The New Kultur


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Post September 21, 2012, 07:21:48 AM

The New Kultur

The New Kultur by Ian Cordingly

A very nice narrative style. Clear, flowing, nothing to get hung up on.

The description of the gas attack and trench warfare was visceral, really well done, stunning in fact.

I liked the plot but the ending... well, I hoped for something fabulous, something horrendous, monstrous in a more physical way. Although to be fair, it was fairly monstrous anyway, perhaps more so than mere mutation could ever be.

Okay, in retrospect, the ending is more of a fridge moment than I gave it credit for.
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Post September 21, 2012, 07:53:16 AM

Re: The New Kultur

Verse wrote:The New Kultur by Ian Cordingly

A very nice narrative style. Clear, flowing, nothing to get hung up on.

The description of the gas attack and trench warfare was visceral, really well done, stunning in fact.

I liked the plot but the ending... well, I hoped for something fabulous, something horrendous, monstrous in a more physical way. Although to be fair, it was fairly monstrous anyway, perhaps more so than mere mutation could ever be.

Okay, in retrospect, the ending is more of a fridge moment than I gave it credit for.


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Post September 24, 2012, 04:23:04 PM

Re: The New Kultur

Very well written story---but it fails the scientific plausibility test. The moment the WWI soldier thinks about "genes" my internal alarms went off. When it became clear that the "monsters" were the product of cloning experiments---that is the only way you are going to incorporate mammoth DNA into a living creature---I was thinking "If they have cloning technology, they have a lot of other chemical, physical and scientific technology. So why are they still fighting in trenches and using mustard gas?"

Here is a link about how Watson and Crick got their Nobel prize. Note the technology that was required for other scientists to lay the groundwork that allowed them to figure out the structure of DNA.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpag ... watson-397

Also, characteristics such as empathy, aesthetic sense and emotions are hard wired into the brains of not just humans but also higher mammals such as the cetaceans, because they improve the survival rate of social animals. If the "superman" is devoid of emotion and art sense, it is because he was taught to be that way, not because of his genome.

Again, a very well written story. But I think it needs an explanation for the monsters. Maybe switch from sci-fi to horror/fantasy and have them be demons summoned from hell/the human imagination/another planet.
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Post September 24, 2012, 07:02:41 PM

Re: The New Kultur

McCamy_Taylor wrote:Very well written story---but it fails the scientific plausibility test. The moment the WWI soldier thinks about "genes" my internal alarms went off. When it became clear that the "monsters" were the product of cloning experiments---that is the only way you are going to incorporate mammoth DNA into a living creature---I was thinking "If they have cloning technology, they have a lot of other chemical, physical and scientific technology. So why are they still fighting in trenches and using mustard gas?"

Here is a link about how Watson and Crick got their Nobel prize. Note the technology that was required for other scientists to lay the groundwork that allowed them to figure out the structure of DNA.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpag ... watson-397

Also, characteristics such as empathy, aesthetic sense and emotions are hard wired into the brains of not just humans but also higher mammals such as the cetaceans, because they improve the survival rate of social animals. If the "superman" is devoid of emotion and art sense, it is because he was taught to be that way, not because of his genome.

Again, a very well written story. But I think it needs an explanation for the monsters. Maybe switch from sci-fi to horror/fantasy and have them be demons summoned from hell/the human imagination/another planet.


I prefer to think that this alternate Earth had developed selective breeding to a far more precise and far-reaching conclusion than our world. Like ancient cultures managing to build enormous structures using only the simplest principles of applied physics (the inclined plane....), the same techniques that produced the dachshund and the chihuahua (which sure don't look like wolves) could theoretically produce sabertooth tigers and mastodons from current big cat and elephant populations. (Okay, it might take centuries and thousands of specimens in your breeding pool to get the recessive characteristics to come out, and the resulting animals would probably not breed true (reverting to modern versions as corn reverts to grass if left to itself for enough generations), but it wouldn't be impossible. Think of how many dog 'breeds' are essentially hybrids that have to be recreated by crossing the root breeds again (labradoodles and cockapoos, oh my!). Now think bigger, hairier, and toothier. The biological sciences might have access to crude-by-our-standards but effective means of improving the success rate of the breeding programs -- one of those details like "how does that FTL drive work, anyway?"
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Post September 26, 2012, 01:19:01 AM

Re: The New Kultur

You make excellent points. Yes, if a culture took selective breeding much too far, it could produce some pretty creepy things---as Tom Paine tells us in "Common Sense" when he describes the perils of a hereditary monarchy.
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Post September 26, 2012, 09:06:28 AM

Re: The New Kultur

McCamy_Taylor wrote:You make excellent points. Yes, if a culture took selective breeding much too far, it could produce some pretty creepy things---as Tom Paine tells us in "Common Sense" when he describes the perils of a hereditary monarchy.


Well, the Russian and European royal families apparently managed to concentrate the genes for hemophilia pretty effectively, and they weren't even trying...
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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