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The Sharp End By David Drake
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David Johnston
2017-07-13 17:53:32 UTC
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** spoiler alert ** I'm of the school of thought that holds that you can determine things about an author by reading their books. And what I determined from this one is that David Drake probably enjoyed watching a Fistful of Dollars. Sure the Clint Eastwood film was a westernization of Yojimbo which was an Easternization of Red Harvest, but The Sharp End feels like a Spaghetti western as a small group of mercenaries wander into Columbia IN SPACE and play two warring drug cartels against each other before just killing everyone in a kind of pointless gesture since they were all going to die soon anyway.

The other thing I determined was that Drake must have really regretted killing Joachim Steuben, the gay gunslinger who used to be Hammer's right hand man because here he is again, undead and using a new name...for...some reason. It doesn't really make sense. He hints that the apparent kill shot was stopped by a vest but I recall Steuben being definitely perforated and there's no hint whatsoever that there's an actual reason why Steuben would have faked his death and yet still be working for Hammer in a paper-thin disguise. Maybe Steuben's a vampire and doesn't want Hammer to know, his new identity being down at the bottom where Hammer who is now a planetary leader will never see him.

On the other hand I can see why Drake would want his badass gunslinger around for his tribute to spaghetti westerns so I guess we just go with it.
m***@sky.com
2017-07-14 05:05:56 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
** spoiler alert ** I'm of the school of thought that holds that you can determine things about an author by reading their books. And what I determined from this one is that David Drake probably enjoyed watching a Fistful of Dollars. Sure the Clint Eastwood film was a westernization of Yojimbo which was an Easternization of Red Harvest, but The Sharp End feels like a Spaghetti western as a small group of mercenaries wander into Columbia IN SPACE and play two warring drug cartels against each other before just killing everyone in a kind of pointless gesture since they were all going to die soon anyway.
The other thing I determined was that Drake must have really regretted killing Joachim Steuben, the gay gunslinger who used to be Hammer's right hand man because here he is again, undead and using a new name...for...some reason. It doesn't really make sense. He hints that the apparent kill shot was stopped by a vest but I recall Steuben being definitely perforated and there's no hint whatsoever that there's an actual reason why Steuben would have faked his death and yet still be working for Hammer in a paper-thin disguise. Maybe Steuben's a vampire and doesn't want Hammer to know, his new identity being down at the bottom where Hammer who is now a planetary leader will never see him.
On the other hand I can see why Drake would want his badass gunslinger around for his tribute to spaghetti westerns so I guess we just go with it.
Drake is very open about the source of his plots. In this case he wants to make clear that it came directly from Hammett's Red Harvest - one of his favorite books. There is an account of this, some background on other influences on the plot and the general sort of novel it is, and a somewhat incomplete account of the apparent Steuben resurrection and redemption at http://david-drake.com/2005/the-sharp-end-2/.
David Johnston
2017-07-14 15:02:29 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
Post by David Johnston
** spoiler alert ** I'm of the school of thought that holds that you can determine things about an author by reading their books. And what I determined from this one is that David Drake probably enjoyed watching a Fistful of Dollars. Sure the Clint Eastwood film was a westernization of Yojimbo which was an Easternization of Red Harvest, but The Sharp End feels like a Spaghetti western as a small group of mercenaries wander into Columbia IN SPACE and play two warring drug cartels against each other before just killing everyone in a kind of pointless gesture since they were all going to die soon anyway.
The other thing I determined was that Drake must have really regretted killing Joachim Steuben, the gay gunslinger who used to be Hammer's right hand man because here he is again, undead and using a new name...for...some reason. It doesn't really make sense. He hints that the apparent kill shot was stopped by a vest but I recall Steuben being definitely perforated and there's no hint whatsoever that there's an actual reason why Steuben would have faked his death and yet still be working for Hammer in a paper-thin disguise. Maybe Steuben's a vampire and doesn't want Hammer to know, his new identity being down at the bottom where Hammer who is now a planetary leader will never see him.
On the other hand I can see why Drake would want his badass gunslinger around for his tribute to spaghetti westerns so I guess we just go with it.
Drake is very open about the source of his plots. In this case he wants to make clear that it came directly from Hammett's Red Harvest - one of his favorite books. There is an account of this, some background on other influences on the plot and the general sort of novel it is, and a somewhat incomplete account of the apparent Steuben resurrection and redemption at http://david-drake.com/2005/the-sharp-end-2/.
I'd say his statement is consistent with my "Steuben is a vampire" theory.
Quadibloc
2017-07-14 14:40:50 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Sure the Clint Eastwood film was a westernization of Yojimbo which was an
Easternization of Red Harvest,
Strangely enough, Kurosawa gives credit to The Glass Key instead, or so I see from
Wikipedia, despite the major plot element from Red Harvest.

John Savard
David Johnston
2017-07-14 14:56:23 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
Sure the Clint Eastwood film was a westernization of Yojimbo which was an
Easternization of Red Harvest,
Strangely enough, Kurosawa gives credit to The Glass Key instead, or so I see from
Wikipedia, despite the major plot element from Red Harvest.
John Savard
I think Kurosawa just mixed up his Hammett novels. He was after all being asked years later.
Quadibloc
2017-07-14 17:10:33 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
I think Kurosawa just mixed up his Hammett novels. He was after all being asked years later.
True. Plus, the Wikipedia article noted that Kurosawa was giving credit to a movie
adaptation of The Glass Key, not the original work by Dashiell Hammet.

John Savard
David DeLaney
2017-07-18 09:05:42 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Maybe Steuben's a vampire and doesn't want Hammer
or Drake?
Post by David Johnston
to know,
Dave, an unlife of their own
--
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It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
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