Infection / Destruction / Hope

The 3rd and final Morningstar Saga book, SURVIVORS, is now available for pre-order here!

The Morningstar Saga
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PotentialSpectre

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...and we'll talk about it. Seriously.

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS. THAT'S YOUR WARNING.

I've been catching a lot of flak about things in Survivors, and I wanted a thread specifically for flubs in the book. This includes things like Thomas calling a magazine a clip, to Mason turning in the way he did.

Along the way, we'll talk about the established way of things from the first two books, and the things characters have said, and the things included in the narrative, and what they mean to each of us, and how I may or may not have interpreted something for Survivors.

Newbies and vets alike, here we go.

Open fire!!!


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Raccoon_City_Survivor

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Reply with quote  #2 
Honestly, as a writer (not a very good one) I can understand mistakes.  To err is human.

It's cool beans with me.

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PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've been told a lot that I obviously don't understand how the virus works, which prompted this thread. A lot has been said about my "misunderstanding," and I needed a place to find out other people's understanding...

And how the characters in the novels, for the most part, also misunderstood the virus. That's right. I'm willing to place bets about how misunderstood Morningstar is. Of course, I might be batshit crazy. Never know.

So I need a dialog. Actual mistakes, like the jargon mentioned above, I think I should be told about so I don't do it again in my own work.

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alex51

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Reply with quote  #4 
Personally if I obsessed about every little mistake in a book or a movie I would just stop reading watching and reading. I figure the overall content of a good story is worth the minor glitches that happen.
Life in general is all about overlooking the small crap so you can enjoy the big picture. 

Now that I have said that it still bugs me that in the movie The Good the Bad and the Ugly they had percussion cap civil war revolvers with cased ammo in there gun belts.  Still one of my all time favorite westerns.  
  

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Reply with quote  #5 
I had no real qualms with the book.  I think the biggest thing people may have a problem with is the fact that Z didn't finish it himself, but that is not your fault...and on the contrary if you didn't decide to finish it we may have never got to the end of the trilogy.
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Reply with quote  #6 
I just finished the boolk myself and enjoyed it, i am sad for the lost of the charectors especially Mason, but at least he went up in style zombie that is and killed Sawer. Anyway i do feel that in the very end the story jump and the end came. Their where a few flaws, but nothing to make a big deal about. I do miss Z writing and his rants. All in all the book was good, is their a possiblity to find out if the stills cures the world..


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Hex

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Reply with quote  #7 
I loved the book, but I'm not sure if I'm mistaken, but why did
Jack and Mason come back as undead? That, I'm pretty sure, was never an issue in the series. Or did I just forget that detail? As in, typically, you had to be bitten or scratched to become infected.

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-OhGr - "Witness" - Bill Mosely's spoken word.
PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #8 
Ah, yes. Mason has been a sticking point. I was worried at first, but have since gotten at least one message/email from someone who saw what happened there.

I like what you said, "As in, typically, you had to be bitten or scratched to become infected." This wasn't the case for the several men on the ship in Plague of the Dead, and in at least one instance in Thunder and Ashes, the narration (not any of the characters talking, but the omniscient POV, ie: Z) said that there were zombies still in "more or less mint condition."

Jack the Welder: his turning was Denton's assumption. The single pop from the Dumpster was all they got out of that. Yes, his head moved, but he was lying in a Dumpster that had only god-knows-what in it. Might have been a monster rat under there and Brewster (who is so well-known for keeping his cool) shot him. Or the rat, or whatever. When Brewster leaves, he makes no mention of Jack turning.

Mason: this one is stickier. He did, indeed turn. This will take a longer post, and I'm about to knock off, so it'll be tonight sometime.

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Reply with quote  #9 
I can assure you that in my personal/professional opinion/experiences, that you absolutly 100% nailed the change. I think that what some people get lost is the fact the the hero changed. There was hope, and when he changed, people just could not handle it. I have not read T&A for reasons that I do not feel like getting into, which means that i will probably not ready survivors until I can get over those reasons, but I can tell you this. Z absolutly 100% CONFIRMED before he died that the virus was communicable bt various ways, and one of them being airborne. One of the examples he gave me was at the very beginning of PoD. The first victims were found at an airport. one of the infected was on a plane way before the epidemic, and by means of getting germs on hands without washing, coughing, sneezing, and all other ways of spreading zombified pathogens that aren't obvious biting and scratching, he infected the whole plane. Those people went on to various other parts of the world via their respective destinations, and continued the spread. Just because the first case was only documented in the hospital, and by the doc, does not mean that is where it started, and the fall of suez was the breaking pointing. That was just the perspective of sherman.
PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #10 

Hey, thanks!

Sorry I've been away. The internet connection here on the rig has been pretty bonkers.

I think one of the major sticking points with Mason was his lack of symptom before the turning, and I can get behind that. Another point was, even if Mason was infected already and it was slooowly working its way through his system for whatever reason, it needs to congregate in the brain in order to assume control after death, and since Mason wasn't already a Sprinter when he died, there was no chance.

(DID YOU KNOW, when we take our first breaths, the circulation of our blood changes direction? And after we die, fluids continue to circulate due to gravity at first, and then a natural circulation because of changing densities in the fluid, and then finally, decomposition.)

Since Mason isn't the first person in the trilogy to turn without being bitten or scratched or anything, I've been content to leave it alone. But what I will say is, even if it didn't go airborne, there are still ways for the virus to get to him. Point, he was shot at the end of Thunder and Ashes, which was three months before the opening of Survivors.

In all that time, the crew has been in and out of the city, raiding medical supplies and food from houses and pharmacies. I'm not saying that it happened that someone at some point accidentally infected one of the medicines that only Mason was taking, but it could have happened that way. Like cleopri2001 said, whole planes full of people were infected, and all without bites and scratches, else they wouldn't have been able to land without being quarantined. Consider also that viruses can "live"in water, on riverbeds, or anywhere else where they're out of direct sunlight, so unless the survivors have been making their own water, or verrry conscientiously sanitizing it, any one of any kind of virus could be in them.

(DID YOU KNOW, viruses constantly acquire subtle genetic changes as they're passed on from person to person? Being very simple organisms, they mutate well faster than anything else.)

Sometimes, depending on when the infection occurs, the stages are rushed through or bypassed completely. In the case of the Morningstar Strain, it divides and multiplies in the still-living cells, all while killing off or shooing away bacterium which cause decomp. So, even if the "absurd" contaminated-bullet theory isn't as absurd as it has been represented, the virus would have time to spread. Especially if it was already present in any way, shape or form.

(DID YOU KNOW, some viruses actually create a kind of molecular spring to bounce the virus away from already-infected cells? In this way, the virus spreads four times faster than it ought to, faster in other cases.)

A lot also depends on where the virus has been and who it's been through. If they have any kind of abnormality or deficiency, might it be passed to the RNA of the virus? Or might the new host have something which changes the way the virus is able to operate in the body? One of the things that's true about the majority of viruses is that a high fatality rate (like that of the Morningstar Strain) is bad in the evolutionary sense, not for us, but for the virus. Kill all the hosts, then what? Some viruses from antiquity, in fact, are now part of our genetic makeup that helps the body to fight off viruses.

(DID YOU KNOW, viruses can swap genes with other strains of the same family? This is known as antigenic shift.)

Now. I said all that so I could say this: from the get-go, I've said there were things which I couldn't really discuss from the standpoint that it would definitely put a finger on who wrote what. If there is evidence from the first two books, I'll use it (even if some of it is gleefully ignored) and for what happens in Survivors, I can only offer the things I've learned about viruses from my own reading and from talks with both the CDC and the head docs of the infectious disease department of both a military hospital and a university.


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cleopori2001

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Reply with quote  #11 
My theory of Mason's change is that he was infected the whole time, but was wondering about asymtomatic. It would only make sense in the fact that the evidence to support it was that he turned directly into a shambler.

In the world there are different types of adaptive immunity. Artificially acquired active and passive, or naturally aquired active passive. Artificially is the case of being vaccinated. Naturally is the active being in contact with the virus, and passively is the result of being born with resistance. There is also the innate immunity as well.

My theory was that mason was a "sprinter" the whole time. He was able to move about in all of the precarious situations, and not get infected. Then when he died, he became a shambler because there was not a head shot involved. He was "immune" in the sense that he was asymptomatic, but truely revealed his infection, because his immunity no longer was capable of keeping up.
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Reply with quote  #12 

Great trilogy, great book.  You did good picking up where Z left off.  A massive undertaking to be sure, considering the following.  I enjoyed that you kept our identity a secret until the last minute.  The only thing I could complain about, I don't feel like you really stuck the landing.  The last 20-30 pages feel like they were really rushed.  Though to be honest, I don't know that an ending could've been written that would've satisfied.  I enjoyed the book.  Couldn't put it down really, and I look forward to reading some of your other work.

I have to ask, if you hadn't had any of Z's notes and had to start from nothing more than the first two books.  Would you have still written it this way?


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PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks for weighing in!

I don't know what would have come if there weren't any notes.

The half that followed the group at the Fac seemed to be a logical next step. And the half that followed the group from the Ramage through the first group's steps was also a logical step. A lot of the stuff I ended up working on grew out of working Z's deleted scenes back into the storyline, and filling gaps between finished bits that weren't actually connected. Upon re-reading the first two books, I had some ideas for direction, but... without Z's manuscript or notes, it would have been a very different book. I would go into specifics here about which bits would have gone a different way, but I (long ago) said I wouldn't say which bits were me and which were Z. The family and the original publisher and I all agreed that the original content of Z's manuscrit would remain between us.

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Nyghtreaver

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Reply with quote  #14 
the only thing that came close to causing me concern was the mason thiong, but i didnt have a problem seeing it happen.
the important thing is Kruegar lived!!!!!   although you had me holding my breath 

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fusillade762

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Reply with quote  #15 
I just finished reading the book last night and I had some thoughts:

Mason turning came to mind, but I see it's been covered

Morningstar can infect non-human animals (the lab rats)?  This is something without any precedent in the first two books.

But this is my biggest beef (hopefully someone will be able to clarify things): Why did Sawyer attack Abraham?  I recall a brief mention of him leaving the clinic intact because he was looking for something Dr Demilio possibly left behind, but she never went through there!  She came to Omaha from the other side of the country.  And how did Sawyer even know of Abraham's existence?  Why didn't he just head straight to Omaha after he got the equipment he wanted?
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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusillade762


Morningstar can infect non-human animals (the lab rats)?  This is something without any precedent in the first two books.



The doc goes over her notes in the second book, before her group gets attacked by Sawyer's goons.

It mentions testing on Morningstar-infected labrats.
PotentialSpectre

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusillade762
Why did Sawyer attack Abraham?  I recall a brief mention of him leaving the clinic intact because he was looking for something Dr Demilio possibly left behind, but she never went through there!  ... And how did Sawyer even know of Abraham's existence?  Why didn't he just head straight to Omaha after he got the equipment he wanted?


There is a brief discussion between two of the RSA goons before the good Sheriff kills them dead; Abraham is basically a practice run for Omaha. The circumstances between the two places is different, but it has been a year since the beginning of the ending, and all of the RSA people have been sitting pretty in their fortified bases since then. They needed to iron out the kinks, as it were.

It was in Z's notes from T&A that the Lutz brothers had been supplied by Sawyer to keep the townspeople in line. No doubt, once everything went to hell, the people in charge used all the resources at their disposal (like satellite imagery) to locate places just like Abraham, places which would form the bread basket for what was left of the country.

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PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallicoJacks
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusillade762


Morningstar can infect non-human animals (the lab rats)?  This is something without any precedent in the first two books.



The doc goes over her notes in the second book, before her group gets attacked by Sawyer's goons.

It mentions testing on Morningstar-infected labrats.


This. Log entry #821, dated September 12, 2004.

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Armydillo978

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Reply with quote  #19 
I got Survivors when it first came out thankfully, and now....finally have gotten around to reading it.  I've made an effort on my last two attempts to reread 1 & 2 before starting 3, but last year I was away so much it didn't work out.  Now, finished 1 & 2 again over the last 2 weeks and just started 3 today.  One of my first thoughts was that we were told 75% of it is Z's notes and work (course, wouldn't know that unless such notes were released, ya know.     ), so what is Thom's and what isn't.  So far, I'm really enjoying it. It does have Z's feel to it, but every now and then something just throws me and I wonder.   Anyways, it'll take probably till Sat before I'm done then I'll be back to throw my thoughts out.  

I have to ask, whether it's answered is another thing, right?     The "Reunited States of America" , did Z actually come up with that?  Come on Z, really?  Sheeesh my friend.

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Reply with quote  #20 
Ok, just reached a point where I'd have told Z that he's a fuckhead for going with this story line or punched Thom for taking the storyline this way. I'm at "the Chief" part and I'm calling bullshit. I wanna see the notes at this point.
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If the zeds come, and if you've survived, and if you manage to find a comfortable situation, please don't underestimate slippery ninja-ness of the undead.

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Reply with quote  #21 
Yeah, it's been nearly two years since the book's release--what would it hurt to see his notes?
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PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #22 
Which part with the Chief? Is it where we say goodbye to old friends rather abruptly?
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PotentialSpectre

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Reply with quote  #23 
Did it make you say this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z
...a few of these deaths come out of nowhere and hopefully will make y'all stop and say, "Wait, shit...X character can't be dead just like that..."

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Nurgle

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PotentialSpectre
Did it make you say this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z
...a few of these deaths come out of nowhere and hopefully will make y'all stop and say, "Wait, shit...X character can't be dead just like that..."
produce the documents or the consequences shall be severe....jk sorry just got done watching The Dictator.

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurgle
Quote:
Originally Posted by PotentialSpectre
Did it make you say this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z
...a few of these deaths come out of nowhere and hopefully will make y'all stop and say, "Wait, shit...X character can't be dead just like that..."
produce the documents or the consequences shall be severe....jk sorry just got done watching The Dictator.


Didn't think I'd like that flick.... Glad I did.

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