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Old 10-08-2018, 05:06 PM   #21
Pope Uncommon the Dainty
 
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Default Re: Urban Legends for THS

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
On the other hand, look at the way UFOs and Bigfoot and other legends where "I didn't have a camera with me" was a key part of the story have practically vanished since near-universal cellphone cameras, and the Bermuda Triangle doesn't stand up well when people can search actual flight records. I think that one of the challenges and rewards of writing material for TS is its differences from the present day, and it would be fun to play with old legends that "everybody knows" you'd have to be stupid or uneducated to believe.
How about doing sort of a reverse urban legend kind of thing. like, say:

"Dear ma,

I'm having a great time up here at Margaret Station on my vacation, but there's something bothering me. I was taking a touristy kind of photograph of my wives, but when I looked at the file to make sure they looked as pretty as they are, I saw a spectral image of a man in the window behind them. Just floating out there in the Lagrange point! Mom: Why are the Margaretites hacking images of men into tourists' snapshots?


You know, take something that use dto be used as evidence for Bigfoot or something, but the ubiquity of technology eliminated that meme a while back, so now when it happens, a much more technological urban legend springs up about it?
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:33 PM   #22
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Default Re: Urban Legends for THS

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How about doing sort of a reverse urban legend kind of thing. like, say:

"Dear ma,

I'm having a great time up here at Margaret Station on my vacation, but there's something bothering me. I was taking a touristy kind of photograph of my wives, but when I looked at the file to make sure they looked as pretty as they are, I saw a spectral image of a man in the window behind them. Just floating out there in the Lagrange point! Mom: Why are the Margaretites hacking images of men into tourists' snapshots?


You know, take something that use dto be used as evidence for Bigfoot or something, but the ubiquity of technology eliminated that meme a while back, so now when it happens, a much more technological urban legend springs up about it?
A really cool twist. Very clever and well suited to the setting.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:36 AM   #23
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Default Re: Urban Legends for THS

Following on my last post, I'm reminded of the Cultural Skepticism which was part of The Book of the New Sun. The levitating castle was assumed to be just a big balloon. Scientific marvels were assumed to be crude tricks. Automatically denying wonders is just as bad as always inserting unreal ones.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:06 PM   #24
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Default Re: Urban Legends for THS

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Following on my last post, I'm reminded of the Cultural Skepticism which was part of The Book of the New Sun. The levitating castle was assumed to be just a big balloon. Scientific marvels were assumed to be crude tricks. Automatically denying wonders is just as bad as always inserting unreal ones.
Eh, I don't think it is quite a cultural thing in NEW SUN, more of a sub-cultural thing among the torturers of Severian's era and perhaps shared with certain of the other service guilds. They are inclined to be scientifically minded due to their teaching by Master Palaemon who has access to the best stocked but indifferently curated library in the human universe, and it is in the nature of their work where they get to know the fallible human grasp on truth and fancies, and how important it is to tell between them.

Now about that levitating "castle": I think you mean the cathedral of the Pelerines in the first book. Actually, Severian seems to think it is as solid as a castle or more, because he is used to living in a tower that is actually a grounded rocketship whose armored hull forms part of the defensive wall of the Autarch's citadel. The other tower-ships are joined with smooth slabs advanced metal that remains uneroded from its construction a thousand years ago, so that when his the runaway horse carriage strikes another smooth, shiny wall at full mad gallop he is expecting to die, but does not. He only writes that the wall parted like the fabric of a dream, and the energy of the collision is instead expended in the destruction of an altar inside.

It's only books later that enough details accumulate to indicate the Pelerines are an order of wandering care-giving nuns who live in tents much like a MASH unit that it begins to dawn on some readers that the floating cathedral may "really" have been more like a big top revival-sized circus tent lit from within and then from underneath as the overturned candles ignited the straw and the wooden debris from the altar, creating a thermal plume to loft it into the air before it was itself consumed, vanishing into a shower of sparks.

So for Severian, the miracle is not a flying building which he has lived in for his whole life after all, but that such a huge temporary structure should just happen to be there at the right time to save his life and provide him with a powerful talisman before literally vanishing into thin air. In the Citadel, no new construction is permitted and rights-of-way must be kept uncluttered to allow free movement of troops and artillery, leading to people building inns in trees and taking up cobblestones from alleys at night to hide the appearance of a new wall. He knows a geat deal, but hasn't actually seen a tent before, has no way to describe the difference of that kind as different from any other difference between ancient buildings.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:52 AM   #25
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"New" kinds of parahumans are actually throwbacks to peoples of mythic ages as their names suggest. Soon the recovery techniques will improve to the point that particular people can be brought back, like Sargon, Moses, Lilith...
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:38 AM   #26
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"New" kinds of parahumans are actually throwbacks to peoples of mythic ages as their names suggest. Soon the recovery techniques will improve to the point that particular people can be brought back, like Sargon, Moses, Lilith...
This is good. In certain groups it would be proclaimed that the Anti-Chirst will be a parahuman. They just haven't designed the right brain and blood.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:25 AM   #27
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The universe really is an ancestor simulation...
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:03 AM   #28
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The universe really is an ancestor simulation...
isn't that the "Brain in a jar." bit from the 1940s?
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:34 PM   #29
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Given how many works of Sci-Fi have made aliens into demons and angels, from the crudely literal to the richly metaphorical. Heck, Arthur C. Clarke made aliens into angels and demons at the same time in Childhood's End. The idea that people like the Gypsy Angels might be possessed would gain traction. People who are seen as living Liminal lives, however unfairly, become the focus for myth making. Just look at the actual Romani people and the garbage thrown on them.

Having watched Cry of the Werewolf, which had non-Christian worship equated with Satanic witchcraft, Voodoo equated with Satanism, and an implied Lesbian rape via mind control, in a film that wasn't actually hostile to the Romani (yes I've seen far worse, brutally worse). The simple fact that the Gypsy Angels have nothing to do with the Romani, and are still called "gypsies" and feared as pirates and Mafiosi, is clearly a reworking of old myths.

The Gypsy Angels are clearly feared and scorned in the setting (and please remember that creating characters that are the targets of bigotry is a way to expose and attack bigotry) makes it likely that paranoids would see them as a possible path for alien influence on humanity.

In the 1970's I remember reading three different UFO contactee books that held that the Romani people were dupes/agents of the aliens. The Gypsy Angels would be even more likely to attract this kind of nastiness.

This might lead to an Anti-Romani defamation league being set up in alliance with the Anti-Defamation League. Since they'd know the stink of bigotry from bitter experience.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:15 PM   #30
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isn't that the "Brain in a jar." bit from the 1940s?
WP says 2nd oldest story is HPL's, "The Whisperer in Darkness", oldest is THE WORLD, THE FLESH, AND THE DEVIL (nonfiction) By J.D. Bernal, same guy who gave us the inflated asteroid.

EDIT TO ADD: 1930, 1929
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