2018-05-04 05:48:28 UTC
For example, David Brin's second Uplift trilogy is universally(1) panned as a steaming pile of horseshit. Yet early in the first book, is the following passage:
"There is a word we are asked not to say too often. And to whisper, when we do.
The traeki(2) ask this of us, out of courtesy, respect, and superstition.
The word is a name - with just two syllables - one they fear ever to hear again.
A name they once called themselves.
A name presumably still used by their cousins, out on the star-lanes of the Five Galaxies.
Cousins, who are mighty, terrifying, resolute, pitiless, and single-minded.
How different that description seems to make our own sept of ringed ones, from those who still roam the cosmos, like gods. Those jophur(2).
Of all the races who came to Jijo in sneak-ships, some, like qheuens and humans, were obscure and almost unknown in the Five Galaxies. Others, like g'Keks and glavers, had reputations of modest extent, among those needing their specialized skills. Hoons and urs had made a moderate impression, so much that Earthlings knew of them before landing, and worried.
But it is said that every oxygen-breathing, starfaring clan is familiar with the shape of stacked rings, piled high, ominous and powerful.
When the traeki sneakship came, the g'Kek took one look at the newcomers and went into hiding for several generations, cowering in fright until, at last, they realized - these were different(2) rings.
When qheuen settlers saw them already here, they very nearly left again, without unloading or even landing their sneakship.
How came our beloved friends to have such a reputation to live down? How came they to be so different from those who still fly in space, using that awful name?"
In a few short paragraphs, Brin has conveyed that the jophur are stupendous badarses, and that anybody with any sense will run and hide under the nearest rock if one comes by. And he's done it with what I consider to be incredibly emotive and convincing language. When I read that passage for the first, I read it again. It's very rare for an author to write something that makes me want to do that.
What are your examples?
(1) OK, that's an exaggeration. But it is panned so by me.
(2) Those words should be italicised.