Discrepancies

A discussion of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

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Re: Discrepancies

Postby dandyvampgirl_13 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:56 pm

Well, that's one of the advantages of humanity- our numbers. We're pretty much limitless. Nothing could ever kill us all, there will always be one more group of humans hiding out somewhere. Vampires couldn't possibly kill us all. We're resourceful, tenacious, and adaptable. Vampires are like the rocks they are apparently made of- they can't adapt as well as people do. (Edward said that, if I'm ever bothered enough to find the quote I'll post it.) We invented the atomic bomb within a very short time to end a war- wars cause a sort of intellectual explosion fueled by the need to protect your home. Vampires are certainly a worthy enough enemy to cause another such explosion.

Sonic weapons are a good idea, actually. You'd need to be able to hold a vampire captive to study them though, to study the effects. That might be slightly more impossible.

And David? Vampires are fast, but not invulnerable. Just wait till I invent a photon gun or something. Even Edward can't outrun the speed of light!
Course, photons can't really hurt people, since they have neglible mass. Vampires can't outrun a speeding neutron, can they?
Anyways, vampires also have their limits in ingenuity. They may be able to concentrate on more than one thing at once, but they can't forsee everything. Humans would score a hit eventually. And we would win. That's the inevitablity of fate- we (the good guys) will always win. They can't stop our creativity. We will come up with something they can't stop, and they'll be screwed.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby ringswraith » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:11 pm

Humans, the "good guys?"

This is starting to sound a little bit too much like Nazi Germany to me. Can we please steer the discussion back to the topic- discrepancies?
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:03 pm

Thank you, Rings! I guess my initial question is answered though: for most of you this easy flammability seemed in keeping with what you'd understood before reading Bree's book.

Am I the only one who finds this discordant with what Stephenie seems to have originally imagined ? (If PC #6, which dates back to the time around NM, is anything to go by...)

And if so...does it improve or disimprove the story, to make her vampires more vulnerable in this way (to us and to each other)?
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby Openhome » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:24 pm

ringswraith wrote:I still think that's highly doubtful. No vampire is going to let themselves be caught in such a situation, and all it would take is for one vamp to get inside that group to decimate them.


If it was easy, I wouldn't make a good game. :D

My point wasn't that it would be anywhere near an even fight, or a serious possibility, but I do believe that SM did want her vamps to have this one weakness, if it can be seen as such.

Andy, I've often wondered the same thing. I even asked my husband about ways to take down a stone person, and, amid many eye rolls, he mentioned the same thing. (hubby is a gamer and was in the military for years) Stone shatters so much more easily than softer tissues, and sonic weapons have some serious kick to them. The problem is getting a vamp to stand still long enough, as Rings said.

From Bree to Halo: Vamp Version in one fell swoop. I love this place. :lol:
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby clpviolet » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:53 pm

Ok, there is one thing I noticed reading the book that kinda seemed unfair to Bree IMO. Bree didn't actually try to fight any of them during the fight in fact she didn't throw a single punch. :?: It seems to me that in the end she was just along for the ride cause she only wanted to find Diego and run off together. And everytime she fed she took care of the bodies and took care of other vamps messes too. Without knowing about the rules I don't think she broke too many. :roll:

But maybe I'm just going off the deep end cause I wasn't even planning on reading it or buying it. I guess out of loyalty to MS, I was still kind of upset that she finished Bree's story when supposedly she was trying to stay away from all things "twilight"..... and then get us what we all really want. :lol: But on the spur of the moment I said "what the heck" and followed the link from SM site and I ended up liking her, feeling sorry for her. :roll: Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong I have a feeling I'm missing something but I still had to get it out......or find out if anyone agrees. :? :oops:
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby vampbball » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:49 am

andypalmer wrote:Oh, I'm not saying to use it to provoke a fight, but I think there were a few key moments in Aro's show, when he was trying to take the moral high ground with the audience, that an inquiry, "if you're so concerned with protecting vampire kind, then why did Jane and members of your guard meet with the creator the newborns that were creating so much havoc in Seattle? My friends and I managed to take care of the problem, but your guard were there almost a week before hand and did nothing but encourage Victoria. How does my grand-daughter create more risk for our kind than the acts of your own guard?" Nothing to initiate a fight (as Aro couldn't afford to attack in response as it would be seen as validating Carlisle's comments), but certainly enough to quiet down the crowd of witnesses even earlier. If done early enough, it might even have prevented Irina's death.


Okay, but let's say that none of the Cullens confront the Volturi with this information. Why oh why didn't it come up in their earlier conversations with Eleazar? Never once do you hear a Cullen assert that that the Volturi were actively colluding with Victoria. And wasn't that something they would have shared with the Denalis long before Irina even made her trip South? Your explanation that Edward simply didn't hear covers the inconsistency, but Edward doesn't not hear (remember how in the tent scene he tells Jacob that his mind can follow several different lines of thought simultaneously?), and he especially wouldn't be ignoring the one person who could have given them answers, however limited. No, this is a discrepancy.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby vampbball » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:01 am

December wrote:Thank you, Rings! I guess my initial question is answered though: for most of you this easy flammability seemed in keeping with what you'd understood before reading Bree's book.

Am I the only one who finds this discordant with what Stephenie seems to have originally imagined ? (If PC #6, which dates back to the time around NM, is anything to go by...)

And if so...does it improve or disimprove the story, to make her vampires more vulnerable in this way (to us and to each other)?

Are we're talking about Diego's torture, or also about burning up vampires after they've already been dismembered? I think we already knew they were flammable by how quickly the fire caught when burning a dismembered vampire. As to fire causing pain (wasn't that implied when Riley described Diego's torture?), that is new, but I suppose it makes sense if they're flammable. I agree that the PC gives a different impression regarding the difficulty of killing a vampire. So I'm not sure whether they're suddenly more vulnerable, or whether I just never connected the dots earlier. If you can burn a dismembered vampire, why not use fire against an intact vampire? Burning them for torture must have always been an option for other vampires - weird!
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:32 am

I'd agree...once you've got the idea of vampire body parts going up in smoke in a Funeral Pyre of No Return, the flammability of vampires is a natural implication. But I guess I'm thinking that implicit is imaginatively very different from explicit. I, for one, never thought the implication through. For me, the image of a smoldering pile of broken statuary had the effect of emphasizing how scarily invulnerable and adamantine these monstrous beings are: IT'S NOT EVEN ENOUGH TO SMASH THEM TO PIECES -- YOU HAVE TO BURN THE BITS TOO BEFORE THEY'RE REALLY DEAD. Exactly the opposite of suggesting (as Openhome observes) that if vampires are as flammable as all that, they've got a weakness after all.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Sure one follows logically from the other, but actually emphasizing this vulnerability -- incorporating it into your story rather than leaving it an unexamined implication -- changes the impression you give your reader of just how perfectly invulnerable your vampires are.

Which may well have been deliberate. In fact, I suspect it's the natural consequence of taking your heroine beyond the story of her human life and into the story of her post-human existence. Once vampire immortality isn't just something Edward's got and Bella hasn't (or the blissful happy ending which rings down the curtain on Bella's story) -- once, in effect, Stephenie is in the business of writing the part of BD which deals with Bella post-transformation...well, being a vampire can't go on being this unimaginable state of perfect omnipotence and security. The image of the vampire as all-powerful Guardian Angel (or Nemesis) has to give way to Vulnerable Superhero, now that Bella's one too. Otherwise there would be no dramatic tension and no story.

Now you could argue that this is precisely why the story of Twilight should have concluded with Bella's transformation. It's a matter of taste. But certainly it becomes a different story if it takes us on into that post-human future. Bella's transformation ceases to be important in itself -- the grand culmination of the emotional and spiritual journey she's been on since the day she met Edward -- and becomes merely the gateway to the next chapter of her adventures.

And what it means to be a vampire changes as well. In effect, she was right and Edward was wrong: it's no big deal, really -- the important things don't change. You go on loving and living (and in Bella's case even having children) -- and dying. Yes, I know: we've been aware since TW that vampires can get killed -- Bella is half crazy with fear for Edward's safety when James appears, and the newborn army is no trivial threat -- but again, it's a matter of emphasis. What the earlier story underscores is the contrast between human fragility and vampire invulnerability. Being a vampire is different. Life (and death) as you know it are over. ("So ready for this to be the end," Edward muses in TW, "though your life has barely started."). But now that we've looked closely, it looks more like a new version of the same.

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Re: Discrepancies

Postby Openhome » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:37 am

I can't agree more. It is a side argument, really, but those are the most fun of all. :lol:

From the Saga, we get the idea that vampires and wolves ONLY can destroy vampires. Other than that, they are utterly free from the fear of dying. In fact, the topic of souls and such is a hot button topic among the Cullen clan for this reason. They believe new existence may be eternal because their soul is gone (This isn't the point I am arguing, just an observation from the books, it is a point to a larger argument) or at least that this is their version of eternity because their soul is damned.

If they are now the fallible superhero with the possibility of death -- as so many newborns, Bree included, found was their destiny -- then this isn't so much a choice between perfect immortality and humanity for Bella. That is one of the things I got from the book. I write fanfiction, and the flammability thing (the destructibility of vampires) is something I wrote on in a part of one fic. It seemed logical to me, and I am glad that SM put that in the book. Even if it only conjures up more discussion, I am glad that the old way looking at SM's vampiric existence didn't hold up for me any longer. I kinda like the newer view. It makes the choice so much more profound. It also makes the books much more fun because the Cullens aren't immutable, and their existence is much more dangerous than I thought it was before.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 pm

Openhome wrote:It makes the choice so much more profound. It also makes the books much more fun because the Cullens aren't immutable, and their existence is much more dangerous than I thought it was before.

Intriguing. More fun, possibly (certainly more adventure-filled and uncertain). Definitely less like heaven on earth.* But for precisely this reason, I would myself have said that it makes the choice that much LESS profound. One reason why BD sort of rolled up the Choices thread as we knew it.

I'm curious now what about it strikes you as adding to the significance of Bella's transformation, not diminsihing it.

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*Or indeed, hell on earth, depending a) on your view of immortality (some people can't think of anything they'd hate more -- see Cats on Mars on the old Choices thread) or b) if you think true earthly immortality has to be counterbalanced by some compensatory suffering (like the penance of the vampire's eternal and unassuageable thirst, as Sparkling Diamond once suggested on the same thread). But either way, more like ordinary life as a different species than something with profound spiritual implications.
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