?
Ender's Game?

Date: 2019-02-09 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
I think I remember that one! I believe it had people in it.

Date: 2019-02-09 08:57 pm (UTC)
philrm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] philrm
Not for long!

Date: 2019-02-09 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
The mass murderers don't kill _themselves_: that would be silly!

Date: 2019-02-09 09:46 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Well, no, but it turned out that crops don't grow and harvest themselves.

Date: 2019-02-10 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
Well, some do forget the robots.


Date: 2019-02-09 08:38 pm (UTC)
drplokta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drplokta
I seem to recall that it was written by a middle-aged white man, which should help to narrow it down.

Date: 2019-02-09 08:39 pm (UTC)
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
From: [personal profile] affreca
Was it by David Weber? Or Jerry Pournelle?

Date: 2019-02-09 11:14 pm (UTC)
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
No (In Weber, mass murder is what the bad guys do, as one might expect).
Yes. (The Mercenary)
Edited Date: 2019-02-09 11:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-02-10 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
When an author creates a purely evil and menacing alien race with which it is impossible to communicate, so extermination is the only Option, is the problem with the aliens, or the author?

Date: 2019-02-10 12:33 am (UTC)
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
From: [personal profile] affreca
We might be thinking of the same Weber book.

Date: 2019-02-10 03:40 am (UTC)
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
If you mean the Gbaba in the Safehold series, they're a plot device, not a people. They existed to set the constraints for the story's universe. Notice we don't ever actually see them--they might as well be as impersonal and unthinking as Saberhagen's Berserkers.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what you're referring to.
Edited Date: 2019-02-10 03:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2019-02-10 01:55 pm (UTC)
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
I have not read it, however, I know that it is a tie-in novel to a tabletop war game, Starfire (which I have played), and a very early work by David Weber and Steven White. The enemy is essentially a pile of ship stats and logistics numbers pushed around by your opposing player. Note that in the earlier history of the Starfire universe, humanity was able to find common ground with all the other races they fought with, eventually make peace, and sometimes join forces against a bigger threat (in this case, the Bugs).

Date: 2019-02-10 09:50 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
Weber's used that trope in

  1. the Starfire novels, thrice

    • Rigellians (backstory; no novels) (survivors on two planets not exterminated but tech restricted)

    • the Thebans Crusade (defeated, offered Federation membership)

    • the Arachnids, aka Bugs, In Death Ground (believed exterminated but not)

  2. Mutineers Moon and sequels (rescue attempts, citizenship for rescuees; it's really another trope)

  3. Safehold; we don't know what happens to the Gbaba and liely won't at the current rate

  4. the Apocalypse Troll, where we don't find out what happens to the aliens

Date: 2019-02-10 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
As I recall, the Berserker's were not unthinking.

Date: 2019-02-09 08:57 pm (UTC)
philrm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] philrm
Ringworld Engineers?

Date: 2019-02-09 09:13 pm (UTC)
jhetley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jhetley
The Bible?

Date: 2019-02-10 02:41 am (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
He did specify a novel, not an anthology.

Date: 2019-02-10 03:07 am (UTC)
jhetley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jhetley

Date: 2019-02-09 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Asimov had it down to only a few hundred people in the original Foundation trilogy - a surprisingly low count.

Date: 2019-02-09 09:18 pm (UTC)
jessie_c: Me in my floppy hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] jessie_c
If This Goes On...

Date: 2019-02-09 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't know, but it was published by Baen.

Date: 2019-02-09 09:44 pm (UTC)
jreynolds197: A dinosaur. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jreynolds197
Deep Sky by Patrick Lee.

The conclusion of the series had a mysterious supertech-thingie that could detect bad people (maybe 4% of the population) and painlessly kill them. Everybody else, free of these bad people, would be able to produce utopia.

[ETA: At current world population, that would be a mere 308 million people. A small price to pay for utopia!]

Counterpoint: "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Edited Date: 2019-02-09 09:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-02-10 12:24 am (UTC)
dsrtao: dsr as a LEGO minifig (Default)
From: [personal profile] dsrtao
I really liked it up until that.

Date: 2019-02-12 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
In real life it's proposed that psychopaths are a distinct and small-ish class of people, but nevertheless it's more likely that they will be the ones wiping out other people whose existence is inconvenient, not being wiped out themselves. Anyway, smaller goals are achievable; if I could just obliterate all spammers I'd be satisfied.

Robert Carnegie

Date: 2019-02-13 12:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I recommend you read Charles Stross' Rule 31.

Something I was just thinking about...

Date: 2019-02-16 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I may have just found something that Google is programmed not to do, which is to say: "Showing results for "Rule 34" when that isn't what you asked for." You know why.

I just haven't worked out yet whether I should read it as a warning, or for tips.

Reviews seem randomly to refer to "spammers" and "scammers" involved in the plot. These activities overlap, but my personal dream project involves people spreading a political or religious message. And steak knives.

Relatedly but perhaps not relevantly, I was curious about how to hold an e-book on a Kindle reader discreetly; my best idea at the moment (which perhaps you can't actually do generally) is to change the title (and maybe some chapters, and disable word search), ideally to something technical and dull. Something to try with Calibre, for instance. So, "Rule 31" it is. ;-)

Other possibilities are to delete a book to download again when you want it, or read in the device's web browser in private mode.

Robert Carnegie

Date: 2019-02-09 09:57 pm (UTC)
autopope: Me, myself, and I (Default)
From: [personal profile] autopope
I know! I know! The Genocides by Thomas M. Disch! It even says so, right there in the title! /s

Date: 2019-02-09 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Warp Speed by Travis S Taylor.

Date: 2019-02-09 10:26 pm (UTC)
timgueugen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] timgueugen
Half the sci fi novels ever written it often seems.

I can think of two off-hand

Date: 2019-02-09 10:33 pm (UTC)
ed_rex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ed_rex
The Fountainhead, by (of course), Ayn Rand. More recently, Neal Asher took Rand's relatively cerebral bloodlust and produced a work that is almost nothing but a purely pornographic splatterfest in The Departure.

I'm sure there are plenty more.

Date: 2019-02-09 11:16 pm (UTC)
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
by Jerry Pournelle, one of the John Christian Falkenberg mercenary stories--perhaps The Mercenary. Put me off the chararcter permanently. Unfortunately, I was too young to realize the problem was the author, not the character.

Date: 2019-02-10 02:41 am (UTC)
nelc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nelc
I don't know, I don't feel I can forgive Falkenberg for being persuaded into massacre on the word of an economist. Even less these days, as I imagine people like Paul Manafort using economic arguments as cover instead of sincerely believing them.

Date: 2019-02-10 02:05 pm (UTC)
dragoness_e: Living Dead Girl (Living Dead Girl)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
The author chose to write the character that way, and I've read enough of Pournelle's stuff to realize he had a real contempt for the poor and ignorant, and carefully ignored that they were made that way by racist government policy. I can't read his stuff any more because, like Ayn Rand's garbage, and the Left Behind series, it features characters that cannot exist as members of the human species I'm familiar with. (i.e., People Don't Work That Way).

Also he was way too fond of monarchism as a far-future political solution, when the modern world has long been running in the opposite direction. Eric Flint was a bit pointed about that particular trend in sci-fi (the love of monarchies and the assumption that common folk don't matter and are too stupid to govern themselves) in his notes on writing 1632.
Edited Date: 2019-02-10 02:07 pm (UTC)


Date: 2019-02-10 12:06 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
James White's UNDERKILL does this.

It is the aliens' solution to Earth's ecological situation. We aren't consulted. We don't get to stop it.

Michael Moorcock's hero Corum cut a deal with the terribly powerful Lost Gods, according to a wiki (I dimly remember the book), to destroy the more evil gods in his universe, the Lords of Chaos. But they decided to wipe out the Lords of Law also. Oh, well.

Robert Carnegie


Date: 2019-02-10 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
The Lords of Order could be dicks too if unconstrained, IIRC.

But evil Gods do prove something of a moral quandary: if you lock them up instead of killing them, then you have Sealed Evil in a Can, and you know some idiot is eventually going to let them out.

Hmm. Any fictional accounts of an Ancient Locked Away Evil that had undergone a change of heart during Its imprisonment and was no longer Evil when released?

Re: Sealed Evil

Date: 2019-02-10 03:57 am (UTC)
dragoness_e: (Echo Bazaar)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
Good question. One of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories, "Nine Yards of Other Cloth", introduces the lovely Evadare, who eventually becomes John's wife. She's hiding out from an evil man (her former employer, one Shull Cobart, a sexual predator who doesn't take 'No' for an answer) in a hollow (deep, dark valley) supposedly haunted by a demonic monster. Per legend, an old-time preacher once came to the hollow to deal with the monster, and his grave is in the hollow. Long story short: evil asshole Shull catches up with Evadare just after John meets her, and uses his enchanted fiddle (yes, Shull's a fiddle player too) to spellbind John and call the monster to devour him. No one but Evadare had gotten the news that the monster wasn't evil anymore and was protecting Evadare. Oops for the bad guy. Turned out that old-timey preacher had converted the whatever-the-hell-it-was by preaching to it (and taught it to read and write), and stayed in the hollow as its friend, because it was very lonely. When he died of old age, the monster buried the preacher, hence the grave.

That's the closest I know of, and the monster didn't seem to be constrained, it just.. stayed in the hollow. Locking sentient beings up tends to make them more grouchy, not less.
Edited Date: 2019-02-10 03:58 am (UTC)

Re: Sealed Evil

Date: 2019-02-10 04:27 am (UTC)
philrm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] philrm
That's probably my favorite Silver John story.

Re: Sealed Evil

Date: 2019-02-10 01:59 pm (UTC)
dragoness_e: (Echo Bazaar)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
Mine, too.


Date: 2019-02-10 02:43 pm (UTC)
jreynolds197: A dinosaur. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jreynolds197
One recent example is on Sam Sykes's twitter regarding the motivations of D&D liches. One of his examples:

adventurers breakin into a Lich's tomb after being lost in the dungeon for a month
they discover the Scrying Orb he was using to magically watch their every move next to it is the fanfic the Lich wrote about them


Date: 2019-02-10 08:08 pm (UTC)
kgbooklog: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kgbooklog
I just finished a book that sort of fits. ROT-13 because it was published last month.
Fntnen'f Pnfg va Boyvivba (obbx 14 bs gur frevrf), ohg vg qvqa'g ernyyl unir n punatr bs urneg nf tnva serr jvyy sbe gur svefg gvzr va vgf rkvfgrapr.


Date: 2019-02-10 11:59 pm (UTC)
mindstalk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindstalk
> Hmm. Any fictional accounts of an Ancient Locked Away Evil that had undergone a change of heart during Its imprisonment and was no longer Evil when released?

Closest I can think of is Illyria on "Angel", but her improvements came after being released, not from a change of heart during her "eternal lie".


Date: 2019-02-21 09:46 pm (UTC)
rwpikul: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rwpikul
Gaming example from Pazio's Pathfinder setting:

Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, was already backing off on how nasty she was back when she ruled her part of Thassalon even before it became possible for her to some back from her self-imprisonment¹. Sure, she still wants to rule an empire, but she's going about it in a much more acceptable way, (including not insisting on getting her old territory back).

1: It was a "hide from cataclysm" plan that, like all the other Runelords' plans, got them stuck away far longer than planned for various reasons.

Prison and reformation?

Date: 2019-02-11 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The Arabian Nights - almost, anyway.

(Spoilers - )

Except that the imprisoned jinni went from thinking how to reward someone who released it, to thinking how to kill them.

Before it could do so, the fisherman gets the jinni back in the bottle and tells him this story:
(don't be ungrateful) after which they make a deal. So the second episode of imprisonment "worked".

Wikipedia doesn't mention an earlier example, but one or more spaceship AIs in "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" have similar issues when they are left either immobilised or sensory-deprived for a long time. I don't remember if the earlier example is acknowledged.

And there's an episode in Roger Zelazny's "Lord of Light", numbered "4." in Wikipedia's description, but it doesn't go quite so well. Spoiler-ish: the demon Taraka is still a jerk in episode "7."

Robert Carnegie

I keep forgetting to put my name in here.

Date: 2019-02-10 12:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Robert Carnegie

Date: 2019-02-10 12:18 am (UTC)
elusis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elusis
The Expanse novel where OPA offshoots decide to hurl meteors at the Earth, which I recall really put you off that one, even though it was not exactly positioned as a heroic act.

Date: 2019-02-10 12:37 am (UTC)
thornsilver: megatron pointing his giant gun at you (Default)
From: [personal profile] thornsilver
Are we talking only humans or are aliens included? Because that is going to be a long list.

Date: 2019-02-10 02:05 am (UTC)
frogworth: Peter as a South Park character (Default)
From: [personal profile] frogworth
Stone by Adam Roberts

Date: 2019-02-10 02:07 am (UTC)
frogworth: Peter as a South Park character (Default)
From: [personal profile] frogworth
The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin also satisfies this description, for that matter

Date: 2019-02-10 08:32 am (UTC)
errolwi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] errolwi
Wess'Har Series by Karen Traviss. The final book is titled Judge, and it's being done to humans.

Date: 2019-02-10 08:40 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
The Marching Morons ? (though perhaps not, since in universe they aren't one bit grateful to the guy who points out the solyion.)

Date: 2019-02-11 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] agharta75
The Iron Dream.

Date: 2019-02-11 05:54 pm (UTC)
bunsen_h: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bunsen_h
Are you sure it was a novel?

Date: 2019-02-11 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Judging by the replies here it's an entire sub-genre. Maybe even a full genre.

Date: 2019-02-12 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Was it the one with the war in it? Because I think that's kind of how war works sometimes.


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

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