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Stephan T Lavavej

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Feb 6th, 2010
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  1. See :
  3. > In A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge, there's a galaxy-spanning Usenet-like network where various aliens discuss the book's crisis, from a number of different perspectives. One particular alien, "Twirlip of the Mists", is talking through several layers of auto-translation software on an extremely low-bandwidth connection, so most of what it says sounds rather bizarre. It's pretty much all exactly right, though, including such apparent nonsense as "hexapodia is the key insight".
  5. And :
  7. > By the way, Twirlip of the Mists was not a bizarre, insane freak. Twirlip of the Mists was amazingly perceptive, or rather knowledgeable, although alas had nowhere near the eloquence of Sandor at the Zoo. Hint: look carefully at the first description of the Skroderiders.
  9. For an exhaustive explanation:
  11. One of my favorite quotes (from USENET!):
  13. "I read science fiction because it's not about the mundane, ordinary problems that we face every day. I read science fiction because I want to argue humanity's case before a galactic tribunal. I read science fiction because I want to battle hideous creatures beneath the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I read science fiction because I want to go on a covert mission inside the city of the alien beings who hold humanity in thrall. I read science fiction because, well, hexapodia is the key insight" - Pete McCutchen, rec.arts.sf.written, Oct. 21, 2000
  15. My minor contribution is to point out that this is actually mentioned on the back of the mass market paperback. With caps added for emphasis:
  17. "Fiercely original... Compelling ideas in the book include problems and advantages of group mind, GALACTIC COMMUNICATIONS TURBIDITY, and the prospect of civilizations aspiring to godhood." - Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog
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