Super heroes

2014 Hugo Nominee Readthrough: Larry Correia’s Warbound

So I was going to try and wait until the controversy around Larry Correia died down a bit before posting this, but, uh… well. He either lacks a controversy avoidance mechanism or chooses not to use it. Despite the many positions of Mr. Correia I strongly disagree with, I’m going to try and not let them affect my opinion of Warbound on its own. (I’ll probably fail, and I definitely won’t succeed in full). I did read the first two books in the trilogy as well, just to give the book a fair shake. Anyhow, on to Warbound.

First Time/ Reread: First Time
Acquired: Library

Other Nominees:
Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice
Charles Stross: Neptune’s Brood
Mira Grant: Parasite
Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson: The Wheel of Time

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Unique Power Sets and Superhuman “Copyright”.

Anyone want to listen to me complain more about super heroes? No? Bah, too bad.

Part of the draw of super heroes involves their uniqueness, e.g. they’re the only ones who can do these things, and it can’t be replicated. Well, usually. You’ve got plenty of exceptions, like the Green Lantern Corp, but they all have their own self-selecting criteria for inclusion; ranging from the Corp/Guardians selection process, hereditary powers, inherited mantle, etc. (The Dial Wielders from Dial H for Hero/ Hero/ Dial H, where the only limitation is possessing a dial, are a ton of fun, and a great example of how to do it.) So: in order to maintain the hero’s status as special/ unique, you need to have some way to limit the imitation of their powers.

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Super Heroes and Crimefighting

Hey! Look! More time-wasting ruminations on super heroes!

In the first decades of super heroes, their purpose was firmly fixed: Crimefighting. Even most supervillains, to this day, are petty criminals much of the time. This actually makes a lot of sense, given the time period they rose up in. Pre-WWII America was a crime-ridden, nasty place. Even today, America has an absurdly higher rate of violent crime, especially gun crime, than many other industrialized nations. If super heroes were first written today, though, or actually existed, would they be crime fighters? I don’t think so.

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