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Thread: The Empire of Azad (SPOILERS).

  1. #21
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    A dangerous mix of fear (of the Culture) and arrogance (thinking they could dismiss Gurgeh) pushed Azad's inner circle over the edge.

    As dull and badly paced as Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds was (Christoph Waltz' performance as an eccentric, self-serving SS officer not withstanding) I felt that the Nazi leadership getting massacred inside a locked up cinema that was burning down and exploding was very similar to the Azadian leadership getting massacred at Castle Klaff (and it's implied the spectacular leadership decapitations spelt the end for the two evil empires, though we've been over this before).
    Last edited by Big Orange; 21-06-2013 at 02:13 AM.
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Orange View Post
    It was not exactly very dangerous to the Culture and was essentially a local threat (as nasty as they were) confined within a dwarf galaxy, with the Nauptre Reliquaria coming across as a genuinely unique and very dangerous threat instead. The Culture's method of toppling the Azad regime was a more subtle Libyan style intervention (and they had other agents on the ground).
    I don't think anyone here would argue Azad posed a current threat to the Culture but 'nasty' is still dangerous. The Affront was once nasty too.

    What in this context is a 'Libyan Style Intervention'?
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  3. #23
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    Iain liked to say the Culture was his train set. This is probably most apparent when describing the many societies that made up his Culture-verse. The Culture itself, being just one of many. I particularly enjoyed how he never repeated himself, or even rehashed some already mentioned society into a "new" one. It always amazed and delighted me at the immense amount of thought he put into every Culture novel to make it unlike any previous one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Orange View Post
    The Culture's method of toppling the Azad regime was a more subtle Libyan style intervention (and they had other agents on the ground).
    May as well place my cards on the table, the Libyan Intervention bears no relation to events describe in The Player of Games.
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    That's nice CB, and while I'd tend to agree, who cares? It's trivia. Not worth the effort to bother over, certainly not worth the effort to discuss.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    That's nice CB, and while I'd tend to agree, who cares? It's trivia. Not worth the effort to bother over, certainly not worth the effort to discuss.
    Aw thankyou charismatic megafauna, you've never described me as nice before and it's no bother, seriously. The sun's just risen, Beloved's still asleep and I'm just about to hit breakfast before grabbing a couple of sun loungers. You're feeling the pace evidently, so get yourself a hot milky drink and an early bed.
    Last edited by Conscious Bob; 22-06-2013 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Phone covered in sun cream
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  7. #27
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    OK, I'm going off tangent about Libya, but how come the Azad regime seemingly blithely accept an envoy from a vastly superior and hostile foreign power into their inner circle and participate in their leadership selection process? And why was Gurgeh lied to by Special Circumstances virtually every step of the way and even emotionally manipulated, with the guided tour of the squalid, segregated slums and getting shown sadistic torture that gets streamed/broadcast to elites?
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

  8. #28
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    Oh crap, maybe we should discuss the Libya thing, now you're posing difficult questions BO.

    Why did the Azadian regime accept Gurgeh and allow him to play the game? Well the plot requires this. Not satisfied with a glib answer? I've wondered about this too. Seems rather stupid on the Azadians part. Probably a combination of factors. Partly Culture extortion, "if you don't let Gurgeh play in your games we'll send in the warships". Partly Azadian hubris, "no one can possibly defeat our grand masters at our own game". Partly, err, plot necessity. It does seem to me to transpire a bit too easily to be fully explained by rational reasons. Can you add anything CB.

    Why was Gurgeh lied to and emotionally manipulated by SC? Lie is such a crude way of putting it BO. SC didn't so much lie as fail to disclose the truth as they often do, not exactly the same thing. Gurgeh was a low level functionary in the plan, he wasn't in a need to know position, so didn't need to know everything (or anything, but the cover story, really). Why was he emotionally manipulated? This question is easier. Essentially to keep him in the game (not the game of Azad, but the bigger game SC is playing), so to speak. To make him mad, offend his sensibilities as a Culture citizen, keep him from going "native".

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Orange View Post
    OK, I'm going off tangent about Libya, but how come the Azad regime seemingly blithely accept an envoy from a vastly superior and hostile foreign power into their inner circle and participate in their leadership selection process? And why was Gurgeh lied to by Special Circumstances virtually every step of the way and even emotionally manipulated, with the guided tour of the squalid, segregated slums and getting shown sadistic torture that gets streamed/broadcast to elites?
    The core of Azadian society was the game and the Culture was playing high stakes relying on Gurgeh's skill to overcome seemingly impossible odds. As for the tour of the slums this was an example of the drone and Ship coaching technique in this case to add steel to Gurgeh's resolve. Another good example, when he was losing and couldn't his see his way through a game, the drone got him talking Marain again. When he began thinking like a Culture Citizen again his game plan became clear.
    Last edited by Conscious Bob; 22-06-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismatic megafauna View Post
    Oh crap, maybe we should discuss the Libya thing, now you're posing difficult questions BO.

    Why did the Azadian regime accept Gurgeh and allow him to play the game? Well the plot requires this. Not satisfied with a glib answer? I've wondered about this too. Seems rather stupid on the Azadians part. Probably a combination of factors. Partly Culture extortion, "if you don't let Gurgeh play in your games we'll send in the warships". Partly Azadian hubris, "no one can possibly defeat our grand masters at our own game".
    I'm glad you've got the same theory as I have in regards to the xenophobic, prideful Azadians accepting Morat Gurgeh under intimidating political pressure but feeling comfortable enough to outplay him. And Bob, after skim reading the climax of the story where Gurgeh thinks like a Culture citizen again was a really interesting part, and the Azad game board was complex enough to replicate different kinds of societies and governments.
    'Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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