History Literature / Genome

17th Mar '18 7:18:47 AM tkzv
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Added DiffLines:

** The virtual sex simulation, which Alex finally picks after several failures, repeats the plot of a popular Soviet romantic dramedy ''Office Romance'' about an accountant (divorced and raising 2 sons) falling in love with his boss.


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* TreasureChestCavity: One of Kim's many modifications is a fist-sized poach in her stomach. The novel starts with her hiding there a very valuable stolen device. The poach has many uses for a genetically specialized super-spy, although [[spoiler:it's implied that she's been designed a couple decades ago precisely for smuggling this particular crystal]].
23rd Dec '17 8:20:02 PM Malady
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* AlienAmongUs - [[BeePeople Zzygou]] females look very similar to young human girls. With some plastic surgery, they can easily pass for a human.
* AnimatedTattoo - An imp that doubles as an ExpressiveShirt.
* BeePeople - the Zzygou are insectoids with females in charge. The males have only recently been granted intelligence, as mindless drones are unable to operate complex equipment.
* BlueBlood - given the nature of the novel, the degenerate remains of the old aristocracies on the planet Heraldica have deliberately modified themselves to have blue blood. Presumably, it's only coloring, and it's still iron-based.
* BrainComputerInterface - in the prequel, neuroshunts are brain implants with a port on one side of the head. Most people have them, and they're required for most jobs. They allow a direct interface with a computer. Most newer models are also equipped with radio plugins that allow people to control small appliances and the like but deliberately don't have the bandwidth of a direct cable connection (for security purposes). Often enough, a shunt one has as a child determines the kinds of jobs one can do as an adult. Additionally, for adults, it's far more difficult, dangerous, and expensive to upgrade a neuroshunt. Some of those who can afford it don't do it out of principle, not seeing the point of upgrading to a newer model every year (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). In the novel, [[KidHero Tikkirey]] has a Creative Gigabit 101, which is a very respectable shunt on his backwater planet. Then he arrives to a prosperous world and is told that his "advanced" model is sub-par at best by local standards.
* BugWar - the war with the Zzygou is a very real threat in ''Genome''.
* BuxomIsBetter - used in the first novel by the protagonist to figure out that [[spoiler:Edgar]] is not who he claims to be. A teenage boy's virtual fantasy would not have women of normal proportions.
* Catch22Dilemma - after Alex finds out that Kim is not only a fighter-spesh but also a [[HighClassCallGirl hetaera]]-spesh, Janet explains that Kim's second specialization has caused her to fall in love with Alex (also as gratitude for helping her earlier). A hetaera-spesh is designed to fall completely in love with her client and be unable to fall out of love until he reciprocates. Unfortunately, Alex is a pilot-spesh and is utterly incapable of feeling love for another person, which means that they are stuck with Kim loving him and him being unable to reciprocate and also be unable to keep her away due to him feeling responsible for anyone under his wing (another part of him being a pilot-spesh). [[spoiler:He solves this dilemma later by convincing a genetic scientist to provide him a temporary cure for the psychological effects of specialization, which both allows Kim to fall out of love with him and allows himself to experience love (not for Kim)]].
* CloningBlues - in ''Dances on the Snow'', cloning is a major plotline, as it is a fairly new technology. By ''Genome'', however, it is so commonplace that worthy individuals are often cloned multiple times in order to preserve their skills. The clones are recognized as equal to normal humans.
* CompellingVoice - several characters in ''Dances on the Snow'' have special training that allows them to use "Imperative Voice" with this effect. During the climax, two characters vie for control of the protagonist with both using Imperative Voice.

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* AlienAmongUs - AlienAmongUs: [[BeePeople Zzygou]] females look very similar to young human girls. With some plastic surgery, they can easily pass for a human.
* AnimatedTattoo - AnimatedTattoo: An imp that doubles as an ExpressiveShirt.
* BeePeople - BeePeople: the Zzygou are insectoids with females in charge. The males have only recently been granted intelligence, as mindless drones are unable to operate complex equipment.
* BlueBlood - BlueBlood: given the nature of the novel, the degenerate remains of the old aristocracies on the planet Heraldica have deliberately modified themselves to have blue blood. Presumably, it's only coloring, and it's still iron-based.
* BrainComputerInterface - BrainComputerInterface: in the prequel, neuroshunts are brain implants with a port on one side of the head. Most people have them, and they're required for most jobs. They allow a direct interface with a computer. Most newer models are also equipped with radio plugins that allow people to control small appliances and the like but deliberately don't have the bandwidth of a direct cable connection (for security purposes). Often enough, a shunt one has as a child determines the kinds of jobs one can do as an adult. Additionally, for adults, it's far more difficult, dangerous, and expensive to upgrade a neuroshunt. Some of those who can afford it don't do it out of principle, not seeing the point of upgrading to a newer model every year (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). In the novel, [[KidHero Tikkirey]] has a Creative Gigabit 101, which is a very respectable shunt on his backwater planet. Then he arrives to a prosperous world and is told that his "advanced" model is sub-par at best by local standards.
* BugWar - BugWar: the war with the Zzygou is a very real threat in ''Genome''.
* BuxomIsBetter - BuxomIsBetter: used in the first novel by the protagonist to figure out that [[spoiler:Edgar]] is not who he claims to be. A teenage boy's virtual fantasy would not have women of normal proportions.
* Catch22Dilemma - Catch22Dilemma: after Alex finds out that Kim is not only a fighter-spesh but also a [[HighClassCallGirl hetaera]]-spesh, Janet explains that Kim's second specialization has caused her to fall in love with Alex (also as gratitude for helping her earlier). A hetaera-spesh is designed to fall completely in love with her client and be unable to fall out of love until he reciprocates. Unfortunately, Alex is a pilot-spesh and is utterly incapable of feeling love for another person, which means that they are stuck with Kim loving him and him being unable to reciprocate and also be unable to keep her away due to him feeling responsible for anyone under his wing (another part of him being a pilot-spesh). [[spoiler:He solves this dilemma later by convincing a genetic scientist to provide him a temporary cure for the psychological effects of specialization, which both allows Kim to fall out of love with him and allows himself to experience love (not for Kim)]].
* CloningBlues - CloningBlues: in ''Dances on the Snow'', cloning is a major plotline, as it is a fairly new technology. By ''Genome'', however, it is so commonplace that worthy individuals are often cloned multiple times in order to preserve their skills. The clones are recognized as equal to normal humans.
* CompellingVoice - CompellingVoice: several characters in ''Dances on the Snow'' have special training that allows them to use "Imperative Voice" with this effect. During the climax, two characters vie for control of the protagonist with both using Imperative Voice.



* ADateWithRosiePalms - Alex remembers his school's sex ed class, where the instructor was explaining to the boys proper masturbation technique. Justified, since society's views on sex have changed drastically since modern times. Additionally, Alex is a pilot, and pilots are expected to spend a long time in space, potentially away from any sexual partners.
* DesignerBabies - the Speshs, although everyone has some sort of gene therapy done to fix certain defects, such as poor eyesight.
* DiscriminateAndSwitch - when the Zzygou and their human-clone guide get on-board, Pak Generalov is very hostile towards the group. Naturally, everyone assumes he hates aliens (not an uncommon sentiment). However, it turns out he's ok with the Zzygou. It's clones he can't stand.

to:

* ADateWithRosiePalms - ADateWithRosiePalms: Alex remembers his school's sex ed class, where the instructor was explaining to the boys proper masturbation technique. Justified, since society's views on sex have changed drastically since modern times. Additionally, Alex is a pilot, and pilots are expected to spend a long time in space, potentially away from any sexual partners.
* DesignerBabies - DesignerBabies: the Speshs, although everyone has some sort of gene therapy done to fix certain defects, such as poor eyesight.
* DiscriminateAndSwitch - DiscriminateAndSwitch: when the Zzygou and their human-clone guide get on-board, Pak Generalov is very hostile towards the group. Naturally, everyone assumes he hates aliens (not an uncommon sentiment). However, it turns out he's ok with the Zzygou. It's clones he can't stand.



* EarthThatUsedToBeBetter - while Earth isn't mentioned much, there are indications that the ecological situation on the planet has radically changed since the 21st century. For example, Odessa, Ukraine, is mentioned to be located in or near a rainforest. Apparently, there are lions in that rainforest, which is a little odd, since lions don't typically live in rainforests.
* EasterEgg - the final chapter of ''Genome'' contains a coded message that can be found by only reading the capital letters.

to:

* EarthThatUsedToBeBetter - EarthThatUsedToBeBetter: while Earth isn't mentioned much, there are indications that the ecological situation on the planet has radically changed since the 21st century. For example, Odessa, Ukraine, is mentioned to be located in or near a rainforest. Apparently, there are lions in that rainforest, which is a little odd, since lions don't typically live in rainforests.
* EasterEgg - EasterEgg: the final chapter of ''Genome'' contains a coded message that can be found by only reading the capital letters.



* [[TheEmpire Empire, The]] - humans are all subjects of the Empire and are ruled by an Emperor. It is not a tyrannical rule, however. There are also several alien empires.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses - Zei-so is a [[BeePeople Zzygou]] princess.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap - in the prequel, this is how Captain Stas figures out how [[spoiler:Iney is brainwashing entire planetary populations to join their federation. He tells Tikkirey that Iney produces many popular virtual shows... then realizes that, in order to watch them, people have to plug in with their [[BrainComputerInterface neuroshunts]], opening themselves up to covert influence]].

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* [[TheEmpire Empire, The]] - The]]: humans are all subjects of the Empire and are ruled by an Emperor. It is not a tyrannical rule, however. There are also several alien empires.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses - EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Zei-so is a [[BeePeople Zzygou]] princess.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap - ExplainExplainOhCrap: in the prequel, this is how Captain Stas figures out how [[spoiler:Iney is brainwashing entire planetary populations to join their federation. He tells Tikkirey that Iney produces many popular virtual shows... then realizes that, in order to watch them, people have to plug in with their [[BrainComputerInterface neuroshunts]], opening themselves up to covert influence]].



* FantasticRacism - several human factions despise aliens. There is also distrust between the Speshs and the Naturals.

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* FantasticRacism - FantasticRacism: several human factions despise aliens. There is also distrust between the Speshs and the Naturals.



* FlashStep - any fighter-spesh can move [[SuperSpeed faster than the eye can see]] when necessary, so any non-fighter will see them move to another location in the blink of an eye with barely a blur.
* FreeLoveFuture - played straight on some human worlds. Additionally, it's not an uncommon practice to file for a time-limited marriage contract as short as 24 hours. Alex uses this, as well as his captain's prerogative to set the time aboard his ship, to get Kim an ID without alerting anyone who might be looking for her. Additionally, Alex and Kim go into a discussion about their respective sex education, and Alex is surprised to find out that Kim's wealthy parents hired a guy to instruct her in sex (she's in her low teens), pointing out that all he had was the standard virtual instruction at his school. Kim explains that she had that too, but the real thing is better.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke - the main plotline of the first novel.
* GreatDetective - Peter "C-the-Forty-Forth" Valk is a detective-spesh from the planet Zodiac, who prefers to be called SherlockHolmes and adopts the mannerisms of his literary prototype (such as smoking a pipe and playing the violin) and even finds a doctor named Watson to be his sidekick (a female doctor named Jenny Watson, although [[Series/{{Elementary}} that's no longer so strange]]). Like any detective-spesh, he lacks any human emotion, except for his absolute devotion to law. It's stated that detective-speshes solve over 90% of their cases. There is a reason the original Peter Valk has been cloned at least 44 times, and all of his clones have lived up to the name.
* GreatOffscreenWar - several wars are mentioned but none described.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace - using the tunnels is tricky. Only navigator-sheshes (or rare Natural navigators) are capable of successfully plotting a course through the five-dimensional space. It's even stated that there is actually only one tunnel in the universe. Since humans are unable to perceive five dimensions (or even four), it appears that there are multiple tunnels. Maneuvering inside a tunnel is impossible. The exit point depends on the entry vector and the speed of the drive pulsation. There are also stories from old spacers who claims to have seen ghost ships or even mirror images of their own ships in the tunnel. Alex admits that they're all probably made up.
* ImmortalityImmorality - [[spoiler:Edward Garlitski]] is, effectively, immortal, as [[spoiler:he exists as an [[BrainUploading uploaded brain]] in a processing crystal]]. Losing some of their humanity ensued.
* InnocentlyInsensitive - the Zzygou females who arrive aboard the ''Mirror'' tend to refer to the crew as "servants", much to the crewmembers' chagrin. Alex asks their guide to try to explain to the Zzygou that the term is a little offensive.
* InterfaithSmoothie - an unclear example, but Captain Stas mentions some kind of "Catholic jihad" on Earth.
* ISurrenderSuckers - In his Iney-induced dream, Lion spent five years fighting a war on Iney's side. In the dream, Lion had a close friend, who was killed, when they were ambushed by their unspecified enemy. Lion was the only survivor. So, he raised his hands as if in surrender... and then killed all the enemies surrounding him with a small weapon he had on his wrist. Strangely, no one considers it a war crime.
* KissMeImVirtual - during downtime, Alex plugs in a gel-crystal full of erotic simulations and goes into VR. When the system asks for parameters, he eliminates anything relating to [[BoldlyComing sex with aliens]], homosexuality, or BDSM, but lets the system randomly generate a scenario. Unfortunately for him, the scenario turns out to involve gerontophilia (i.e. sexual preference for the elderly), and he rejects the old woman and exits the program. He then realizes that, by all rights, he could not have rejected her, since his pilot-spesh conditioning would require him to take care of anyone under his "wing". This is one of the first indications that the serum he took prior to that is starting to work.
* KnightTemplar - humans on the planet Ebon are the followers of the Church of the Angered Christ and believe that all aliens must be exterminated. They have devoted all their efforts into building the most powerful force in the galaxy and bred soldiers specialized in killing and torturing aliens. TheEmpire was forced to quarantine Ebon lest all alien races would band together against them.
* [[invoked]] LesYay - it's mentioned that, for some reason, the UnusualUserInterface of a spaceship has a tendency to get women to be more attracted to other women, even if they're normally straight. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that FTL travel used to be fatal to non-[[HumanPopsicle frozen]] women prior to the advent of the genetic age.
* NoWomansLand - A mild example in ''Dances on the Snow''. According to Captain Stas, because women can only survive FTL travel as {{Human Popsicle}}s, human civilization has been developing as overly masculine: logical, serious, slightly aggressive and adventurous, maybe even kind and just, but only if it doesn't go against logic. Women tend to be treated as second-class citizens, especially by spacers, who treat them as "cargo." Without women's input to balance the rationality with emotion, people (even women) are conditioned to think in this manner. This appears to change by ''Genome'', as advances in genetic engineering allow women to endure FTL travel without being frozen.
* NonMammalMammaries - Zzygou have these, being insectoid and all that. Justified: after one removes her spacesuit, we find out those are her ''pseudopodii''.
* TheNoseKnows - an easy way of telling a [[BeePeople Zzygou]] female from a human woman (if the Zzygou is in disguise) is by the strong smell. As it turns out, the Zzygou naturally produce mercaptan (a compound typically added to natural gas, giving it its distinct smell) and are unaware that a smell can be offensive. They have since learned to block the production of the odor at great personal discomfort.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat - no one likes dealing with "Spiders", who are, basically, bureaucrats hooked into virtual interfaces with several cables. Hang Morrison is barred from signing on to another ship by the "Spiders" demanding that he provide certain details about his family history, which would take him days to acquire. [[spoiler:Of course, it's later revealed that this is all part of the plan to start a war with the Zzygou]].
* ParentalAbandonment - the prequel novel starts with the protagonist's parents volunteering to commit suicide to get their son a government stipend. Naturally, they don't bother asking him first, and only tell him after it's already too late (they have already taken the 24-hour poison). He resents them for this decision for a decent chunk of the novel.

to:

* FlashStep - FlashStep: any fighter-spesh can move [[SuperSpeed faster than the eye can see]] when necessary, so any non-fighter will see them move to another location in the blink of an eye with barely a blur.
* FreeLoveFuture - FreeLoveFuture: played straight on some human worlds. Additionally, it's not an uncommon practice to file for a time-limited marriage contract as short as 24 hours. Alex uses this, as well as his captain's prerogative to set the time aboard his ship, to get Kim an ID without alerting anyone who might be looking for her. Additionally, Alex and Kim go into a discussion about their respective sex education, and Alex is surprised to find out that Kim's wealthy parents hired a guy to instruct her in sex (she's in her low teens), pointing out that all he had was the standard virtual instruction at his school. Kim explains that she had that too, but the real thing is better.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke - GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: the main plotline of the first novel.
* GreatDetective - GreatDetective: Peter "C-the-Forty-Forth" Valk is a detective-spesh from the planet Zodiac, who prefers to be called SherlockHolmes and adopts the mannerisms of his literary prototype (such as smoking a pipe and playing the violin) and even finds a doctor named Watson to be his sidekick (a female doctor named Jenny Watson, although [[Series/{{Elementary}} that's no longer so strange]]). Like any detective-spesh, he lacks any human emotion, except for his absolute devotion to law. It's stated that detective-speshes solve over 90% of their cases. There is a reason the original Peter Valk has been cloned at least 44 times, and all of his clones have lived up to the name.
* GreatOffscreenWar - GreatOffscreenWar: several wars are mentioned but none described.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace - HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: using the tunnels is tricky. Only navigator-sheshes (or rare Natural navigators) are capable of successfully plotting a course through the five-dimensional space. It's even stated that there is actually only one tunnel in the universe. Since humans are unable to perceive five dimensions (or even four), it appears that there are multiple tunnels. Maneuvering inside a tunnel is impossible. The exit point depends on the entry vector and the speed of the drive pulsation. There are also stories from old spacers who claims to have seen ghost ships or even mirror images of their own ships in the tunnel. Alex admits that they're all probably made up.
* ImmortalityImmorality - ImmortalityImmorality: [[spoiler:Edward Garlitski]] is, effectively, immortal, as [[spoiler:he exists as an [[BrainUploading uploaded brain]] in a processing crystal]]. Losing some of their humanity ensued.
* InnocentlyInsensitive - InnocentlyInsensitive: the Zzygou females who arrive aboard the ''Mirror'' tend to refer to the crew as "servants", much to the crewmembers' chagrin. Alex asks their guide to try to explain to the Zzygou that the term is a little offensive.
* InterfaithSmoothie - InterfaithSmoothie: an unclear example, but Captain Stas mentions some kind of "Catholic jihad" on Earth.
* ISurrenderSuckers - ISurrenderSuckers: In his Iney-induced dream, Lion spent five years fighting a war on Iney's side. In the dream, Lion had a close friend, who was killed, when they were ambushed by their unspecified enemy. Lion was the only survivor. So, he raised his hands as if in surrender... and then killed all the enemies surrounding him with a small weapon he had on his wrist. Strangely, no one considers it a war crime.
* KissMeImVirtual - KissMeImVirtual: during downtime, Alex plugs in a gel-crystal full of erotic simulations and goes into VR. When the system asks for parameters, he eliminates anything relating to [[BoldlyComing sex with aliens]], homosexuality, or BDSM, but lets the system randomly generate a scenario. Unfortunately for him, the scenario turns out to involve gerontophilia (i.e. sexual preference for the elderly), and he rejects the old woman and exits the program. He then realizes that, by all rights, he could not have rejected her, since his pilot-spesh conditioning would require him to take care of anyone under his "wing". This is one of the first indications that the serum he took prior to that is starting to work.
* KnightTemplar - KnightTemplar: humans on the planet Ebon are the followers of the Church of the Angered Christ and believe that all aliens must be exterminated. They have devoted all their efforts into building the most powerful force in the galaxy and bred soldiers specialized in killing and torturing aliens. TheEmpire was forced to quarantine Ebon lest all alien races would band together against them.
* [[invoked]] LesYay - LesYay: it's mentioned that, for some reason, the UnusualUserInterface of a spaceship has a tendency to get women to be more attracted to other women, even if they're normally straight. It may or may not have something to do with the fact that FTL travel used to be fatal to non-[[HumanPopsicle frozen]] women prior to the advent of the genetic age.
* NoWomansLand - NoWomansLand: A mild example in ''Dances on the Snow''. According to Captain Stas, because women can only survive FTL travel as {{Human Popsicle}}s, human civilization has been developing as overly masculine: logical, serious, slightly aggressive and adventurous, maybe even kind and just, but only if it doesn't go against logic. Women tend to be treated as second-class citizens, especially by spacers, who treat them as "cargo." Without women's input to balance the rationality with emotion, people (even women) are conditioned to think in this manner. This appears to change by ''Genome'', as advances in genetic engineering allow women to endure FTL travel without being frozen.
* NonMammalMammaries - NonMammalMammaries: Zzygou have these, being insectoid and all that. Justified: after one removes her spacesuit, we find out those are her ''pseudopodii''.
* TheNoseKnows - TheNoseKnows: an easy way of telling a [[BeePeople Zzygou]] female from a human woman (if the Zzygou is in disguise) is by the strong smell. As it turns out, the Zzygou naturally produce mercaptan (a compound typically added to natural gas, giving it its distinct smell) and are unaware that a smell can be offensive. They have since learned to block the production of the odor at great personal discomfort.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat - ObstructiveBureaucrat: no one likes dealing with "Spiders", who are, basically, bureaucrats hooked into virtual interfaces with several cables. Hang Morrison is barred from signing on to another ship by the "Spiders" demanding that he provide certain details about his family history, which would take him days to acquire. [[spoiler:Of course, it's later revealed that this is all part of the plan to start a war with the Zzygou]].
* ParentalAbandonment - ParentalAbandonment: the prequel novel starts with the protagonist's parents volunteering to commit suicide to get their son a government stipend. Naturally, they don't bother asking him first, and only tell him after it's already too late (they have already taken the 24-hour poison). He resents them for this decision for a decent chunk of the novel.



* StarKilling - the ''Liturgy''-class cruisers developed on Ebon are capable of detonating a star's photosphere to cause an artificial nova, killing all life in the system. This is all a part of their goal to [[KnightTemplar cleanse the universe of any alien lifeforms]] to prepare the path for the "true children of God". This seems to ignore the fact that this would leave much of the galaxy without any habitable worlds.
* StealthInSpace - averted with the crew in ''Cripples'' being forced to use natural obstacles such as asteroids to hide from automated warships.
* TakeThat - the character of Pak Generalov is gay and a clone-hater. Lukyanenko, a [=FidoNet=] user, created him to make fun of a fellow [=FidoNet=] user named Vladimir Generalov, known for his gay-bashing posts.
* UltimateEvil - supposedly, a race so evil and powerful threatens to invade known space, that one of the races posted powerful automated warships to protect everyone.

to:

* StarKilling - StarKilling: the ''Liturgy''-class cruisers developed on Ebon are capable of detonating a star's photosphere to cause an artificial nova, killing all life in the system. This is all a part of their goal to [[KnightTemplar cleanse the universe of any alien lifeforms]] to prepare the path for the "true children of God". This seems to ignore the fact that this would leave much of the galaxy without any habitable worlds.
* StealthInSpace - StealthInSpace: averted with the crew in ''Cripples'' being forced to use natural obstacles such as asteroids to hide from automated warships.
* TakeThat - TakeThat: the character of Pak Generalov is gay and a clone-hater. Lukyanenko, a [=FidoNet=] user, created him to make fun of a fellow [=FidoNet=] user named Vladimir Generalov, known for his gay-bashing posts.
* UltimateEvil - UltimateEvil: supposedly, a race so evil and powerful threatens to invade known space, that one of the races posted powerful automated warships to protect everyone.



* UnusualUserInterface - while standard starship controls exist on any ship, they are there only for traditional purposes. All crewmembers "jack into" the ship's virtual reality network, which they use to perform their function. Speshs are able to do that without any special equipment, as their brainwaves have been altered to be in sync with any mind-machine interface. Naturals require a physical cable to connect their brain implant to the machine.

to:

* UnusualUserInterface - UnusualUserInterface: while standard starship controls exist on any ship, they are there only for traditional purposes. All crewmembers "jack into" the ship's virtual reality network, which they use to perform their function. Speshs are able to do that without any special equipment, as their brainwaves have been altered to be in sync with any mind-machine interface. Naturals require a physical cable to connect their brain implant to the machine.



* VestigialEmpire - the Taii used to rule most of the known universe until their war with an equally-powerful opponent, leading to mutual devastation. Now they are left with a few dozen worlds and outdated technology and are slowly dying out, as younger races take what was once theirs. As a token of respect, the younger races still let the Taii send their ancient moon-sized battleships on patrols of their former holdings. The novel makes a point to mention that the giant ships are usually escorted by modern warships of the younger races a tiny fraction of their size but capable of obliterating the relic with a single volley.

to:

* VestigialEmpire - VestigialEmpire: the Taii used to rule most of the known universe until their war with an equally-powerful opponent, leading to mutual devastation. Now they are left with a few dozen worlds and outdated technology and are slowly dying out, as younger races take what was once theirs. As a token of respect, the younger races still let the Taii send their ancient moon-sized battleships on patrols of their former holdings. The novel makes a point to mention that the giant ships are usually escorted by modern warships of the younger races a tiny fraction of their size but capable of obliterating the relic with a single volley.



* VoluntaryShapeshifting - the killer turns out to be a particular kind of spesh capable of, among other things, assume another person's physical appearance and even specialization.
* [[TheWatson Watson, The]] - Detective Peter C-Forty-Fourth Valk (who prefers to be called Literature/SherlockHolmes) has an assistant named Dr. Jenny Watson, an expert in forensics. Not sure if he picked her because of her name or primarily for her forensics knowledge.
* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture - the standard currency of the Empire.
* WetwareCPU - the prequel novel takes place prior to the invention of gel-crystals. As such, FTL travel requires several humans to be plugged into the navigation system to act as processors for the complex five-dimensional calculations. While this is happening, the "processor" shuts down and only wakes up on arrival. The people who do this are well-paid, but there is a horrible side effect. After a number of such trips, the frontal lobe starts to atrophy due to disuse. Eventually, the "processors" stop making any decisions altogether and no longer wishes to leave the ship. The person still survives, but only as a vegetable. Even after only five years (a standard contract), a person has to spent a decade relearning how to make decisions. The simplest choices (say, between three kinds of lemonade) become painful ordeals.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove - genetically-engineered pilots, detectives, and tax inspectors are incapable of loving another person. A pilot-spesh will instead fall in love with his or her ship. Detectives-spesh love the law. Slightly subverted in that they know what love is from before their transformation at mid-teens, or at least as much as a teenager high on hormones can know about love.

to:

* VoluntaryShapeshifting - VoluntaryShapeshifting: the killer turns out to be a particular kind of spesh capable of, among other things, assume another person's physical appearance and even specialization.
* [[TheWatson Watson, The]] - TheWatson: Detective Peter C-Forty-Fourth Valk (who prefers to be called Literature/SherlockHolmes) has an assistant named Dr. Jenny Watson, an expert in forensics. Not sure if he picked her because of her name or primarily for her forensics knowledge.
* WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture - WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture: the standard currency of the Empire.
* WetwareCPU - WetwareCPU: the prequel novel takes place prior to the invention of gel-crystals. As such, FTL travel requires several humans to be plugged into the navigation system to act as processors for the complex five-dimensional calculations. While this is happening, the "processor" shuts down and only wakes up on arrival. The people who do this are well-paid, but there is a horrible side effect. After a number of such trips, the frontal lobe starts to atrophy due to disuse. Eventually, the "processors" stop making any decisions altogether and no longer wishes to leave the ship. The person still survives, but only as a vegetable. Even after only five years (a standard contract), a person has to spent a decade relearning how to make decisions. The simplest choices (say, between three kinds of lemonade) become painful ordeals.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove - WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: genetically-engineered pilots, detectives, and tax inspectors are incapable of loving another person. A pilot-spesh will instead fall in love with his or her ship. Detectives-spesh love the law. Slightly subverted in that they know what love is from before their transformation at mid-teens, or at least as much as a teenager high on hormones can know about love.
24th Aug '17 5:59:11 AM XFllo
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* DeadLittleSister - the detective-spesh investigating the murder finds out that Alex's older brother was killed many years before in a skirmish between a Zzygou ship (commanded by the victim) and his own patrol ship. However, Alex explains that he has only met his brother a handful of times, as the brother was a government-sponsored child, who was almost immediately sent to an Imperial boarding school, and doesn't feel any particular kinship with him. The detective-spesh accepts this as the truth.
14th Feb '17 11:33:44 AM ChronoLegion
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* PracticalEffects: An in-universe example. In the prequel, Captain Stas mentions a new retro-action flick set in BibleTimes being made using real-life actors, sets, and special effects. No CGI at all, which is unheard of in that day and age. Even the actors are going to be hypnotised to believe that it's all real. The movie is called ''The Wise Man of Nazareth''.
14th Feb '17 10:45:44 AM ChronoLegion
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* ISurrenderSuckers - In his Iney-induced dream, Lion spent five years fighting a war on Iney's side. In the dream, Lion had a close friend, who was killed, when they were ambushed by their unspecified enemy. Lion was the only survivor. So, he raised his hands as if in surrender... and then killed all the enemies surrounding him with a small weapon he had on his wrist. Strangely, no one considers it a war crime.
31st Jan '17 6:30:13 AM ChronoLegion
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* SecretTestOfCharacter: Soon after Tikkirey arrives to Avalon and starts working for the Phages, his boss asks him to recycle a defective [[LivingWeapon plasma whip]] that has failed to bond with any Phage. At the recycler, the whip suddenly bonds to Tikkirey, and he can't bring himself to destroy it. He throws a bunch of trash in the recycler that matches the whip's weight and metal content and delivers the receipt to his boss as proof of destruction. Later on, the whip saves his life, when he goes ice skating on a frozen lake and falls through the ice. Captain Stas arrives and tells him that the whip was a test of loyalty... and Tikkirey has failed. However, the fact that the whip has bonded itself to Tikkirey changes things, as this has never happened before. They admit that being bonded to a whip would make it really difficult to destroy it and let him stay.
27th Jan '17 6:42:13 AM ChronoLegion
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* InterfaithSmoothie - an unclear example, but Captain Stas mentions some kind of "Catholic jihad" on Earth.
27th Jan '17 5:25:06 AM ChronoLegion
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* BrainComputerInterface - in the prequel, neuroshunts are brain implants with a port on one side of the head. Most people have them, and they're required for most jobs. They allow a direct interface with a computer. Most newer models are also equipped with radio plugins that allow people to control small appliances and the like but deliberately don't have the bandwidth of a direct cable connection (for security purposes). Often enough, a shunt one has as a child determines the kinds of jobs one can do as an adult. Additionally, for adults, it's far more difficult, dangerous, and expensive to upgrade a neuroshunt. Some of those who can afford it don't do it out of principle, not seeing the point of upgrading to a newer model every year (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). In the novel, [[KidHero Tikkirey]] has a Creative Gigabit 101, which is a very respectable shunt on his backwater planet. Then he arrives to a prosperous world and is told that his "advanced" model is sub-par at best by local standards.
27th Jan '17 5:17:02 AM ChronoLegion
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* ExplainExplainOhCrap - in the prequel, this is how Captain Stas figures out how [[spoiler:Iney is brainwashing entire planetary populations to join their federation. He tells Tikkirey that Iney produces many popular virtual shows... then realizes that, in order to watch them, people have to plug in with their [[BrainComputerInterface neuroshunts]], opening themselves up to covert influence]].
23rd Jan '17 10:49:19 AM ChronoLegion
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* NoWomansLand - A mild example in ''Dances on the Snow''. According to Captain Stas, because women can only survive FTL travel as {{Human Popsicle}}s, human civilization has been developing as overly masculine: logical, serious, slightly aggressive and adventurous, maybe even kind and just, but only if it doesn't go against logic. Women tend to be treated as second-class citizens, especially by spacers, who treat them as "cargo." Without women's input to balance the rationality with emotion, people (even women) are conditioned to think in this manner. This appears to change by ''Genome'', as advances in genetic engineering allow women to endure FTL travel without being frozen.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.Genome