Stop it pooh!
You're making me nervous agreeing so much...
Verns - these discussions are brill and much
better than formal debating with it's rules and enforced rationale. The only problem is when we have a book (like CoM) where there's a measure of agreement or perhaps sometimes a marmite effect where neither faction's going to win out - I love CoM because it was the first spoof fantasy I read and so I have a great deal of affection for it, simply because it was the first. I acknowledge that it's not the best written book by a long way which is why I hadn't really got an argument for those who don't have the same emotional attachment to it, and there's only so many times you can say I love it but I know it's not up to the mark in a literary sense.
It's the same with this book, except I do have very strong feelings about Moist (in that I love to hate him
), but the actual feature plotlines of this and GP - and already Raising Taxes, do absolutely nothing for me aside from seeing how clever Terry gets with re-spinning it. It worked in GP with Mr Pump mainly (plus Vetinari was better in it) and Reacher Gilt too. Will come back to that one another time.
Golem horses - definitely horse-shaped! How else do we know they're horses?
Also very interesting despite Terry virtually throwing them away in this book. Same reason for the Golden Golems and all the others being human-shaped (but sexless) but it does beg the question on how Golems work, 'cos these don't have any sentience of their own because they don't have normal chems (or not ones that can be taken and adapted) - so they're not even robots because they're not really 'programmed' for anything useful at all. How is a robot different from a chem Golem who's bought itself out of servitude?
In Roundworld robots are machines that have been programmed to work at certain tasks. When the concept of a slave machine (which is effectively to rid humans of the need to do menial industrial or even domestic tasks) they were in general human-shaped - as in the breakthrough sci-fi film Metropolis back in the silent movie era. Why? Robots in the shape of what came to be called androids (think C3P0 not R2D2) caught at the imagination, so much so that the late great Isaac Asimov wrote about them a lot and Terry has followed his 'positronic brain' concept and creed of those type of robot who cannot break their programming not to harm human beings in any way, except with a huge effort which generally resulted in their being rendered permanently unusable because it wrecks their normal functions (I'm thinking here of the mutant mind-reader robot in Liar! where Susan Calvin deliberately induced a brain breakdown because it tried to make her happy and said another scientist was in love with her). Terry has developed the Golems along those lines, but because the chem is magic he's chosen to go the fully sentient route.
In Roundworld this didn't happen because we don't have android-type robots - we have robots that are most definitely machine and are designed to do specific tasks better than humans, but with no self-reasoning ability whatsoever except in engineering terms. The motor industry is the best example of this as it makes horses with with various types of robot (where once it was men doing that task less efficiently) that are far stronger and faster than it's biological inspiration. Horses...
How long is it going to take for the artisans of AM to build a ceramic (or some other material) horse that doesn't look like one
and doesn't have a chem because it doesn't need it. They've seen the use for mounting their post couriers so how long before the mail coach, which is of course a horse-drawn carriage, goes the same way... How long before the horse-drawn bus system we see in UA goes the same way?
Now isn't that a much
more interesting avenue of advancement than raising poxy taxes?