History Literature / Railsea

12th Mar '18 10:59:56 AM Theriocephalus
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Sham ap Soorap is an unhappy surgeon's mate on the ''Medes'', a moling train than plies the lethal ground of the railsea & hunts the giant moldywarpes that live at the top of its food chain. Especially Mocker-Jack, the huge blond moldywarpe that took Captain Naphi's arm. But when Sham is picked to search a wrecked train, he finds himself in possession of a {{MacGuffin}} that various nasty people are looking for.

to:

Sham ap Soorap is an unhappy surgeon's mate on the ''Medes'', a moling train than plies the lethal ground of the railsea & and hunts the giant moldywarpes that live at the top of its food chain. Especially chain -- especially Mocker-Jack, the huge blond moldywarpe that took Captain Naphi's arm. But when Sham is picked to search a wrecked train, he finds himself in possession of a {{MacGuffin}} that various nasty people are looking for.



* ActionGirl: Several, especially Naphi, Caldera, & Sirocco.
* ActionSurvivor: Sham.
* AdmiringTheAbomination: Naphi's quasi-fangirlish (& rather disturbing) attitude towards Mocker-Jack. Her entire crew calls her out on it.

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* ActionGirl: Several, especially Naphi, Caldera, & and Sirocco.
* %%* ActionSurvivor: Sham.
Sham.%%ZCE
* AdmiringTheAbomination: Naphi's quasi-fangirlish (& (and rather disturbing) attitude towards Mocker-Jack. Her entire crew calls her out on it.



* AfterTheEnd: Although thousands of years after, & nobody really remembers the details.

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* AfterTheEnd: Although thousands of years after, & and nobody really remembers the details.



* [[AndTheAdventureContinues & The Adventure Continues]]: [[spoiler:The ending has the main characters going off to seek adventure on an even bigger scale.]]

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* [[AndTheAdventureContinues & The Adventure Continues]]: AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler:The ending has the main characters going off to seek adventure on an even bigger scale.]]



* [[BlueAndOrangeMorality Blue & Orange Morality]]: The angels are described as such. The railgoing ones are dedicated to keeping the tracks clean above all else. "All else" including whether or not there's still a train on the tracks they're about to roll through.
* BrokenAce: Naphi is supposedly one of the best moletrain captains out there, a rumor she can back up pretty damn well through badassery, but the more screentime she gets, the clearer it becomes that for all her skill & prowess, she's dangerously emotionally unstable.
* BrotherSisterTeam: Caldera & Dero Shroake.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Most of the weirder creatures that seem mundane have weird names like the giant moles, birds, & some insects.
* CavalryBetrayal: The Manihiki army
* TheChase: Most of the Shroake siblings' arc is this.

to:

* [[BlueAndOrangeMorality Blue & Orange Morality]]: BlueAndOrangeMorality: The angels are described as such. The railgoing ones are dedicated to keeping the tracks clean above all else. "All else" including whether or not there's still a train on the tracks they're about to roll through.
* BrokenAce: Naphi is supposedly one of the best moletrain captains out there, a rumor she can back up pretty damn well through badassery, but the more screentime she gets, the clearer it becomes that for all her skill & and prowess, she's dangerously emotionally unstable.
* %%* BrotherSisterTeam: Caldera & and Dero Shroake.
Shroake.%%ZCE
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Most of the weirder creatures that seem mundane have weird names like the giant moles, birds, & and some insects.
* %%* CavalryBetrayal: The Manihiki army
*
army.%%ZCE
%%*
TheChase: Most of the Shroake siblings' arc is this.%%ZCE



* CoolTrain: Many, especially the ''Medes'' & the Shroakes' exploration train.

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* CoolTrain: CoolTrain:
**
Many, especially the ''Medes'' & and the Shroakes' exploration train.



* DesertPunk: Takes place on an "ocean" that's a monster infested wasteland dotted with raised "islands" & crisscrossed with railways whose trains are treated much like ships so in a weird way it manages to combine both this ''&'' OceanPunk. [[spoiler:The ending implies that the main quartet are leaping headfirst into the latter genre.]]
* TheDeterminator: Naphi, & not in a good way.
** Well, she ''is'' based on Captain Ahab...
* DieselPunk: Since it seems most technologies of the current era run off fossil fuels & everything has a mixed air of the idealized 1930's & 1940's both good & bad, this certainly fits.

to:

* DesertPunk: Takes place on an "ocean" that's a monster infested wasteland dotted with raised "islands" & and crisscrossed with railways whose trains are treated much like ships so -- so, in a weird way way, it manages to combine both this ''&'' ''and'' OceanPunk. [[spoiler:The ending implies that the main quartet are leaping headfirst into the latter genre.]]
* %%* TheDeterminator: Naphi, & and not in a good way.
**
way.%%ZCE - how?
%%**
Well, she ''is'' based on Captain Ahab...
* DieselPunk: Since it seems most technologies of the current era run off fossil fuels & and everything has a mixed air of the idealized 1930's & and 1940's both good & and bad, this certainly fits.



* TheEmpire: Manihiki is somewhere between this & an unsympathetically-portrayed EagleLand version of TheFederation, a supposed democracy with a major gap between rich & poor & a nasty imperialist streak.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The ground outside the rock "islands", the "up-sky", oh & the lack of cover anywhere from the things below.

to:

* TheEmpire: Manihiki is somewhere between this & and an unsympathetically-portrayed EagleLand version of TheFederation, a supposed democracy with a major gap between rich & and and poor & and a nasty imperialist streak.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The ground outside the rock "islands", the "up-sky", oh & and the lack of cover anywhere from the things below.



* FutureImperfect: Justified, as this takes place ''thousands'' of years in the future ''as well as'' after a series of massive cataclysmic events (the sky becoming poisonous, aliens visiting Earth, the railsea being created), so it makes sense that nobody in the book really knows much about our time. Even facts of geography have been twisted or forgotten, since [[spoiler: the railsea & the remaining habitable islands are located on the long dried-up ocean floor, while much of what was once above sea level is now covered by the poisonous fog of the upsky.]]
** The home port of Sham & the ''Medes'' is known as Streggeye, [[spoiler: aka Easter (egg) Island]], watched over from its summit in the upsky by statues of local gods known as the Stonefaces.
** Mention is made of lost worlds located above the upsky boundary, such as the Nuzland [[spoiler: (New Zealand)]] & Sowmerick [[spoiler: (South America)]].

to:

* FutureImperfect: Justified, as this takes place ''thousands'' of years in the future ''as well as'' after a series of massive cataclysmic events (the sky becoming poisonous, aliens visiting Earth, the railsea being created), so it makes sense that nobody in the book really knows much about our time. Even facts of geography have been twisted or forgotten, since [[spoiler: the railsea & and the remaining habitable islands are located on the long dried-up ocean floor, while much of what was once above sea level is now covered by the poisonous fog of the upsky.]]
** The home port of Sham & and the ''Medes'' is known as Streggeye, [[spoiler: aka Easter (egg) Island]], watched over from its summit in the upsky by statues of local gods known as the Stonefaces.
** Mention is made of lost worlds located above the upsky boundary, such as the Nuzland [[spoiler: (New Zealand)]] & and Sowmerick [[spoiler: (South America)]].



* GhostShip At least a few of these, especially the wrecked ones.

to:

* GhostShip At least a few of these, especially the wrecked ones.trains.



* [[HasTwoMommies Has Two Daddies]]: Caldera & Dero. & a mommy as well.

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* [[HasTwoMommies Has Two Daddies]]: HasTwoMommies: Caldera & and Dero. & And a mommy as well.



* HiddenHeartOfGold: Sirocco. Subverted in that she doesn't exactly act unnecessarily ''cruel'' to people, but she does act very aloof & "cool."

to:

* HiddenHeartOfGold: Sirocco. Subverted in that she doesn't exactly act unnecessarily ''cruel'' to people, but she does act very aloof & and "cool."



* TheHunterBecomesTheHunted: Early on, Sham finds a salvaged tracker that he presents to Naphi, who later on uses it to tag Mocker-Jack. [[spoiler:It turns out that the device works both ways, & a very annoyed Mocker-Jack is now homing into the ''Medes'' with the purpose of wrecking it once & for all. [[EgomaniacHunter All according to plan for Naphi]].]]
* InsistentTerminology: Mocker-Jack, Captain Naphi's AnimalNemesis, is not yellow. He's ''ivory''. Also, the consistent use of '&' in place of 'and', which actually gets discussed in one chapter.
* LastBastion / LostWorld: [[spoiler:Subverted - the controller & 'Heaven's Citizens' have turned into degenerate primitives & the Railsea dwellers are doing much better than they are.]]
* LastNameBasis: Naphi & Sirocco. Their first names are mentioned maybe twice or three times in the narration, but no character ever actually says Naphi's first name, & the only time Sirocco's first name is spoken is by Sirocco herself when introducing herself to Sham. (Note: their first names are Abacat & Travisande, respectively).
* LayeredWorld: Not literally. But it's common knowledge that the sky has two layers & the world has four.
** The sky is divided into the "downsky", which is basically normal. Then, two or three miles up, the downsky is suddenly replaced by the lethally poisonous "upsky", home to various unpleasant & gigantic alien flyers.
** The first layer of the ground is the underground "subterrestrial", home to all the tunneling monsters that inhabit the railsea. Above it is the second layer, the railsea itself. Above the railsea is the third layer, consisting of all the habitable islands & continents, & above those are the fourth layer: the highlands, high enough to jut into the upsky itself.

to:

* TheHunterBecomesTheHunted: Early on, Sham finds a salvaged tracker that he presents to Naphi, who later on uses it to tag Mocker-Jack. [[spoiler:It turns out that the device works both ways, & and a very annoyed Mocker-Jack is now homing into the ''Medes'' with the purpose of wrecking it once & and for all. [[EgomaniacHunter All according to plan for Naphi]].]]
* InsistentTerminology: Mocker-Jack, Captain Naphi's AnimalNemesis, is not yellow. He's ''ivory''. Also, the consistent use of '&' "&" in place of 'and', "and", which actually gets discussed in one chapter.
* LastBastion / LostWorld: LastBastion: [[spoiler:Subverted - -- the controller & and 'Heaven's Citizens' have turned into degenerate primitives & and the Railsea dwellers are doing much better than they are.]]
* LastNameBasis: Naphi & and Sirocco. Their first names are mentioned maybe twice or three times in the narration, but no character ever actually says Naphi's first name, & and the only time Sirocco's first name is spoken is by Sirocco herself when introducing herself to Sham. (Note: their first names are Abacat & and Travisande, respectively).
* LayeredWorld: Not literally. But it's common knowledge that the sky has two layers & and the world has four.
** The sky is divided into the "downsky", which is basically normal. Then, two or three miles up, the downsky is suddenly replaced by the lethally poisonous "upsky", home to various unpleasant & and gigantic alien flyers.
** The first layer of the ground is the underground "subterrestrial", home to all the tunneling monsters that inhabit the railsea. Above it is the second layer, the railsea itself. Above the railsea is the third layer, consisting of all the habitable islands & and continents, & and above those are the fourth layer: the highlands, high enough to jut into the upsky itself.



* LowCultureHighTech: Played with. Though the dwellers of the railsea seem to be doing fine with their [[CoolTrain trains]], primitive biplanes & advanced digital recorders/trackers, their lack of understanding of the world's nature, along with the generally strung-out cultures of the various rock-island civilisations & weird linguistics, gives off a general impression more reminiscent of, say, the Golden Age of Piracy than anything else.

to:

* LowCultureHighTech: Played with. Though the dwellers of the railsea seem to be doing fine with their [[CoolTrain trains]], primitive biplanes & and advanced digital recorders/trackers, their lack of understanding of the world's nature, along with the generally strung-out cultures of the various rock-island civilisations & and weird linguistics, gives off a general impression more reminiscent of, say, the Golden Age of Piracy than anything else.



* MorePredatorsThanPrey: Lampshaded in the narration.
* NotSoSafeHarbour: Bollons

to:

* %%* MorePredatorsThanPrey: Lampshaded in the narration.
*
narration.%%ZCE
%%*
NotSoSafeHarbour: Bollons



** [[SugarAndIcePersonality Sugar & Ice Personality]]



* RevengeBeforeReason: What else to expect from a plot semi-based on Moby Dick?
* SandWorm: A whole ecosystem of them, of invertebrate, mammalian & even avian varieties.
* SanitySlippage: Naphi--subverted, as it eventually becomes apparent that she'd been unstable the whole time, but was just having an increasingly hard time hiding it.
* ScavengedPunk
* ScavengerWorld
* SchizoTech: The "modern" trains run off diesel, but they share the tracks with various analogues powered by {{steam|Punk}}, {{clock|Punk}}work, "[[AppliedPhlebotinum hermetic engines]]", [[RuleOfCool sails]] & ''rhinos''.
** Also, the whole world is basically train-powered -- but almost nobody remembers that the very rails they run on are human creations.
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: Or, the Siller -- a monstrous upsky creature disguised as a pillar of rock, until it sprouts fanged tentacles to eat the crew of passing trains -- & the Kribbis Hole, a massive sinkhole surrounded by "trap rails" that shift course to send trains careening into it. To navigate the Kribbis Hole, you have to bring yourself into range of the Siller.

to:

* RevengeBeforeReason: What else to expect from a plot semi-based on Moby Dick?
''Moby-Dick''?
* SandWorm: A whole ecosystem of them, of invertebrate, mammalian & and even avian varieties.
* SanitySlippage: Naphi--subverted, Naphi -- subverted, as it eventually becomes apparent that she'd been unstable the whole time, but was just having an increasingly hard time hiding it.
* %%* ScavengedPunk
* %%* ScavengerWorld
* SchizoTech: The "modern" trains run off diesel, but they share the tracks with various analogues powered by {{steam|Punk}}, {{clock|Punk}}work, "[[AppliedPhlebotinum hermetic engines]]", [[RuleOfCool sails]] & ''rhinos''.
**
and ''rhinos''. Also, the whole world is basically train-powered -- but almost nobody remembers that the very rails they run on are human creations.
* ScyllaAndCharybdis: Or, the Siller -- a monstrous upsky creature disguised as a pillar of rock, until it sprouts fanged tentacles to eat the crew of passing trains -- & and the Kribbis Hole, a massive sinkhole surrounded by "trap rails" that shift course to send trains careening into it. To navigate the Kribbis Hole, you have to bring yourself into range of the Siller.



* ShoutOut: To Literature/RoadsidePicnic (with the incidental mention of the name Strugatsky) & WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine (with the top-hatted god named That Apt Ohm - a SignificantAnagram)
** There is also a ShoutOut to the 1969 film 'The Bed-Sitting Room', in which Mrs Ethel Shroake (of 393A, High Street, Leytonstone) is the closest surviving successor to the throne of Great Britain.

to:

* ShoutOut: To Literature/RoadsidePicnic ''Literature/RoadsidePicnic'' (with the incidental mention of the name Strugatsky) & WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine and ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' (with the top-hatted god named That Apt Ohm - -- a SignificantAnagram)
** There is also a ShoutOut to the 1969 film 'The ''The Bed-Sitting Room', Room;', in which Mrs Ethel Shroake (of 393A, High Street, Leytonstone) is the closest surviving successor to the throne of Great Britain.



** The Siller & Kribbis Hole are, of course, a nod to Scylla & Charybdis from ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' .

to:

** The Siller & and Kribbis Hole are, of course, a nod to Scylla & and Charybdis from ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' .



* SkywardScream / HowlOfSorrow: In a rare literature example, Captain Naphi does this right before [[spoiler: going insane]] near the end.

to:

* SkywardScream / HowlOfSorrow: SkywardScream: In a rare literature example, Captain Naphi does this right before [[spoiler: going insane]] near the end.



* SugarAndIcePersonality



* TerseTalker: Naphi always either speaks using the absolute minimum amount of words--[[PurpleProse or the absolute maximum, when she's making speeches]]. Both, understandably, irritate Sham.

to:

* TerseTalker: Naphi always either speaks using the absolute minimum amount of words--[[PurpleProse words -- [[PurpleProse or the absolute maximum, when she's making speeches]]. Both, understandably, irritate Sham.



* [[spoiler: VelvetRevolution]]: The mutiny against [[spoiler: Captain Naphi]] near the end. Absolutely no violence was involved. In fact, in the end, what allowed the mutiny to succeed was [[spoiler: because the captain was too ''kind'' & couldn't bring herself to beat her crew back into line, even though she easily could have]].

to:

* [[spoiler: VelvetRevolution]]: VelvetRevolution: The mutiny against [[spoiler: Captain Naphi]] near the end. Absolutely no violence was involved. In fact, in the end, what allowed the mutiny to succeed was [[spoiler: because the captain was too ''kind'' & couldn't bring herself to beat her crew back into line, even though she easily could have]].
4th Oct '17 8:25:15 AM SorPepita
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* GiantFlyer: The denizens of the upsky, which also cross over into StarfishAlien territory. They're explicitly described as alien, too.


Added DiffLines:

* GiantFlyer: The denizens of the upsky, which also cross over into StarfishAlien territory. They're explicitly described as alien, too.
30th Jun '17 10:53:24 PM Observance
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* AnimalNemesis: Parodied. The town that Sham comes from expects every '''real''' hunter to have one. It is referred to as 'having a philosophy.'

to:

* AnimalNemesis: Parodied. The town that Sham comes from expects every '''real''' hunter to have one. It is referred to as 'having a philosophy.'philosophy,' because not only do you need to have an animal nemesis, you also need to find some sort of symbolic or metaphorical meaning to your pursuit.
30th Jun '17 10:50:05 PM Observance
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* AdventurerArchaeologist: Salvors.

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* AdventurerArchaeologist: Salvors.Salvors, who make a living by scavenging the detritus of the Railsea. The most famous ones specialize in LostTechnology.
29th Apr '17 10:20:23 AM nombretomado
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* ShoutOut: To Literature/RoadsidePicnic (with the incidental mention of the name Strugatsky) & ThomasTheTankEngine (with the top-hatted god named That Apt Ohm - a SignificantAnagram)

to:

* ShoutOut: To Literature/RoadsidePicnic (with the incidental mention of the name Strugatsky) & ThomasTheTankEngine WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine (with the top-hatted god named That Apt Ohm - a SignificantAnagram)
18th Apr '17 5:44:49 AM R.G.
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** The Siller and Kribbis Hole are, of course, a nod to Scylla and Charybdis from ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' .

to:

** The Siller and & Kribbis Hole are, of course, a nod to Scylla and & Charybdis from ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' .
18th Apr '17 2:52:20 AM superjerk28
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Added DiffLines:

** The very concept of a Moldywarpe is cribbed wholesale from Roman writer Pliny The Elder's encyclopedia Natural History. At one point in his book, Pliny describes a town near Thessaly menaced by a Moldywarpe, a mole so large that its tunnelling under the town caused an earthquake.
18th Apr '17 2:45:21 AM superjerk28
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Added DiffLines:

** The Siller and Kribbis Hole are, of course, a nod to Scylla and Charybdis from ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' .
27th Mar '17 10:40:12 AM Not_Kirie_Goshima
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Added DiffLines:

* SheWillComeForMe: Sham while being held captive aboard the ''Tarralesh.'' Captain Elrish explains that no, Naphi will not rescue Sham, because he had already forged a letter supposedly from Sham claiming that he had left the ''Medes'' crew voluntarily to become a salvor.
8th Dec '16 9:30:17 PM Observance
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Added DiffLines:

** "Oh shun, the vale of tears." [[spoiler:Nobody remembers what ''oceans'' are.]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.Railsea