I didn't either, but it seemed like one of those things where Koontz probably didn't make it up, or at least got the inspiration from somewhere, so I looked it up. It's very appropriately used, don't you think?dnurse wrote:I didn’t even notice Pogrom was a real word! How interesting.
In the long history of cautionary tales, especially in science fiction, I don't think anyone is ever necessarily saying "this is bad," even though sometimes it sounds a lot like "this could be bad." When Ignus made his long argument about how science is "applied," and how if you are responsible then terrible things won't happen, I found myself wanting to agree with him, even knowing that his applications would have a gruesome outcome. The worst part about any great advance in science, even when done with the best of intentions, is that evil people are waiting in the wings to take it over and use it for their own purposes. Advances are great, but we need to protect ourselves from their consequences, intended or otherwise.1)Do you feel like this book discriminated against scientific advances or just the questionable application of them. Nanotechnology can be great if it is used to take out plaques in arteries but what about making people perfect with very long lives and disease free? Is this why Norquist created a religious vision or Progrom to reduce population with the killing weapons called Progromites or was Norquist always wanting to do this?
I was definitely uncomfortable, at first. I agree with everyone else; I think that was kind of the point. I didn't learn enough about Norquist to know if he was the "villain" or not, but Witness said he was, and what reason does Witness have to lie?2) Did you feel weird when Bailey murdered Dr. Kirby Ignus or did you think it was justified? It felt weird to me. Was it like killing Einstein because his work would lead to atomic bombs or more like killing Hitler before he could harm people. Norquist felt like more of the villain but now I'm not sure.
Oh yeah! One of my all-time favorite things about Koontz is his consistent ability to put a realistic spin on the fantastic. He has been doing it for years, although he hasn't done it quite this well in a long time. Anyone can write about ghosts and goblins or anything else and then just not explain any of it, and say, "yeah, well, that's why they are mysterious, because we can't explain it!" Nah. Not buying it. I like the Koontz model, which is to present these somewhat familiar mysteries of the natural or unnatural world, and then discover some truth that has been hiding in plain sight, and is the cause of all of that confusion. Or, at the very least, to make a suggestion about one or two possibilities. I could read anybody else's books to get nothing, but I read Koontz because he has two feet planted firmly in reality, even though he has an imagination that is inclined toward the fantastic, and that's something else. Ya gotta love that about him.3) What did you think of the One? Did it make sense to you in how it evolved from AI manager of the Progromites into this all encompassing entity of nature and humanity? It was strange to me at first because I kept trying to make it into some kind of religious Satan like creature especially when it talked about worshiping only it. Now I see it better, I guess the way Mr. Koontz intended.
That was definitely Bailey. I think we can rule out any other name mentioned in the book. But tracking down Norquist at the end I don't think was really anything to do with him being a soldier, it was just about being thorough. I mean, the guy was there to receive a message from the One through Mickey Dime. He was just being thorough. If Bailey didn't track him down, then shooting Ignus would have been a wasted effort. And not only that, it would have been a huge plot hole or loose end in the story, and Koontz just doesn't do that kind of thing.I was confused about the guy at the end of the book with the binoculars. Another reader felt he was Bailey Hawkes who was a soldier at heart. .. I forgot that his mother called him "my guardian" when he was a boy and he was really bothered by the idea that he failed to protect her. Add that to him being a soldier at heart like the reader said, it must've been him.
Vernon Klick might have been my favorite character, and he died much too soon, because his thought process is so much like what I see in blogs and other media all over the place, distilled down in one character, that it was more of a caricature than a character, but brilliantly done anyway.I laughed when Vernon Klick went into his multiple name calling rant against Bailey Hawks in chapter 24. Klick was just awful seeing the worst case scenario out of anybody's actions but I had to laugh at that rant.
Same goes for Fielding. He and Klick are two characters I could keep reading about for a long time after the book was finished, because they firmly represent a large portion of American obsessiveness. The insights Koontz brought to those two were perfect in every way.Fielding Udell was one of my favorite oddball characters. Poor guy lost in conspiracy theories and the Ruling Elite but when he felt like all his suspicions had proved to be true...he didn't know what to do, he lost his "purpose" in life. At the very end, when all was said and done, was he about to start back up with his conspiracy search or was he cured of that obsession? I wasn't sure.
Bailey asks about that at the end, and I think the significance has everything to do with Ignus having lived there, but beyond that I'm not really sure.Snowman stated that DK said that 77 Shadow Street was suppose to be a cautionary tale about technological advances but not against science.
4)What was the significance of the Pendleton being on the time fault? I got the impression that it wasn't a coincidence. Was it like divine intervention or something else?
The One kept using language that some sort of Satanic character or godlike mechanism wouldn't have used. The language was informal, and then formal, but always arrogant in the extreme, like it had no perspective. The AI revelation was great, simply because it was so unexpected. What would an AI have to do with ghosts and time shifts and weird monsters and everything else going on in the Pendleton? Well, EVERYTHING! It all fit together very well, and any other explanation would have just been too unbelievable or too much like what another author would lazily have written into a story like this.When I finished the One chapter where it reveals what it was I was surprised. I kept trying to make it into a biblical Satan character and not AI. This story was Singularity nightmare to Ray Kurzweil’s visions about nanotechnology and wondered if Mr. Koontz had him in mind at times.
I played around with it before I read the book and stopped, because I was afraid of spoilers. I went back and explored further when I was about halfway through the book and it was a lot more fun. I was also pleasantly shocked a couple of times, and nearly jumped out of my chair twice. I wasn't expecting it.There’s a link at Dean Koontz’s site to play in the Pendleton mansion. I had fun at that link. I played with that late into the night instead of reading. It genuinely scared me several times (especially that butler guy in the hall). What a great idea...it helped me visualize things so much better..
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