ASH: "Worse Than The Disease" one-shot

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Thu Feb 23 12:49:29 PST 2012

In article <17oh2fdg3m0kw.ukb87736a4g3$.dlg at>,
Andrew Perron  <pwerdna at> wrote:
>On Mon, 20 Feb 2012 15:35:33 +0000 (UTC), Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>>      "And yet, I am a useful criminal, am I not?" Sheng smiled greasily.
>> From his posture, you'd never know he was anything but the frail old man he
>> appeared to be, although had the Santari nobleman decided to express his
>> contempt in a more physical manner he would have found that the the body that
>> had once belonged to Jiang Sheng retained all of its combat prowess.
>I was wondering about that!

     Although, on reflection, I probably should have removed or altered that
observation.  I tried to make the POV more consistently that of Agrap once I
decided to fade to black on his death, and this was definitely an omniscient
narrator or a shift into Sheng's head.

>>      This is one of those "deep background best not poked too roughly" parts
>> of the ASH Universe, my plot device for explaining why ASH had the standard
>> superhero cliche of the an alien race that is human to six decimal places (or
>> AAAAAA in Lensman notation).  I laid it out in the short story "Undone" back
>> in 1997, but few readers found that satisfactory.
>Really? I always thought it wrapped the issue up well.

     Well, at the time (15 years ago) there was some grumbling about it.

>>      As I fleshed out the germ, I realized that along the way I could clean
>> up the whole Universal Donor thing with some appropriate jargon in-story
>> (having out-of-story decided a while back that while any human made for an
>> acceptable donor, only certain ones were no-muss-no-fuss donors, and those
>> were the kind Barnes detected).  My original intention back in the Academy
>> series had been that all humans were perfect donors for any Santari, but then
>> Rossi brought in the idea that certain individuals were "Universal Donors"
>> and most weren't, which I didn't realize was a contradiction until way too
>> late.  And now it's no longer a contradiction.  ;)
>Ahhhhhh.  You know, I never noticed that.

     Well, it got papered over pretty quickly going forward, and usage prior
to the change in meaning was never ironclad enough to force a contradiction.
Just one of those things I knew I'd goofed on, even if readers didn't notice.

>>      Finally, I haven't abandoned the Quixote arc in ASH, I'm just finding it
>> easier to get motivated to write short pieces right now given my work
>> schedule. 
>Very understandable.  You're *the* most consistent writer on RACC (Wil was
>jockeying for it, but he seems to have fallen behind) - you're allowed a
>break every so often.

     Also, had no grading to do this afternoon and got ahead on other stuff,
so I put together a few scenes for ASH #116 just now.  ;)

     Dave Van Domelen, does kinda wish he'd thought to hold this one-shot
back by a couple days to have something new to post on Ash Wednesday,

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