Tuesday, 21 June 2016

ZERO: Characterization

I forgot to mention here that the Zero in flight is not in free fall. The crew sit, stand, walk, sit down etc as if they were on Earth. Again, this implies an artificial gravity field inside the ship.

Zero is character-driven which I have not really mentioned yet, preferring instead to focus on the social and scientific backgrounds. The Zero captain and commander, Hugo and Webb, continue to disagree and argue even when engaged in a clandestine operation. We appreciate this conflict while understanding that external details like the purpose of the operation will fall into place in due course.

Webb was born and brought up in the entirely artificial environment of a space colony. When he murmurs, "'Christ,'" (p. 56), we expect trouble. They are dodging sensors and security guards. Instead, he explains:

"'It gets me every time...Not just trees. Everything. The green. The life. Fuck, the smell of it. Of Earth. Do you mean to say you were actually born here?'" (ibid.)

Everything that we take for granted "gets" a cold blooded killer from outer space: well observed characterization.

When another character later remarks:

"'What, miss a showdown between Kaleb Hugo and Ezekiel Webb? You couldn't get tickets to that show for all the credit in Sunside.'" (p. 109)

- this means something to us because we know by now that Hugo and Webb mean something to a lot of people in the Orbit civilization. They have become series characters early in their first novel.

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