yotg discussion (spoilers)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Dec 14 03:58:35 EST 2000


Philip:

>Well done Kyla for taking the plunge.  Also well done Hallie for 
>posting most of
>my opinions, although it leaves me less to say ;-)

:)  I don't think I have though, as will probably appear when I start 
disagreeing with what you're saying as an agreement with what I said! 
(Whee...  babbling's so much fun!)

>
>Hallie:
>
>>  But there were decidedly things I didn't love about the book.  At the
>>  risk of seeming the grinchiest of meanies, I'll reply to peoples
>>  lists of things they love with a few things I didn't.
>
>Hallie, it is quite all right to have things you didn't love.  It is _not_ all
>right to use the word "grinch" anywhere outside a book by T Seuss Geisel :-)
>
>(Sorry, this is my rant.  And I haven't even seen the latest film.  It's just
>that the original film of TSG's book, which animated his wonderful drawings so
>wonderfully, was perfect in every respect apart from the Christmas carols sung
>by the villagers.  The new film goes OTT on special effects to 
>achieve something
>that I don't believe can possibly match up to the previous one in humanity,
>charm, or sensitivity to TSG's original.  And all the merchandising and
>advertising spinoffs already all over things in the USA when I was there last
>week...)

Unfair!  I'll have you know I've paid my dues to Dr. Seuss!  I read 
The Grinch so often to Becca that she could recite it (and it's quite 
long, as picture books go), right down to copying the inflections of 
my voice, almost before she could speak properly.  (And I can prove 
it: we were so fascinated by overhearing her "reading" it, that we 
made a tape recording of her.)  And I haven't even seen the new film, 
and may not bother, so I claim I've the right to use the word 
"grinch" whenever I choose!

>
>>  Secondly, I found the pairing-off towards the end a bit much,
>>  especially Isodel and Titus.  But then I've a long-standing dislike
>>  of the very idea of Love at First Sight, anyway, which may have
>>  warped my reaction to all this.
>
>Yes, I think it would have been a bit much if it had been carried 
>through.  But
>it ended with Blade and Flury sharing their burden of waiting, 
>instead.  Which I
>thought was a nice touch.

Might have been, had there been only one other couple around.  But 
after Lukin and Olga, and Lydda and whassisname, and then Calette, 
and then Titus and Isodel, keeping Blade & Claudia and Flury and Elda 
as Sure Things, just postponed a little, didn't quite relieve the 
overload.

>
>But I agree about Titus and Isodel.  Lydda and Hareck, similarly.  In fact, I
>thought Lydda was doubly silly - once for giving in to the impulse 
>to mate with
>Hareck as soon as she met him, and again for marrying him without really
>thinking about it.  My mother, on the other hand, claims this was entirely in
>character - Lydda has always been impulsive and selfish...

But this seemed so much relating to the griffin behaviour ( rather 
than to Lydda's own personality, that it seemed confusing.  (Have to 
think about Lydda's personality, as I don't remember that about her 
from DL.)

>  > Finally, (and this isn't a dislike, just a faint uneasiness), I found
>>  the nature of the griffins a little disturbing.  The switches between
>>  human nature and animal nature - for example, or especially, I
>>  suppose, the description of Lydda meeting Acker, and the fighting
>>  flight turning into a mating flight and then they get _married_.
>
>I hadn't thought of that, but yes.  Absolutely.
>
>>  Just didn't all seem to mesh any more somehow.  Beside the fact that
>>  one would think that Derk and Mara's griffins would have to be
>  > different from the wild griffins due to their human component, and
>>  yet they don't seem to be.
>
>Hey, that was what I was going to say!  I liked the idea of an entire griffin
>civilisation on the other continent, though.  Actually, I don't think the
>concept of "wild" griffins fits the griffin civilisation.  Griffins are such
>large animals that I think there's room for human intelligence in their
>braincases even with an eagle-style head.  Intelligence probably evolved among
>cat-birds to produce the modern griffin in much the same way as it 
>did among the
>great apes to produce us.
>
>My worry was more along the lines of, How did Derk get his griffins so right,
>when he didn't seem to know about natural griffins when he started - 
>and it was
>a shock to all concerned when Talithan mentioned the existence of the griffins
>on the other continent?  Also a subject that painfully few fantasy authors
>tackle - why the heck to the griffins and the humans speak the same language?
>There is little or no contact between the species, and the griffin mouth is
>unlikely to lead to the same set of basic sounds (although parrots and mynah
>birds do suggest that human sounds can be managed...)

This isn't what bothered me, actually.  If a griffin is a cross 
between a lion and an eagle, than it wouldn't matter that Derk didn't 
know of the wild ones - he'd just mix up the genes, and a griffin 
would result.

But what worried me was the nature of Derk and Mara's _human_ imput into their
children.  It is stated that Kit and the rest are genetically Derk and Mara's
children, so where is this having an effect on their nature?  Which had seemed
>fairly human, with overlays of griffin (the meat, and Kit's violent impulses,
and the like), but suddenly seems to shift into pure animal, and then back to
human.


All of which made me a lot more uneasy about Derk's GM 
child-producing than I had been already.  (Which was somewhat uneasy, 
mostly because of the planning to have  Kit and Callette (IIRC) as a 
breeding pair.)  Had he just been breeding animals like the wonderful 
flying and talking horses, they'd have been glorified pets, and it 
would have been grand.  But the griffins were different, and yet not 
seemingly different, and it all just got to bothering me a bit.


Hallie.



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