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Karen Memory - Off the Cliff

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Wed Jun 10th, 2015

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09:35 pm - Karen Memory
Well, that was a fun fluff happy piece of steampunk. It's unfair of me to expect it to deal with Deep Issues; I wouldn't if anyone else had been the author. But Bear does naff along about deep issues so much that one almost blames her for writing happy fluff. Wherein the bad guys, like ninja in any schlock samurai TV series, escape unharmed from a dynamite explosion a few feet away from them, without any kind of explanation at all as to how they did it.

Does not help that I never had any idea how those elevated streets and ladders worked. We are building up the streets so that they're at third floor height but the front entrance to any building is 30 feet down in a trench and you can't reach it except by ladder? So what's the point of having elevated sidewalks? Why not just build them up to 3rd floor level and leave the house with sub-basements? Are they built up at the back of the house or are all houses 30 feet down on all sides?

We won't even mention the sewing machine...

I am however delighted to know that U.S Marshal Bass Reeves was a real person. I wouldn't mind a series about him, on the lines of Nini Mo The Coyote Queen.

(2 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2015 06:27 am (UTC)
Parts of Seattle are built along those lines. The story goes: They knew they needed to raise the level of the streets because the original levels flooded with the tides, so they built sidewalks and entrances at the street, but they invested all the fancy doors and face fronts at the 2nd or 3rd level where it would show after the street levels had been raised. They then built elevated sidewalks on the 2nd/3rd floor levels around each block, so you had to climb down to the 1st level every time you wanted to cross the street and then climb back up to the sidewalk level on the other side. You can actually tour the original street level now days, it basically takes you thru the basements of buildings and under the current sidewalks and streets.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2015 11:21 am (UTC)
Ah, I see. Googling images helps. So eventually the alleyways were covered over, not filled in? I'm still confused when she talks about people coming to the front door, which I assume is down the ladder. How wide is the area between the house's ground floor and the raised sidewalk's wall? It sounds like a narrow alleyway, which would be a mite claustrophobic.

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