History Literature / ThePostman

2nd Aug '16 8:01:26 PM PaulA
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* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Holnists, who firmly believe that the strong should rule the weak, the only possible law is the law of jungle and idealism is only good for retarded kids.


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* TheSocialDarwinist: Holnists, who firmly believe that the strong should rule the weak, the only possible law is the law of jungle and idealism is only good for retarded kids.
29th Jul '16 5:06:39 AM Morgenthaler
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** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but first thing Colonel Bezoar does is [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy look in that direction]] the moment he realises Gordon is missing.

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** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but first thing Colonel Bezoar does is [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy look in that direction]] direction the moment he realises Gordon is missing.
12th Sep '15 2:13:15 PM NTC3
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[[quoteright:179:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/postmannovel.jpg]]

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[[quoteright:179:http://static.[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/postmannovel.org/pmwiki/pub/images/postmannovel2.jpg]]
12th Sep '15 2:07:36 PM NTC3
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[[quoteright:179:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/postmannovel.jpg]]
15th Feb '15 5:15:49 AM DougSMachina
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** Gordon finding the postal van while trying to catch up with robbers who just mugged him. It helps in both the short and long term - first providing shelter and clothes, then giving him a perfect U.S. Postal Carrier disguise.

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** Gordon finding the postal van while trying to catch up with robbers who just mugged him. It helps in both the short and long term - first providing shelter and clothes, then giving him a perfect U.S. Postal Carrier disguise. This is also an example of the AnthropicPrinciple, as Gordon finding the van and needing to wear the outfit is what starts the story.
12th Feb '15 9:07:02 AM Kakai
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* SerialNovel: The first part of the book was originally published as a short story and later the second one was written as continuation in the same format. The final part was added after Creator/DavidBrin decided to turn it into full-fledged book. It ''shows''. The first part is written in completely different style and with vocabulary aiming to point how primitive the world is. Both first and second part of the book are clearly stand-alone stories. The final part is obviously [[ArcWelding aiming to sew everything together]] into much tighter structure.


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* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Villainous example
-->'''Charles Bezoar:''' [[BerserkButton That's Colonel Bezoar.]]
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When things turn bad, Gordon has to train [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits bunch of civilians, farmers and teenagers]] into a force capable of fighting or at least putting up organised resistance against [[EvilArmy the Holnist]] [[BadassArmy Army]].
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The setting was this from the mid-80s perspective. Now it's a full-blown AlternateHistory.


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* UnwillingSuspension: When [[spoiler: Holnists capture Gordon for the second time]], his hands are tied over his head to the beam and he is suspended ''just'' above the ground.


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* WasntThatFun: According to Johnny, he had great time while [[spoiler: escaping from Holnists' [=HQ=]]].


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* WorthyOpponent: One of the main points of Holnist philosophy is high regard toward people who managed to beat them, but that doesn't mean any quarter in case of being encountered in the future:
** To his own surprise, Gordon is praised for killing of two Holnists he encountered in the library.
** His second-in-command, a former Marine, is equally praised by Macklin for being capable of defeating his [[TheDragon Dragons]].
* ZergRush: The only time the Willamette Army scores any victories are all-around assaults on isolated Holnist positions. They might be though, experienced and ruthless survivalists, but it's not much of use while being simply overrun.
11th Feb '15 6:17:44 AM Kakai
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* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Gordon is [[WhatYouAreInTheDark tempted twice]] to just run away and leave the Willamette Valley to burn:
** After figuring out that [[spoiler: Cyclops is just a benevolent scam used to uphold some remnants of unity and civilisation, he is ready to ride away, especially after learning about advancing Holnist ''army''. But then he clenches his teeth, turns back his horse and [[WeHelpTheHelpless takes command over panicked civilians]] as "the legal representative of the Restored United States, with authority over Northern Oregon and Washington State"]].
** Later, when [[spoiler: the war is getting really bad, he again contemplates ditching the Willamette Valley, especially since he knows Holnists are already encircling his sleeping camp. Instead, he pulls out [[ChekhovsGun his whistle]] and wakes up everyone, organising fierce defense]].



* SnowMeansDeath: The third segment starts this way, with bodies of the fallen being buried by the snow.

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* SnowMeansDeath: The third segment starts this way, with bodies of the fallen ShamingTheMob: After being buried by finally invited to Powhatan's Sugarloaf Peak fortress Gordon quickly realises lies about the snow.Restored United States won't work here. Instead he ditches all the speeches prepared in advance and calls everyone there out [[ApatheticCitizens on their indifference and lack of action]], when they have all the means and skills needed for the fight against Holnists and how things will turn out if they won't help their neighbours. [[SubvertedTrope It still doesn't work]].
* SherlockScan: How Gordon deducted that [[spoiler: Cyclops is dead and the whole thing is just a masquerade]] - he tied together numerous, disconnected clues and then confronted his theory.


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* SmugSnake: General Macklin truly thinks of himself as superior to everyone around and acts accordingly. Not to mention his suicidal level of overconfidence thanks to his cybernetic implants.
* SnowMeansDeath: The third segment starts this way, with bodies of the fallen being buried by the snow.


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* StillWearingTheOldColors: Inverted. Inhabitants of Pine View assume this upon meeting Gordon, while he himself never was a postman to begin with and simply looted the uniform from a dead body to prevent hypothermia. Later the uniform is treated as a sign of re-emerging order when he starts his "Postal Inspector" act.


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* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: One of the augments knocks Gordon out after finally finding out who is commanding the defences]]. [[RealityEnsues He fully recovers from it fully few days later, being barely conscious for that time]].
* TaughtByExperience: The Willamette Army is trained this way. And by experience we mean being slaughtered each time they engage Holnists.
4th Feb '15 12:46:21 PM Kakai
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* IgnorantOfTheCall: Played with. Throughout the book Gordon is desperately looking for some strong figure to follow and help make things better, but when he starts his little postal scam, he's completely ignorant of the impact he has as exactly the type of person he was searching for. It completely freaks him out when things go way over any direct control and just keep snowballing further, forcing him to play the role of heroic figure and then slowly becoming one for real.



* NormalFishInATinyPond: After spending last fifteen years on wandering through the wasteland, Gordon is ''still'' an easy target for bandits roaming around, but when compared to inhabitants of the Willamette Valley he is extremely experienced scavenger and scout, able to find holes in local defences on the fly or picking one by one small squads of Holnists.
* NostalgiaFilter: Often invoked by different characters toward pre-war world. People tend to sing commercial jingles just to recall good old times.



* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The Willamette Army on ''their own fallen'', to convince the general public how horrible the Holnists are. Not that the Holnist themselves are saints - collecting genitals and ears of killed enemies is a standard procedure for them, just as rounding up the survivors for slavery and [[SocialDarwinist castrating males they perceive as weak]].
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Deconstructed. Being the most civic person in the whole Willamette Army and de facto commanding officer of it, Gordon is struggling under this role. He openly admits there are better candidates to lead men. And he realises how bad it is to be a gentle philosopher during the war with the worst kind of dishonorable, brutal scums he could stumble upon, but must maintain the strong-willed facade for the sake of morale.
* OneHitKill: Justified, since [[spoiler: Gordon punches Bezoar's jaw]] into his brain. And [[RealityEnsues almost breaks his hand by doing it improperly]].
* OneManArmy: Augments both in their backstory and in-story serve this role quite literally, coming victorious and barely scratched when facing improbable odds. Also, George Powhatan's achievements are ShroudedInMyth, just like he as a person.



* PaperThinDisguise: But it works, since Gordon is the only person knowing how he got himself the postman uniform. It's also reasonably downplayed early on, before the whole thing snowballed into becoming self-sustaining. Aside from the uniform, Gordon also forges few documents and has to rely on mail brought from Pine View to gain any real credibility - the uniform is only a sweetener to the hard evidence.



* RealMenWearPink: The original postman was wearing a colourful parsley shirt under his jacket. He was shot while trying to deliver crucial mail through bandit-infested territory and still had enough resolve to hide his jeep and the correspondence. This becomes handy for Gordon when he finds the body years later - the uniform's shirt was left in mint condition and still well-ironed, waiting in the bag on the passanger seat.



** Gordon really ''tries'' to believe that cynicism is an answer, treating idealism as a luxury he can't afford. Yet he's a genuinely good person, who keeps on doing the right things and eventually proves himself that idealism is all what's left to firmly believe in.

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** Gordon really ''tries'' to believe that cynicism is an answer, treating idealism as a luxury he can't afford. Yet he's a genuinely a good person, who keeps on doing the right things and eventually proves himself that idealism is all what's left to firmly believe in.
26th Jan '15 12:21:24 PM Kakai
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* JustFollowingOrders: Inverted. Gordon is devastated, because he ''doesn't'' issue any orders for his men to follow - they choose by themselves to conduct many barbaric acts to later blame Holnists for them.
* KeystoneArmy: Given how Holnists' ranks work, [[spoiler: [[DecapitatedArmy killing all of their high command in final chapter]]]] inevitably leads to their demise as an organized force. Without that unity they not only become easier targets, but it's also heavily implied [[EnemyCivilWar they start fighting each other for command]], every gorilla for himself.
* KnightInSourArmor: Both Gordon and George Powhatan, who are so sour that it gives them wrinkles. The overarching motive in the story is their realization that the lofty ideas of pre-war world are all that's left worth living and standing for.


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* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Roger Septien, the robber from the very first pages of the book, is eventually killed by Johnny when he and Gordon are escaping Holnists [=HQ=]]], as he is unlucky enough to stand on guard in vital spot.
* LifeWillKillYou: It's never clearly stated, but apparently sizable chunk of [[spoiler: militia unit Gordon was serving in]] died out of malnutrition and dental infections caused by low higiene. In fact, the death toll from those was bigger than from attacks they repelled.
* MadeASlave: Anyone captured alive by Holnists. This also includes {{Sex Slave}}s.
* {{Matriarchy}}: And a noble one - Pine View is guided by elderly Mrs Thompson. First chapter is much more prone to use tribalistic references and thus even narration calls her a matriarch few times.
* MedalOfDishonor: Johnny is very thankful for Gordon's sharp mind and that little whistle... while Gordon was busy contemplating abandoning the whole unit and wasted a lot of time on thinking about it instead of acting and thus providing some real advantage.
* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal: The two slaves that [[spoiler: release Gordon and Johnny and help them escape]].
17th Jan '15 8:53:09 AM Kakai
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* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy:
** ...and lazy, as invoked by Gordon as he easily approaches Oakridge and bypasses its guards right until he reaches the main gate.
** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but first thing Colonel Bezoar does is [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy look in that direction]] the moment he realises Gordon is missing.


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* HonorAmongThieves:
** As one of the general rules, Holnists do not take retribution for slayed comrades - by their philosophy, if you managed to kill one of them, you are a WorthyOpponent.
** People tend to share their loot if they find it together... sometimes. Otherwise they might [[NoHonorAmongThieves as well kill you for it]].


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* TheHorde: Both the Holnists and the [[EvilLuddite Anti-Tech Mob]]. At least the latter are a thing of the past.


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* InstantAIJustAddWater: Averted. The pre-war [=AI=] computers were a step between real [=AI=] and standard mega-computer, build on specially designed processors and components. Only if running sufficiently long, they could reach true sentience going beyond ability to answer questions and solving equations on their own. [[spoiler: Which makes Cyclops death even more shattering]].
* InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality: Gordon is a former sophomore of some sociology-themed major who was attending acting group in spare time back then... which helps him all the time in the postwar world.
* {{Irony}}: After impressing inhabitants of Pine View, Gordon is hoping to stay there for a while or even settle with them - something he really wants to do. Instead, they decide to encourage him to further journey, so his grand plan is destroyed. The whole situations keeps on repeating itself each time he reaches new place suitable for settling down in his postal attire - the only one he owns. He keeps thinking about this even when the lie about the Restored United States snowballs into near-reality level.
* IWantMyJetPack: In book's timeline, humanity managed to build computers capable of reaching level of true AI, introduced ''two'' generations of cyborgs and was able to deploy military-grade laser weapon systems. All by mid 90's.
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