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Old 08-18-2009, 01:34 AM   #31
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Default Re: Flat Black

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The Smith sticks out all over
That's not good.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #32
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Default Re: Some links

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In case we want to wenture out of the forums, of course, there's the Flat Black site; the WaBCaG site (which includes a much more up-to-date version of the weapons and vehicles) and the Flat Black forums.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #33
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Default Re: Flat Black

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It should have been relatively obvious that I was using a philosophical concept of 'human', not a biological one.
In RPG terms, there really ought to always be two specpes templates. One for the biology of the species, and one for the culture. That would allow easy player-chosen combinations such as a Aslan raised by Humans, or a Dwarf raised by Goblins.

(Excepting those RPGs where species "templates" already deal exclusively - and explicitly - with the biology.)
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:17 AM   #34
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Sirpudding put me on to John Barnes' Thousand Cultures series. I just finished A Million Open Doors and am starting on The Merchant of Souls, and I have to say that there seems to be a lot in this setting that is fundamentally similar to FLAT BLACK. There are differences, of course, But if I had read this stuff before 1989 I would have to say that it influenced FLAT BLACK.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:47 AM   #35
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Default Re: Flat Black

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Sirpudding put me on to John Barnes' Thousand Cultures series. I just finished A Million Open Doors and am starting on The Merchant of Souls, and I have to say that there seems to be a lot in this setting that is fundamentally similar to FLAT BLACK. There are differences, of course, But if I had read this stuff before 1989 I would have to say that it influenced FLAT BLACK.
I think these books are Barnes's best, both because they're founded in some fairly sophisticated economic thinking, and because the third volume suddenly yanks the rug out from under the apparent world of the first two and shows you that the setting is not what you thought it was . . . and then the fourth book does that AGAIN to the setting as it appeared in the third book. Even the rather weird caricature of libertarianism in A Million Open Doors is an *interesting* weird caricature, not a straw man caricature.

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Old 08-30-2009, 11:59 AM   #36
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Default Re: Flat Black

Not only do I think Earth Made of Glass is Barnes' best novel, I think it's one of the best novels I have ever read.

Brett, shouldn't you be reading that first. IIRC Merchant of Souls is the third book.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:20 PM   #37
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Default Re: Flat Black

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Not only do I think Earth Made of Glass is Barnes' best novel, I think it's one of the best novels I have ever read.

Brett, shouldn't you be reading that first. IIRC Merchant of Souls is the third book.
I haven't been able to get Earth Made of Glass, and the others have to be back at the library on the 3rd of September.

I am enjoying the account of psychoengineering in the boarding schools of Nou Occitan.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:25 PM   #38
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I think these books are Barnes's best, both because they're founded in some fairly sophisticated economic thinking
I was less than impressed with the sketch of the macroeconomics of first contact in A Million Open Doors. It only seemed to make sense if I assumed specie currency, whereas the utils described seemed to be a fiat currency.
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Even the rather weird caricature of libertarianism in A Million Open Doors is an *interesting* weird caricature, not a straw man caricature.
It helped that it was presented as a crackpot's version of a free market system, not as the free market.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:51 PM   #39
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Default Re: Flat Black

Barnes is an interesting author, and I agree that this series is his best.

If you dig up his other stuff, keep in mind that he often seems like several different authors. In fact, in the ancient days of Usenet, some wag proposed
Pete's Law: "Avoid Barnes books if they involve sodomy."
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:24 AM   #40
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Default Re: Flat Black

This discussion in General Chatter is relevant.
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