8FOLD/ACRA: Jolt City # 19, "The Little League of Doom!" (1/3)

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 9 20:18:16 PDT 2010

On Jul 9, 9:59 pm, Andrew Perron <pwer... at gmail.com> wrote:

> See, I don't quite see that, simply because all its examples of
> Civilization involve failing and falling, the evil of men overthrowing the
> system; first and most obviously, in the system set up on the island by the
> boys, but also in the world at large, in whichever war stranded them there
> and in the similarity of the men who pick them up to Jack's gang.
> And, again, it seems more like they needed more decent people than a system
> of order.

A good point.  Like I said, my reading could be an idiosyncratic one.
I still think FLIES is better, and less nihilistically knee-jerky,
than its various imitators.

> And there's always the fact that, inevitably, there is something you could
> do that *would* accomplish something.  That you have no way of knowing for
> sure what that would be is, of course, the sticking point.  It's a complex
> thing, and you portrayed it well.

Thank you very much.

> And I definitely understand about the sitation, but it seemed like it went
> too far; the tendency towards listening to the bad guy and ignoring the
> good guy was more pronounced even than X-books bystanders.  It seemed like
> they immediately trusted Jack, swallowing what he said whole, not stopping
> for a second to think about other interpretations of the evidence.  Which
> would be fine if it was one person, but it's the entire system.

I definitely see your point there, Andrew.  It's something I tried to
mitigate somewhat by having Dmowski cautiously say, "let's see if the
story checks out with the others", and since the others (save Fish)
all say the exact same thing as Jack, it lends the falsehood more
credence.  I see, though, where it would still feel like they weren't
doing due diligence-- especially since the reader _KNOWS_ they've
reached the wrong conclusion.

I probably should have dedicated at least another scene the process,
maybe even tease the reader by having them come close to finding a
hole in the story, and then finding a terribly wrong but perfectly
logical explanation that sides with Jack and the other boys.  For that
matter, I could have further foregrounded the very mild sense of
confirmation bias-- going into this, no one _wants_ it to be Eight
Evil Boys, ergo they're more than happy to grab hold of an explanation
that amounts to One Evil Boy and Seven Scared Boys.

I'll try to be more careful in the future.  Thanks, Andrew!


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