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Connections among Vernor Vinge's sf novel A Deepness in the Sky, the film Jean de Florette, and Joe Sacco's graphic novel/documentary Safe Area Gorazde, for anyone else who was wondering: In Deepness the podmaster (bad guy) has a limited amount of water, organic chemicals, and human laborers in his space hideout, so he must fastidiously conserve all these elements as he waits out several decades for the planetbound alien culture to mature and become ripe for exploitation. In Florette the Depardieu character fights like a Trojan to save a business that is carefully and scientifically worked out but dying for lack of water. In Gorazde, the Bosnian Muslims hoard food and equipment, rotate military duty, and rig generators on rafts in the river so they can have electricity, all for a semblance of a decent life in a city under siege. The common thread is players improvising like mad in the face of scarce resources and a ticking clock. That's more of a plot arc than a theme in the sense of "innovation is good and ennobles mankind." If the podmaster had been successful a race would have been enslaved, and in the other two examples people "did what they felt they had to do" in the face of conscious or institutional villainy, so not sure if there are any uplifiting conclusions of the Heritage Foundation persuasion to be reached. Not that anyone said that.

- tom moody 6-14-2005 8:59 pm [link] [7 comments]