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Poll

What will Ardent's answer reveal?

Exactly what he said, a friend hacked the transporter console and he woke up on Earth.
It was actually someone no one ever heard of that promised this and Alice was wrong about the Praeses.
The Praeses are playing dumb and Laridia is just there to convince them they had nothing to do with Ardent going to Earth.
There's actually a rogue element among the Praeses in cahoots with a mysterious 3rd party.
Nothing.  Spookybot will wake up suddenly and realize this was all just a nightmare.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?  (Read 89207 times)

OldGoat

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #500 on: 19 Jul 2017, 13:36 »

We have evidence of lizard DNA (Alice's eyes), so we can extrapolate limb regeneration.  Hell, one of Spider-Man's enemies, the Lizard, came about when a good-guy human tried regenerating a gimpy arm with lizard DNA.

However, doing so will probably take her quite some time.  A kewl plant-prosthesis will make a great substitute in the mean time.  Church may be dead dead, or he may have taken so much damage that repair will take him a hundred years or so.  After all, he recovered from being baked like a ham once.
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retrosteve

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #501 on: 19 Jul 2017, 17:20 »

So it's confirmed that some things like limbs can't grow back.


Not quickly enough to suit Sedna anyway. She can jigger entropy, so she can do it given enough time and energy. But a quick assist from the Praeses would be way easier.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #502 on: 19 Jul 2017, 17:23 »

And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #503 on: 19 Jul 2017, 17:38 »

Meanwhile Sedna is banned from the future version of this forum because she can't pronounce the Praeses' name properly.

She might also just be a big Adventure Time fan.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #504 on: 19 Jul 2017, 17:39 »

These aren't gods, but merely empowered individuals.
Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #505 on: 19 Jul 2017, 17:49 »

These aren't gods, but merely empowered individuals.
Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?

Only if you believe in gods.

The difference between science and magic is understanding the concept. Whatever mystery the super soldiers might have possessed faded with the revelation that they operate on the principle of Maxwell's Demon and are powered by black holes. There's no magic. That's gone from the world. But the science and technology? That's coming back.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #506 on: 19 Jul 2017, 18:09 »

Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #507 on: 19 Jul 2017, 19:22 »

Meanwhile Sedna is banned from the future version of this forum because she can't pronounce the Praeses' name properly.

Can't fault her, I've been trying to figure out how it's pronounced for months.
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #508 on: 19 Jul 2017, 20:07 »

And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.

Except Laridia already dismissed all three super soldiers as barely a threat. Ardent and Gavia were only a threat to the inner realities, and that threat was neutralized by virtue of just not letting them back in. Honestly I get the feeling Laridia was embodied just because Cupressaceae was tired of them trashing it's outer form and decided to set things straight. All in all it's being pretty reasonable and accommodating. But it still would probably like these disruptions to go away now.

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OldGoat

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #509 on: 19 Jul 2017, 20:21 »

And it's the least the Praeses could do considering she sacrificed her arm to remove a serious threat and  take down Church.

Except Laridia already dismissed all three super soldiers as barely a threat. Ardent and Gavia were only a threat to the inner realities, and that threat was neutralized by virtue of just not letting them back in. Honestly I get the feeling Laridia was embodied just because Cupressaceae was tired of them trashing it's outer form and decided to set things straight. All in all it's being pretty reasonable and accommodating. But it still would probably like these disruptions to go away now.
Cupressaceae wanted to interrogate interview Ardent and Gavia to find out how they were materialized and transported down to the surface.  If A&G can't be readmitted to the internal reality, it has to generate an entity to communicate with them.  Hence Laridia.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #510 on: 19 Jul 2017, 21:02 »

Front-line super-soldiers were given a compulsion to serve.
Alice said "I serve everybody"

Maybe she started crying because everybody won't need her service anymore?...
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #511 on: 19 Jul 2017, 21:19 »

If her mind works like a human's, she can sweep unpleasant memories under the carpet for a while, but once they get out they will cause havoc.

Pate confronted her about her role in the war. She has freshly reminded herself that she committed a thousand Holocausts.

She's having a hard time now.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #512 on: 19 Jul 2017, 22:40 »

But will Sedna's new arm be like Robot's or like Ysengrin's?

Also, apparently Pate should have been focusing on seducing Ardent.  (I don't think it would have worked in Gavia.)
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #513 on: 19 Jul 2017, 22:58 »

An interesting aspect of the internal reality is that it appears Gavia and Ardent cannot be transferred their without their pico/nano machines coming along, which suggests to me that the internal reality is something somehow physical, not a mere emulation in software.

Perhaps, but the praeses may being overly cautious and want to limit their contact with 2 people afflicted with the discontinuity.  Unless transferring their consciousness out of their bodies and back into the simulation is all done wirelessly a physical connection with Ardent or Gavia could have some catastrophic side effects. 

Fortunately, they're both reconciled to this because they know the truth as well as other factors.  Perhaps the AI that picked these 2 to go to Earth didn't just cruelly yank them out of their world without studying their profiles first.  It knew Ardent is someone who wants an adventure and appreciates experiencing things through his own senses.  As for Gavia aside from the praeses she didn't have any friends on the space habitat and doesn't back down from a challenge.  Losing her nano technology was the worst experience, but she's since acquired new and improved nanotech and unless there is another Night Walker she's in no danger of losing it again.  She actually might've enjoyed most of her time on Earth, but didn't want to admit it because of Ardent.  It's also nice to see she's forgiven him since he really wasn't responsible for traveling to Earth. 

Although there's only a few strips left I'm quite intrigued with what they will do.  Even though plenty of people will gain similar abilities they and the others who went to Earth are pioneers so that gives them a head start and unlike the others they're friends with 2 of the most powerful beings on Earth so that's definitely a bonus.     
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #514 on: 20 Jul 2017, 03:49 »

Sufficiently advanced individuals are indistinguishable from gods, are they not?
I would say not. Sufficiently advanced individuals must still exist in space time, but the judeo-christian concept of an omnipotent creator at the very least implies existence outside space-time.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #515 on: 20 Jul 2017, 04:42 »

I'm no theologian, but there are other concepts of gods, no? And I think there are those whose gods walk among us.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #516 on: 20 Jul 2017, 05:44 »

The reason why Sedna might fancy a plant arm: http://www.alicegrove.com/image/146220974069
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Neko_Ali

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #517 on: 20 Jul 2017, 06:20 »

Well, it's possible that they have some low level of regeneration. We know it exists, Ardent regrew his delightful tail after losing it. Alice seems almost fine after having her head partly crushed by Church. Also, for being more than 5000 years the super soldiers all are pretty youthful looking. That speaks to me that they have some level of cellular regeneration to stop the aging process. So I'm guessing that it's not outside the realm of possibility that Sedna could regrow her arm, it just might take a while to happen or require a lot of entropy that she doesn't want to burn. Not when there are alternatives. Besides, cool freaky plant arm.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #518 on: 20 Jul 2017, 08:35 »

Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #519 on: 20 Jul 2017, 08:49 »

There's often/usually some sort of large conceptual chasm between The God and a god, although perhaps that only depends on whose pantheon is being looked at by whom, and when in what circumstances.   "Obviously" since in the natural universe everything comes from something (there is entropy, if you wish) God would have to exist outside normal spacetime.  An all powerful creator of all would have to exist in a place where things (including their self, the place, and what its made of) come from nothing.  And also be able to move into another place where they don't and can't come from nothing.  This is seemingly somewhat akin what Laridia suggests to some extent, apparently without an ability to embody/unembody without changing the nature of what has been unembodied/embodied.  At least when it comes from moving to/from the inner reality.   

As is so often the case though, how some person or group thinks about something isn't in a vacuum, it's shaped by such things as their knowledge, experience, intelligence, wisdom, and ability to make connections and extrapolate.   Perhaps someone can't tell the difference between super-powerful and godlike (or between science and magic) at a given point through mere observation, but if there's a difference to be had, it doesn't mean nobody can make that differentiation.   

While we might think only the modern and sophisticated could possibly understand such as a handheld calculator (TI 1967) yet it might instead easily be identified as a created tool by most any conscious cognitive self-aware being with the equivalent of at least a double-digit IQ.     If you've ever seen a cannon (fire lance, 1132) in use, you probably get what sort of item an automatic rifle is even if you've never seen one.   If you've ever seen a Canon in use, you might just understand the concept of photography (circa 500 BC and before, earliest surviving photograph 1826 AD).     Magic may be a word used to describe science somebody doesn't understand or can't conceptualize,  but at least in our physical reality, there is no such thing. (Not in the sense of casting spells using mana and so on.)   You might still, after being transplanted to another reality which contains such unnatural nonphysical things,  recognize what a wand pointed at you might do, even if you'd never seen Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #520 on: 20 Jul 2017, 09:03 »

Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.

Thank you. History is full of people mistaking technology for godhood and paying for it later.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #521 on: 20 Jul 2017, 09:32 »

Comic is up. Tomorrow's ending is on Patreon for $1 donors too.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #522 on: 20 Jul 2017, 09:32 »

Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #523 on: 20 Jul 2017, 10:16 »

Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..
Unless Alice does dive into the black hole, the door is open for a sequel should Jeph ever decide he wants to go there.  Hell, it might even start with Alice and her Veggicraft popping out in a universe on the other side.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #524 on: 20 Jul 2017, 10:51 »

Hmm - shades of Yui Ikari, even (though admittedly remote).
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #525 on: 20 Jul 2017, 11:32 »

Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..

If she wants to die it seems like it would be easier to tear off a limb and stab herself in the brain.  I can understand her desire to avoid repeating her own terrible mistakes.  Maybe she's choosing solitary confinement to atone.

I suspect the finale will have her make a decision.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #526 on: 20 Jul 2017, 12:00 »

Where did she go?
   out
What did she do?
   Everything.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #527 on: 20 Jul 2017, 14:05 »

Meeting what she's entangled with (should she end up doing that) isn't necessarily fatal, although given that it's not sentient, wouldn't seem particularly all that interesting.   But maybe to somebody entangled to it, and that's a few thousand years of age, it's another matter entirely.



Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.
And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.
You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
Thank you. History is full of people mistaking technology for godhood and paying for it later.


Although the specifics around all of that are quite a bit less exotic and mystical than we might have hoped for. 

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_conquest_of_the_Inca_Empire

  https://www.thoughtco.com/conquest-of-the-inca-empire-facts-2136551
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #528 on: 20 Jul 2017, 14:57 »

So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #529 on: 20 Jul 2017, 14:57 »

That was... somewhat unsatisfying.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #530 on: 20 Jul 2017, 15:10 »

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #531 on: 20 Jul 2017, 15:28 »

So, she's heading beyond The Rim

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #532 on: 20 Jul 2017, 16:34 »

So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/

Far as I'm concerned, we never found out who did most of the stuff: the AIs are suggested by process of elimination, not by any actual evidence. And we don't know if it was one clever weakly godlike AI or a faction of them or the whole lot together, and whether their intentions are good or ill. And we don't know if they are responsible for the Nightwalker. Or why it was easier to reawaken Earth using Sims from all the Praeses rather than Earthlings. Or how they hacked the Sims's minds as well as bodies (Ardent still thinks he prevailed upon a friend.)

We also don't know if Alice's reality is more real than the simulations in the Praeses. Or who originally had the technology to link her and the other soldiers to a black hole. Or, if her reality isn't a simulation, how the Blink worked.

Laridia also seems to be claiming that all the Sims on the Praeses are generated, not uploaded from Earth people. And the Praeses don't seem to have any connection to the Blink guys. Am I misinterpreting that? If so, what happened to all the Earthlings at Blink time?

We don't really know how Alice zapped Church originally either. Or why. Or how many other soldier types are still around. Or what she really did to feel responsible for the deaths of billions. Or even if Church is going to regenerate, though that could easily be clear from a last panel.

I think we will be wondering and discussing most of these after tomorrow.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #533 on: 20 Jul 2017, 17:17 »

I think I prefer stories that don't answer all of their own questions. They make for more interesting discussion.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #534 on: 20 Jul 2017, 17:31 »

There's often/usually some sort of large conceptual chasm between The God and a god, although perhaps that only depends on whose pantheon is being looked at by whom, and when in what circumstances.

Whelp, we do know she's got a hell of a burp! (1:39)

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #535 on: 20 Jul 2017, 19:41 »

Well, suicide-by-black hole is probably the only guaranteed way for one of Alice's kind to kill themselves.

That said... Alice...? This wish says wonderful things about your conscience but... in the end, don't you think that you're running away from your crimes? It sounds to me that you're avoiding confronting a world where you are just another super-immortal rather that 'The Witch' and thus without the immunity your reputation has given you so far..

There have been several comments implying that everyone was going to turn into Alice. As far as I can tell, what Laridia actually indicated was that everyone was going to turn into Ardent and Gavia - powerful but not super powered, probably longer lived but not immortal, perhaps a master of technology but not a master of entropy.  Alice (and any remaining others of her ilk) would remain of a separate order...

I think I prefer stories that don't answer all of their own questions. They make for more interesting discussion.

Though this one seems to have left too many unanswered, unless Jeph plans to revisit it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #536 on: 20 Jul 2017, 19:45 »

4 years creating a tribute to Iain M Banks?

Bravo Mr Jacques, bravo. :-D
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #537 on: 20 Jul 2017, 20:22 »

So... There was literally zero actual jeopardy in the entire main story. Nothing the characters did had any impact beyond their personal sphere. That's extremely disappointing to me, especially considering that the only real conflict in the story was introduced three quarters of the way into the story with only a single-page teaser that told us almost nothing before it and was dispatched in a way that the audience literally could not have seen coming without wild, unsourced speculation.
Honestly, everything here was just such an anticlimax. The only thing that was explained was the primary conflict, and it was... Well, not the MOST boring explanation, but one that doesn't really raise the good kind of questions. I do have questions, but it's all about things that were either explicitly left unresolved with no way of even guessing at an answer, or just questions of confusion about character motivation and plot holes.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #538 on: 20 Jul 2017, 20:53 »

Or maybe the whole story is an examination of what it is to be human.

What truly defines humanity? You had a war on a massive scale between bioaugmentation and the use of technology trying to figure that out.

What values do we hold to ourselves? Be it in a seeming utopian tree in space or a technologically regressed society on Earth, yet no one really lacks for anything, community is important to the stage where matchmaking is still a done thing. Community and those we choose to live with.

What happens when we repress the humanity in ourselves? You need only look at Church and Alice to see, more weapon than human by the end. And yet even then, with the prospect of Humanity rising again and Alice tapping into the last shred of her humanity, she realises that she can't live there anymore, she's done too much and spilled too much blood to have a place there and in her last act as a protector of Humanity, she leaves, removing another weapon that would just end up hurting it in the future.

You complain that there are no answers and no definitive resolutions to this story, but that's the point. Humanity's story hasn't ended yet, we still don't have all the answers we're looking for, or maybe we haven't realised that we aren't asking the right questions yet.

Science fiction is the exploration of our nature. Right and wrong, good and bad, its the genre we look to when we want to examine ourselves. If we can garner some sliver of insight about ourselves, then Jeph has done his job.
« Last Edit: 20 Jul 2017, 21:17 by TheEvilDog »
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #539 on: 20 Jul 2017, 21:00 »

Only if you believe in gods.
What does belief have to do with it? I don't believe in gods, but if I saw a sufficiently powerful being, that's probably what I'd call it.

And you'd be making the same mistake as the Peruvians made when the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro arrived with better technology. They called the Spanish "Children of the Sun" and were so dazzled that they failed to object when their king Atahualpa was kidnapped, and despite the outrageous ransom being paid, was arbitrarily killed anyway.

You want to go mistaking good technology for godhood, please don't be my leader.
I don't want to be anyone's leader! Also, sufficiently advanced goes a bit beyond good tech. Also, just because I think someone's a god doesn't mean I'm going to worship them.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #540 on: 20 Jul 2017, 21:18 »

Well, it's possible that they have some low level of regeneration. We know it exists, Ardent regrew his delightful tail after losing it. Alice seems almost fine after having her head partly crushed by Church. Also, for being more than 5000 years the super soldiers all are pretty youthful looking. That speaks to me that they have some level of cellular regeneration to stop the aging process. So I'm guessing that it's not outside the realm of possibility that Sedna could regrow her arm, it just might take a while to happen or require a lot of entropy that she doesn't want to burn. Not when there are alternatives. Besides, cool freaky plant arm.

They have the ability to pull entropy out of a system, which is a vaguely defined concept, but suggests that they can force the existing matter of their body into an ordered state. That doesn't extend to creating matter, however. Alice can fix her crushed skull because all the matter stays in the same place. She just has to reorder it back to its proper state. Sedna's arm is gone, and incorporating sufficient mass of the right elements and compounds to regenerate it would presumably take time (and lots of bacon, eggs, and pancakes).

Also, their abilities appear to be tied to their ability to think about them. Sedna was bleeding out very quickly, with all the associated side affects and probably needed direct medical intervention to stop it before she could think clearly enough to even begin forcing it to heal.

Church can't do anything because he had his brain scrambled by arm bone. He's dead. We've seen nothing to indicate that the seat of their intelligence is located anywhere else.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #541 on: 20 Jul 2017, 21:26 »

seat of their intelligence
In their butts :parrot:
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #542 on: 20 Jul 2017, 21:27 »

So we're not going to find out what happened when the nano bird fired the laser at the moon, are we. :/

Far as I'm concerned, we never found out who did most of the stuff: the AIs are suggested by process of elimination, not by any actual evidence. And we don't know if it was one clever weakly godlike AI or a faction of them or the whole lot together, and whether their intentions are good or ill. And we don't know if they are responsible for the Nightwalker. Or why it was easier to reawaken Earth using Sims from all the Praeses rather than Earthlings. Or how they hacked the Sims's minds as well as bodies (Ardent still thinks he prevailed upon a friend.)

We also don't know if Alice's reality is more real than the simulations in the Praeses. Or who originally had the technology to link her and the other soldiers to a black hole. Or, if her reality isn't a simulation, how the Blink worked.

Laridia also seems to be claiming that all the Sims on the Praeses are generated, not uploaded from Earth people. And the Praeses don't seem to have any connection to the Blink guys. Am I misinterpreting that? If so, what happened to all the Earthlings at Blink time?

We don't really know how Alice zapped Church originally either. Or why. Or how many other soldier types are still around. Or what she really did to feel responsible for the deaths of billions. Or even if Church is going to regenerate, though that could easily be clear from a last panel.

I think we will be wondering and discussing most of these after tomorrow.
My focus on the nano bird is that the strip spent time building up to it, both with the foreshadowing of Alice saying it stares at the moon and a rather detailed visual of it capturing Gavia, absorbing her nanomachines, and then firing a laser (whether it was a signal or attack) at the moon.  Other stuff in the comic, such as the laser that made the magma Church was buried in, Alice and Sedna arguing about grudges, weird animal forms, Alice's flashbacks to the carnage and destruction, and the Blink itself (I feel it was sufficiently explained for the story's purposes; even Alice couldn't make heads or tails of it) were incidental enough to build the world up but not affect the story in a way that they needed resolution.  Even Sedna shivving Church to death with her own arm was satisfactorily explained.  The nano bird though...I feel too much was left unexplained here, and as a result it seemed to serve no purpose in driving the story, especially since Gavia got her nanomachines back anyway (in IMO a borderline deus ex), making their loss meaningless.

I dunno.  It was a good story, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm starting to agree with others that the ending was rushed.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #543 on: 20 Jul 2017, 21:28 »

I don't think Jeph would disagree about the ending being rushed, honestly.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #544 on: 20 Jul 2017, 22:01 »

It's been an interesting, fun ride as an aside to Jephs main work and I've really enjoyed it.

Who knows,, maybe he'll pick this up again sometime in the future - but whatever happens, I liked reading Alice Grove.



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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #545 on: 20 Jul 2017, 23:41 »

Well, that struck me not so much an ending as an abandonment. The problem is not that Jeph didn't answer all of the questions he raised (maybe he wanted the whole thing to be a fanfic hook). My problem is that he never really bothered to properly identify a primary plot. Was it why Gavia and Ardent came to Earth? Was it who and what Alice really was? Both of those things were addressed but only as a quick exposition burst.

At the most we see the end of a 'Part 1' here. A 'part 2' is definitely needed where we address more of what the presumed responsible parties' (because they were never definitely identified) goals were and how they carried them out. Then there is the issue of the Praeses and why they do what they do. Alice could easily want to find that out too! Then there is her so casually dropping her responsibilities to her town and the people there, which is fully out-of-character, no matter what a traumatic experience she's had.

IMO, this is exposing some of the limitations of Jeph's developed writing skills with sequential art. In QC, it is always allowable (even necessary) to leave issues unaddressed because you want something you can write further strips about. However, in a distinct, self-contained story with a defined start and end, you can't do that. You have to be much clearer about developing plot, identifying stories and, if not wrapping everything up at least giving a clear pointer towards where things have gone. I think that Alice Grove would have benefited from being written out in script form from beginning to end and then to have had some friends read through it and encourage him to tighten and bookend the narrative.

Onto the positives: As always, Jeph's characterisation is excellent. He's good at creating three-dimensional characters out of whole cloth whom you quickly find yourself caring about. Alice is a very flawed, very tormented and very real heroine, you find yourself laughing along with Ardent's misadventures and you empathise strongly with the shaking of Gavia's previously rock solid understanding of history and reality.

Overall? This gets a 6/10 from me. It's a brave first attempt (especially given the fact it's self-published) but ultimately it exposes more things that needs work in his writing style than anything else - Something that he must address before he tries something like this again. I wouldn't recommend it to a new reader.

Well, onto the stip itself: Past Alice/Sedna confirmed and I doubt that will come as a surprise to anyone. Also, it looks like Gavia is 'going native'?

Now, why is Laridia in panel 1? Why should Cupressceae care about whether they reached Earth safely? I find myself wondering if plant lady has been assigned to be Alice's keeper or something. Maybe the Praeses want to know what's 'out there' and figure having a set of eyes and ears with Alice will help achieve that goal. After all, it's implied that the Praeses have forgotten their true past and they may be at least curious about it.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #546 on: 20 Jul 2017, 23:56 »

My problem is that he never really bothered to properly identify a primary plot. Was it why Gavia and Ardent came to Earth? Was it who and what Alice really was? Both of those things were addressed but only as a quick exposition burst.

The ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion similarly leaves one up in the air (especially the extended film ending End of Evangelion).  But that still generates intense discussion and strong opinions twenty years on (this very week saw the twentieth anniversary of the film) because it had a strong focus - not so much on the plot or the science fiction aspects in that case, but on character development.  Jeph does character development in QC, but there was next to none in AG and in the end it was missed.

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Now, why is Laridia in panel 1?

Handing over Alice's spacecraft and making sure she actually does leave is a good enough explanation for me at this point.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #547 on: 21 Jul 2017, 00:05 »

It's been an interesting, fun ride as an aside to Jephs main work and I've really enjoyed it.

Who knows,, maybe he'll pick this up again sometime in the future - but whatever happens, I liked reading Alice Grove.

Yeah, what Kugai said.

Sure, it left a lot of questions unanswered, and yes, that's going to be frustrating to those who like to have all the loose ends neatly tied up. Too bad, so sad, don't go away mad.

If it bothers you THAT much, write your own ending or continuation -- we have a fanfiction thread, use it.

But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me. Jeph's already stated he did it that way intentionally, and I think you can find evidence even from early in the story to suggest that Jeph never planned to explain everything. Like the wind turbine that Alice was working on, way out in the middle of nowhere -- what was that for? Who knows? Maybe Jeph doesn't even.

So relax. Enjoy the things you liked, don't obsess about the things you didn't. This was a helluva good story for a free side project. Thanks, Jeph!
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #548 on: 21 Jul 2017, 00:18 »

But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me.

Why are we obliged to not say if we don't like something? That is incomprehensible to me.

Maybe Jeph always did intend to leave things unsaid (after all, what reason do I have to doubt him on this?) but to have major plot devices like the Nightwalker unexplained is just inexcusable. It just makes me think that he decided to do it because it 'looked cool' but didn't think about how to integrate it into the story. Maybe others (professional writers who write novels for a living or who work for TV and movies) have done that too. However, I wouldn't give them a pass for it either. Indeed, one of the reasons I gave up on Star Trek - Voyager was because there were too many instances of "'Cause we said so" plot devices where there isn't even an attempt to explain things from an in-universe perspective.

Now, I don't want to start an argument but I would ask others to respect that this is not the sort of story I like; it isn't the sort of writing style I like. I feel that, if you have a discussion forum for a story, that necessarily includes allowing people to be critical if they can explain it reasonably.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #549 on: 21 Jul 2017, 01:24 »

. In QC, it is always allowable (even necessary) to leave issues unaddressed because you want something you can write further strips about. However, in a distinct, self-contained story with a defined start and end, you can't do that. You have to be much clearer about developing plot, identifying stories and, if not wrapping everything up at least giving a clear pointer towards where things have gone
This strikes me as a particularly narrow and restrictive view of storytelling.
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