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[schlock Mercenary] So I just read Today's strip..

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
So Thurl, in some ways, has jumped on the post-meat lifestyle even harder than Putzho did.

And the bear and his semi-integrated sapient weapon system continue to be cute.

The comic has gotten very, very transhuman these days.
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
The elements were there pretty much from the start. Remember the "magic cyro-kit" and its associated weirdness?

But unlike many other SF stories, this comic hasn't put the genie back into the bottle but actually has it impact society.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
The elements were there pretty much from the start. Remember the "magic cyro-kit" and its associated weirdness?

But unlike many other SF stories, this comic hasn't put the genie back into the bottle but actually has it impact society.
Back in the days of the "magic cryokit" it had only really dipped its toes. Sure, all of this follows reasonably from where the comic went pretty early on. But a different progression where it didn't really take things past a gimmick to let characters recover from being mostly dead and 'soldier-boosts' justifying them being perhaps a bit improbably sturdy before that point wouldn't have been surprising.

And now people are engaging with (though not so much grappling with) the fact that they're kind of all infomorphs these days, whether or not they're "running on meatware". Which is a direct quote. All that is far from untrod ground in literary SF. But in a webcomic about space mercenaries that delivers a punchline almost every day? It's quite something.
 

Q99

Genderpunk
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
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Back in the days of the "magic cryokit" it had only really dipped its toes. Sure, all of this follows reasonably from where the comic went pretty early on. But a different progression where it didn't really take things past a gimmick to let characters recover from being mostly dead and 'soldier-boosts' justifying them being perhaps a bit improbably sturdy before that point wouldn't have been surprising.

And now people are engaging with (though not so much grappling with) the fact that they're kind of all infomorphs these days, whether or not they're "running on meatware". Which is a direct quote. All that is far from untrod ground in literary SF. But in a webcomic about space mercenaries that delivers a punchline almost every day? It's quite something.
Even the literary SF that does so rarely spends so much time on it or have the transitional phase. I've read a number of SF stories with this kind of thing, but Schlock's thoroughness still impresses me.

We got to see the cast gradually get to 'pretty much biologically unkillable save for total destruction, but no backups,' and then the next steps from there. We get to see society actually shake up as a result, one early immortality get misused (redhack), and worries over the economics (everyone immortal = new infrastructure needed). It's not like Culture or such where it's been around forever and is largely a background element to the citizens, it's the adjustment too.
 
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mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
Back in the days of the "magic cryokit" it had only really dipped its toes. Sure, all of this follows reasonably from where the comic went pretty early on. But a different progression where it didn't really take things past a gimmick to let characters recover from being mostly dead and 'soldier-boosts' justifying them being perhaps a bit improbably sturdy before that point wouldn't have been surprising.

And now people are engaging with (though not so much grappling with) the fact that they're kind of all infomorphs these days, whether or not they're "running on meatware". Which is a direct quote. All that is far from untrod ground in literary SF. But in a webcomic about space mercenaries that delivers a punchline almost every day? It's quite something.
The "webcomic about space mercenaries that delivers a punchline almost every day", fairly early on, upturned galactic society multiple times with the release of the teraport, the unleashing of Petey, and war with the gatekeepers and then Pa'nuri (including the creation of 950 million Gavs). The transhuman stuff (apart from rogue AIs) was less exploited but I think it was hinted if not stated that that was because it was actively suppressed -- certainly we knew the magic cryokit was illegal.

"What are the consequences of this?" is what Schlock does. We've just gone from teraport to long guns to immortality tech.
 

Knight of Ravens

Registered User
Validated User
So. We know that this cycle of galactic civilisations rising and disappearing (some fleeing, some hiding, some meeting destruction) has been going on for a minimum of seventy-three million years. We know that, in at least the most recent iteration of that cycle, the Pa'anuri were what drove the Oafans into hiding and toward extinction. We can probably surmise that the Pa'anuri played a similar role in several of the previous extinction waves (they're not mentioned as part of the backstory to the creation of the All-Star, but that's only one iteration of the cycle).

Seventy-three million years of possibly-Pa'anuri-influenced extinctions of galaxy-spanning civilisation, and only now have they been sufficiently opposed that they've been forced to develop warships. After seventy-three million years we're seeing something new out of them.

That fills me with optimism! Really, it does. This time around, civilisation is so tenacious that at least of of the agents of its destruction has been forced to step up its extinction game.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
So. We know that this cycle of galactic civilisations rising and disappearing (some fleeing, some hiding, some meeting destruction) has been going on for a minimum of seventy-three million years. We know that, in at least the most recent iteration of that cycle, the Pa'anuri were what drove the Oafans into hiding and toward extinction. We can probably surmise that the Pa'anuri played a similar role in several of the previous extinction waves (they're not mentioned as part of the backstory to the creation of the All-Star, but that's only one iteration of the cycle).

Seventy-three million years of possibly-Pa'anuri-influenced extinctions of galaxy-spanning civilisation, and only now have they been sufficiently opposed that they've been forced to develop warships. After seventy-three million years we're seeing something new out of them.

That fills me with optimism! Really, it does. This time around, civilisation is so tenacious that at least of of the agents of its destruction has been forced to step up its extinction game.
I think that’s a good point.
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Presumably, "exploding the galaxy" was also a new strategy which hadn't been used (successfully) before, yet that started before the P.D. became a major force...
 

Notsteve

The work of an enemy stand
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm not sure the Pa'anuri are that old. We've seen indications that they were an artificially created slave species, made to run a specific type of generator. It might be that they've only been around for a cycle or two, and this is them deciding they can't coexist peacefully with baryonic life.
 
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