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mark211Codes of Honour?2016-09-01 06:54:49
mark211Apologies, first of all, for the disruption in regular service - for those unaware, new discussions are usually posted up every week on a Sunday, however due to unforeseen circumstances, two weeks have been missed and today is a Thursday - normal service will hopefully resume from next week. 2016-09-01 06:57:06
mark211So with all that out of the way ... CODES OF HONOUR2016-09-01 06:58:21
mark211What are they? There's the Chivalric Code of the Medieval knights of Europe, there is, famously, Bushido - the Samurai's way of the warrior, and moving on to fiction, there is, for instance, the Night's Watch, who stand at Castle Black on the walls between the North of Westeros and the other North that lies beyond the wall. 2016-09-01 07:00:39
mark211But what other codes of honour are there that appear in SFF Fiction and why do they make for such compelling stories? Lancelot's love for Guinevere means not only the betrayal of his King, but also of his own code of honour. So, what do we think?2016-09-01 07:03:41
IronspiderI guess my obvious suggestion are the Valour stories by Tanya Huff, which rely heavily on the (sometimes overused) concept of an all-encompassing military code. I've not read much military sci-fi, so don't know if this is ubiquitous throughout the sub-genre, or is just peculiar to Huff's series. What makes Huff's particular stories interesting for me is that Torin Kerr is often aware that her behaviour is being dictated by her need to adhere to her code of conduct, even when she realises that there might be a better or easier way to proceed. It's the double-edge concept of following a code that interests me more than the idea of a code of honour itself.2016-09-01 23:20:23
mark211"It's the double-edge concept of following a code that interests me more than the idea of a code of honour itself." I think you've absolutely hit the nail on the head there - the beauty of strict moral/chivalric codes is that they continually present the protagonists with dilemmas as no code can possibly foresee all the circumstances it may be applied to - Jaime Lannister is a good example of this: forever scorned as the 'King slayer' despite the fact that he must have saved hundreds or even thousands of lives by killing the mad king he was sworn to protect. Conversely, I find something curiously admirable about characters such as Stannis Baratheon or 'Rorschach' from Watchmen - characters who rigidly hold to certain values no matter what the circumstances.2016-09-06 08:36:50
IronspiderMark211 - so far I've only read the first book in the game of Thrones series (not see the TV version), so the characters (those that survived) are still progressing - motivations are still a tad sketchy for some. Yes, I'd agree about Rorschach - there are some instances where characters may seem limited by the values they live by or defend, but that's one of the facets that helps define the character. You could use an implied code as shorthand so that the reader has a vague idea what to expect - I'd nod toward Tanya Huff again at this point - soldiers who don't leave fallen comrades behind; never surrender even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Used sparingly and in the right context this shorthand can be useful; layered on with a shovel and constantly re-iterated can be a sign of bad writing. The conditions of a code should be touched upon or implied when necessary, just to help reinforce the actions of the hero(es). Even before his showdown with Doc Manhattan, an astute reader would know that Rorschach wouldn't countenance a cover-up. His code required justice to be done and letting Ozymandias' plan succeed wouldn't be justice for all those who had died.2016-09-07 23:33:14
micheledutcherI hate to break in like this BUT I will be in Baltimore on October 11th for a writer's and editors meeting and would love to see anyone available. Sergio Palumbo will also be there, as he is flying in from Italy. We will be having drinks and then going to dinner so it will be a social evening along with a magazine discussion. If you can come along email me at micheledutcher@yahoo.com I can give you specifics when you email me. You can also message me here at Quantum Muse. Thanks, Michele Dutcher 2016-09-08 02:18:00
mark211@Ironspider - I've watched up to Season 5 of the TV version of Game of Thrones, but I didn't start watching until I'd read all the existing novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The first one that you've also read didn't set the world alight for me, though I did enjoy it enough to move onto the next book after which I felt the series improved immeasurably. I enjoy the TV series well enough, but for me the books are way better - Brienne of Tarth is a fascinating character and ... well, I won't give it away, but the structure of the book series is genuinely compelling. I'm sorely disappointed that the TV series has taken him away from actually getting around to finish the damn thing. 2016-09-09 02:09:20
mark211@Ironspider - I'm afraid I don't know Tanya Huff so I can't comment on that one. You're right of course that if a chivalric code of some kind is used as a substitute for having to write complex characters then yes, it's simply tedious. But as to some extent everyone lives by some kind of philosophical understanding of the world (consciously or otherwise), it can be interesting to see how some characters cope with that philosophy once it has been explicitly articulated. 2016-09-09 02:12:51
mark211@ Michele - Do please break in - ANYONE FREE TO TO BE IN BALTIMORE ON OCTOBER 11 DO CONTACT MICHELE - I'm afraid I won't make it then but have a great time.2016-09-09 02:14:26

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