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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The universe of Schlock Mercenary, going forward, will not resemble the universe as it was (yes it may take some time to sort out, that's called the denouement) and in a very real sense that kind of stories that used to be possible to tell in that universe no longer will be.
    That is, up until you find the four-dimensional beings from beyond the edge of the visible universe with their world-searing omnilasers...
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

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  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Except stories actually do end. That's a thing that happens, even in ordinary history there are points in time when one conflict concludes and largely leaves the stage and then another conflict, probably with some different players, takes center stage. People really do retire and go home and not do anything nearly as interesting as what they did for the past 3-5 years for the rest of their lives.
    But this is the point of history.

    The conflict happens. It concludes. The nature of the conclusion makes group X unhappy, and they teach their children. Next generation, the children say "I'm continuing what my parents started".

    This is repeated over and over.

    What happens when Tarquin is defeated by his son? Why, his son becomes the big head honcho. And, we've had people seriously harmed by Tarquin's behavior, and they want revenge, so their children go after his son because that was how they were taught.

    What happened when world war 1 ended? The horrible "We want vengeance for what you did", lead to economic disasters, lead to world war 2.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Pirate ninja; 2020-07-26 at 10:41 PM.
    Not "fire at". I never used the word "at"
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    The universe of Schlock Mercenary, going forward, will not resemble the universe as it was (yes it may take some time to sort out, that's called the denouement) and in a very real sense that kind of stories that used to be possible to tell in that universe no longer will be.
    Yeah this is kinda the problem for the universe now.
    The old galactic powers are broken. The adults are back to enforce order.
    And so the niche for mercenaries are more or less gone. It really wont be possible to tell the sort of stories it was possible to.

    And yeah, perhaps the epiloge was a sad. Would have liked to know more about how stuff ended for more people besides an "and then they retired"
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Hrm...

    While yes, the adults are coming back... it's a big galaxy... two big galaxies, even... and I suspect that the niche for mercenaries will never go away entirely. A bit like Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, really. There's going to be a lot of restructuring, and I kind of doubt that the various worldship populations will want to give up their sovereignty entirely.

    It'll be a bit like moving in with a roommate after living alone for a while. You've gotta learn to live together, and that's not gonna go smoothly. And when things are going 'not smoothly' between what's essentially two or more enormous nation-states, hey presto! Merc work.

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by TeChameleon View Post
    While yes, the adults are coming back... it's a big galaxy... two big galaxies, even...
    The universe of Schlock Mercenary is actually probably the smallest galaxy-scale universe that could be imagined, due to the transportation, communication, and weaponry technologies involved.

    Hypernodes allow instantaneous transfer of functionally limitless information from any location of the galaxy to another, and this includes whole people.

    The Teraport allows the instantaneous transfer of physical objects from one location to the next, though it is subject to power requirements and can be blocked (but suitably powerful entities, which includes all worldship residents who now significantly outnumber everyone else, can bypass this).

    The Long Gun allows weapons to fire from any location at any other location and completely bypasses teraport area denial. This is the most significant problem for the universe remaining and can probably only be solved by instituting some sort of galaxy-wide panopticon (this is possible with enough drones, the same way the Oafans brute-force located the Shoemaker-Levy) so that anyone who fires a long gun can be immediately identified and restrained.

    All of these technologies are serious impediments to telling any stories that don't involve characters who can directly mediate these technologies. It's a version of the Culture universe where the Minds are even more powerful than they are in that one, and telling stories about free-wheeling mercenary types is nearly impossible in a such a universe (Consider Phlebias, the first Culture book and the only one that deals with mercenary operations in any significant way, is the consensus weakest one by a massive margin).
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    I don't know. If everyone's in the middle of a nuclear Mexican standoff where the first time anyone fires a long gun everyone dies, isn't that where some mercenaries applying a lower level of violence potentially excel?

  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    All of these technologies are serious impediments to telling any stories that don't involve characters who can directly mediate these technologies.
    This reminds me of an interview I read with Larry Niven where he was talking about why he tended not to write Known Space novels anymore--it was simply that the tech had reached a level where it was hard to come up with storylines that didn't have an obvious solution. I mean, the place has at least two almost indestructible materials (General Products hulls and the "scrith" that the Ringworld is made from), ships that can accelerate at 200g without killing the people inside, ridiculous weapons like the Wunderland Treatymaker--he even lampshaded this in the short story "Safe At Any Speed", where a flying car is swallowed by a giant beast called a "roc" and the main problem the occupant had was passing the time while he waited to get out.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    This is the most significant problem for the universe remaining and can probably only be solved by instituting some sort of galaxy-wide panopticon (this is possible with enough drones, the same way the Oafans brute-force located the Shoemaker-Levy) so that anyone who fires a long gun can be immediately identified and restrained.
    The Pa'anuri had something like that, which I presume now belongs to Ennesby.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    I don't know. If everyone's in the middle of a nuclear Mexican standoff where the first time anyone fires a long gun everyone dies, isn't that where some mercenaries applying a lower level of violence potentially excel?
    I kinda suspect its more like the sort of place where mercenaries will go extinct.
    Because basically, mercenaries are criminals when you boil it down. They do criminal stuff most of the time. Like breaking stuff and hurting people.
    And so the more ordered the galaxy becomes, the less space/work there is for them.

    Or well likely they could still survive as a security firm. Or pest control.
    But it would i think, get increasingly harder to get away with doing illegal stuff on a larger scale.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I kinda suspect its more like the sort of place where mercenaries will go extinct.
    Because basically, mercenaries are criminals when you boil it down. They do criminal stuff most of the time. Like breaking stuff and hurting people.
    And so the more ordered the galaxy becomes, the less space/work there is for them.

    Or well likely they could still survive as a security firm. Or pest control.
    But it would i think, get increasingly harder to get away with doing illegal stuff on a larger scale.
    The comic already had drifted away from the Toughs as working in the questionably legal margins of the galactic system.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    The comic already had drifted away from the Toughs as working in the questionably legal margins of the galactic system.
    Yes. They were for a large part relying on inertia and a galatic war to retain relevance.

    Does not change that as the galaxy grows increasingly more ordered by the return of the exo-galatic civilisations, then the amount of mercenary work shrinks correspondingly.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Mercenaries, Privateers, etc.

    It's not "legally grey" if you have a government order.
    Not "fire at". I never used the word "at"
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  13. - Top - End - #223
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Mercenaries, Privateers, etc.

    It's not "legally grey" if you have a government order.
    International law is a thing. Also? If a gov't is using mercs, it is likely for murky stuff where they cannot (legally) use their own forces.
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  14. - Top - End - #224
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    And intergalactic law is likely to be enforced by the "adults", so there are suddenly someone to hold the younger nations accountable.
    Its not going to remain like in the wild west.
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2020-08-02 at 03:41 AM.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  15. - Top - End - #225
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Mercenaries, Privateers, etc.

    It's not "legally grey" if you have a government order.
    Unless, of course, you're acting in a location where the orders of that government don't apply, e.g. enemy territory--which is pretty much where privateers always acted, their job was to raid enemy shipping in a way that hopefully couldn't be traced back to the government giving the orders. It certainly wouldn't stop them getting hanged for piracy if they were caught.
    Last edited by factotum; 2020-08-02 at 11:35 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #226
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    It was an ending. Not the most amazing, but it will do.
    Last edited by PraetorDragoon; 2020-08-03 at 04:42 AM.
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    The British conquered the world in search of spices and then decided to use none of them.

  17. - Top - End - #227
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Yeah. For more than a decade my morning ritual consisted of checking Schlock.
    I am grateful for that. But an ending was likely a good thing.
    Am curious to see what he does next.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  18. - Top - End - #228
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Well, shall we, as a group, do a "Consume one week review per day", or "consume one month review per week", and post new comments on old comics, and old plot complications; and boldly rehash what everyone has hashed-out before?
    Not "fire at". I never used the word "at"
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  19. - Top - End - #229
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Well, shall we, as a group, do a "Consume one week review per day", or "consume one month review per week", and post new comments on old comics, and old plot complications; and boldly rehash what everyone has hashed-out before?
    It would certainly be interesting to look at some of those events with the benefit of hindsight and "future context".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  20. - Top - End - #230
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Well, shall we, as a group, do a "Consume one week review per day", or "consume one month review per week", and post new comments on old comics, and old plot complications; and boldly rehash what everyone has hashed-out before?
    We could spend the next 2 decades pretending it's exactly 20 years ago.

    I think they're going to pillage, then blow up diplomats.

    A side observation from not 20 years ago by the way: the very first page still links to book 12 as a pretty good place to start, which in the end ended up being pretty close to the middle of the whole run. (Also I personally figure some of the all time best story lines happen just before that point, but that's just me.)
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-08-04 at 09:02 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #231
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    My recommendation to others is to start at book 10, and to make sense of that, start with the last week of 9 (the epilogue) so you understand what's going on at the start of 10.
    Not "fire at". I never used the word "at"
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  22. - Top - End - #232
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    So, I was just randomly going through the back-log, and came across this one: https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-04-01

    That's... quite some foreshadowing for an april fool's joke.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2020-08-07 at 07:56 AM.
    Jasnah avatar by Zea Mays

  23. - Top - End - #233
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    So, I was just randomly going through the back-log, and came across this one: https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-04-01

    That's... quite some foreshadowing for an april fool's joke.
    Yeah, it feels like the author had a legitimate interest in these themes since the beginning, but no good direction to take them in. On top of this there was the medical hologram copied from the doctor as well as the Doythaban plot.
    The Hindsight Awards, results: See the best movies of 1999!

  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    My recommendation to others is to start at book 10, and to make sense of that, start with the last week of 9 (the epilogue) so you understand what's going on at the start of 10.
    So at about this page?

    Where should I fine tune it to best get someone to start reading it and enjoy it?
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

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  25. - Top - End - #235
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    What's wrong with starting at the start?

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    What's wrong with starting at the start?
    Have you seen the artwork on the early strips recently? Let's just say, Howard definitely improved over time!

  27. - Top - End - #237
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    So at about this page?

    Where should I fine tune it to best get someone to start reading it and enjoy it?
    The epilogue keybounce mentioned starts here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornaki View Post
    What's wrong with starting at the start?
    I love the early strips. But there are some marked differences in style between them and the later stuff. There's faster pacing in the stories, but due to the developing art style few convincing action shots, and a bigger emphasis on punny and "immature" humor rather than philosophical inclinations and overarching story lines. The characters are written consistently, but due to how the comic developed are no longer really consistent with their later selves.

    So while I wouldn't want to have missed the early bits, they may not be for everyone and it's good to have al alternative.

    Another good starting point may be the start of book 6. This starts you off at the point where Petey starts doing his Petey thing, and it means you get to read stuff like the "stuck on a primitive planet with amnesia and jeopards" story line. This is probably my recommendation for a middle road between decent art and not missing too much of the best stuff.

    Or if you're just looking to skip past the really early stuff and get to some larger plot lines maybe the start of book 2. (The first story there isn't the best ever, but it's Schlock's origin story. Afterwards it picks up with the teraport wars and the bits where they ride the small Serial Peacemaker with Ennesby as the pilot.)
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-08-08 at 01:13 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Odd, did the division between part 4 and the epilogue change?

    I was thinking along the lines of
    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-02-17
    or
    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-02-21

    But absolutely keeping the whole "Schlock knows the truth and is hiding it", along with a quick introduction to the killing machine that Schlock is.

    The archive page no longer lists an explicit epilogue section, and the "thanks for the memories" section begins on the 10th, about 2 and a half weeks before the end of the book.

    Ahh yes, book 10 starts with:
    Kevyn: Next time you hear somebody say "I wouldn't do that for all the nickels in Jupiter," you'll know they probably can't be bought.

    When do we hear that line again? :-)
    Not "fire at". I never used the word "at"
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  29. - Top - End - #239
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Odd, did the division between part 4 and the epilogue change?

    I was thinking along the lines of
    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-02-17
    or
    https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-02-21

    But absolutely keeping the whole "Schlock knows the truth and is hiding it", along with a quick introduction to the killing machine that Schlock is.

    The archive page no longer lists an explicit epilogue section, and the "thanks for the memories" section begins on the 10th, about 2 and a half weeks before the end of the book.

    Ahh yes, book 10 starts with:
    Kevyn: Next time you hear somebody say "I wouldn't do that for all the nickels in Jupiter," you'll know they probably can't be bought.

    When do we hear that line again? :-)
    I want to say we hear it during the beginning of the Can Full of Sky, but I can't find it there.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Default Re: Schlock Mercenary X: The Mundivore, or, "Eat it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    I want to say we hear it during the beginning of the Can Full of Sky, but I can't find it there.
    I think it's when Pranger or maybe one of his men refuses a job offer.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

    See my extended signature here! May contain wit, candor, and somewhere from 52 to 8127 walruses.

    Purple is humorous descriptions made up on the fly
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