What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ouroboros: I'm tempted to put fan dumb on this page, over the removal/heavy edit of Boring Invincible Hero and Gorn and the continual removal of anything that might be construed (or is) negative about this piece of fiction. And just because it's got a lot of Gorn (it does) isn't a bad thing. A lot of my favourite things are gornirrific. Kudos on changing a legitimate criticism into a slight barb against detractors to.I read a lot of the first 'book', enjoyed it at first, then stopped reading because it became fucking dull to read. Going through the edits Just bugs me and this page as well, I'm not the only one to feel this way. For the record I'm not a religious fundy, don't care about anything to do with that kind of stuff, encase anyone was wondering (which you probably weren't but whatever).

  • Possibly had you expressed your comments in a less aggressive and deliberately offensive manner, they wouldn't have been edited. Your original description for the Gorn in the series read: "Used for great effect. See the Nightmare Fuel examples and just admit it already." Yeah, y'know, "just admit it already" aren't really the words to use if you're trying to be non-confrontational.
  • Its a general rule on TV Tropes that negative commentary in a work's page is considered Complaining About Shows You Don't Like, which is a no-no. TV Tropes is generally nuetral, and isn't here to provide negative or positive commentary outside of Subjective Tropes, JBMs, and discussion pages. If you include a trope in the examples just to personally bitch about the work, it gets zapped.
    • No it isn't. It isn't at all. Complaining About Shows You Don't Like applies when the criticism is excessive or unwarranted. Negative tropes exist because some works, and some aspects of some works, are bad. If TV Tropes never provided positive or negative commentary at all, then Crowning Moment Of Awesome and Dethroning Moment of Suck would not exist. Since, clearly, they do exist, criticism is obviously allowed.
      • Eh, if you're viewing TV Tropes as neutral, you're either deluding yourself or simply not paying attention. TV Tropes is, to a degree, fairly positive. There's a general preference towards being positive about works and liking them over being negative about them and hating them. People like to gush, and like seeing other people gush. On the other hand, while people like to complain, they don't so much like to see other people's complaining. TV Tropes may be sarcastic, but it's upbeat and a little bit more leaning toward the positive than the negative. And saying that simply because CMOA and DMOS exist is irrelevant; they have their own namespaces and they exist where they exist specifically to be seperate from the main articles.
      • I strongly suggest that you take a look at The Inheritance Cycle and Twilight pages before saying that all works pages are skewed positively. Some works sit on the fence, such as Heroes. Even well-liked works, like Star Trek, True Blood, and Star Wars contain negative tropes. A neutral article will not collapse under the weight of any criticism at all.
      • Fine then. Go ahead and feel free to add criticism. Watch what happens when you do.
      • That's sort of my point. This page is patrolled by Orwellian Editors who instantly jump on any possible criticism, even when it's valid, fill the page with so much Natter it's dizzying, and then try to claim that this is consistent with the rest of the wiki. It isn't, and it isn't magically going to become so.
      • How would you know since you have yet to produce a valid criticism? And most of the "natter" as you call it recently has been your own groundless ranting
      • On the discussion page. Which is the point. To discuss. The article page is not for discussion and yet...
      • Then don't complain when other people repond to your rants. And, in point of fact, you'er not discussing anything. It's painfully obvious that you are trolling.
      • Waiting on you to start adding criticisms, Jurassic Mosquito.
      • And you'll get to continue waiting. Your response to three criticisms, which are, at their essense pretty mild (A] Gorn fits. You should change the description rather than removing the trope, B] TV Tropes does not exist only to praise stuff on their works pages and removing all negative tropes is not consistent with the tone of the wiki, and C] TSW is not, in any way, shape, or form a documentary because it lacks the element of being about real events—which is essential for all documentaries—and calling it one is a reach at best and a flat-out lie at worst) was initially to delete my comments completely, to make it look as no one disagreed with you. Since then, you've swapped to the tactics of calling me a troll despite the fact that I have not vandalized or edited the main page at all, breaking up my comments and deleting portions of them to make it look as if I have said things that I did not or didn't say things I did, and derailing the conversation as if your life depended on it. I have no reason to think that you could respond in a mature, adult fashion to a negative trope on the main page and, quite frankly, I don't trust that you wouldn't try to get me banned for vandalism if I added so much as one, with one line of commentary or less. Frankly, I don't care if you are the author or one of his fanboys. Your reaction to criticism of any stripe is very poor indeed, and I have no reason to believe it will improve. Feel free to delete this comment if you like, but we'll both know what I said, and as long as you continue patrolling this page to make sure every comment is 100% positive, we'll both know I'm right.
      • Actually, old boy, that comment was made by the Unknown Troper, not me (it had to be reinserted it after you deleted it). In any case, you have completely failed to support any of the criticisms you have made. Your arguments on soft science have collapsed completely, your argument on The Documentary trope has been shown to have no merit by reference to the definition of that trope (and, by the way, placing TSW:A in the The Documentary trope was not my action in the first place). Your comments were broken up because they rambled from topic to topic in a single paragraph and that way I could address each of your complaints as they were made. I have answered every one of your points rationally; as this latest outburst shows, it is you who have the very poor reaction to somebody questioning your comments. That is why your behavior is that of a troll. Making highly inflammatory posts in hope of starting flame wars is classic troll behavior and your actions here are exactly that. This last post of yours is a perfect example. FYI, if somebody makes criticisms of any work in a public forum, the author has a perfect right to respond to those criticisms and show where the critic's comments are in error. You seem to have the opinion that you can say what you like and nobody is allowed to refute your opinions. Your behavior is that of a schoolyward bully who, after getting the thrashing he deserves, runs off screaming "it's his fault, he hit me back".

  • Furthermore, if this page were neutral, then it would, for example, probably mention the "science so soft you could spread it on croissant." under Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness (The air demons have fire-and-acid blood but aren't immune to the effects of fire or acid? Square/Cube Law? What Square-Cube Law? And on, and on...).
    • The square-cube law states that when an object undergoes a proportional increase in size, its new volume is proportional to the cube of the multiplier and its new surface area is proportional to the square of the multiplier. In biological terms it means that extraordinarily large creatures cannot exist without some very peculiar biology. As to acid blood, you have extremely acid stomach contents but aren't immune to the effects of a bottle of acid thrown in your face. Basic scientific principles. I'm surprised you don't know them.
    • The acid in your stomach will eat through your stomach walls if the mucus lining of your stomach is damaged or stripped. This is what is called an ulcer. Overproduction of acid in your digestive system leads to what is known as Acid Reflux Disease, which can severely damage your esophogus if not treated. We are not "immune" to the acid inside our bodies and vulnerable only to acid outside of it. The Square-Cube Law doesn't just mean peculiar biology, it means that whales are will collapse under the weight of their own bodies when they are beached, and that an elephant will die of crushing injuries after a fall of only a few feet as opposed to squirrels being able to have a straight drop of twenty-five feet and then walk off without any injuries at all. These are the first objections in a long list of Did Not Do The Research. All of which add up to some incredibly soft science.
    • I'm glad to see you concede the point. Having dangerous levels of acid in our bodies does not mean we are immune to the corrosive effects of those same acids.
    • Also, where was it said that they have fire blood? Did you even read the actual story? The Heralds have blood that combusts via chemical reaction to open air. Saying that having blood that has an exothermic reaction to open air should somehow render them entirely immune to all heat is patently ridiculous. This isn't Dungeons & Dragons. In the real world, applying enough thermal energy to any object will damage it, and will eventually kill any creature.
    • So why did you pretend not to know that the square-cube law was? I notice that you shied away from that question very quickly. FYI It's the square-cube law that makes the gigantic "big as a planet" "five hundred years to walk from feet to nose" etc descriptions impossible. It also makes giant flying animals impossible. That's why the Universe-two creatures in these novels were made much smaller. Even then, they're pushing the upper limit and we're having to assume some modified laws to allow for them. Your objections are falling apart under close examination or are addressed within the story itself. Or are you another person complaining about a story you haven't read based on hearsay?
    • Don't get ahead of yourself. In both the case of the acid in our stomachs and the Square-Cube Law, the creatures I cited have specifc, known traits that deal with them. The demons...have blood vessels. If those are specially adapted to carry acid, and if the demons are specially adapted to be as big as they are, then the adaptations that allow for them to do so safely, and the "modified laws" (which is essentially the definition of soft science, by the way) should be addressed within the story. They are not.
    • Nor do they have to be. this is a novel, not a textbook on Universe-Two biology. It is enough to point out that the flying daemons have acid blood and don't get burned by that blood until it is released by physical damage. The fact that the blood vesssels are as immune to acid damage as the human intestinal tract is stipulated. It doesn't have to be described in detail. As I said, I'll take your concession on this point as read.
    • Take it whatever way you like.
    • Your concession is accepted. And just moving bits of text around doesn't change that.
    • Unknown Troper: And that, as we call it, is pwnt.

  • However, that "this is a novel" bit invalidates any claim this story would have to a documentary.
    • Wrong again. Documentary is a style. And this one complies with that style.
  • And no, it is not sufficient to point out that the blood is acid and doesn't burn unless released. Especially not when the demons are also supposed to breathe air, which corrosive acid does an extraordinarily poor job of conveying to the important organs. This story is meant to operate on the conceit that science explains everything. That being the case, science has to explain everything.
    • In your dreams. And again, you have just proved that you have never read the book in question. It's stated throughout the text that the laws of physics are different in Universe Two and that the laws there and here are probably subsets of more general rules that we do not yet understand. It's also stated that a lot of things observed with daemons (and now angels) are not possible in Universe-One and that they need study before we can explain them. Until they are understood, the characters use empirical work-arounds. The underlying comment in the books is "we don't understand it but we will study it until we do". Nowhere is it necessary that we should have a complete understanding of what is going on. Of course, if you demand that everything should be compatible with science as we know it then you have just conceded that god does not exist. Another concession I would be quite happy to accept.
    • And, I notice, you duck the question. It's quite a simple one. EITHER Universe-One (ours) and Universe-Two (The Hell/Heaven level) have differing laws (constrained by the need for interaction) in which case your entire argument is disproven and you should concede OR Universe-One and Universe-Two have identical physical laws in which case you concede that God, the Bible, scriptures and Judeo-Christian mythology are all nothing more than fictional constructs. So which is it? Do you concede the argument or do you deny the existance of god? One or the other, no middle ground.
      • Still ducking the question I see. Do you concede the point or deny the existance of god? The world wonders . . . . .

  • In cases where there are questions, the author should show his work. His work should be correct and accurate and should be introduced and explained at the relevant points. Universe-Two biology, as new and fictional information, should be explained to the readers. Plot exposition may be boring and difficult to work in seamlessly, but that doesn't mean it can just be ignored because it's hard.
    • Rubbish. There's no need to do anything of the sort. Again you are proving that you haven't read the books. If you had, you would know that it's a meme throughout the text. "This isn't the way we understood things worked, we'll have to find out the new rules." Which is the reason why science advances and religious mythology is stuck in the dark ages.

  • If you're approaching the story as a dramatic narrative, you're doing it wrong. TSW is a documentary. This assertion that the human military in TSW is a Boring Invincible Hero is like saying the Coalition forces invading Iraq in both Gulf Wars were Boring Invincible Heroes. Just because you know one side is going to win doesn't make the individual stories during that time any less interesting; otherwise you might as well go back to every war in history where there was a clear and decisive winner and say its boring because you know who's going to win anyway.
    • TSW is not told in the fashion of a documentary, nor is it about actual, real-life events. Those are two absolute requirements to qualify something for "documentary." TSW is told in the manner of a dramatic narrative. It doesn't even qualify for "docu-drama" being as it lacks the element of actually being about real events. The story, in its entirety, is made up out of whole cloth. Assuming that it were told in a documentary style, the most it would qualify for is Mockumentary.
      • That's sophistry and nitpicking. No matter whether it's a documentary or a mockumentary, it's not a standard narrative.
      • The term "documentary" here is used to refer to a style of story telling that is commonly used in alternate histories. Made popular by Tom Clancy and Larry Bond, it;s now the prefered way of telling such stories due to the scope they cover. Your argument is, as our friend above says, sophistry and nitpicking. This and the fact you don;t udnerstand what a rudimentary scientific principle is points to a lack of research on your part.
      • Tom Clancy writes thrillers. Larry Bond writes thrillers. Neither are classified as documentary writers. And even if this were not a standard narrative, it doesn't go where you are trying to put it. Genre titles are not arbitrary labels that don't mean anything and can be applied wherever you wish. Documentaries only document real events. Mockumentaries can cover anything whether it is real or not, but must do things like not be told in Third Person Omnicient narration, cite titles and page numbers of source materials, give times and dates about the events its documenting, and generally have a lot more references put in than this story has. The names exist because the things they describe adhere to the requirements of that style of storytelling. And even if this were not a standard narrative, it doesn't go where you are trying to put it. Genre titles are not arbitrary labels that don't mean anything and can be applied wherever you wish. Documentaries only document real events. Mockumentaries can cover anything whether it is real or not, but must do things like not be told in Third Person Omnicient narration, cite titles and page numbers of source materials, give times and dates about the events its documenting, and generally have a lot more references put in than this story has. The names exist because the things they describe adhere to the requirements of that style of storytelling. Even if my argument were nitpicking, TV Tropes exists to identify, catalogue, and name the literary devices used in storytelling. Nitpicking is what we do. If I were really nitpicking, I'd point out that a documentary, technically, also must be filmed. The fact that you keep using semi-colins when you should be using apostrophes really only makes your criticism of my ability to read fiction that much funnier.
      • Boy, that went so far over your head it didn't even ruffle your hair as it passed. The "documentary" trope here refers to a specific style of writing popularized by Clancy, Bond et al. You're quoting one use of the word, this site uses a different one.
      • See also: this and this Yes, it has to be filmed.
      • Then how do you explain the fact that the term "documentary" was used in the 18th century to denote a collection of opinions, viewpoints and personal accounts? In fact, a "documentary" can also be the case (usually wooden with locks) in which such collections of materials were carried
      • A script for a documentary would look a lot different from this story. A story that was documentative would include bibliographies, footnotes (where applicable), times and dates of events, would never use the words "So-And-So thought..." because that's not something that anyone but So-And-So can know, and on and on. Even if we stretch the word "documentary" to cover written works, this one still wouldn't fit. There's nothing wrong with writing a narrative story. Many, many excellent works are narrative stories. Avoiding that label when it is the one that fits is unnecessary and weird.
      • Wrong. The style of writing fits perfectly well with the description of "documentary" as defined and used here. If you don't like that, leave.
      • Now you're making unsupported claims. Either link to a relevant page that supports your claim that documentaries are defined on this wiki the way that you say they are, or try a different tactic.
      • Doing nothing of the sort. The article on documentary style is on this website, try looking it up. The only person making unsupoorted claims is you. Which comes back to the fact that you are trolling.
      • Unknown Troper: Since Jurassic Mosquito is making the first failure in any argument (not presenting the actual evidence that he's supposedly citing) here: Documentary. I, personally, agree with Stuart's opinion here: though TSW is not exactly a documentary, it's still not a standard narrative. Trying to apply the standard narrative structure to it is not a good idea.
      • Ah, removing the part where I said, and I quote "No, it doesn't." does not mean I did not, in fact, already say that. And being as that page specifically says that a documentary must be about "nonfiction subjects", then any attempt to classify this as a documentary because "That's how it's used on TV Tropes" is doomed at the outset. There is no definition of "documentary" under which this story fits. If you want to argue "non-standard narrative," do that instead.
      • You are not just wrong but dishonest into the bargain. The first lines of the T Vtropes page on "The Documentary" (linked from the intro panel of the TSW page reads "The episode is structured around the idea that a fly-on-the-wall documentary crew or news crew is following the characters for a period of time. The footage is often shot with a handheld camera and is offset from the objective camera by other characteristics. Related to Day In The Life and/or Clip Show. A type of Show Within A Show." The text also makes referemce toa literary equivalent of this approach. This is exactly the approach used in TSW. Moving from one person to another seeing the situation as it develops through their eyes and from their perspective. Robert Heinlein used the same approach in The Number of the Beast. Not his best work I agree by a long chalk but yet another example of a literary use of The Documentary in fiction.

Shay Guy: I can't help but wonder what inspires a story like this. And about the religious demographics of its readers.

Malchus: Have a lurk around this forum to get some idea. I'm a long-time lurker myself, but haven't joined due to the rather intense debating and discussion style. Needless to say, said forum carries a good load of Your Mileage May Vary.

Furiko Maru: I quite liked the parts of it that were more character-based than BFG-based (which is to say, maybe less than a third of the entirety). I'm hoping to see more of Luga, Aeneas and Ori in the next installment, and I have to give the authors snaps for managing to break up one of my Historical OTPs without making me pitch a fit. It's really just a guilty pleasure kind of thing, though.

Incidentally, am I officially the only person who thinks of Richard Dawkins as a cute old man as opposed to a jerkface? And of Robert MacNamara as a severely confused person as opposed to an evil one? Wow. Clearly the writers haven't met my ex-stepfather yet, hur hur hur.

Andy Waltfeld: You are not alone. At least on that part about Dawkins. Also, Ori needs to do something epic in the sequel just so we can have the inevitable Stargate SG-1 reference with Gratuitous English.

Author: What started the whole thing off? The question came up on SDN, what would happen if irrefutable proof came up that the whole human race was condemned to hell and always had been. That hope of salvation was a myth? The general consensus was tha humanity would fight, if for no other reason than its better to go down fighting than just lay down and die. Also, if they can interact with us, we must be able to interact with them - all we need to do is find out how. At that point, reading the thread, I got interested and started to think on how we would fight back (I'm a professional military analyst). Reading up on how daemons were supposed to fight, it resolved into "we can do that" , "we can do that", "they can't do that", "they wouldn;t even understand how we did that". It quickly became apparent that daemons as described in the appropriate mythology don't stand a hope in hell against us. The phrase "hope in hell" set a light off in my head and so The Salvation War: Armageddon??? started. It caught on.

The thing to think about here is this. Virtually all our military advances have taken placed in the last few years. Taking a human lifetime as the traditional three score years and ten, one human lifetime takes us back to 1939. At that time battleships still ruled the sea, the best fighters were 300mph aircraft armed with machine guns. Armies were still virtually all infantry that walked around armed with bolt-action rifles. Armored warfare and so on were untried concepts. At best, they could fight the daemon hordes on roughly even terms. Go back another human lifetime and we're in 1870. No aircraft, wooden warships powered by sails (if the crew are lucky, with steam assistance) and armed with smoothbore muzzle-loading cannon form the bulk of the world's navies. Most armies have muzzle-loading muskets and smooth-bore direct line-of-sight artillery. The Daemons will walk all over them. Back when the mythologies were written, those authoring them gave the daemons the most frightful weapons they could imagine. To us, now, those weapons are jokes, pathetic and feeble things that we can virtually ignore while we slaughter those who carry them with almost impunity. And we've gone from there to here in two human lifetimes. What will humanity's weaponry look like in another two lifetimes? The very thought should be terrifying.

Nearly all of Armageddon??? is about the people involved and how they adapt to what is happening around/to them. Even the scenes set in battle are focussed on the people and the weapons are described only in terms of what they do to people. The daemons are the most affected, primarily because they are the ones faced with the unimaginable. As humans, we don't need to imagine what salvo rocket launchers, nerve gas, high explosives, landmines, rifle bullets etc do to their victims because we know. We do it to each other all the time. To somebody with a bronze age mindset, its horrible and unimaginable. Something completely unknown and beyond any form of understanding. Most of Armageddon is about the Daemons coming to grips with that and what it means. The humans end the story much as they started, just sickened by the slaughter they're inflicting yet grimly determined to keep on inflicting it until their enemy (no longer Daemons) gives up. The daemons change incredibly, read how Memnon enters the story and how he leaves it. He's gone through an epiphany and he's done a heelfaceturn. Once a creature of horrific evil, he's seen where that leads and is seeking a different path - as is the whole of Hell itself.

The fighting sections of the book (actually about a third of the total) do two things, one is to provide the impetus for the character development, the other is to tell people what weapons do to their victims. Amateurs are all too free with their recommendations to use weapons (eg "Stop illegal immigration by setting minefields along the border") without understanding what those weapons do. So, I tried to make it clear that weapon effects aren't nice neat little clean departures but a hideously brutal and cataclysmic way to die. There is a very good reason why most people on a battlefield die screaming. People say 'war is hell", Armageddon makes it clear its far worse than that. The way humans kill their enemies fills daemons with terror, that's worth thinking about as well.

The gang will be back in The Salvation War: Pantheocide. Ori and Aeneas will return along with Abigor, Luga, kitten (who is based on a real person by the way, even down to the lack of capitalization) et al. George W Bush won't be back of course but his successor will.

As for Macnamara, he deserves everything he gets, we're still paying for the blunders he was responsible for back in the 1960s. And he was responsible for the Edsel.

Andy Waltfeld: *golf claps* Bravo, Stuart. Also, glad to see you guys finally settled on "Pantheocide." Rolls off the tongue better.

Quick TV Tropes formatting tip: "Author" doesn't link to an article. If you want, you can make yourself known as Stuart using the curly braces.

Shay Guy: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Anyway, not sure I can swallow the premise, but it sounds like you've executed it quite well.

Malchus: Echoing the "Huh?!" statement of who deleted the following by

  • Did Not Do The Research: Big time. The author forgoes the original source material, preferring to use derivative (and apparently erroneous to various extents) works.

NoDot: Nice to know that I'm not alone.

Andy Waltfeld: I think was just trying to be silly, with the "original source material" being the Book of Revelation, in which humanity gets pounded a lot harder. I'd hate to see what he considers "derivative works" in this case, though...

Malchus: strikes again with this reasoning "Bronze-age armies? Killing immortals? OOC God? Maybe I'm citing the wrong trope, but these are in there."

  • Did Not Do The Research: The story, apparently based on Judeo-Christian elements, is written with little regard for the details outlined in the relevant texts.

Of course, this is Completely Missing the Point. As laid out by the long rationale posted by the Author on this very discussion page, part of the setting of the story is how human legend and superstition (with help from propaganda by Heaven and Hell) made things out to be more than they were. Part of this story is that how modern science and technology deconstructed all of the details of said myths and superstitions. It is NOT lack of Biblical knowledge that makes the whole thing so different from Judeo-Christian lore.

Author Did Not Do The Research isn't just Completely Missing the Point, it's wilfully ignoring a large part of the story. It's explicitly stated that most of the mythology in the Bible is wrong, it's a mixture of deliberately misleading propaganda, self-agrandisement and people trying to explain things that they don't understand. What goes on in Revelations and so on isn't really relevent to the story that takes place in The Salvation Wars any more than a 1940s Hollywood war movie actually represents an accurate picture of what happened in WW2. What happens in The Salvation Wars is that mythology gets exposed to the harsh light of scientific study in an environment where it can't hide in the shadows. One way to look at the Armageddon plotline is that the daemons described are the "reality" that lies underneath the fictionalized and sensationalized accounts in the Bible. A good modern-day comparison would be with the Cargo Cults in the South Pacific; the DC-3/C-47 transport is the reality that lies behind those cargo cults; that doesn't mean that, because it bears little resemblance to the legends, the Douglas engineers "didn't do the research" when they designed it.

By the way, its also becoming apparent in the stories that Heaven and Hell have their own mythologies and superstitions and they are just as misleading and just as inaccurate as the human mythology. After all, when speaking of hell, one of the main characters ends the section with spoke very slowly as the words formed in his mind, breaking the mental blocks of millennia. “No, I don’t know any of this. I just believed it. And if my belief was false.” His great clawed hand waved over the pictures. “Then all of this, all of it, was for nothing.

A little teaser for people. Please note, throughout we've been talking about daemons. Nobody has mentioned devils....

Byakugan01: I'm going to guess that by "derivative works" means Dante's Inferno. And on the Did Not Do The Research bit, maybe it would be simple to put up a "Completely Missing the Point" entry-ended with a pointer to "Doing in the Wizard ". What with the demons being bound by the laws of reality, and therefore being biological, flesh-and-blood beings, facing modern weaponry, some assumptions in Revelations-putting aside how much of the Bible is now known to be false in this setting-are bound to be shattered.

Author I'd say you're right there (big grin). The design and layout of the Hellpit in Armageddon??? is taken directly from Dante's Inferno - with a note in the text explaining that a daemon got into Dante's head and told him exactly what he was in for - that's the sort of petty cruelty daemons went in for before they ran into humans with a talent for mass slaughter.. I fear that will really fall in love with Pantheocide when it gets explained how the Book of Revelations actually came to exist (hint Michael-lan had something to do with it).

Malchus: Byakugan's suggestion for putting up a Completely Missing the Point entry makes sense in light of all the complaints of that nature, so I took the liberty of putting it up.

  • Excellent job Malchus. I've added a note explaining that the "immunity" idea comes from teh time when daemons faced humans armed with bronze swords and spears - against such weapons, daemons are functionally immune so the ancients writing the legends described the daemons that way. Now if the Book of Revelations said specifically that "daemons are immune to bullets fired from .50 calber machine guns", I'd have a plot problem but nowhere in Revelations does it say that. So I think its perfectly fair and reasonable to take the word "immunity" in the context of the weapons available at the time. And the whole point of Armageddon is that we're just a little bit better equipped now.

Byakugan01: Out of curiosity, is there a distinction made between demons and devils in the standard Juedo-Christian view? I admit its been a long time (like, since I was five) since I've read a bible, but I was under the impression that all the denizens of Hell were (again, in the standard mythos) considered to be Fallen. I know that Satan has often been called "The Devil" (hence the term "deal with the Devil". Of course, I could be horribly wrong. Come to think of it though, Heaven seems to me to be as much or more more of a case of Sufficiently Advanced Technology as alien biology, from what we've seen of them so far. I'm interested if that's how their telekinesis abilities will be explained. Also, is Uriel a Nietzsche Wannabe or is it just me?

Author Read The Salvation War: Pantheocide and see - starts in May. The printed version of Armageddon??? should be out by June, its cleaned up a lot and smoothed out.

Unknown Troper: I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the first book, if only to see the reaction to it by the public at large, especially the religious community :)

Byakugan01: As for that..well, I asked and my mom did tell me they still excommunicate people. Which these days just backfires and results in lots of people curious about how that happened (assuming the religious community actually makes a big fuss about it). Which in turn creates interest in the book...of course, this is assuming the religious community at large would even care. Some people will make a fuss though, no doubt about that. Also, here's to hoping I'll be able to contribute next time (Pantheocide).

Side note: Do the demons have clawed feet, cloven hooves, or does it depend on the kind of demon in particular? It seemed to me both claws and hooves were indicated at times?

Author It depends on the kind of daemon with a high degree of individual variability. It's hinted that there's some form of genetic engineering going on in Hell and, obviously, the daemons per se aren't capable of it although they can do selective breeding etc. That's a subtle hint there's a lot more going on in Hell than meets the eye - humans have occupied only a very small proportion of the total land area so far and there are some nasty surprises waiting for them. Best description of the state of play at the end of the first volume is "Major combat operations are over" and we all know how well that worked out :(

Byakugan01: So, in a nutshell, there's an unknown race who I'm going to bet Satan made some sort of deal (Am I the only one who sees deliciousness of the irony of the Devil making a deal with the devils) with in exchange for his enhancing his powers or those of the demons (I'm looking at you, nagas and gorgons-especially the nagas). that's not even assuming that they didn't GIVE the demons their electric muscles in the first place. For some reason, I'm imagining some downright Lovecraftian tentacled, chitonous horrors. Or at least something which is able to fight humanity on a much more even playing field. If they can use genetic engineering to crate the nagas and such though...I shudder to think of their other capabilities. Being able to perform as complex genetic engineering as that would probably put them above our own level of technology.

Author Well, the hell-plane of existance (actually that plane can be seen as an exact inversion of ours; we live on the outside of a little grain that floats around in the cosmos; the hell-plane consists of creatures living on the inside surface of bubbles in their space-time continuum (think a glass of soda). Heaven and hell are just two of many such bubbles, there are plenty of others. Now, there may also be a plane up from that and one up from that..... You get the picture. The Pope may have been closer than he knows. So might Lovecraft.
Night: I kind of want to take the opposite view from Furiko Maru here and say that I regarded El-Tee Kim as a terrible Plot Tumor; much, most, of the other characters were worth remembering, but her story was poorly handled and, while it is technically of importance to the plot, feels terribly unconnected and ends on what could pretty easily be classed as a Wall Banger. (Desk in my case.) I think this is partly a symptom or natural consequence of a multi-authorial work (and I am inclined to blame Surelethe for it; his theme following the Avros doesn't seem to quite click either and should have been left as a one-shot), but I also think it should serve as a warning about resurrecting your vignette characters. They're not meant for it.

Side note: I'm vaguely worried I might actually know who kitten is based on.

Author To a great extent I agree about Kim; her sections are the primary area that needed a lot of polishing and an amount of the original material was edited out or recast to make a more cohesive narrative. Her part in the original structure was to set up an active resistance and show how revolutionary warfare techniques could be applied in this context. Also, to show that a Lieutenant, with the best will in the world, doesn;t have the knowledge or capabilities to make a success of something like that. She nearly goes under and only gets rescued by older and wiser mentors. Also, she served another purpose; it's shown that in the final analysis the loyalties of the deceased Kim are with her new life in Hell, not back on Earth.

The problem with having multiple authors is that people have their own ideas of where they want things to go and they stray outside the plot line. That's why its taking such a long time to get the book ready for publication. There's a lot of dead ends and sidetracjs that had to be neatened up. Also, too many historical characters appeared; I deleted most of them before the text was posted and I've deleted more since then. GJC is about the only prominent dead person who appears in Hell until REL turns up in the last line. My opinion was its much more interesting to have "common people" rising to meet a challenge than a historical hero.

Marina introduced me to kitten and I grabbed the character and ran with it. In Armageddon, kitten is truly heroic, all the more so because she doesn't realize how heroic she's being. She continues at the center of things in Pantheocide (by way of comparison, Kim and GJC are barely mentioned so relax :) )

Gray: Stuart, I read the story early on in the weekend/late last week; though I registered an account at SDN, I'm probably going to avoid going over there too much 'till May (when Pantheocide starts to come out) due to the aforementioned rough neighborhood (not to mention a lack of interest in the Star Trek/Star Wars front at the present).

I've got to say that it was one of the most enjoyable stories I've read in a long time. I'll say that I liked your characterization of Bush (and his Crowning Moment of Awesome with Rove) as well as the other characters, and I think that any (published) version which tries to swap in other original characters as stand-ins for Dubya, Brown, and so forth will be the poorer for it. Even so, I will be buying this series if it ever comes out in print.

I'll also say that the deity you envisioned in this particular world strikes me as not being too far off of what I understand the ancient Jewish idea of the deity to be (I'm reminded of the saying "If God lived on Earth, we would break his windows" from a Hasidic Rabbi, IIRC). It is very well-done, in a way that is rather scary. A lot of what you wrote falls into the column of Naturalistic Sci-Fi IMHO (yes, there's some 'funny business', but there's not much in there that isn't easily explained), and I like it in contrast to the old Left Behind stuff. You've got human beings reacting as I think we would, and you put them up against a deity who's had his heads in the clouds for a few millennia.

I've got a few questions, if I might:

1) Where does Hell get its light from? I know that sounds silly, but if they're basically in a cave with red clouds above, is the only light coming from the volcanic rivers, or is there some exceedingly weak star up 'above'? Or is there actually 'space' up there somewhere?

2) Why 1000 AD for Heaven being shut off? I ask this because it feels...well, a little on the early side. I'm thinking in particular of some versions of Calvinism being in line with the deity in this world, and I'm surprised that Yahweh in there wasn't trying to get his foot back in the door (seeing as he seems rather preoccupied with it to care enough to send his Brown Note along).

3) Though I hope this side of things gets played up in later stories, and I'm willing to wait and see in future stories:

A) Is there any oil or coal in Hell? This has a feeling of relevance (as even if you never have to fight another war, Hell seems to be a big enough place that transportation will be an issue in the long run).

B) What is the discovery of a 'world' with virtually limitless precious metals (gold, silver, diamonds, etc.) going to do to the world economy? Theology notwithstanding, you've got a dimension which probably has a mineral wealth that would put Earth to shame...not to mention the fact that large amounts of it belonged to beings which are either war criminals or dead.

4) The 90 billion number felt a bit on the high side. That's really the only Wall Banger I had with it, as I don't think there have been more than about 30-50 billion people in human history, and even the upper end of that range feels a bit of a stretch to me.

5) Finally, I did like the characters, but I also liked the honest depiction of such a war (and basically the 'classical' mindset towards it clashing with the modern one). One thing I do fear in the rest of the series is an 'army of generals' emerging from the murk of Hell.

Sorry to blather so much, I said in one of my few posts on SDN, it was a damn good story and I'm looking forward to the rest of it.

Author Many thanks for the kind words. The Salvation War: Armageddon???? will be coming out in print around June or July. It'll be up on Amazon. I'm hoping somebody will try and get me excommunicated, the publicity will do wonders for sales. To answer your questions.

The Light From Hell. The simple answer is that nobody knows or understands it. The physical laws in hell are a bit different from Earth and scientists are only just getting a grip on how different The dull red light is one of the things they don't comprehend but they'er investigating it to find out. There are more confusions coming when they start to deal with Heaven, the physical laws of Heaven and Hell being the same. Hell is a Klein Jar, a uni-surface like a three-dimensional moebius strip. There's literally no way out except by creating a portal, hence the dreadful atmosphere. Once the supervolcano caldera blew, all the dust etc that got blown out had nowhere to go.

Why the 1000AD cut-off This is an in-story character guess. The logic behind it is that in 1000AD there was a great surge of religious sentiment that something momentous was happening/was about to happen and the characters guess that was the gates of Heaven closing. That guess may be way, way wrong. It's quite possible that the gates of Heaven were never open except for a few select people. Or perhaps not. To be continued.......

Economic Questions There's oil, coal and geothermal power in hell. The economic effects of the opening of Hell will be dealt with in the third book of the trilogy The Salvation War: The Lords Of War.

The number of dead in hell I used This estimate which gives a total of 106,456,367,669 people who have ever lived. The presumption is that around 10 percent went to heaven and 90 percent went to Hell so a 90 billion total for souls is ballpark-right. Close enough for government work anyway.

Army of Generals One of the things I lay down for would-be contributers is that historical characters should be used very sparingly indeed. Preeferably not at all. In fact, in the printed version of TSW:A there will be only two historical characters appearing. There are two reasons for this. One is that it gets very cheesy, very quickly unless there's a good reason for them. GJC for example appears because he's used to show that a man who's generally regarded as the finest politician-general around is dependent on a modern lieutenant to advise him on what modern weaponry does and its tactical implications. That puts the daemons initial inability to cope in context (and the daemons aren't stupid, they adapt and adapt fast but not quite fast enough. The other reason is that to me its much more interesting to see how 'normal people' cope with events that place great demands upon them. Nobody is really very surprised if, for example, Napoleon, appears and does great things. But when a cattle-herder from 7th century Mongolia is put in a position when he has to do great things or get blotted out, then we have an interesting story.

Gray: Thanks for the responses. If there's any way I can help, I'd love to (and this is coming from a rather devout Catholic, I'll add). The estimate makes sense. Two final questions and I'll let you go: 1) What happens if someone starts digging straight down in Hell? Do they eventually hit lava, do they pop out on the other side of Hell? 2) Is there any place that discussion/work on the story is taking place? I'm wary of SDN for obvious reasons, but...suffice it to say I'm loving the story and looking forward to seeing more.

Author If somebody starts digging straight down in Hell, they simply surface somewhere else in Hell, there's literally no physical way out. It's like drawing a line on a Moebius strip, a single continuous line eventually meets its starting point proving that a moebius strip only has one surface. That's Hell.

There's no one place for discussions on the story; SDN is the closest there is to one.

Peteman: I think there needs to be a Headscratchers page for the Fridge Logic and other problems that people have with the story, instead of the Natterfest that currently exist.
Malchus: Moving some discussion on the main here. Have at it, guys:

EDIT: Just saw Peteman's perfectly sensible suggestion and facepalmed for not thinking of it myself. Here you go: The Salvation War

Unknown Troper: I purged most of what was on the JBM page, as JBM is intended for Fridge Logic, while the vast majority of the content was Complaining About a Story You Don't Like. I can transplant it to here, if it would fit better, as that content is more suited to a discussion page or a true forum. - Here it is

I think the main problem most detractors have against it is that there is a complete lack of comflict. From the beginning, it was readily apparent that the demons were going to be smashed to a pulp. It's sort of akin to writing a story about a man clubbing a seal pup to death. While it shares some traits with Greek tragedies, it differs in many ways as well. Plus the whole Mc Namara potshot was rather foolish in its execution. The story strives to drive the point home that the demons are clueless to the progression of human technology, yet they know of Mc Namara's "crimes"(which directly related to human military capabilities) and have readied a specific place in hell for him. These two facts are hard to reconcile. Additionally, though the demons are shown to possess remarkable abilities, they are almost always immediately negated for no real rational reason other than to further the purpose of curb-stomping the demons.
  • The conflict's there, it just isn't the obvious one. I think the objection to "lack of conflict" is based on people's expectation that the daemons are super-beings when any reasonable examination of the circumstances shows they are not. Simple question, how does a bronze-age army beat a modern mechanized army? Simple answer, they can't. In a straight firefight, its all over as soon as it starts. The real conflict is between the ways people think; those who take things at face value and those who do not. Those who accept that something is and those who ask why? On the Mc Namara issue, the daemons make their judgment based on the basic character of somebody, in pseudo-science terms by "reading their aura". Mc Namara has damnation waiting for him because he was a vicious, vindictive, utterly dishonest, treacherous So B. Not for any specific deeds, military or otherwise that he did. The daemons know what sort of person he was, not what he did.
  • Other than the whole pour-lava-on-cities deal (and that required a large number to pull off), most demonic powers and special abilities would not have prevented the curb stomping in any meaningful way. They are still woefully outclassed by human industry, weaponry, and numbers (in the sense that not all demons have mastery of "higher level" special abilities). At best they can be incredible nuisances with such abilities, but they'd still be curbstomped. Plus there's the whole aversion to iron thing, so even if they did have knowledge of human technology they'd have no way of recreating them quickly in a manner that would improve their chances. The best Belial could come up with was essentially a bronze blunderbuss. Even if it somehow went into mass production, that's not gonna do jack against artillery, armor, aircraft, and medium- and long-range infantry engagements.
  • This whole "no conflict" complaint doesn't hold water on close examination. The book is full of conflict on many, many levels other than the obvious one. The investigation of the daemon's abilities is another version of conflict, it demonstrates that the humans don't throw up their arms and cry "magic" the way the daemons do when faced with something they don't understand, they watch, study and investigate, find clues and form theories that get progressively more accurate until the problem is solved. The whole story is about much more important things that who wins a battle.
    • Some of the solutions are bizarre. Tin foil defeating possession? That was Deus ex Machina, at least to me. Plus the sheer contrast you pointed out makes the human race all seem like Mary Sues, at least in comparison to the demons. If they are supposed to be the protagonists, then the story doesn't give us any real reason to root for them. Sure, they are fighting for the very fate of their souls, but it turns out to be no fight at all. In reality, once they win, it seems as though they will be getting a second, much-longer life. Obviously we can't sympathize with the demons, so we are left with no one to truly root for or have a desire to understand, creating something that can be rather bland.
      • What? I thought it was obvious that people putting on tinfoil hats to ward off the voices was obvious Rule of Funny.
      • Actually, the tinfoil hat is militarily correct as well as being an obvious Rule of Funny. One of the major defenses against electronic interference is to screen antennas. Look at the superstructure of a modern warship and the screening panels to eliminate electronic interference are quite apparent. Once the mechanism that permitted the daemons to possess somebody was seen to work on the basis of electromagnetic radiation, a metal screen is the first thing any competent research team would try. Since the radiation used is weak, it needs only to be thin. Any conductive metal would work but aluminum is cheap, light (wearing a lead hat would be painful) easily available, easily worked and can be used in the manufacture of standard headgear. Thus, aluminum inserts can be placed in hats or helmets - women wearing wigs and men toupees can even incorporate the tinfoil in the base of those. The stunning (and slightly scary) thing is that, in addition to being Rule of Funny an aluminum tinfoil hat actually makes good, sound common sense. So much so that it as about as far from a Deus ex Machina as one can get, it's a neat, workmanlike solution to a familiar and comprehensible problem. The suggestion that the human race are all Mary Sues also fails to hold any water at all, in fact it flies against the whole tenor of the story. Stretching the definition of a "Mary Sue" to cover the whole human race is really placinga strain upon the idea that it cannot be expected to support. All the military equipment is accurately described and the way its used comes straight out of operational handbooks for the various armies. The restoration of old equipment stored in places like the Davis Montham boneyard is part of standard U.S. mobilization doctrine as is its equivalent in Russia (and Russia has a LOT of military equipment in storage). Even checking out museums for usable equipment is part of standard mobilization doctrine, some equipment is actually given to museums on condition that it is actually maintained in usable condition and can be reclained if needed. In short, there is nothing in Armageddon that is not part of existing military and mobilization doctrine. And you find nobody to root for? Just because it turns out they have a massive military advantage over those who intended to enslave and torture them? Frankly that reminds me of the journalist in a Pentagon press conference who got really upset when he found out U.S. troops had night fighting gear and the opposition didn't and was spluttering that it "wasn't fair" (true story). To make it clear, the people to root for are the individuals involved, the old men who fight with bayonets to protect their village, the nurse who died because she worked herself into exhaustion trying to treat the wounded, the demon foot-soldiers who keep fighting even though they are being slaughtered in ways they cannot even begin to understand (and which humans take for granted). The sheer bravery of the daemon foot soldiers is truly awesome. The whole focus in Armageddon is on the individuals who are caught up in the situation, they are the people who deserve you "rooting for" them.
      • I find the idea we're supposed to root for the side that eats fetuses and mind-rapes humans for fun appalling. Just because it is like real-life doesn't make it automatically make it good. Much of the story spends time describing in loving detail the effects of modern weaponry on demon troops. Some may argue that's drama, others will argue that is gorn or wank, maybe both. The whole story tells us who to root for, and why we should, and how it will end. That is not the most successful formula for a engrossing story. Why read something when you don't have to think about it? That's not a personal observation, but a collective one.
      • I fear you are making very little sense here. Yes, the daemons are utterly reprehensible people they come from Hell, remember? They look on humans much the same way as we look on cattle or factory-farm chickens. If those animals could write a book, what do you think they would say about humans? That doesn't change the fact that they show incredible bravery under conditions that no human army could stand. Whether that makes a given individual "root for them" or not is up to that individual. Now, there is category of people who state that they can "respect the SS for their bravery" without that justifying the nazi regime in Germany. What Armageddon does is to throw that stated belief (which, it must be obvious, I do not share) into a very sharp relief. If somebody doesn't think the bravery of daemons can be respected in the face of the - literally - hellish society they represent, how can that argument then be applied to justify respect for teh SS and Nazi regimes? As to describing the effects of modern weapons, you're wildly wrong. The sections are actually very small compared to the total 840 page book and they serve a vital function. They put modern weapons and modern warfare into a very sharp context. That is what these wepaons do; before promoting their use, remember this is what they will do to their victims. They are there to give a sense of responsibility to the reader. Somebody thinks "gee why don't they use (Insert favorite bit of military kit)" then they read about what that weapon does to its victims and how those victims die. Witha little luck, they'll start to think about their own responsibility in advocating that weapon's use. As for telling people who to root for, stories have heroes, stories have villains, your comment makes no sense at all. As for your last remark about this being a collective observation, it is utterly pointless. Quoting an anonymous collective is utterly meaningless and has no weight as an argument whatsoever. It doesn't even rise to the level of the 'appeal to authority' logical fallacy. Identify your "collective" and it might be of some passing interest although if it is who I think it is, it still wouldn't be worth the effort of taking seriously.
      • Collective-Anonymous. The internet. People. Friends I have. I didn't just post this to troll. I'm too lazy to do that; I posted it to voice a counter-opinion held by a number of people, which hard as it is to believe, actually exist. I am not a lone voice of dissent, screaming to the heavens. You may refuse to believe me, and there's not a whole lot I can do to convince you otherwise judging by your extreme unwillingness to do so. If you really need citations to believe this, that's sad. And even if I did, you would probably say they lacked credibility anyways, so it would be a wasted effort on my part. As for your cattle/human, human/demon analogy, it doesn't work (for me)because both demons and humans are sentient. A better analogy would be slaves/slaveowners, which is a whole different ballgame. The Nazi/Hell government analogy isn't that great either, at least in my own opinion. The daemon's more reprehensible aspects are more personally related. The Nazi government killed "lesser" races because their leaders were insane and/or extremely cruel. The demons as a race mind rape humans (who are once again sentient; the demons aren't so far above them they can identify them as livestock) and eat fetuses because they like to. It's not a matter of leadership, it's a matter of personal choice and preference. Their chosen lifestyle is, by many human standards, evil. So their bravery, though admirable, doesn't really make them sympathetic at all. As for weapons, you might have missed it, but there are numerous accounts of how razor wire sliced through the flesh of the demons with ludicrous ease, how the missile spilled the guts of the demon at the beginning, how nerve gas fucks things up all to hell, and how easy it is to run the demons over with tanks. While many readers may enjoy it, it can get boring really fast. As for using vivid description to impress upon the reader just how lethal these weapons can be, that's fine, but shouldn't it be saved for somewhere else instead of turning the story into a tract? Admittedly, I never saw the descriptions as tracts, just as unnecessarily detracting from the story itself.
      • So, in other words, your "collective opinion" was simply another way of saying "other people agree with me", well, I never doubted that. Tastes are a personal thing and it is hardly surprising that some people like a story others do not. However, simply saying "other people agree with me" is not an argument one way or the other. Now, down to business. The sentience issue isn't really applicable since the daemons don't regard humans as being of any significance until we start shooting. However, that isn't the point, the question being asked is "can the assertion that it is possible to respect extreme bravery in the service of a vile regime without justifying that regime be supported?" That can be applied to, for example, the Confederate Army in the American Civil War and I'm sure people can think of many more examples. Fiction, in one of its roles, is written to ask awkward questions by putting them in an unfamiliar context. There are quite a few such awkward questions in Armageddon and its left to the reader to come up with their answers. I caerfully do not provide the answers. On the weapons issue, once again, the descriptions of weapons effects are there for a specific reason already explained. The first use of them is very explicitly for shock value; we have human fighter aircraft up against daemons as the first section and an indoctrinated audience doubtless expects the daemons to dispach the human aircraft with ease, instead, its shown graphically that its the human weapons that are devastatingly powerful. In some ways its akin to the first scene in Bt VS where aa young attractive blonde is walking down a dark alley followed by a monster. The girl goes into a building, the monster follows her and there's the sounds of a terrible fight. Then the girl walks out without even ruffled hair leaving a massacred mosnter behind her. Same logic, same methodology.

    • The whole aversion to iron is another glaring plot hole. In the story, it points out that demons and humans share the same ancestor. Humans have a considerable amount of iron in their blood. In addition, this makes one wonder how it is even possible for the demons to eat humans like they do in Armageddon, since it would be similar to human's trying to eat an Alien. Very messy.
      • Not at all, the daemonic aversion is to elemental iron, not compounded iron. In human terms, if a human tries to eat elemental sodium, he'll die quickly and very unpleasantly. Yet we can't survive without salt (sodium chloride). So this "plot hole" doesn't exist.
      • Good point, though the demon's reaction to iron goes far behind allergic. Playing devil's advocate (pardon the pun), it is easily understandable for a reader to dislike the heavy-handed glorified science approach with a conclusion that is easily predictable and has no suspense. Though it is written well, the execution can leave much to be desired. It doesn't help that the site where the story is posted brooks almost no negative feedback.
      • Eh, I much rather prefer the so-called "glorified science approach" than the ham-fisted Left Behind or other Bible-based Science Is Bad crap. It's a nice change of pace. Admittedly, it might be a vindictive pleasure on my part since I find Science Is Bad extremely annoying, especially when done by religious writers. Of course, Your Mileage May Vary.
      • Not really, in fact read carefully and its not entirely clear that the daemonic objection to iron is not psychosomatic. Daemons in Palelabor do work with iron and they do get sick - but so would anybody under those conditions. Daemons with iron fragments in wounds do suffer severe after-effects - but so do humans who have iron (or any other metal) fragments embedded in their bodies. Daemons that have been hit by iron-lined shaped charges are very severely injured by them - but that's hardly surprising, we knock out tanks with similar weapons and no functioning organic body is going to take kindly to being doused with sueprheated metal plasma. It's by no means clear that the iron lining of a HEAD round is actually more effective than the copper lining of a conventional HEAT round. However, the daemons believe that iron is poisonous to them so they attribute results to iron poisoning. It's by no means clear that they are actually such effects. As to your last comment, that's blatantly and completely untrue. The original online Armageddon was very popular certainly yet there were quite a number of constructive criticisms of the story, some of which were accommodated as the story progressed, others when the on-line version was being prepared for the press. Saying that the original site brooks almost no negative feedback is not just wildly untrue, it is also a more-than-slightly-familiar red herring. By the way I don't find it understandable at all for readers to dislike the fact that science and engineering are shown to be superior to ignorance and superstition. Of course, Your Mileage May Vary.
      • As to the comment "with a conclusion that is easily predictable and has no suspense" this lacks any form of merit and is also a more-than-slightly-familiar red herring. Most stories have endings that are predictable; when we watch CSI, we know that "the team" will come up with the answer within 50 minutes of screen time. When we watch a western we know that the hero will eventually kill the bad guy, almost certainly in a walk-down. The end is obvious, what matters is the route taken to get there and the story that gets told on the way. The statement "easily predictable and has no suspense" really has no merit at all unless you want to condemn pretty much the whole corpus of film, television, stage and literary fiction.
      • Most work attempts to at least operate under the auspice that the end is up in the air, even if it is not. Armageddon does not. CSI is a hour long show that generally tends to maintain the status-quo so it can go on making money. Armageddon has no such precedent. Armageddon has a highly original concept, so it comes as sort of a huge letdown to see that nothing shocking is going to happen. Why invest in a story when it is so predictable? Even the character work tends to get sidetracked in the constant technobabble. As for the claims about science vs superstition, that's not the main problem many people have. The problem is that all superstition is quickly explained away and diminished through scientific explanation, making science vs superstition not a major plot point, but a minor factor which serves to contribute to the inevitable outcome of the main plot which is very, very, very predictable. It is very realistic, sure, but not a story that feels the need to told other than the apparent need to push forward personal views.
      • Again, this makes very little sense. Armageddon is predictable only in the sense that the end is reasonably obvious as it is in most fiction. We know Sherlock Holmes will solve the mystery, we know that the cops in a TV show will catch the bad guy eventually. We know humans will win in Armageddon; given the circumstances they can hardly help but do so. The story is actually about the people who take part, just as it is in every story. Why invest in such a story? Why make Tora Tora Tora, the film about the attack on Pearl Harbor - do you seriously believe that people go to see that film not knowing that the US Fleet is about to get sunk? Or go to see "Midway" and not know the Japanese carriers are going to get sunk? Of course not, people got to see a story that is centered around the people who take part, just as Armageddon is centered around the people who take part. As to explaining superstition, that is a simple reflection of fact. All superstition dies very quickly when exposed to rigorous scientific testing. Again, the story is centered on the people who deal with that, how they cope with the knowledge that (on one side) there's a whole new field of science opening up and (on the other) that everything they believed about what and how they worked is false. Your comment about technobabble is completely unfounded and untrue - to the point where it makes me wonder if you have actually read the book. For your information, there is no technobable at all in Armageddon. In fact, it was an editorial rule right from the start that technobabble must be avoided. There is mention of known physical phenomena, especially quantum entanglement, moebius strips and klein bottles - and pheremones. There are phenomena which simply do not make sense in terms of known physics andother sciences - and these are not explained. They are accommodated using engineering work-arounds (which is what humanity does when it runs into something it cannot understand until the explanantion is found) and its coldly admitted by teh characters that they don't know what's happening and they intend to study it until they find out. Military equipment is described precisely and accurately. There is no technobabble so your argument collapses completely and your credibility has just taken a very serious hit. Your comment about thus being a story that needs not to be told is very revealing. The feedback I've had suggests you are in a very small minority on that one and your comment definitely smacks of a desire to censor people's work. And, by the way, there are very few views of my own in there. As needs to be said about books all too often, the characters speak for themselves, not for the author
      • I could go on, but it seems to me that you don't want people to be able to formulate their own opinions, instead burying whatever they say in mountains of text describing in detail why this story can possibly do no wrong. Perhaps it cannot. Obviously it targets a very, very, very select demographic. Perhaps it is too high-grade for the shallower audiences to understand and enjoy, but then the mark of a great writer is to write a book everyone can enjoy, which Armageddon doesn't seem to be. Most people prefer a different kind of drama. You may disagree with their assessment, but I think it's perfectly valid. Sure, it has it's points, is very well thought out, but as I said before, lots of people did not enjoy it. I could list all the forums I am referring to, but I honestly don't want to since that would be a waste of space except for you, and that wouldn't be polite. I am sure you know some of the ones I am taling about. Anyways, I am really trying to be polite, and perhaps I am failing, but I would appreciate it if you would quit insinuating I don't know what I am talking about. As for claiming censorship, I don't know where that came from. If you are implying I don't like the story because I'm a religious buffoon, kindly quit, because I am not. I don't like the story because the characters bore me and all of the plot twists are predictable. It's as simple as that. Of course you can say that I am completely wrong, which is odd, since it is an opinion, but then that's your opinion.
      • NoDot: "but then the mark of a great writer is to write a book everyone can enjoy" No, it is not. It is the mark of a good writer that the target audience enjoys the book.
      • I have not tried to bury your opinions nor have I tried to prevent people forming their own. In fact, Armageddon was written to allow people to think about issues that are not often addressed in fiction. Nor have I asserted that the book can do no wrong. What I have done is taken your objections and shown that they are not supportable. In some cases, you have described things as impractical when they actually exist and are in use, in others you have criticized elements that do not occur in the book at all ("technobabble" being a case in point). You certainly have the right to raise objections, when you make them in a public forum I have an equal right to counter them and show why the objections are unfounded. I have done you the courtesy of addressing each of your objections and giving you the background behind that factor including the thinking that led to its inclusion. As to my alleged insinuations that you don't know what you are talking about, more than a few of your objections are based on a lack of knowledge of what actually constitutes current military practice or national mobilization plans. Others show a complete lack of thought - for example your comments about aversion to iron (and your reply where you imply that the human response to eating elemental sodium is an allergy - actually the result would be a swift and agonizingly painful death). The comment that tripped the remark about censorship was simple, paraphrased "why would anybody want to write a book like this/what purpose does writing this book serve". These are standard comments from people who believe that a given publication should be suppressed. Be that as it may, your comment that you don't like the story, find the characters boring and the plot twists predictable is one you are perfectly entitled to and since everybody's tastes differ I would have no argument with your opinions. However, your criticisms went far beyond that and into areas where you were factually inaccurate and were critising things that weren't in the book or which could not be substantiated. Those, I do have a right to refute.
      • By the way, the statement that "but then the mark of a great writer is to write a book everyone can enjoy," is factually incorrect. Since Armageddon???? has been read and enjoyed by people ranging politically from the extreme right to extreme left, religiously from atheists to devout Catholics and in age terms from early teens to late sixties, if your definitition was correct it would give me good claim to be a great writer but, since it isn't, I can't make that claim. :(
      • Incidentally, I find it amusing that the guy complaining about the book is whining in mounds of text about his arguments being buried under mounds of text, instead of addressing the arguments themselves.
      • I think the problem people are having with the whole "the end is never in doubt" thing is that they're looking at it the wrong way. The Salvation War isn't a dramatic narrative. Its a mockumentary. Just look at any real-life documentary for a parallel. In World War II, once the Red Army turned the tide on the German armies and the Americans added a massive, unassailable industrial base to the war effort, the end of the war was never realistically in doubt. Nonetheless, some of the most interesting, vicious, dramatic, and heroic battles were fought in that stage of the war. If you're watching a WWII documentary, it remains interesting even when you're well aware that the war's end is not in doubt, because the documentary contains an account of a different and interesting time. Similarly, though TSW's end isn't really in doubt, it remains interesting because it is, for all intents and purposes, a documentary of a fictional war between humanity, Heaven, and Hell. You know the Allies are going to win in WWII, and you know the humans are going to win in TSW. The story therefore isn't whether they are going to win, but what happens while the war is being fought. How was the war won? What was it like for the demons facing a massive artillery barrage they've never encountered before? What was it like to be on the receiving end of a lava storm? How did the humans finally put an end to Belial? And a thousand other questions, and a thousand other stories, both large and small. That's what makes it interesting.

    • Rogue 7: Author (my apologies for not having a more specific title than that), you've mentioned several times that this book is character-focused, more so than plot-focused. I don't really share that interpretation. I found just about every single human character in the book to be shallow, ill-defined, and simplistic. I could not remember anything specific about just about every single OC, and a good 2/3 of the time, I couldn't even remember their names. That's largely, I think, a result of the way yout told the story- it jumps around from viewpoint to viewpoint, with each character's viewpoint serving to move the story forwards and advance the plot. Their actions are designed to move the plot forward, not drawn from what you thought the characters would do in that situation. The characters were there for the sake of plot, and you never had a need to establish motivations, goals, specific aspects of personality, or other things that make characters interesing and memorable. In a sense that's fine- epic, plot-driven stories are all well and good (I find The Lord of the Rings to be a prime example of that), but the complete lack of tension set up in the story (It's not that we know the humans will win, we know it'll be a Curb-Stomp Battle) kills that aspect. The lack of tension means that the work has to be borne on the backs of its characters if I as a reader am going to find it interesting, and the characters fall flat.

      • The bouncing around part is a direct reflection of the fact that the story is taking part simultaneously across a very wide canvas. The alternative is to follow one thread for a long time, then bounce back in time and pick up another story. The latter approach makes it easier to write and plot, the former gives a much better sense of simultanuity. At one time, the second approach was predominant and could be recognized by its constant use of the phrase, "while all this had been happening," These days (from about the 1990s onwards) the bouncing around style is preferred. Larry Bond sort of kicked it off with hsi novels, he influenced Tom Clancy and it spread from there.

      • Sorry you didn't like the characters. Still, each to his own.

NoDot: It begins.

Felius: On a completely random side note, I'd really love to see a crossover of this with WH 40 K. I mean, imagine what would be of the legions of hell if meeting the forces of Chaos. Or the space marines (specially considering that they already have extremely huge "small arms". Or even the Guard, whose lasguns, while pretty useless against everything else, would probably be of use against beings that can be shot with current weaponry. And not even to count the artillery and the tanks.
  • That would be fun, but not for the obvious reasons; the story would be an absolute, shameless, unabated curbstomping, but who was doing the curbstomping would depend entirely on the author. If it was a WH 40 K author, humanity would get owned in about a picosecond by supersoldiers, daemons, humongous mecha, tactical space elves, rape-happy space elves, alien locusts, or living metal monstrosities and the Eldritch Abomination gods. If the authors of TSW wrote it, it would be a curb stomp the other way, with humanity discovering that microwaves kill psychic powers and other "let's break the laws of the setting in very selective ways to the benefits of the humans and the detriment of everyone else" handwaves. I give them ten minutes before they hack into the Necrons' programming.
    • A nonsensical comment; as a professional military analyst, the author is entirely well aware of what modern military technology can and cannot do.
      • Warhammer40000, like most religious texts, runs off an internal logic inherent to the system. The setting doesn't work without the existence and nature of the Warp and Chaos functioning in a very specific way. However, like a religious text, I have no doubt that these differences would be pared off and handwaved away by an author who wanted humanity to win. It's not purely about military technology; it's about reconciling the differences between the functionality of the two universes.
  • What laws? Whay we have for salvation war is a bunch of seriously distorted ancient stories. Show me where these law say that demons are immune to 120 mm anti-tank rounds.
    • Because whenever there's a conflict between the laws/lore of the setting and the laws of Earth, they're always resolved in the humans' favor; f'rinstance, if you follow the lore, all God would have to do to put Earth down for the count is drop Metatron (size "equal to the breadth of the whole world") or Sandalphon (500-year journey from the bottom of his toes to his head) between Earth and the sun; aside from blocking out the sun, they're massive enough to destabilize the planet's orbit and cause The End of the World as We Know It. So, of course, that will be revealed to have been a lie, because humanity can't lose.
      • Also nonsensical. TSW:A is based on the concept that hard science overrules mythology. It;'s not that humanity cannot lose, they can. It's just that science and technology will always beat myth and superstition. Demonstrably correct, they always do. The descriptions of "Metatron" and "Sandalaphon" are physical impossibilities; they can be ruled out for that reason alone.
      • Except, of course, they're supposed to come from a dimension that has different rules than ours. Such a life form may be impossible in our universe, but there's no reason why it has to be impossible under a set of alien laws. It just one of the many examples of how the rules and material of the setting have been cherry-picked to give humanity the greatest advantage possible- think a retelling of the Winter War, only the Finns are immortal, and the Soviets are quadriplegics with cap guns.
      • Yet more nonsense. The rules of physics in the Universe-Two dimension are explictly stated to be different but related to the same laws in Universe-1 (ours). A creature of the size specified would be beyond any sort of physical laws. So, its obvious the size explanations are the original author simply trying to say "very very big", Giving enormous numbers or dimensions just to mean "large" is a veryw ell-established ancient scribe habit. And the daemons.angels are very big by human standards. The Leopard Beast and Scarlet Beast are 200 feet plus tall. An ancient scribe would describe that as "reaching to the stars". That doesn't mean we should interpret that as a minimum of eight light years tall.
      • Except for the part where people in Hell don't need to eat, are massively regenerative, and the creation of infinite energy systems using portals is possible. So the laws are the same, except where they aren't, and the places where they aren't have been arranged to give humanity the advantage.
      • That and we still haven't even seen what Metatron and Sandalaphon even look like in TSW, let alone whether Yaweh can even generate a portal big enough to cram them through. That and they can't create a portal without a Nephilim or a demon/angel to serve as the anchor point on the other side, which is hard to do in space.
      • Even if you can't, just drop them on the surface; they're massive enough to cause The End of the World as We Know It just by being here.
      • Already dealt with. They wouldn;t be that big.
      • And they can't generate a portal big enough to stuff something that big inside.
      • Because the laws of the universe have been arranged to make them not so big by author fiat.
      • It's worth noting that there are no references to Metatron in the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament), Christian Scriptures (New Testament), or the Quran. Let alone any description. Metatron is also mentioned in the Pseudepigrapha, most prominently in the Hebrew/Merkabah Book of Enoch, also called 3 Enoch or Sefer Hekhalot (Book of the Heavenly Palaces) as being a transformed human and a heavenly scribe. So the poor guy is probably keeping the books in Michael-Lan's nightclub.Sandalphon is supposed to be the twin of Metatron. I'm sure he'll have an interesting fate in due course. Important point; both references to these two form part of the apocrypha and are not part of the canonical texts.
      • Except the canonical texts have been repeatedly stated as wrong, incomplete, misinterpreted, so on. It's extremely convenient how all of the wrongness, lack of completion, misinterpretation, etc all stacks up in a way designed to give humanity a crushing victory. To paraphrase DM of the Rings: "We're talking about a very specific level of wrongness."
      • On the contrary, the storyline shows exactly how and why misinterpretations and differences occurerd and they are supported by evidence from contemporary writings on things like force levels etc. So, again, your argument doesn't hold water.
      • I disagree. Every misinterpretation has, thus far, always, always, always worked out in humanity's favor. The laws of the universe are alien, but just alien enough for us to exploit and never alien enough to give it's residents an advantage (which is a little odd, since they've been living there for a bit longer, and would understand how things work a bit better.)
      • Wrong yet again. I'm really beginning to think you have never read these books. Once again, if the physical laws are too different then interaction becomes impossible and no story is possible and, by the way, Christian mythology becomes a demonstrated fraud. In fact, teh situation is rigged to give the daemons as much advantage as possible with the mnessage it won't do them any good.
      • Also, what's this "humans can't lose" nonsense? Detroit and Sheffield disagree with you, as do the Israeli Defense Force and the people of Jerusalem, who are currently getting their asses kicked by the Scarlet Beast and the Whore of Babylon.
      • And the humans aren't exactly effortlessly winning, either. They've got to draft every man and woman they've got, they've pulled every veteran they can find back into service, their supplies are running low, they've barely even begun to secure Hell, and they're getting raided often by Heaven's forces, who have shown capability to actually defeat human aircraft and ground forces. If anything, Stuart Slade's having to deliberately stack the deck in favor of the demons and angels for them to stand a chance against human technology.
  • And Because bringing in Third party Splat-books is also sticking to the rules of the setting.
    • Exactly. Dante's just ascended Fanon, but it's been incorporated into the setting pretty much verbatim (the fact that Inferno is canon, but Purgatory isn't even in the cards is a fair demonstration of the cherry-picking that went into creating this cosmology.)
      • Once more, utter nonsense. Hell was defined as being Dante's inferno for well-defined plot reasons (a Daemon got into Dante's head and showed him what he was in for) and because it gave people a familiar frame of reference they could relate to. The other parts of the Divine Comedy simply are not relevent to the storyline and its notable that while everybody knows's Dante's Hell, his Purgatory and Heaven are barely present in the collective consciousness. Dante doesn;t contradict the basic Judeo-Christian mythology. Your splat-books do.
      • My splats are part of Judeo-Christian mythology. See my above point re cherry-picking.
      • No, they are not. They're apocrypha that ahs specifically been rejected from canon. Your cherry picking point is unsupportable.
      • No, my cherry-picking point is perfectly supported. The Divine Comedy is one work, but the inconvenient parts of it have been ignored because they talk about the existence of Purgatory, people in heaven after the gates were supposedly shut, and have Yahweh as something other than a Power Rangers villain. This is the same reason that it's obvious other Christian fan-works won't be incorporated- putting the Space Trilogy, for instance, would put humanity in the crosshairs of the Oyeresu and the Un-Man, whose abilities would have to be rationalized away in some way. (Because humanity actually losing is totally unthinkable.)
      • Yet more nonsense and your cherry-picking argument is utterly discredited. Dante was used because it was convenient and allowed a setting people were familiar with and would understand, Nobody ever reads Purgatory and Heaven and in any case they are irrelevent since at the time the first book appeared neither Heaven nor Purgatory received any coverage in the story line. The story took place on Earth and in Hell. So, they aren't included because they contributed nothing. And we've already pointed out that modern fiction including the Space Trilogy is not a valid or canon source. They are other fictional stories of no relevence. They might as well be criticized because their content doesn't agree with TSW:A

  • I'am quite curious why exactly the author chose to have the demons fight a convential war. What I mean is before the start of the salvation war demons seemed to do nothing but torment random humans on a small scale and fight amongest themselves. The fact they have a standing army anagalous to a human bronze age army just seems odd. While I may have missed something I always got the idea the demons used subterfuge and kissing up to superiors to gain higher standing. So did the demonic counts, dukes, and such use their own legions in open battle against one another on a grand scale; and if not why is it that the demonic legions exist in their current state? i.e a giant mass that can be shot pieces by modern armies.
    • The basic scenario is a reflection of the situation as described in the Book of Revelation mixed up with human myths, legends and constant themes that appeared therein (ranging from legends such as Beowulf though to Tolkien. These all feature a final great battle for the Earth (hence Abigor's Army invading) and/or sieges with communities under assault by hideous, unnatural monsters (whether those monsters be daemons themselves, 'dragons' orcs and trolls, whatever). So, the end-time assault that was supposed to remove humans from play so to speak was a massive assault by a fearsome daemon army. Now, make no mistake, that army was fearsome by the standards of warfare up to as little as a hundred years ago. Two hundred years ago, it really would have run riot over anything that humanity could put against it - for example, can you imagine an Army from the Seven or Thirty Years War trying to stop one of Abigor's Legions let alone dozens of them? As we've discussed, it would probably be a World War One Army before human forces had even a fighting chance of slowing Abigor down and really World War Two before the prospect of winning becomes imaginable. So, the concept of sending a daemon army in would be an effective, viable strategy until very recently. It would have led to the prospect of cities being besieged by that army and eventually falling in scenes of horrifying blood and slaughter. That is the seed of folk-memories in our culture that gave rise to stories of besieged communities. Of course, things didn't work out that way. The political model of Hell is a mix of renaissance Italy and 30 years war Germany in which it is cut up into relatively small Feudal states that maintain their own armies and are constantly jockeying for position. Satan kept things that way because while all the lords were conspiring against each other, they weren't conspiring against him. "Warfare" between the lords was tightly controlled and mostly for show. Armies would parade and have pushing-shoving matches until one side felt itself at a disadvantage and then there would be a discussion and a minor border adjustment. All very stylized and actually quite "civilized". The daemons didn't really fight to win in the sense we know it, they fought to make a point and gain an advantage. Then they ran into humans who invented total war and proceded to use it on the daemons. Ooops. However, that culture of constant conflict is why there is a standing daemonic army; its the sum of the forces maintained by the Grand Dukes to defend their own interests in Hell. Sucking up to Satan is certainly one part of daemon Grand Dukes et al maintaining and/or advancing their positions but retaining significant military forces is another. Of course, too large a force and it becomes a threat to Satan which is why Satan maintained a large standing army of his own. All very medieval.

Andy Waltfeld: So apparently there's an Edit War going on over the link to The Tar Pit, AKA "The Salvation War: the MST-cum-merciless criticism." Frankly, as a longtime supporter of TSW proper, even I find this particular dissemination pretty hilarious. But sooner or later we're going to have to decide whether to keep the link in the main page or shuffle it among our Crowner selections, because just one guy constantly deleting the link isn't helping his own case.

Stu: I don't think it's a particularly useful or informative page; very little on it can be supported. However, since I have a direct interest in this, I recused myself from whether it should stay or go. The guy who's putting the reference in is the same one who started an edit war on So Bad, It's Horrible; obviously he's obsessed by this. I don't know who did the latest deletion. Obviously I favor that but it's not my call and I'm content to abide by majority opinion.

Unknown Troper: I'm the one who pulled it the two most recent times. From my observation, blogs like that tend to get pulled from most article pages at one point or another, both positive and negative. We just don't tend to link external reviews in a work's page, from what I've seen. A good precedent I've seen was a brief edit war some time back over Spoony's rather extremely critical take on Final Fantasy VIII, and it was eventually pulled and kept off that article.

Stu: that sounds a very reasonable policy to me. Unfortunately Jurrassicmosquito is still wageing his edit war and insisting on putting it in. I've just deleted it again along with another minor bit of vandalism.

Krisnack: If he can't put it in at the main page, is there somewhere else he can put it as a compromise?

Stu: In a word, no. This site is concerned with literary devices and conventions used in works of fiction. It is not the place for him to complain about a work he doesn't like let alone the obsessive whining that he has displayed to date. In addition, it's worth noting that he comprehensively and completely lost every argument he started - in the words of The Unkwown Troper, he got pwned and he ran away to whine elsewhere. I see no need to compromise with him. There are plenty of other sites (including the one where he and his fellow-whiners came from) can moan to their heart's content. His obsessive desire to whine at any site where TSW:A is mentioned is getting dangerously close to cyber-stalking.

Unknown Troper: Right. TV Tropes is a fairly nuetral site anyway. We're not here to editorialize on these kinds of things (though some people forget about that....) If the guy really wants to provicde his opinion, there is a review feature available.

Malchus: It should be noted, though, that the review function is not for Complaining About Shows You Don't Like. Or worse, Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch (as a now deleted review actually admitted in the review itself). If you have to review, whatever your opinion, at least try to make it well-thought out and as objective as possible and make sure that you have actually read at least one of the stories.

Nornagest: Cut the following:

  • Might be Rule of Funny but the one hundred proof Southern Comfort is stated as "100% proof". If you've seen labels alcoholic proof and percent alcohol are not remotely confusable if you read properly, looking something along the lines of "100 Proof" line "50% alc/vol"

Originally, liquor which was one hundred percent (or degrees) proof had just enough alcohol in it that gunpowder doused with it will continue to burn; this is close to, but not exactly, fifty percent alcohol by volume. Fifty percent proof is half that concentration. With changing needs and distillation technology, proof is now expressed as half the percent concentration of alcohol by volume, but the "percent proof" terminology hasn't completely died. Southern Comfort may or may not use it; I don't drink the stuff.

Malchus: Taking these out as Completely Missing the Point is supposed to be for in-story examples. Plus, the discussion is kinda long and nattery. Of course, I'd welcome being pointed to the appropriate trope and having an abbreviated entry put up.

  • Completely Missing the Point: A lot of the complaints from detractors seem to stem from the demons and angels not being the immune to bullets immortals most people interpret them to be from details in The Bible, specifically the Book of Revelations. For the purposes of the story (as stated by the author), most of the content of the Bible is inaccurate, and is presented as a mixture of deliberately misleading propaganda, self-aggrandizement and people trying to explain things that they don't understand. As the story goes on, it's made apparent that even the demons (and possibly the angels) are subject to this since they are not able to explain their own backgrounds beyond "God/Satan said so." See also the Doing in the Wizard entry on this page.
    • The text of the story states specifically that the legend of daemonic immunity comes from the time when they last appeared on earth and humanity was armed only with bronze swords and spears. Against such weapons (and against contemporary bows and arrows) the daemons' tough anatomy, resistance to wounds and infection and their accelerated recovery meant that they were functionally immune to the weapons of the era. However, that immunity is descriptive not proscriptive; when faced with humanity's 21st century weapons that are orders of magnitude more lethal than bronze swords, the daemons are vulnerable. Even so, killing them isn't easy, conventional small arms are pretty ineffective against them, it takes dozens of 5.56mm bullet hits to kill a daemon and even big rounds such as .50s require multiple hits. Humans adapt by adopting bigger guns (going back to the full-powered rifle rounds used up to the 1960s).
      • Reminds this troper of the demon "The Judge" in Buffy:
        The Judge: No weapon forged can harm me.
        *Buffy hefts anti-tank rocket launcher*
        Buffy: That was then. This is now.
      • Exactly. In fact, if one thinks about it logically, any claim to "immunity" refers to a specific place and time. Outside that context, immunity has a pretty short life.
      • Also, IIRC, the story grew from an observation that, even in the Bible, Yahweh is not the army-shattering powerhouse he is oft held to be. I forget the verse, but at one point, the Israelites take on a force with iron chariots, and lose because God is not with them. Now, if iron chariots are enough to intimidate the Lord of All, what would he think of a modern Main Battle Tank?
      • KJV Judges 1:19 "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." Of course, in Judges 4 Yahweh manages to rout Sisera's iron chariots. Hurray for consistency? Anyway, the original observation was that iron chariots are actually terrible war machines, because they were too heavy for horses to pull. Which means that iron has some advantage over Yahweh that makes iron chariots a worthwhile investment.
      • God might've been with the army of Judah, but recall that their failing to take the plains comes after an absurdly long campaign wherein they conquered almost a dozen armies and four or five cities, and all the land that entails. They were certainly exhausted, and perhaps these iron chariots were just a bit too much.
      • The quote above states that Judah was unable to drive out the inhabitants of the valley because of their chariots. We can assume that Yahweh granted him equal favour in each case and that in the second, it just wasn't enough against the magic metal war machines or what have you.

  • I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but since the author seems to be active here, i thought i might: is the print version out yet? i serched on Amazon and came out empty handed... if it is, can someone point me to somewhere that sells it, and that ships ro south america?

    • The print version is in process of copy-editing; this is a complex and demanding task since it involves restructuring some sections, adding extra material to improve the flow of the narrative and deleting some dead ends and extraneous material. In some cases, what appears as separate sections in the original have been merged and shifted in position to improve the time-flow. The current schedule is to have the finished version out in June 2010 by which time TSW:P will be finished and ready to enter the production cycle. Once TSW:A is available, it will be on Amazon.