Even the Buddha, After Three Times

Okay, so the title is Buddhism-themed in honor of this being my 108th post. It refers to a Japanese saying, "Hit him three times and even the Buddha will get mad." And, apparently, seal you under a mountain for 500 years, if Journey to the West is to be believed. Anyway, remember how I said I like to fill my writing with Take Thats? Want a list of some of the minor ones? Sure you do, they're fun.
  • So there's this press release from the gun control group, the Violence Policy Center, back in 93. Its headline is, "New Technology—Caseless 'PHANTOM' Ammo—Could Devastate Police Investigations". It's alarmism and none too accurate, since caseless ammo had already been stalled by then (H&K's G11, the leader in the technology, hit a little snag with funding when German reunification happened). Also a semi-auto (only) weapon like the "AK-47 type" gun used in the crime mentioned is, by definition, not an assault rifle—it's basically just a slightly more prestigious SKS. But, me being me, guess what the brand name of the caseless ammo in my SF book is? Oh yes, it's Phantom.

  • So "The Handmaid's Tale" is a reprehensible little book, blind stinking pig-ignorant bigotry masquerading as a dystopia—and the sow who wrote it won't even admit it's science fiction. I'll concede it's really bad science fiction, inasmuch as she plainly doesn't know anything about the American form of "Bible Christianity" (just try to get Evangelical women to go along with the system from Gilead—I'll have a surgical team on standby to reattach your arms).

    In the future-history of my SF book, about 150 years before the main action, there was a Holocaust-type campaign against Christians—or rather another one (45.5 million Christians, 2/3 of them Catholic, were murdered for their religion in the 20th century—65% of the 70 million Christian martyrs in all of history). The one in my book, though, wasn't by Communists or extremist Muslims, but by western "democracies". Anyway, I named the Prime Minister who presided over Canada's portion of it "Atwood"—because Handmaid's Tale is a call to religious genocide (or at the very least the complete disenfranchisement of an entire religion), if it has any possible meaning at all.

  • So a minor character in my second SF book is a neo-Hermetic computer scientist who wants to upload his mind; he did some unsavory things with corpses as a part of his research. He's German (well, Austrian), and he robs graves—so I named him Hagens, after the creepy guy who does those "Bodies: the Exhibition" corpse-shows. Incidentally, did you know that dude's dad was a cook for the SS? Brrr.

  • Finally, in my second werewolf book, one of the vampire hunting priests tells a story about the head of their order. There was a vampire who liked to let his victims hurt him a bunch, before regenerating and tormenting them to death—but it backfires when he fights the priest, because they can suppress regeneration (look, if you can invoke existence itself, i.e. God, there's no supernatural power that can stand up to you). So the head of the vampire hunting priests beats this vampire to death with his bare hands...and takes his big red hat.

    Yes it's Alucard, I don't like him (or Hellsing period, actually). To put it delicately, he's a worse character than Edward sodding Cullen.
Hmm, I realize I have a lot more Shout Outs than Take Thats—I must be nicer than I thought. But hell, I'll list some of them too, 'kay? For some reason nearly all of them involve AI in some way.
  • There's a minor character, a military AI, that flips out thanks to the Zeroth Law and causes some problems, at the beginning of my second SF book. Her name? Tooty.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who'd combine references to the Will Smith "I, Robot" (which is better than Asimov, by virtue of knowing what the Zeroth Law would cause) and the Fairly Oddparents.

  • I haven't mentioned it in the main story, but the ship, and built-in AI, that made first contact with the felinoids was named Hewer, after Alfred the Great's sword. See, Ogier the Dane had this sword named Cortana, and Roland had one named Durendal...

    Hey, why's there no AI named Joyeuse? That was Charlemagne's sword. Get on that, Bungie!

  • A private contractor who makes AIs has a private movie theater in his big-ol house...and its door has a silhouette of the space station he lives on, on its lock. He's also sleepy-eyed and from Minnesota.

    One of the androids he's built has yellow eyes with rhombus-shaped pupils.

  • There's an AI that operates two bodies at once, sorta like the "paratwa" from the so-so book "Liege-Killer" by Christopher Hinz, except not gross; her two bodies, at one point, have t-shirts that say "Raison d'Être" and "人形姫"—the two end-credits songs from Chobits.

  • That grave-robbing Hermetic computer scientist, similarly, has a t-shirt in one scene that says "Unauslössliche Sünde", the German translation of the title of one of the endings from the first FullMetal Alchemist anime, "Kesenai Tsumi".

  • It's not actually a shout out, but the slang term for electromagnetic firearms—rail guns, mass drivers, coil guns, Gauss guns, etc.—is John Henry. You know, 'rail driving.'

  • I haven't mentioned it yet, but in my SF books the polite name for using your antimatter-rocket's exhaust as a weapon is the Seelschrei Cannon. "Seelschrei" is, of course, 'Soul Shout' in German. Yeah, I know, I'm the only person who watched "Sora wo Kakeru Shôjô" (Girl Who Leapt Through Space), but Leopard is awesome—his Rampancy is just being a creepy hikikomori.

  • Speaking of German and crazy AIs, there's an AI in the second book who's defeated, presumed dead, but then comes back. And, I haven't written the scene yet, but at some point she's going to say (she belonged to a German guy), "Leb' ich immer noch." (careful, that's a Youtube video, might be loud).

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