History Literature / Spectrum

15th Apr '16 5:40:36 AM ChronoLegion
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Still, there's two Irinas left, and Martin continues. In a BreatherEpisode on Sheali he compares notes with Irina and starts to understand the Keymasters' grand design, but Irina finds ''yet another'' way to die. Then he tracks her down to a strange planet called Talisman, covered by a perpetual fog that transforms its star's light into electricity that is absorbed into the ground and powers the constant synthesis and destruction of matter in boxes called "safes". The planet is full of "prospectors" who claim a number of safes and periodically open them to see if anything valuable has been synthesized. Irina is looking for a way to jump-start the [[EvolutionaryLevels next step in human evolution]]. In the end, it's Martin who figures out how to generate the so-called "detonator", but they are attacked by [[HumanAliens Aranks]] who want the secret for themselves. At the moment of choice, Martin chooses to revive Irina (who jumps off a cliff, so that the Aranks can't use her as a hostage) and safely return home. After explaining what he has learned about the planet and the past to a Keymaster (in the form of a story, of course), Martin is told that he no longer needs to tell stories to pass through the Gates. Martin shrugs and tells him that he's used to pay for passage. Martin and Irina return to Earth.

to:

Still, there's two Irinas left, and Martin continues. In a BreatherEpisode on Sheali he compares notes with Irina and starts to understand the Keymasters' grand design, but Irina finds ''yet another'' way to die. Then he tracks her down to a strange planet called Talisman, covered by a perpetual fog that transforms its star's light into electricity that is absorbed into the ground and powers the constant synthesis and destruction of matter in boxes called "safes". The planet is full of "prospectors" who claim a number of safes and periodically open them to see if anything valuable has been synthesized. Irina is looking for a way to jump-start the [[EvolutionaryLevels next step in human evolution]]. In the end, it's Martin who figures out how to generate the so-called "detonator", but they are attacked by [[HumanAliens Aranks]] who want the secret for themselves. At the moment of choice, Martin chooses to revive Irina (who jumps off a cliff, so that the Aranks can't use her as a hostage) and safely return home. After explaining what he has learned about the planet and the past to a Keymaster (in the form of a story, of course), Martin is told that he no longer needs to tell stories to pass through the Gates. Martin shrugs and tells him that he's used to pay paying for passage. Martin and Irina return to Earth.



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27th Jun '14 5:25:00 AM ChronoLegion
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* DyingClue: When an Irina dies, she manages to tell Martin something about a "Marge". Martin assumes she has a pet named after a character from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Later, though, he figures out that "Marge" is the [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically-correct]] American name for the planet Fakyu.

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* DyingClue: When an Irina dies, she manages to tell Martin something about a "Marge". Martin assumes she has a pet named after a character from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Later, though, he figures out that "Marge" "Mardj" is the [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically-correct]] American name for the planet Fakyu.Fakyu (from the native word for "planet").
27th Jun '14 5:17:54 AM ChronoLegion
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Added DiffLines:

* DyingClue: When an Irina dies, she manages to tell Martin something about a "Marge". Martin assumes she has a pet named after a character from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Later, though, he figures out that "Marge" is the [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad politically-correct]] American name for the planet Fakyu.
25th Jun '14 2:26:47 PM tkzv
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The protagonist of the novel is a denizen of Moscow named Martin Doogin, a private investigator specializing in cases involving other planets. He has a rare gift to make up interesting and original stories on the spot, which allows him frequent passage through the Gates. Those who know him call him the Walker. One day, a rich client arrives to his office and asks him to find and return his daughter Irina, who has gone off-world in an attempt to be an AdventurerArchaeologist. Martin quickly finds her on the planet Library, called so because it's covered by mysterious ruins inscribed with symbols no one has been able to decipher. However, just as he finds her, Irina dies in a freak accident (a normally docile alien animal attacks her). Before dying, she gives him the name of another planet. Curious, he goes to that world and discovers another Irina who is alive and well... that is, until she once again dies in a series of unrelated events. He soon finds that there are a number of copies of the girl on different worlds, but each one he finds ends up dying. They explain that the Gate has somehow split Irina into multiple doubles with a HiveMind of sorts. How? Why, because of [[spoiler:Windows]], of course. She [[spoiler:selected multiple worlds on the screen using the standard Windows Ctrl+click function and hit Enter, expecting the software to randomize her choice]]. As told by another character, who had something similar happen to him, the Universe does not tolerate doubles and eliminates them through freak events straight out of ''FinalDestination''.

Eventually, he tracks yet another Irina to Bezzar, a planet where people can walk on water due to the extremely-high surface tension (however, spending more than a day on the planet without special equipment is fatal to offworlders). Irina is working with the Bezzarians, a race of man-sized amoebae, on a way to get to the Keymasters' homeworld in order to find out the truth about an ancient cataclysm that destroyed the old galactic community. The Bezzarians build a ship capable of "riding" the wave used by the Gates to link with one another. They jump to what they assume is the Keymasters' home system. When Martin realizes that the Bezzarians intend hostile action, he kills them with his gun (the bullets just pass through, but the heat caused by the friction turns them insane). Just before the Keymasters' black ships arrive to capture the intruders, Irina demands that the pilot kill her to avoid capture, which it does. Martin is captured by returned to Earth. He contacts Irina's father and explains the situation. Not only does the man tell Martin to stop looking, he also pays him the promised amount multiplied by the number of Irinas he found (Martin ''did'' put in the effort, after all), before going home to mourn.

After awhile, though, Martin begins to suspect that there is one more Irina out there. He tracks her down to a strange planet called Talisman, covered by a perpetual fog that transforms its star's light into electricity that is absorbed into the ground and powers the constant synthesis and destruction of matter in boxes called "safes". The planet is full of "prospectors" who claim a number of safes and periodically open them to see if anything valuable has been synthesized. Martin finds Irina who is looking for a way to jump-start the [[EvolutionaryLevels next step in human evolution]]. In the end, it's Martin who figures out how to generate the so-called "detonator", but they are attacked by [[HumanAliens Aranks]] who want the secret for themselves. At the moment of choice, Martin chooses to revive Irina (who jumps off a cliff, so that the Aranks can't use her as a hostage) and safely return home. After explaining what he has learned about the planet and the past to a Keymaster (in the form of a story, of course), Martin is told that he no longer needs to tell stories to pass through the Gates. Martin shrugs and tells him that he's used to pay for passage. Martin and Irina return to Earth.

to:

The protagonist of the novel is a denizen of Moscow named Martin Doogin, a private investigator specializing in cases involving other planets. He has a rare gift to make up interesting and original stories on the spot, which allows him frequent passage through the Gates. Those who know him call him the Walker. One day, a rich client arrives to his office and asks him to find and return his daughter Irina, who has gone off-world in an attempt to be an AdventurerArchaeologist. off-world. Martin quickly figures she wants to be an AdventurerArchaeologist and finds her on the planet Library, called so because it's covered by mysterious ruins inscribed with symbols no one has been able to decipher. However, just as he finds her, Irina dies in a freak accident (a normally docile alien animal attacks her). Before dying, she gives him the name of another planet. Curious, he goes to that world and discovers another Irina who is alive and well... that is, until she once again dies in a series of unrelated events. He soon finds that there are a number of copies of the girl on different worlds, but each one he finds ends up dying. They explain that Later he is told the Gate has somehow split Irina into multiple doubles copies with a HiveMind of sorts. How? Why, because of [[spoiler:Windows]], of course. She [[spoiler:selected multiple worlds on the screen using the standard Windows Ctrl+click function and hit Enter, expecting the software to randomize her choice]]. As told by another character, who had something similar happen to him, the Universe does not tolerate doubles and eliminates them through freak events straight out of ''FinalDestination''.

Eventually,
''Film/FinalDestination''.

Martin is frequently contacted by a Russian FSB officer, who is finally allowed to reveal that Irina's father is their freelance analyst, who recently compiled a classified report with a list of unusual planets that may help reveal Keymaster's past and goal. Of course, Irina uses that list.

With the list
he tracks yet another Irina to Bezzar, a planet where people can walk on water due to the extremely-high surface tension (however, spending more than a day on the planet without special equipment is fatal to offworlders). Irina is working with the Bezzarians, a race of man-sized amoebae, on a way to get to the Keymasters' homeworld in order to find out the truth about an ancient cataclysm that destroyed the old galactic community. The Bezzarians build a ship capable of "riding" the wave used by the Gates to link with one another. They jump to what they assume is the Keymasters' home system. When Martin realizes that the Bezzarians intend hostile action, he kills them with his gun (the bullets just pass through, but the heat caused by the friction turns them insane). Just before the Keymasters' black ships arrive to capture the intruders, Irina demands that the pilot kill her to avoid capture, which it does. Martin is captured by returned to Earth. He contacts Irina's father and explains the situation. Not only does the man tell Martin to stop looking, he also pays him the promised amount multiplied by the number of Irinas he found (Martin ''did'' put in the effort, after all), before going home to mourn.

After awhile, though,
mourn and hope at least one Irina survives.

Still, there's two Irinas left, and
Martin begins to suspect that there is one more continues. In a BreatherEpisode on Sheali he compares notes with Irina out there. He and starts to understand the Keymasters' grand design, but Irina finds ''yet another'' way to die. Then he tracks her down to a strange planet called Talisman, covered by a perpetual fog that transforms its star's light into electricity that is absorbed into the ground and powers the constant synthesis and destruction of matter in boxes called "safes". The planet is full of "prospectors" who claim a number of safes and periodically open them to see if anything valuable has been synthesized. Martin finds Irina who is looking for a way to jump-start the [[EvolutionaryLevels next step in human evolution]]. In the end, it's Martin who figures out how to generate the so-called "detonator", but they are attacked by [[HumanAliens Aranks]] who want the secret for themselves. At the moment of choice, Martin chooses to revive Irina (who jumps off a cliff, so that the Aranks can't use her as a hostage) and safely return home. After explaining what he has learned about the planet and the past to a Keymaster (in the form of a story, of course), Martin is told that he no longer needs to tell stories to pass through the Gates. Martin shrugs and tells him that he's used to pay for passage. Martin and Irina return to Earth.



* AnyoneCanDie: Several people risk their lives to help Irina and Martin in their quest. Some don't make it. Irina died 7 times, but the last one didn't count.



* BizarreSexualDimorphism: [[spoiler:The seal-like sub-sentient creatures travelling with male Geddars are actually their females. Geddars try to hide it -- they tell aliens that the law forbids female Geddars and male "lannakhs" to leave their planet. But Dio-Dao already know.]]



* GeneticMemory: The Dio-Dao transfer half of their memories to their offspring (they can't pick which memories).

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* GeneticMemory: The Dio-Dao transfer half of their memories to their offspring (they can pick which memories). [[spoiler:It's possible to copy everything, but it's considered immoral and can't pick which memories).be done deliberately.]]



* HiveMind: The various copies of Irina receive the memories of the dead duplicates. They mistakenly begin to suspect Martin of murdering their copies, as he always seems to show up just before they die.
* HumanAliens: Two humanoid races are described. The planet Prairie 2 is colonized by American settlers but has a primitive native population (called Indians by the colonists).

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* HiveMind: The various copies of Irina receive the memories of the dead duplicates. They mistakenly begin to suspect Martin of murdering their copies, as he always seems to show up just before they die.
* HumanAliens: Two humanoid races are described. Neither can cross-breed with humans, but otherwise there's no differences to speak of.
**
The planet Prairie 2 is colonized by American settlers but has a primitive native population (called Indians by the colonists).



** The "circuit boards" and rosy powder from Talisman fetch good price on Earth, despite nobody knowing what they were meant for.
* InterspeciesAdoption: On Sheali Martin ends up saving the life of a local girl and being forced to adopt her. Irina cracks jokes about an "interplanetary paedophile", but demonstrates that she can be a capable mother, despite being in her late teens herself. [[spoiler:The adopted girl ends up becoming the Chosen One prophecised to wake her planet from its millennia-long stasis where rigid laws allow the population not to think. She ends up becoming the queen equivalent and legally adult and staying home.]]
* MindMeld / HiveMind: Keymasters and Irina
** Each Keymaster is a distinct personality, but what one of them knows, all know.
** The various copies of Irina receive the memories of the dead duplicates. They mistakenly begin to suspect Martin of murdering their copies, as he always seems to show up just before they die.



* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The Dio-Dao are obsessed with bureaucracy, which is strange for a species whose lifespan is 6 months.
* OneGenderRace: The Dio-Dao are hermaphrodites. When they're 5 months old, a hormonal surge sends them into a mating frenzy, where they seek out the nearest available partner. Mating nearly always results in a pregnancy (it's not made clear if both partners are impregnated or just one). A month later, the pregnant Dio-Dao delivers a child capable of speech and independent action, usually dying in the process. Of course, if this is all true, then there's simply no way for the Dio-Dao to have a positive population growth.

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* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Dio-Dao and Sheali, for different reasons and with different results.
**
The Dio-Dao are obsessed with bureaucracy, which is strange for a species whose lifespan is 6 months.
months. As one Dio-Dao and Martin [[{{Exposition}} explain]], the comprehensive system of rules and laws does save time for the natives, and is only obstructive to aliens, who may create problems and waste locals' precious time.
** As for Sheali, their laws and traditions act as a brain substitute, allowing them to spend their adult life without thinking. [[spoiler:This prevents them from becoming {{Transhuman}} and causing another catastrophe.]]
* OneGenderRace: The Dio-Dao are hermaphrodites. When they're 5 months old, a hormonal surge sends them into a mating frenzy, where they seek out the nearest available partner. (This is described as a planet-wide orgy.) Mating nearly always results in a pregnancy (it's not made clear if both partners are impregnated or just one). A month later, later the pregnant Dio-Dao delivers a child up to 3 children capable of speech and independent action, usually dying in action. With proper medical care the process. Of course, if this is all true, then there's simply no way for previous generation can live a few weeks after the Dio-Dao to have a positive population growth.last birth.


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* PlanetOfHats: Most visited planets are. [[spoiler:Most of this is hypothesised to be either results of the catastrophe caused by newly-formed [[{{Transhuman}} "gods"]] or the measures taken to prevent becoming {{Transhuman}}.]]
** Prairie-2 is WildWest, where the Indians equivalent hate Keymasters like a toothache.
** Arank is CrystalSpiresAndTogas, where natives aren't afraid to die.
** Fakyu is [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Obstructive Bureaucracy]] populated by [[WeAreAsMayflies short-lived]] OneGenderRace obsessed with alien religions.
** Bezzar is a planet of StarfishAliens with OrganicTechnology, but surprisingly human-like psychology and desire to revenge. [[spoiler:They turn out to descend from HumanoidAliens, possibly Keymasters.]]
** Sheali is DieselPunk [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Obstructive Bureaucracy]] where population doesn't think.
** Library and Talisman are {{Single Biome Planet}}s AfterTheEnd: no native population, little to no wildlife, artefacts with unknown purpose all over the planet. Each is populated by a few thousand people trying to discover their secrets or at least get some quick money.
*** Library is a tropical beach without trees and just narrow channels for seas.
*** Talisman is more like warm foggy Klondike.
** Geddar (never visited) has ProudWarriorRace of ScaryDogmaticAliens, but [[WarriorPoet surprisingly level-headed and friendly]]. Also with [[spoiler:BizarreSexualDimorphism]] and probably a PhysicalGod.


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* ThemeNaming: The 7 chapters are named after the 7 colours of rainbow. Each chapter is dominated by that colour.
* UnfortunateName: Martin I. Doogin, named after [[JackLondon Jack London's]] ''Martin Iden''. Has to suffer never-ending Martini jokes (offscreen, fortunately). Then he meets Ernesto Polushkin, named after [[UsefulNotes/{{Cuba}} Ernesto Che Guevara]]. Both agree Ernesto has it worse.
4th Apr '14 8:23:00 AM ChronoLegion
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* OneGenderRace: The Dio-Dao are hermaphrodites. When they're 5 months old, a hormonal surge sends them into a mating frenzy, where they seek out the nearest available partner. Mating nearly always results in a pregnancy (it's not made clear if both partners are impregnated or just one). A month later, the pregnant Dio-Dao delivers a child capable of speech and independent action, usually dying in the process. Of course, if this is all true, then there's simply no way for the Dio-Dao to have a positive population growth.
4th Apr '14 8:15:45 AM ChronoLegion
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** Arank law forbids them from giving technology to less advanced races. There are laws that supersede this, but they're invoked on a case-by-case basis. Martin ends up getting his hands on an Arank "heat rifle" after killing an Arank assassin sent after him. By Arank law, Martin can lay claim on the attempted killer's property and spouse (he refuses the latter, which the local police admits is the smart choice, as the wife would then divorce him, and he'd have to pay alimony). While the Aranks are initially reluctant to give Martin the weapon, they know that it's too advanced for human science and is only good for a few shots anyway.
3rd Apr '14 10:56:47 AM AutumnLeaves
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* BodyguardCrush: Well, though Martin wasn't hired exactly as a bodyguard, he ends up doing nothing but frantically trying to prevent another death of Irina... one of the reasons for being his gradually developing love for her.



* MostWritersAreWriters: While Martin isn't a writer, he does have the ability to make up interesting and original stories on the spot, which is what makes him such an effective offworld detective.

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* MostWritersAreWriters: While Martin isn't a writer, he does have the ability to make up interesting and original stories on the spot, which is what makes him such an effective offworld detective. He also states in the first part that he has a degree in literature.
31st Mar '14 7:11:48 AM ChronoLegion
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* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: While it's implied that the various intelligence agencies have managed to get their hands on some advanced alien tech (including Arank "heat rifles"), the technology is too advanced for human science to comprehend, meaning no reverse-engineering is possible. Hell, they can't even recharge the rifles once the batteries run out.
31st Mar '14 7:09:42 AM ChronoLegion
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* CataclysmBackstory: It's slowly revealed that an ancient cataclysm struck the previous galactic community that resulted in the PortalNetwork being shut down and the various cultures being thrown back to the Stone Age, and a number of races even experiencing genetic changes. The cataclysm was actually [[spoiler:intentional on the part of the Keymasters who chose to shut down the Gates for reasons of their own. Millennia later, they have decided to try again]].
31st Mar '14 7:06:28 AM ChronoLegion
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* WeAreAsMayflies: Everyone compared to the Keymasters. Inverted with the Dio-Dao, whose lifespan is only about 6 months.
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