Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Aug 2014: He, She and It > Discuss He, She, and It

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message 1: by Gina (new)

Gina Briganti | 78 comments My paper copy is on the way. Woo hoo!


message 2: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (jordan_lusink) I'm 40% in and I love Malkah. She seems like a kick-ass grandma, and woman.

Piercy loves commas. I get a bit distracted by the structuring of some of theses sentences because of it. But other than that, thus far I'm really enjoying it.

Also, snaps for this quote: (view spoiler)


message 3: by Whats_her_face1221 (last edited Aug 02, 2014 11:58PM) (new)

Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments So far I'm enjoying this book, liking the pacing and the characters and the world building.

The only thing I'd like is a primer in Jewish culture, or maybe a dictionary of the (Hebrew? Yiddish?) words used in this book. I feel like I might be missing out on some nice little details that someone else who knows more on the subject can glean.

Not that you need to know any of that to understand/like the story! But I'm always curious about this type of thing.

For example, I'm familiar with the concept of the Jewish Golem but now I'm curious about whether there are more than one folktale or whatever. Perhaps as I continue to read more details will become available.

Or I can just continue to oscillate between Wikipedia and the book! XD

Either way, I'm liking it so far!


message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison Brown (alliekat893) | 101 comments I keep thinking, is that Yiddish or some weird, made-up. futuristic-y word? ;)


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Allison wrote: "I keep thinking, is that Yiddish or some weird, made-up. futuristic-y word? ;)"

Lol, my thoughts exactly! XD


message 6: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (jordan_lusink) Whats_her_face1221 wrote: "So far I'm enjoying this book, liking the pacing and the characters and the world building.

The only thing I'd like is a primer in Jewish culture, or maybe a dictionary of the (Hebrew? Yiddish?) w..."


I feel like this is one benefit to having a Kindle, because I can use the Kindle to highlight specific words that I don't understand in context, and then it gives me dictionary and wikipedia entries. I think it helps, but I probably wouldn't be as likely to stop reading and look it up.


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Jordan wrote: "Whats_her_face1221 wrote: "I think it helps, but I probably wouldn't be as likely to stop reading and look it up."

Yeah, I totally get that. But sometimes I find I enjoy when a book makes me work for it, you know. I learn so many neat, random things I would have never known otherwise. An article I read recently sums it up perfectly:

To read fiction is to exercise the imagination, to affirm the age-old art of storytelling, and to embrace the lives of others who are different from us.

Also, I don't have a choice as I'm broke atm...the only free version I could find was at this online lending library and it's basically just like someone scanned the pages of the book instead of it being actual text. Lol, sadly no kindle for me! XD


message 8: by Ylva (new)

Ylva (ylvazuckerwatte) | 6 comments I am very happy that I bought this book for Kindle. I'm reading the English version though I am from Germany. It is very helpful to be able to look some words up in the dictionary just by highlighting the words.
Nevertheless I try to figure it out on my own: Is it a Yiddish word? Or a made-up word for this book? What could it stand for…?
Anyway… I am at about 60% now and enjoy it very much.


message 9: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments I keep noticing little details that I love. For example that humanity discovered that whales sung epic and lyric poetry, which has been translated, and images like this: Better to admit she had fallen open like an old book, like Malkah's antique atlas, all the way to the spine.


message 10: by Melissa (last edited Aug 03, 2014 08:11AM) (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Reading this with the current situation in Israel in mind is rather... interesting:

We live in the hills - inside them, that is. We are a joint community of the descendants of Israeli and Palestinian women who survived. We each keep our religion, observe each other's holidays and fast days. We have no men. We clone and engineer genes. After birth we undergo additional alteration. We have created ourselves to endure, to survive, to hold our land. Soon we will begin rebuilding Yerushalaim.

(* I'd rather opt for a different tactic, not including bombing Israel and all men dying though.)


message 11: by Anelle (new)

Anelle Ammons I also feel like I might be missing some of the nuances because I know very little of the Jewish lore and words. I'm still getting the basics of the book, though, and the story is definitely not lost.


message 12: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments I'm starting to think about this book as a bit of a feminine Neuromancer.


message 13: by Minsta (new)

Minsta | 93 comments All I can say is "oy vay"!! :)

I have only read the first few chapters on iBooks and now I will try to find the book at a local library. From the few chapters I read I found the following Hebrew and Yiddish words that I will do my best to translate:

Malkah - Hebrew for "queen"
Shira - in Hebrew "shir" means to sing, and I believe shira means "song"

Tikva - Hebrew for "hope"
Torah - first five books of the bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) written on a scroll.

Talmud - not the best description but I will try: a large collection of volumes that explain how to follow Jewish law. For example, it includes very detailed explanations of what observant Jews can and cannot do during Shabbat (Jewish sabbath that starts Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening every week). The Talmud is studied and debated and is very complex.

Kabbalah - Jewish New age, spiritual, mystic beliefs. For example Hebrew letters can also be used as numbers which is why the number 18 is considered special (it is the sum of the letters chet and yud,(chai) the Hebrew word that means "life")

Some Yiddush terms:
Alter Kaker - "old geezer"
macher - important person
balebusteh - home maker, often refers to a house-proud wife
bubeh maisehs - I am not sure. Bubeh means "grandmother" so maybe it means grandmother stories?

Sadly both my parents passed away during the past five years - they both knew Yiddish fluently but I can no longer ask them for translations like I used to.

Also a few other things:
Copernicus was the middle ages philosopher/scientist who taught that the Sun was the center of our universe, not the Earth.

Golem: a man made of clay from Jewish folklore. The golem came alive with the Hebrew letters "aleph, mem, tet" on his head since this word means "truth" (emet or emeth). When the aleph was taken away the golem died since the Hebrew word for death is spelled with the letters mem and tet.

If there are any other words that have come up in later chapters please let me know and I will try to help out with translations!


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Minsta wrote: "All I can say is "oy vay"!! :)

I have only read the first few chapters on iBooks and now I will try to find the book at a local library. From the few chapters I read I found the following Hebrew a..."


Wow, thanks for taking the time to explain some of this! It's pretty helpful.

I wonder what you think of the author's comparison of the Golem and cyborgs is. I still haven't finished the book myself yet but I get the feeling there's an interesting allegory about the Golem/Cyborg/Frankenstein slant the author seems to be taking.


message 15: by Allison (new)

Allison Brown (alliekat893) | 101 comments I am finding the time changes within the current point of view a little jarring. Like, I am at the part where she is approaching her home town again. Then she is remembering her childhood and it says "today after school" and I have to stop for a second as my brain goes, huh? Oh, not today today but flashback today... It is taking me out of the story, if that makes sense...


message 16: by Glaiza (last edited Aug 03, 2014 11:05PM) (new)

Glaiza Minsta wrote: "All I can say is "oy vay"!! :)

I have only read the first few chapters on iBooks and now I will try to find the book at a local library. From the few chapters I read I found the following Hebrew a..."


Thanks for the translations! I'm really digging into the detail of the worldbuilding but agree that some of the initial time jump transitions can be jarring.

Malkah is one of my favourite characters too. I love her sense of humour mixed with an independent sense of fierceness.

Has anyone here read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker? This is my second encounter with golem mythology after that amazing book (a historical fantasy with a bit of romance). It'd be an interesting book to compare to He, She and It because the golem in The Golem and the Jinni is female so it's a different perspective/take on the non-human character navigating the human world.


message 17: by Ylva (new)

Ylva (ylvazuckerwatte) | 6 comments Allison wrote: "I am finding the time changes within the current point of view a little jarring. Like, I am at the part where she is approaching her home town again. Then she is remembering her childhood and it sa..."

The time changes confuse me a little bit too. Also the chapters with the storytelling were a bit confusing for me at first. I think I've become used to it while reading.

Thank you for your translation Minstra! That really helps a lot. I've got the feeling the book is very complex - there is so much going on on so many levels, that isn't really said in the text but is in the meaning. And it makes you think about all that stuff even after reading. Quite awesome.


message 18: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
I just read the first three chapter sample (my book is stuck in the library until Tuesday, stupid holiday), but I was bothered by the radical shift in perspective in the third chapter. It suddenly seemed like I was reading an entirely different book. The author also seems reluctant to start new paragraphs. There were a couple of times the screen was a solid block of text from top to bottom. I think twenty pages go by before you even see any dialog.
I've often heard it said that you should start your story as close to the ending as possible, and so far it feels like nothing important has happened. She gets divorced, makes a phone call, and then there's this random treatise on Jewish diaspora in 1600's Prague that made my eyes glaze over. I thought this was supposed to be about androids.
I hate to turn this into a "Does it get better later on?" thread, but I'm not feeling the magic.


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Sean wrote: "I just read the first three chapter sample (my book is stuck in the library until Tuesday, stupid holiday), but I was bothered by the radical shift in perspective in the third chapter. It suddenly ..."

Well, I know this is a similar concern mentioned by others above. And I do agree that at first the switching between Shira's story and the narrative of the Jewish ghetto in Prague can seem both jarring and a bit boring.

But I think the author is slowly building up to drawing similarities between what happens in both tales. I think there's a "clue" in who is telling the Prague story and to whom and why it has anything to do with cyborgs.

It does break the flow a little bit but I'm hoping we'll be rewarded for patience as the story concludes.


message 20: by Allison (new)

Allison Brown (alliekat893) | 101 comments I'm with you, Sean. The retelling of the 1600s Jewish Prague is really dry and boring. I lost interest in that part FAST. I don't dislike this book (yet) but I am not loving it either. Like you said, I hope it gets better.


message 21: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
Whats_her_face1221 wrote: "Sean wrote: "I just read the first three chapter...."

Allison wrote: "I'm with you, Sean. The retelling of the 1600s Jewish Prague is really dry and boring. I lost interest in that part FAST. I don't dislike this book (yet) but I am not loving it either. Like you sai..."

I get that it's a story within the story, and it all ties together in the end, but it felt awkward and out of place like it was meant to be a huge info dump. The change in the POV from third-person past to first-person present didn't help. The book was already heavy with narrative and exposition and very light on action. At this point, to throw in an entire chapter of history and world-building in the guise of a bedtime story seems excessive.
I'll keep reading it, but the plot needs to move forward soon.


message 22: by Melissa (last edited Aug 03, 2014 11:46PM) (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments I'm actually really enjoying the time changes and the story of Prague. I agree with Whats_her_face1221 that the author is drawing comparisons, and I think what the Golem story is telling is relevant for what's happening in the main story.

Sean, I think the plot picked up pace somewhat around the time she actually meets Yod. (Though I'm not sure where it exactly is in the book.)


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Yes, mte.

At first I was genuinely interested in Shira's story, the drama with her ex, world building yada yada...and then I was like: "Wtf are we in Prague for?!" and "Man, I hate when authors flipflop a narrative like this!"

But as Melissa said it does start to get more interesting and make more sense when we get to Yod. At least imho, it does. :)


message 24: by Ylva (new)

Ylva (ylvazuckerwatte) | 6 comments Sean wrote: "Whats_her_face1221 wrote: "Sean wrote: "I just read the first three chapter...."

Allison wrote: "I'm with you, Sean. The retelling of the 1600s Jewish Prague is really dry and boring. I lost inter..."


I totally agree. I was just wondering what happens after chapter 2, because the story wasn't really beginning then. And *wooosh*, I found myself in a quite long history telling about Prague which totally disrupted my reading flow. After a few switches I got used to it more and more, especially because they make more sense further on. They even give you an idea of "what might happen next" and add a complexity to the book.

At the beginning though it was VERY confusing. Not only because of the story within the story, that hadn't even really started then, but because of the flashback to Shira's childhood too. It felt a little like too much information too soon. But the main story catches up quickly and makes up for that.

The knowledge what happened in Shira's past helped me to understand her actions and the relations between her and the characters in Tikva, so it is quite necessary. I'm not finished yet and am curious how the Prague story fits into the whole picture in the end.


message 25: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Glaiza wrote: "Has anyone here read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker?"

I had heard from that book from Felicia's blog post about her favorite books of 2013. I haven't read it though, but I think I shall give it a try! Does it have any philosophical elements in it?


message 26: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Glaiza wrote: "Has anyone here read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker?"

I had heard from that book from Felicia's blog post about her favorite books of 2013. I haven't read it though, but I..."


I just put a hold on the audiobook. I don't know about philosophy, but the blurb makes it sound like a supernatural buddy cop movie with a Middle Eastern flavor.


message 27: by Glaiza (last edited Aug 04, 2014 03:33AM) (new)

Glaiza Melissa wrote: "Glaiza wrote: "Has anyone here read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker?"

I had heard from that book from Felicia's blog post about her favorite books of 2013. I haven't read it though, but I..."


Yep, there is definitely philosophical elements in it because both the human and magical characters seem to be grappling with a shift in where they belong and how they identify themselves. I'd definitely recommend it.


message 28: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Glaiza wrote: "Yep, there is definitely philosophical elements in it because both the human and magical characters seem to be grappling with a shift in where they belong and how they identify themselves. I'd definitely recommend it."

Sounds good, thanks!


message 29: by Gunnhildur (new)

Gunnhildur Rúnarsdóttir (grafarholt) | 173 comments Allison wrote: "I'm with you, Sean. The retelling of the 1600s Jewish Prague is really dry and boring. I lost interest in that part FAST. I don't dislike this book (yet) but I am not loving it either. Like you sai..."

I agree and to be honest I was a bit confused to begin with as to when that was supposed to be taking place. I'm hoping it will all come together later in the story because apart from that I'm really enjoying it.


message 30: by Mustardseeds (new)

Mustardseeds | 6 comments I wrote a big research paper on Woman on the Edge of Time when I was a student. And since then I've loved Piercy. It's been ages since I read He, She, It, but I loved it when I did, so I'm planning on rereading it now...


message 31: by Anelle (new)

Anelle Ammons The first few chapters had me confused and bored. As I'm getting deeper, though, it's starting to click together. I still find myself fast read/skimming some of the historical context to stave off boredom, but trying to glean a little because I'm sure it'll tie in. I'm definitely still interested in the present tense part of the story, so still digging deeper!


message 32: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (jordan_lusink) I just finished. I loved it. I agree that the narrator/time skipping towards the beginning was a bit confusing at first, but it definitely gets better and makes more sense as you go.

I saw two big themes/questions here:

1. The question that is present in a lot of other cyborg/"artificial" life books, including Cinder, of whether or not a cyborg is a person. This one was clearly the most prevalent in this book, paralleled by the tale of Joseph the Golem in 1600s Prague. It was brought home by the phrase, repeated several times, that Yod was certainly "a person, but not a human one."

2. The issue of corporations having so much power in a technologically based future. Like when Shira is having a conversation with her mom and Lazarus in the Glop, and this conversation ensues:

"We're building our own net," Riva said calmly. "Outside theirs, alongside theirs."

"But the Net is public," Shira said."

"So is ours," Lazarus said. "Different publics."


This one feels particularly relevant these days, with Citizens United, net neutrality, and things like Amazon vs. Hachette. And especially living in the Seattle area, where Amazon is becoming even more present. I know we're not quite to that extreme, but it doesn't exactly make me feel super secure in the direction that we seem to be heading.


message 33: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisapond) | 95 comments Hi, everyone! Joining in this discussion as I read along, too. :)

Firstly, thank you for the translations! That was helpful.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to be a bit confused by the sudden transition to the 1600s Prague bit. I was getting drawn into the story as well and that was very jarring. Still making my way through it but good to hear it gets better! I'll keep going!

I read the Golem and the Jinni earlier this year when Felicia posted a recommendation for it and it is easily the best book I've read this year so far. I LOVED it. It's actually kind of cool to be revisited the Jewish culture and those ideas in this book.

Will think more about the big ideas/themes once I get further in...


message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Has anyone seen Doomsday Book? It is an anthology movie in which the second story, The Heavenly Creature deals with the humanity of robots: a robot who works at a Buddhist temple is said to have become enlightened. A robot technician is sent to see whether it is true.


message 35: by Glaiza (last edited Aug 06, 2014 05:53PM) (new)

Glaiza Melissa wrote: "Has anyone seen Doomsday Book? It is an anthology movie in which the second story, The Heavenly Creature deals with the humanity of robots: a robot who works at a Buddhist temple is said to have b..."

Adding to my list of movies to watch! It's interesting to watch stories about robots in different cultures. I still remember watching the animated film Ghost in the Shell. Also, speaking of cyborg rights, here's an article about the first person to be legally recognised as a cyborg last year.

I'm only halfway in He, She and It at the moment but I really like the conversations between Yod and Shira. I like how Shira's perceptions of Yod shift as she understands how he sees the world. Also, I love the Frankenstein nods. (I think there's a new film on Mary Shelley's life called A Storm in the Stars that is in development right now.)


message 36: by Melissa (last edited Aug 06, 2014 08:50AM) (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Interesting link, Glaiza! (The link itself didn't work properly for me, but I googled the tag and then I found it.) The whole Transhumanism movement is really fascinating! I made a new thread about it, because not everyone reads all the comments here, and I'd love to discuss it. :)

Ghost in the Shell was pretty good! Doomsday Book is an interesting film, a bit quirky, but fun.

I love the Frankenstein nods as well, but somehow they seem a bit odd to me. I had a class this year where the professor said Frankenstein was a critique on modern narcissism and on science getting carried away. The same could perhaps be said of the Golem. It makes me worry a bit about how He, She, and It will end.

The whole idea of human machines is pretty interesting. If a thing looks like a human, would we treat it like a human? Would it start to consider itself to be human? What consequences would that have? Could a machine with an organic, intuitive programming like Yod be an actual human? Am I rambling like an idiot? I think only that last question has a solid answer.


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Bangerter | 15 comments This book was published as Body of Glass in the U.K. and I first read it about twenty years ago.(Yikes!)It is a book that has really stayed with me. I went on holiday to Prague about ten years ago and visited the Jewish cemetery while I was there because of this book. It is such a powerful place, you really feel the weight of history.

The other thing I wanted to say, because it happened recently is this. I live about nine miles outside of London, and as of last month you can no longer use cash to pay for your fare on the buses, it has to be a prepaid pass/card or contactless debit/credit card. When I first saw the posters advertising this was going to happen I stopped short, I felt like it was a little step closer to the future world depicted in the book.

When I first read this I was into cyberpunk and really enjoyed it so it was interesting to reread it from a Romance point of view. What struck me was how damaged Shira was, she was so defined by her early relationship was Gadi. After they break up she goes away to study, stays away in the Y-S enclave even though she doesn't feel she fits and first sleeps with Yod because she doesn't think of Gadi when she is with him. Do you think that was a deliberate choice of the author, as if the reader would not accept a more together person sleeping with a cyborg?

As for human shaped machines I think I would be uncomfortable. It reminds me of the reception of the film Polar Express, people found it creepy. I remember reading an article, but I can't remember where, about how people respond to human like features. It is on a scale,they find them appealing up to a certain point, then if the features are too close but clearly not human people find it odd and are repelled.


message 38: by Glaiza (last edited Aug 06, 2014 06:58PM) (new)

Glaiza Melissa wrote: "Interesting link, Glaiza! (The link itself didn't work properly for me, but I googled the tag and then I found it.) The whole Transhumanism movement is really fascinating! I made a new thread about..."

Thanks for the heads up on the broken link! I've fixed it now. Will definitely check out the transhumanism thread.

I remember studying Frankenstein and Blade Runner as companion texts and my teacher taught the same critique. Although I wonder if technology is so integral in life today, that our concerns about the future may include science running away but that's gone lower in the priority list so that it's more about who owns that technology and who has access it in economic/political terms just like how Jordan mentioned above about the Amazon/Hachette parallels to the net public debate in He, She and It.

(I forget which scifi writer said it but the quote goes along the lines of that science fiction isn't the future but the present - we already live in it.)

Melissa wrote: "Could a machine with an organic, intuitive programming like Yod be an actual human?

As I read the book, I want to consider Yod human but at the same time, I'm held at a distance when ever Shira dips into her observations. The repeated phrase that Jordan mentioned above in terms of considering Yod as 'a person, but not a human one' is how I feel at the moment. For now, I'll move some of my continued rambles to the transhuman thread.


message 39: by Daphne (new)

Daphne Chennault (daphnech) | 68 comments As far as Transhumanism goes, I can't help but remember the motto of the Tyrell Corporation, "More human than human."


message 40: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 33 comments Mod
I'm only about 5% in, and this book just isn't capturing me. I'm a little bored, frankly. Does it pick up?


Whats_her_face1221 | 93 comments Veronica wrote: "I'm only about 5% in, and this book just isn't capturing me. I'm a little bored, frankly. Does it pick up?"

I believe it does pick up around where we are introduced to the cyborg. The early chapters do seem to slow a lot of readers down...maybe because we're getting a kind of history lesson?

To me this is very "thinky" fiction. I like it, but it definitely feels like a book your lit. professor would have you read and discuss.


message 42: by Gunnhildur (new)

Gunnhildur Rúnarsdóttir (grafarholt) | 173 comments Veronica wrote: "I'm only about 5% in, and this book just isn't capturing me. I'm a little bored, frankly. Does it pick up?"

I had the same reaction as you, thought the beginning was a bit slow and boring.
I'm about halfway through and I'm enjoying it. It's an interesting story and I hope you don't give up on it.


message 43: by Beth (new)

Beth P Veronica wrote: "I'm only about 5% in, and this book just isn't capturing me. I'm a little bored, frankly. Does it pick up?"

I made it about that far and gave up. I just couldn't do it.


message 44: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "I'm only about 5% in, and this book just isn't capturing me. I'm a little bored, frankly. Does it pick up?"

It has a very slow start (see message 18 above), but it started to pick up in the forth and fifth chapters (~10%), once you get past the "WTF is all this?" of Chapter 3.


message 45: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1 comments Could not find this book at the library or any nearby bookstores! So I ordered it on amazon.ca and it just arrived yesterday. About 35 pages in and really enjoying it. Got a little confused in the first Malkah chapter, probably because my lack of previous knowledge so it was a lot to follow. Interested to see how the separate chapters tie together.


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisapond) | 95 comments I had a hard time getting through the beginning, too, especially chapter 3. I'm 17% in now according to kindle app and I'm a lot more interested and invested in the story. If you're stuck, try to at least get to chapter four because I think it picks up!


message 47: by Allison (new)

Allison Brown (alliekat893) | 101 comments Veronica, I am over halfway through and still struggling getting into this book. I think if I skipped all the Prague parts, I would do much better. I like Yod's story a lot more than Joseph's.


message 48: by Melissa (last edited Aug 08, 2014 12:00AM) (new)

Melissa (ahes) | 186 comments Sarah wrote: "I remember reading an article, but I can't remember where, about how people respond to human like features. It is on a scale,they find them appealing up to a certain point, then if the features are too close but clearly not human people find it odd and are repelled."

I think that's the Uncanny Valley.


Here is a short video about the concept.

Glaiza wrote: "Although I wonder if technology is so integral in life today, that our concerns about the future may include science running away but that's gone lower in the priority list so that it's more about who owns that technology and who has access it in economic/political terms just like how Jordan mentioned above about the Amazon/Hachette parallels to the net public debate in He, She and It."

Oh, very nice observation! It's very true, I think.


message 49: by Peter (new)

Peter | 55 comments Sarah wrote: "...human like features...appealing up to a certain point, then if the features are too close but clearly not human people find it odd and are repelled..."
It's called the "uncanny valley", and has been a long-known problem in computer graphics. As figures become more human, they appeal more to people. At some point, they become extremely life-like, but small errors seem to be magnified, and make the figure seem spooky. Apparently, after further improvements, the spooky effect disappears.

This can even happen with real people. For example, I once saw Kimberley Davies, an attractive actress, playing a crazed killer robot. A slight change of makeup and/or facial expression made her appear as a spookily well-made inhuman, emotionless crazy.


message 50: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (kdpowel) | 13 comments So I am just at the part where they meet Lazarus and can't help but think that his dialog sounds a lot like Mal in Firefly. Anyone else?


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