Soon: Chapter 36: More Party!

It’s been a couple of hours since the Bold Manifesto hit the airwaves, and Paul and Jae are back at Tiny’s for the big prestrike blowout.

WOOOOOOO PARTY

After all that shopping, we never do get a description of Jae’s dress or how sexy she looks in it.

Weird.

But we get a description of Bia Balaam’s dress:

Bia Balaam arrived preening in another silver gown—this one satin and skintight, clinging awkwardly to her angular body—with matching stiletto heels.  Jae nudged Paul.  “You’d think she overheard Tiny’s ideas for Juliet Peters.  I can’t believe that woman is NPO.”

I am just really sad that Jae came crawling back to her slimy husband, and she is lowering herself to muttering catty comments with him.  Like this is what is holding their relationship together—being nasty to another woman.

Also HAW HAW HAW unattractive woman tries to look attractive IT’S FUNNY

Then we get this strange bit:

Tiny didn’t seem to sweat, while Paul felt as if he were swimming.  The governor’s entourage arrived at ten to six, when Ranold also made his appearance for pictures and handshakes.  He proudly introduced Jae to all the dignitaries.

That makes it sound like Ranold is the one proudly introducing Jae.  But shouldn’t Paul be the one introducing her?  Sounds like Ranold is really laying the snub down on Paul, introducing Jae in his stead, and I feel this is an important point, but we do not see Paul’s reaction to this.

Maybe he doesn’t care.

Paul was gratified that Jae had evidently taken an instant dislike to [Bia].

That’s nice.  Woo-hoo, something my wife and I can “invest in our relationship”—our hatred of Bia Balaam!

Though again, WHY Jae should immediately dislike Bia (or think she is unqualified to be NPO) is a mystery.

But that’s not all we get from Jae:

Jae whispered, “There’s sure a lot of laughter for what should be a sober day.  You’d think they were planning a surprise party.”

“Peculiar, considering people might die,” Paul said.

Ah, good job with keeping up your pretense of being a loyal NPO agent, Paul.  It’s especially important now that you know that Ranold and Bia are keeping an eye on you.

The governor’s wife agreed.  “I know we’re targeting terrorists, but I find it hard to approve of jocularity at a time like this.”

Hmmmm…

Sounds like some of these people are ripe for some good information about how he believers should just be left alone to worship in peace, and some info on their actual lack of real terrorism.

Too bad the Christians have resorted to sending out Bold Manifestos threatening entire cities with the power of their vengeful thug of a god.

And stay tuned: the next post will be the LAST Soon post, and we see if the Christians prayers for terrorism retribution against an entire city pay off.

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Posted on March 22, 2012, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Bia Balaam arrived preening in another silver gown—this one satin and skintight, clinging awkwardly to her angular body—with matching stiletto heels.

    Um… Who wrote this, and WHAT is his PROBLEM? Because I’m having a hard time envisioning how awkward a clingy skintight dress could possibly be.

    I mean, an “angular” body means something like Grace Jones, right? Not much flesh on her bones, and a strong bone structure that gives her an unusual look?

    You know, the kind of woman clingy skintight dresses are MADE FOR?

    I’m thinking this “awkward” looking dress may have been as horrifying as this – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Azzedine_Alaia_acetate_dress.jpg (Safe for work, just a photo of a tight gray dress on a mannequin).

    Which takes me back to – what writer thinks that people reading “angular woman in a clingy skintight dress” will think “ugh, glad this book isn’t illustrated!”

  2. Grammar Police

    So much word, JenL! I’d comment further, but you’ve already said everything I was going to bring up and then some re: Bia and her 2nd silver dress.

    Moving on then . . .

    Maybe Paul didn’t notice that Ranold was trying to snub him. Jenkins’s characters don’t seem to be all that aware of insults unless they are blatant and childish. . . . actually, Jenkins’s characters don’t seem to be aware of much, do they?

    I don’t get the govenor’s wife’s comments. I feel like the two clauses in the sentence have nothing to do with one another. “I know we’re targeting terrorists, but I find it hard to approve of jocularity at a time like this.” Are there people around her cracking jokes and yukking it up, acting like they’re at a comedy club? Are there people who are delighted and amused at fighting terrorism? And if so, WHY?! and what the hell is wrong with them? And what the hell is wrong with the govenor’s wife that she thinks it’s not only acceptable but expected to be jocular when fighting terrorism?

    • Jenkins’s characters don’t seem to be aware of much, do they?

      Jenkins seems to want Paul to be James Bond, but he really does come off more like Inspector Clouseau.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        And what the hell is wrong with the govenor’s wife that she thinks it’s not only acceptable but expected to be jocular when fighting terrorism?

        Because they’re EEEEEEVIL, that’s why!

        —–

        Actually, the Christianese bubble puts a writer into an impossible situation when they’re trying to do a villain. RTCs especially hold to the Calvinist idea of “total depravity” and that only the Holy Spirit keeps anybody and everybody from turning into an Uday ibn Saddam. And since the Heathen (any non-RTCs) don’t have the Holy Spirit, they are all totally depraved and evil. Move over, Uday & Qusay.

        Yet at the same time the writer cannot actually show them doing anything evil or acting evil, so as not to offend the easily-offended target audience of Church Ladies. And offending a Church Lady is the kiss of death in the Christianese publishing racket. (They go Kyle’s Mom at the drop of a hat and they’ll drop the hat themselves, including reading things specifically to find something they can go into a Righteous Snit over.)

        So RTC fiction requires that the bad guys/non-RTCs be absolutely, utterly EEEEEEVIL yet you are forbidden from ever showing them being evil or doing anything evil or depraved. (Can’t offend the Church Ladies.) So you get shtick like The Antichrist — distilled type example of all human evil — being a wimp with a Snidely Whiplash bombast.

        It is literally an impossible situation.

  3. The governor’s wife agreed. “I know we’re targeting terrorists, but I find it hard to approve of jocularity at a time like this.”

    Jae waited for Paul to leave, “That’s because you’re at a party with Paul Stepola.”

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy

    And stay tuned: the next post will be the LAST Soon post, and we see if the Christians prayers for terrorism/retribution against an entire city pay off.

    Considering this is the last chapter, I suspect the book ends with no payoff, no non-payoff, only a “To Be Continued…”

    There’s a dent in the wall of my living room from when I read Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar and after wading through 500 pages found it ended with “To Be Continued”.

    • At least thank God when I read the TL-191 series it had, by the time I read all the numerous tomes, been completed. I can’t imagine what readers thought when they slogged through the World War II analog series only to find there was a fourth book waiting for Turtledove to shove out the door.

      Turtledove’s good, but he srsly can pad his freakin’ books when he wants to. Guns of the South, interestingly enough, is oddly sparse of Turtledovian repetitiveness, and makes for a very enjoyable alternate history.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Guns of the South remains my favorite Turtledove standalone.

        Though even the bridge game padding in In the Presence of Mine Enemies still pales before S.M.Stirling’s padding of the last Island in the Sea of Time. To wit: What do you do when you’re contracted for a trilogy but only have two books worth of story? You slip a DVD of Zulu into your TV and crib it scene-by-scene to make length for the third.

  5. So! Last chapter, eh?

    And Jenkins ends on a cliffhanger? Urgh.

    I get that he’s figured out how to pad out his books, but there oughtta be a law or something.

    Inspector Clouseau? Hell, how about Inspector Gadget with none of the redeeming features the cartoon version had?

    • He only has one gadget: Go Go Gadget Prayer, but since that can do anything he personally wants (because he’s such a good godly man all his temper tantrums are directly in line with god’s will) it’s all he ever needs. However, he utterly lacks Gadget’s well meaning attitude. Though his consistent belief that he is the competent problem solver, never realizing it’s only due to massive outside interference that he’s even alive (from the author I mean, not from god) is spot on.

      Bia wears one dress Jae disapproves of and she instantly decides to hate her? Well, at least we’re getting some gradual character building to becoming an RTC.

      • Well, yanno, they’re wimmins. So their figures and their clothes are the only things by which they can judge each other.

      • Penny and Brain wouldn’t even try to get close to Paul Stepola to run interference for him. They’d be repelled by his overweening ego, for one thing.

        At least Inspector Gadget cared about them and wanted to make sure they were safe. 🙂 (and to be honest, he was a pretty hilarious buffoon)

  6. Talking about Jae’s clothes might be “dwelling on worldly things”… which is only for worldly people, like Bia.

    Jae, having been infected with the RTC-meme even though it hasn’t progressed to the logorrhoea stage yet, now hates and pities everyone who isn’t also infected.

    If the Christians don’t get slaughtered, there won’t be any martyrs! They might have to use persuasion and argument rather than terrorism! That would never do…

    Guns of the South works well for me precisely because it had to fit in a single volume.

  7. Wait? So everyone at the party knows about the raid? That’s … weird even by Atheistopia standards. You don’t have a big party before the raid. You have the big party AFTER the raid so the Ranold can be feted and congratulated by LA’s high society.

    And if Jae whispers why is the governor’s wife responding?

    Sigh, as usual a much better story begs to be written. After Paul’s initial conversion he could believe that he can straddle the two societies and act as a double agent, only coming to realize slowly that he can’t stomach his Atheistopia life any more. This of course will necessitate him burning his Atheistopia bridge in some spectacular fashion and taking his family on the run.

    Re slinky dresses: I bet Jenkins is the type to pretend to be disgusted by women who in reality turn him on.

    • Re slinky dresses: I bet Jenkins is the type to pretend to be disgusted by women who in reality turn him on.

      After having mulled it over for a while, I think Jenkins combined his notion that women are supposed to be wives and mothers with his personal preference for women who look soft (preferably curvy), and built in into a notion that women who are tall, bony, “angular” are unattractive not just to him but to everybody.

      He just hasn’t bothered to notice that Hollywood (you know, where the “action” is currently happening) clearly disagrees and often celebrates unique looking women who can move from androgynous (even masculine) to gorgeously feminine with a change of clothes, hair-styling, and makeup…

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy

    He just hasn’t bothered to notice that Hollywood (you know, where the “action” is currently happening) clearly disagrees and often celebrates unique looking women who can move from androgynous (even masculine) to gorgeously feminine with a change of clothes, hair-styling, and makeup…

    That’s because the combination allows maximum flexibility in appearance between roles while retaining a unique feature for star identification and “brand-name recognition”. As in “standing out from all the others”. There’s probably a balance point between flexibility and uniqueness.

    Something I read about costume design in The Making of Star Trek circa 1968 was that small breasts are actually preferred on actresses; it’s easier to build them up into a large bustline through falsies and costume design than shrink them down and/or bind them if too large. Same goes for hair length — it’s easier to extend a hairdo with wigs or falls than hide long hair under a short hairdo. It’s a matter of flexibility and production logistics.

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