Fan Fic An Entry With A Bang Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics
09:12:34 AM Jun 29th 2010
edited by
Possibly this is the wrong place to ask, but as I read the story and the associate material, I wonder if the Clancy Earth ("CEarth") is greatly different from our own.

It seems almost to be Mary Sue Earth, at least in comparison with our own. I see extended digressions about how much better governed it is than most of the Inner Sphere, how much political freedom CEarth people enjoy, and on and on.

It seems to me that these comparisons are only valid if the First World is held to be the whole world. Much is made of how backward and ill-governed Antallos is. It is a patchwork of corrupt failed states and regions governed by murderous warlords and bandit chieftains, "peasants ruled by brigands." Possibly CEarth is different. In our own world it is not difficult to find regions equally unfortunate. If the reader is supposed to be horrified at the existence of the institution of chattel slavery in places like Antallos, well, maybe Clancy's novels depict a different world, but here, it still exists in the Third World.

A representative of the BT "Inner Sphere" might argue that Antallos is but a single isolated backwater world, one out of many thousands, and that the "Inner Sphere" boasts wealthy worlds with a high culture. As I read, I wonder if we are being built up to an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech delivered by Jack Ryan to the assembled leaders of the Inner Sphere. Unless CEarth is a very different place indeed from our own, one imagines that conditions most any randomly chosen Third World nation would make any such speech ironic at best. One imagines the ambassador from the Draconis Combine holding up a bundle of big glossy photographs from Darfur or Rwanda and saying "Oh, please. Clean up your own planet before you lecture us."

This is just my impression after reflecting, and is worth, of course, what you paid for it.
06:30:35 AM Jul 13th 2010
edited by Bluepencil

Of course it IS different. It's the Earth as portrayed in the Tom Clancy novels. Tom. Clancy. Thriller novels with ham-fisted political maneuverings as an excuse for technology porn, with all assorted narrative traps that implies. It's in-character to be a jingoistic wiseass. Also, Antallos is pretty much a shithole even in canon. The problem is that it's the first link in the Jump chain leading to the ISOT region with Earth at the center, and thus it needs to be secure. Unfortunately, as far as the story is concerned, GDI controls ONE city. One. Port Krin. The other city-states try not to rock the boat, since Port Krin is also the main planetary starport, but inside their domains slavery and assorted badness still exist. For all that C Earth says it wants to do better, it hides how much they're scared near out of their wits by the incoming and inevitable wars, and until they actually do something about all those other city-states and finally bring the whole planet under control, it's nothing but hypocrisy. However, it is also an aggressive move, the first true 'holier-than-thou' line that they've yet to cross. The counter-invasion of Antallos and Port Krin has the excuse that it's for revenge. Change has yet to happen. Change... is both inevitable, and terrifying.

One world against thousands. They have to deal with trying to do too much would gut their economy, while at the same time, not doing enough would risk being swallowed by the Inner Sphere powers or steamrolled by the Clans. To survive, there's only one option- cheat. Cheat like hell. It's not just that Successor Lords keep on trying to kill each other in similar thriller-novel provocations, but that there really is a Conspiracy to sabotage and keep technology from lifting the Inner Sphere out of their self-inflicted dark age.

Furthermore, though yes that C Earth does still have its trouble spots (Africa and South-East Asia for example), in Clancy canon post-Bear and the Dragon Russia is now part of NATO and China is openly trying to embrace capitalism. Yes, seriously. Debt of Honor, Japan declares war on the USA and tries to sabotage the global stock market. Things like that. It's all but a fairy-tale world. Part of the 'charm' and the challenge as it were, is in breaking down illusions on both sides of the fence. To one, Progress Uber Alles, while the other setting has Status Quo is God. It's like nitro and glycerin.

Ironically, apparently, the Tom Clancy novels were also written in-universe in BT back in the turn of the 21st century. The novel Red Storm Rising echoes the future scenario of the Hegemony. Far too idealistic compared to the reality that arrived.

06:34:41 AM Jul 13th 2010
edited by Bluepencil
removed doublepost
05:51:06 AM Aug 25th 2011
edited by Knobby
As the guy who wrote the segment mentioning Red Storm Rising... :P

In the piece in question, I had it said that it was written by Larry Bond, who Clancy credits in the foreword of the Real Life book as an uncredited co-author.
Collapse/Expand Topics