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Pete at Home
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Just tore through Scott and Aaron J's "each unaware" and really enjoyed it. When I can read so quickly its a very visual experience, and much of it felt like watching a few long missing episodes of Firefly.

Does anyone know the pronunciation of the KUIPER belt? My guess is that it's like queefer, except with a p instead of an f. Is that right? Not a term that pops up in everyday dialog.

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Greg Davidson
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I do... just trying to think of a way to write it down.

Ah, got it... rhymes with "hyper"

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yossarian22c
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I also enjoyed it and its sequel. However after getting time dilation correct in the Ender books it bugged me that some of the physics were so bad in the books. For example there were seemingly countless scenes talking about the absolute speed of the ships and the ships "stopping." Relativity gets its name from the fact that there is no preferred reference frame and velocities can only be measured relative to something. Those discussions added nothing to the story and only served to break the flow of the story for me by setting off my bogus physics detector.
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Pete at Home
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Am on the 2nd book. Binwen is awesome. These need to be movies.
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yossarian22c
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Yes these would probably translate into movies even better than Ender's Game did. Did Ender's game make enough to attract further attention to the series?
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Pete at Home
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No. Nor was it a flop that would prevent new card movies.
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yossarian22c
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Too bad. I don't think that the rest of the Ender part of the series would have made good movies but these books would make excellent movies.

I'm looking forward to the last final book that will be released this summer.

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Pete at Home
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Agreed on all points.
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Jack Squat
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Good book.

Had to laugh at the queefer belt OP

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OpsanusTau
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+1 yossarian on the speed thing.
I picked these up at the library after I saw Pete started this thread and I generally really enjoyed them but I came full stop out of the story and had to put the book down when there was so much discussion of "stopping" to do whatever it was they need to "stop" to do.

The other thing that totally pulled me out of the story was when some guy tells Imala that she would probably be a lot better at her job if she smiled more. I really can't tell if the authors are making a sad joke or if they are just totally unaware of the contemporary social baggage that kind of sentiment comes with.

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yossarian22c
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*******Mini-Spoiler Alert*************
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Agreed Ops I almost quit reading entirely just because of the scene where Victor "stops" his ship to the moon to put on another layer of shielding. The whole idea is so bad (not to mention completely ignoring how rockets work) that it made me physically cringe. Victor is supposed to be smart and that was literally the dumbest thing he could have possibly done at that time.
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******End Spoiler******

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Pete at Home
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I am surprised that no one caught that in the editing process. It pulled me out of the story for a bit but I found the storytelling compelling, the snafu didn't make me want to put down the book.
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yossarian22c
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It's the product of being a Math teacher with a math/physics background.

Part of the reason it was so distracting is because each time it was so unnecessary to the otherwise great story. The overall story works exactly the same if all the discussion about "stopping" just goes away. Or if the discussions about stopping are replaced with discussions about matching the speed of the other ship or asteroid. The speed matching he gets right on certain occasions and those ideas are important to the plot and add to a great story.

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OpsanusTau
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Right, if you're going to pad a sci-fi story with gratuitous tech-related detail, don't pad it with gratuitous and incorrect tech-related detail. It makes it hard to maintain suspension of disbelief.

Re: the author's treatment of Imala, I went back and looked at that chapter again too and I now really think that they are totally oblivious to the whole can of worms associated with instructing a woman to smile.

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Pete at Home
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I really think the author meant the smile remark to sound patronizing, ops. She's constantly getting patronized, it's part of the wall around her that makes her incorruptible. She has no love and scarce tolerance for the power structures around her. It's how she ends up the one bureaucrat with a soul.
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Pete at Home
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It's not just patronizing because she's female, the fact that she's Apache brings added baggage to the issue. But that's hardly the worst of.what's laid against her. It's part of her development and also part of developing the class-intrenched superficial Luna culture.
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OpsanusTau
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Well, okay, I buy that it is meant to sound patronizing. But having "tells a female subordinate at work she should smile more" just doesn't read to me as a plausible marker of a boss being particularly patronizing.

The reason for that is that people used to tell me I should smile frequently. I don't have the "resting b*tch face* problem really at all; I'm told that I generally look friendly and approachable, and my experience of the world and the way people react to me (at least at first, lol) makes me believe that. It's just that if a woman is not smiling (and particularly a woman who is younger, a social inferior, or a work subordinate), lots of people generally tell her to. People don't tell me to smile much any more, but I really think that's because my perceived social status has changed a lot. My face isn't much different.

So anyways, Imala probably gets instructed to smile a lot (because young women do), and might or might not have noticed yet that it is irritating (and not only patronizing, it's an even more blunt way of attempting to reinforce social dominance than addressing someone directly and gratuitously by first name in conversation). She doesn't appear to react at all, even internally. Because it probably happens all the time; it's just not worth noting as indicative of anything in particular.

But even if it were a more unique occurrence, a young woman being told by a superior to smile more is not a marker of a soulless and corrupt bureaucracy...it's a marker of a bureaucracy that remains infested with patriarchy. And the authors do not seem to be otherwise invested in depicting the bureaucracy in question as such.

That's what makes me think they're oblivious to most of the issue. Sure, it seems like they think it's a jerky thing to say and it is - but it's not really an interestingly jerky thing to say. It's just another part of the engrained sexism that we all have to deal with every day of our lives.

I'm not even sure this is a particularly interesting thing to talk about - I enjoyed the books a lot, read them both in one day, and am excited for the next one to come out. They really just could have used some better editing.

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Pete at Home
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I agree that the emphasis wasn't on patriarchy. In context the srltatement was part of her boss' racial harassment of her. Like his remarks about the war path. Navaho, ceremony, apache, are all part of a group that has different mores about smiling. The emphasis is some racism and more class-ism, as witnessed of how they talk to and about the family asteroid miners.
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Pete at Home
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On second thought the remark does fit in with a greater sexist pattern as well. Consider that imala's only recourse would have been to complain to a human resource director that her boss was sleeping with ...
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seagull
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I agree, the frequently wrong physics and especially "Stopping" the ships were jarring. I do not remember the details but I the treatment of the radiation hazards in space travel was completely unrealistic as well.

About the smiles, this discussion reminds me of the people who accused OSC of being anti-semitic for his few comments in "Ender's game" and the more recent calls to ban his work because of his opinions on homosexuality.

The fact that an author is brave enough to deal with a controversial topic by having some of his characters express unpopular views shows strength rather than weakness. People who criticize OSC for creating a bigoted character that is not "pure-evil" but still manages to portray and demonstrate a moral point and open the topic for discussion are showing their own myopic point of view. Their criticism reflects more on them than on the author.

The latest fashion trends may imply that "requiring" people (whether it is young women or older men) to smile is not politically correct. But I do not believe that these temporary trends are going to change human responses that are hard wired into our genes and/or subconscious.

Even if it was made illegal to require people to smile, a large portion of the human population would continue to respond better to a smiling face than to a frowning one. As long as that remains true, a friendly suggestion to "smile more often" if you want to achieve your goals is still going to be good advice.

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Pete at Home
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If impala was working at a fast food restaurant, a manager's reminder to smile would be appropriate even if it grated like other duties.
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