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Fridge / The City Without Memory

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No, this planet needs a large separate expedition.
Pashka Geraskin

Warning: Unmarked spoilers ahead

  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • The fate of His Rulership isn’t stated in the epilogue since there are no big changes in his life. Because, all things considered, he’s still the best option for a ruler. He knows the political situation (the rememberers, for all their cleverness, only rely on what their spies can spot), he knows the strengths and weaknesses of every fraction in his madhouse of a court, he has survived forty-four plots and three rebellions, and as he sees the rememberers are rising to power and getting help from outer space, he will be able to make peace with them, since he is actually well-read himself and understands the value of knowledge.
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    • How did the Moles make it out of the whole mess alive, after being actually sentenced to death and with their 0% Approval Rating reputation a close second to everybody's hatred for Veri-Meri or Bug the Celestial? Their unicorns must have found them – the same unicorns who were last seen carrying off Brook and Squirrel. The rememberers are just as mad at the Moles as everyone else, but Squirrel could have interceded on their behalf (as she always does in the novel), and everyone at the Shelter wants to build bridges instead of making more war. That fits nicely with the brothers' whole Break the Haughty arc, and probably made them realize (or at least begin to) what a treasure they have for a sister.
    • The Shelter and the atani have some official sort of truce, which includes "you leave our adults in peace and we don’t kidnap your kids”.
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    • Veri-Meri’s memory in the epilogue is in a much better state than it appears to be. First, there is the rather confusing description of his memory-wipe execution, concluding with a Disney Villain Death, and then the epilogue reveals he has survived after all. Second, there is that Suspiciously Specific Denial in the epilogue: he swears he remembers absolutely nothing (and by that moment the readers are aware of the value of his sworn word). Finally, by the time of the ending, an actual cure to memory loss is found. Knowing him, he’ll figure it out even if he has really lost his memory (as the author has shown in other cases of Amnesiac Resonance, he can hardly lose his brains). So either Veri-Meri has realized that his previous life hasn’t been that great, or he’s simply biding his time for who knows what opportunities.
  • Fridge Horror: All the grim implications, and especially the Deliberate Values Dissonance that gets glossed over for the sake of the series' younger readers.
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    • Centipede’s marriage. It turned the beautiful kind girl into an obese ugly woman who doesn’t care for her daughter, hardly tries to influence her sons and "is tired of everyone" – one can only imagine what went on in-between.
    • Squirrel’s life before she escapes. For sixteen years she is abused, physically and psychologically: her father beats her, her brothers bully her, and her mother ignores her. Veri-Meri is the only one to keep her company… and constantly tries to either coax or frighten her into marrying him (on top of the rest, he is at the very least fifteen years her senior). And one can’t help thinking whether the Mind Rape could get physical too, because there’s that moment when Brook says (in an already friendly chat) he won’t hurt Squirrel, tries to stroke her hair, and she instantly jerks away.
    • The slave market. Especially for the pygmies: if a Krinian slave can hope to rise above their status (Veri-Meri advertises Iria as a possible wife for a rich man – not the worst fate for a woman in this reality), an atani can't (Veri-Meri being the only known exception). Hundreds of atani families get broken apart due to being sold to different owners. And the prospective buyers frown at the high prices because atani slaves die like flies.
    • The initial memory wipe in the past: everyone on the planet becoming a Blank Slate in an instant, without any warning. How many people must have died in the course of the very first hours? Hundreds must have simply fallen into a river, like poor Mercury, or out of a window; and that's without bringing up electrocution, vehicle crashes, etc. And what about especially high-risk areas, such as atomic reactors, medical labs, or safari parks? If you think about it, it's a wonder that anyone had survived at all and that the survivors managed to develop all the way to the medieval stage (most probably, thanks to the fact that some memories, reflexes and skills can be retained).
    • If Alice and Pashka hadn't discovered the Krinian explorers in The End of Atlantis, the planet would have still remained forgotten. Which means there would have been no Spanner in the Works to thwart Radiculitis's plans of a great war with the Shelter. The rememberers aren't quite so helpless (for instance, they have the Altos avians on their side, and they have already discovered electricity), but they're outnumbered by the poklons plus the Angry Mob. Anyway, no matter who'd have won, there would have been a huge loss of life. And no chance of breaking the Medieval Stasis anytime soon.
  • Fridge Logic:
    • It’s doubtful that the kingdom of Radiculitis and the Shelter of the Rememberers are the only inhabited places on the planet. Most likely, there are still hundreds of such little countries scattered around the globe, and bringing them out of Medieval Stasis might take much more than the six years that pass between the ending and the epilogue.
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