“Torch” — Part V, Page 56

Posted on May 24, 2010 at 5:00 am in FINDER as part of TorchTorch - Part Five, « TorchTorch - Part Five, . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed. You can leave a comment or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses

  1. reptangle says:

    Of course she eats it up , like a slightly used placenta.

  2. Drooling Fan Girl says:

    BLARGH!

    Completely what should happen and completely GROSS!!!

  3. Oneiros says:

    Nom nom nom!

    Ever since we entertained the suggestion that the Laeske have extraterrestrial origins, especially in light of the words of that song that Shar liked to whistle, I’ve rather enjoyed seeing the Laeske as possibly being a physical embodiment of spirit, in the Finder universe. And Jack’s procedure could be seen as coming to the edge of being consumed by spirit, as he did lay for quite some time in the female laeske’s crop. I dunno. Just some different ways of looking at all that.

  4. Inkthinker says:

    Tastes like chicken skins.

    Man, I can’t wait to see what happens to Jack. Being kicked out of the Ascian community isn’t the end of the world (Jaeger proves that quite effectively), but Jack’s apparent purpose in doing this was to connect with the cloud more efficiently for the sake of his generation of Ascians… who, at least in part, will now shun him for his action, even though they depended on him.

    That’s rough, kid.

  5. reptangle says:

    Having a use, if not a vital need for some people of their tribe to have skills or duties that requires them to then be shunned, seems to be how Ascians do things…. Sineaters, for example. They make use of them as needed but shun them from society. I bet Jack’s head jack will come in mighty handy someday .

  6. Twitch says:

    I can just see Coward’s smirking face right now – Jack’s insatiable curiosity and new outsider-status would make a pretty good Finder, don’cha think?

    (As seen after Lynne attempts to murder Brigham and pointed out by Emma before taking the Pastwatch job near the end of Sin-Eater, Ascians don’t seem to have a culture-wide stigma against implants, otherwise the Shrivers don’t really make sense. Maybe the “official stance” on implants may just vary from tribe to tribe…)

    @ inkthinker:

    the major difference I see between Jaeger and Jack is Jaeger never ever belonged to one tribe, being a halfblood, so being “the outsider” has been his status quo since very early on.

    I grew up loathing my family and peers, and never felt like “one of the gang” until I was almost in my thirties, so an ol’-fashioned shunnin’ bugs me but it can’t possibly compare to the impact it would have on someone who grew up in a tight-knit community.

    What I figure is that just the old people (who Jack didn’t particularly like anyway) were gonna take Coward’s edict seriously. Losing his gang of scouts is probably gonna hit Jack like a sledgehammer.

    What *I* really wonder is how this is gonna affect Jack’s interactions with Rachel. She’s kind of like the friend who wants to stay friends with both halves of a couple after they have a messy breakup…

  7. Twitch says:

    (what I meant to say is, “what I figure *Jack figured*”… :P )

  8. Owlmirror says:

    Ascians don’t seem to have a culture-wide stigma against implants, otherwise the Shrivers don’t really make sense.

    Are the Shrivers Ascians?

    Ah. The note for pg 79 (which is wrong; should be pg 83) of Sin-Eater, v2, says:

    “These representatives of Jaeger’s tribal religious structure are here in Anvard as part of a circuit they travel. The Shrivers, as a body, do not belong strictly to Jaeger’s tribe, or even to that one people, the Ascians. They are racially mixed and move from place to place in a huge circle.”

    Anyway, it doesn’t make sense for Ascians as a whole to have previously had a cultural stigma against implants. The Chief certainly makes it sound like his explicit abomination is something new, in reaction to Jack’s description of them and his direct plea to get one.

    What *I* really wonder is how this is gonna affect Jack’s interactions with Rachel.

    Jack probably blames her for being manipulated by Coward into being his voice proclaiming the abomination in the first place. She may feel guilty enough about getting him shunned that she, at least, will not shun him.

  9. Oneiros says:

    I don’t think Pinya has the authority to “excommunicate” on behalf of the tribe. I think she can shun on a personal level. But I imagine that a tribal-level shunning has to come from Coward himself. I think her command that Jack not come home is her own personal recommendation, without any official force.

    But if Jack is indeed to be ostracized by the tribe, even his own cronies, will Coward eventually have to send a secret tribe agent to meet Jack in the basement level of a parking garage, to gain the information that Jack comes by? Oh… Rachel would be perfect for that! If she has any spare time on her “dance card” and if Jack doesn’t mind that she was a tool used by Coward to abominate the whole machine thing. What you say, Owlmirror, fits with that. Maybe she’ll have a soft heart for him still.

    I do wonder if Jack with his new tools can even find Ahsef. Maybe he’d need to team up with Jaeger to do that. They’d be a dynamic duo, for sure.

    I kinda grew up in a tight-knit community of my Chinese Protestant church. I felt somewhat like a stranger among my family back then, though. I guess I feel more at home at my current Unity church, which those in my old church would consider a cult. But even there, I stand out and apart to some degree. I go back to my old church when I visit my parents. I’m on good terms with them all, but someone I just met at the last visit took it upon himself to tell me that I need to make sure the church I attend is fundamentalist. I didn’t take well to that, but the exchange did end peacably. So, yes, the impact of a shunning on someone from a tight-knit community is long-reaching.

  10. matthew brandi says:

    Jack is of course a Jack. You know, one of those boundary-patrolling tricksters, always in the shadows. Cyborg as liminal being? Meh!

    Someone’s clearly had his head in the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, but so far, so what? The following, I had completely forgotten: “The regimented enemy horde in Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, who speak only in preset slogans, are known as the Ascians or “men without shadows”. (Dave Langford)

    Rather than seeing Jack as superhuman (Internet Cthulhu), let’s see him as mainstreaming himself with his augments, and let’s see the stubbornly unaugmented Ascians as so thin they can’t even cast shadows.

    Here technological progress isn’t an agent of thinning through destroying the old magic, rather it provides the (new) magic, and those who refuse to embrace it are left behind, relatively impoverished.

    I’m not trying to attack the poor here: it’s not we can’t afford implants, but we refuse implants I’m talking about.

    Of course, we’re all expecting Coward to have a more interesting reason for the “abomination” (rather than for baiting Jack, which motive’s been suggested for) than by-the-yard conservatism, but I’ve no idea what it is, yet.

  11. Owlmirror says:

    Re: Ascians — I wouldn’t read too much into their name meaning “shadowless”. After all, “Anvard” comes from the Narnia books, but otherwise bears no resemblance to the locale of that name in the books.

    Pg 103 of “King of the Cats” has the Ascians themselves reacting with bafflement to being called “shadowless ones”: “It’s a mistranslation of ‘Ascian’. I think.”

    I note that “skia”, in Greek, also means “cloud” — Ascians are the unclouded, perhaps?

    Of course, we’re all expecting Coward to have a more interesting reason for the “abomination” (rather than for baiting Jack, which motive’s been suggested for) than by-the-yard conservatism, but I’ve no idea what it is, yet.

    Coward may have in mind that “contradictions make the best stories” (“King of the Cats”, pg 51). He perhaps wants Jack’s life to be a good story, even if it makes Jack himself miserable and outcast. The stories about tricksters are significant and memorable precisely because they violate taboos; Coward creates a taboo that Jack feels compelled to violate.

    Or something like that.

  12. matthew brandi says:

    “The Ascians themselves reacting with bafflement to being called “shadowless ones”” — well, sure, Speed’s not trying to locate her characters in Wolfe’s world, she’s just making a joke about her own reference. It leapt out at me because I was thinking about Jack & shadows and I’d forgotten about the Wolfe thing entirely. (My copy of The Citadel of the Autarch says it was printed in 1985 — my own personal time abyss.)

    What I’m pitching is the idea that Jack’s is not the usual Trickster story: what sets him “apart” is a move toward the centre, not one toward the margin. One just needs to dolly back a bit to see it.

    Jack wanted the tech implants, anyway; Coward didn’t need to forbid it to get Jack to go ahead. And why forbid everybody else from getting implanted? Stupid, malicious, old man?

  13. Owlmirror says:

    I know this is an old thread, but:

    Jack wanted the tech implants, anyway; Coward didn’t need to forbid it to get Jack to go ahead. And why forbid everybody else from getting implanted? Stupid, malicious, old man?

    I don’t think he’s (necessarily) stupid or malicious — but he does have values that we, perhaps, do not. One value that he might have is that of valuing Ascian culture itself, and seeing “mainstreaming”, which you mentioned above (comment from May 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm), as being a threat to that culture.

    One thing that taboos do is set a people apart from those that surround them that don’t practice the taboo; it helps provide tribal identity. Chief Coward may have learned about, or just intuited, the sociological and anthropological principle that a people that loses their sense of identity tends to disappear into the surrounding society. Coward may see this as being bad, in itself, and also as being bad for the individual Ascians; each of them cut off from the implicit group support system that the tribe currently has.

    Will Jack be so embittered by his shunning that he leaves the Ascians behind forever? Or will he become a liminal figure to the Ascians, even more so than Jaeger?

    I faintly recall, perhaps apocryphally, that there are aboriginal groups who have kinship subgroups or moieties that are not allowed to have contact with each other. So if people from these groups need to have a conversation, they find someone who isn’t taboo to either of them, and each of them talks to him/her instead.

    So perhaps Jack, similar to the above example, will struggle to maintain contact with his people on the sly, in semi-taboo meetings and conversations, perhaps with an intermediary, like Jaeger, or Rachel (as Oneiros suggests @ May 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm). Will Oriana begin to provide advice based on Rachel’s conversations with Jack, from this point on?

    Jack may wind up becoming someone who isn’t exactly imitated, but is secretly admired for his taboo-breaking daring, and who will have stories told about him nonetheless, as Ascian culture continues on, but still makes a place for him.

    Or maybe something completely different will happen.

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