Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Discussion on SF "Dangai Banjare" at IndianSF Group Part-1

Swapnil Arnie
Good work Zeeshan and quite fast too :-)
Some issues but lemme hear from other's first.

Reema Sarwal
Zeashan ji,
Thank you for writing this story on demand !! As usual, it shows your excellent command over an intriguing setting and a racy plot that makes for an interesting read !
Um, isn't it strange that the scientist should be so careless as to be electrocuted by his own slave? But more importantly, history proves that scientists, however mad, never wish to rule the world - that's not at all what they want from life - they're happier doing more research! And in this story, there is no revenge motive either (for the scientist) to make it sound probable, nor is he doing it for some other controlling organisation.
The story also makes me feel very sad because the scientist cannot think of any productive use for his invention and such a good invention too, which could have been so good for the tribe in many other ways than saving them from the outsiders, and it is then lost to the whole world !
That said, it is still a pretty good story as it addresses the all-important issue of preserving natural habitats in such a unique fashion.
Thanks again!

Dr. Arvind Mishra
I must admit that I have an inherent inability to be non judgemental whether a particular story is good or bad .Reema has indeed raised certain logical points which I trust shall be suitably addressed by the writer-but one thing which I appreciate is the writer's ability to accept the challenge to write a story on a given theme and Zeashan has not dissappointed us. In Hindi pulp novels there has been a stereotype of a mad scientist desirous of ruling the world and Zeashan has just followed the trend –
but I APPRECIATE Reema's outlook also which portrays a scientist as an angel ! ( Being one myself ! ha ha ! ) .Thanks Reema for having such a nice attitude towards scientists !
The pitfalls apart I like the Zeashan's specific style the way he makes the plot to have an errie environment reminding me of the famous Tilism stories of CHANDRKANTAA SANTATI.

Zeashan Zaidi
Thank you Reema Ji for a deep reading and a very nice & balancing comment. And of course a story (specially Sci Fi ) generates when something happens different from usual. So I took an unusual scientist for creating my story.
Now waiting from Swapnil’s side.

Swapnil Arnie
Hi Zees Han!
As I said earlier good story, that too when delivered on Demand model. I found certain points unexplained.

1. As Reema ji said, a scientist has a completely different mindset. He/she is not a planner/schemer -- rather sometimes he/she may not even know what to do with his creation. Its the corporation, which tries to find a purpose of that creation. It would be better if an evil corporate with whatso ever purpose deploy a scientist to achieve something.
2. There was no apparent reason for which he would want to destroy people. What would he achieve? 3. Setting up such a huge factory would need state-of-the- art infrastructure, talent, man-power, land acquising, transporation of equipment, import/production of such equipments, and then HUGE funding. The movement itself will raise suspicion among authorities. So, as per logic this is not feasible.
4. Why only dead Tribals? If you shoot in leg, then also you can capture someone?
5. The end of scientist was not at all up to the mark. He was already handling those electric man, so he must have known it was dangerous to touch them. Rather he would have created some safetly measure so that some crazy electric man should not touch him.
6. Why machine gun? Why would he need a machine gun? The did not need any defene? Also if he did then a pistol will do?
7. It was even better to kill them through electric man instead of a gun?
These are some points :-)
It was fun reading it, otherwise.

One of the reasons why a mad scientist may want to enslave others gets treated at some length in Murray Leinster's "The Mutant Weapon":
<http://www.webscrip tion.net/ 10.1125/Baen/ 0743435559/ 0743435559_ _12.htm>

Whether it's plausible & realistic is a different issue. Leinster talks about possible motivations. Not exactly new ideas, but it's also a good action story that seems to have had some influence on later authors - including one of the (I think Hugo winning) stories of James Tiptree, Jr.
Caution: This story is a long one - probably a short novel length.

Zeashan - I liked the beginning of your story more than the rest of it. An insignificant aside: plain text HTML at your site encourages linking since Google translation can render at least some form of it in other languages (only a tiny percentage of my visitors are from India, & a good fraction of these are from South). On a happier note, you are fast - in turning an idea into a story. Thank you.

Reema Sarwal
Swapnil ji,
I was completely flabberga sted by your point nos. 3 and 4 !
>>"The movement itself will raise suspicion among authorities."
I'm amazed at your utopic faith in the authorities! ! They notice NOTHING. I repeat, nothing. They wouldn't notice if you transported a rocket from Point A in the Himalayas to Point B in Tamil Nadu via road.
We're talking "authorities" who don't see entire colonies being built on ground surface in the capital city of Delhi. What chance do they have, given a millennium, of having a single clue about an underground laboratory being built below a Tribal temple in the heart of a jungle? Whatever made you dream of such a thing as land acquisition in this case?
I'm also not sure what makes you talk of a "factory" -- I read it as a fairly usual lab, though advanced, with some computers, 2 human-sized glass capsules, 2 beds, medical equipment, and some laser machinery -- pretty much humdrum for SF. Besides, our scientist is employed at a high position in the government, he could easily steal most of the stuff he needed from his official lab and contacts -- that's something we obviously expect of him! He's surely not a "normal" govt. employee if he can't even do that much.

As for point no. 4, to protect urban "citizens" from "uncivilized" tribals, the orders would be loud and clear -- shoot to kill. I particularly liked the satire at the beginning of the story when one cop suggests that the entire tribal community should be exterminated. That's one of the reasons I said it was a good story-- it captures the attitudes and mindset of our society.

PS: And a minor point, >>7. It was even better to kill them through electric man instead of a gun? >> that would lead to: Option A, electric man dying by touching the prison wall before being able to touch the hero, or Option B, scientist releasing our hero from the prison to be killed by the electric man, providing the required split-second for an action-packed- Hollywood- style-special effects-heroic escape !! :)

Swapnil Arnie
{I'm amazed at your utopic faith in the authorities! ! They notice NOTHING. I repeat, nothing. They wouldn't notice if you transported a rocket from Point A in the Himalayas to Point B in Tamil Nadu via road…….as land acquisition in this case?}

Nothing happens without the notice of authorities. If they see a movement they will peep in and cite all the reasons why you can't do it. Which in other language means bribe us and carry on. Colonies were not built without notice, they were built knowing that there is no scope for 'bribery' in such cases or in case of builders, they get their share and allow construction. I live in Delhi and I know that. You see small LPG refilling shops in some areas? They did not mushroomed before authorities were indifferent, they came up because they give 500 Rs per day to the policemen. Any big movement means big money. So, they will intervene.
Well then I did not know that building an underground tunnel was such an easy task that it could be performed so easily. I dreamt of it being in open as it is said in the story it self that they came out in open.

{I'm also not sure what makes you talk of a "factory" ……."normal" govt. employee if he can't even do that much.}
Factory is a term which I would use for anykind of production. Also it is beyond my understanding to create such powerful Lasers, and such technology to change DNA without much infrastructure. But, may be it is possible. It's India anything is possible :-)
{As for point no. 4,…… and mindset of our society.}
That is the most stereotypical portrayal of police, something that attracts audience. But in case like groups, there are always chances that you might end up shooting someone not essentially in hear of heart, even by mistake.
{PS: And a minor point, >>7. It was even better to kill them through electric man instead of a gun?........Hollywood- style-special effects-heroic escape !! :)}
or C, where did the cage come from? Could the scientist create laser cage anywhere? What kind of emmence technology would be used then? But I should better not talk about that he worked for the government and he could steal anything. :-)


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