arbre_rieur: (Default)
[personal profile] arbre_rieur posting in [community profile] scans_daily


Here are four pages from issue 2 of Jonathan Hickman's THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS...









Date: 2012-04-21 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
On one hand, it seems to have potential to be a bit of compelling sci-fi. On the other, I can't help but think "Ooooh, famous historical figures in a mass conspiracy! I've NEVER seen THAT before!" and promptly lose interest.

Date: 2012-04-21 04:22 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I think, personally, I'm struggling to find Hickman's central hook, as we see it in the blurb above, to be that compelling, because I don't think the union of the scientists and engineers and technicians working on the bomb was a symbol of optimism here - it was already fairly bleak, and I think, even as they were building the bomb, it was hardly meant to be cheery. And it's like saying the atomic bomb wasn't a big, huge enough development anyway - even though it changed science and the world. And it did go wrong. I don't imagine for a second that Oppenheimer or any of the others were pleased about the end result - as in, the Cold War. So I'm not sure what Hickman's aiming for here, since the Manhattan Project was definitely not a positive thing, nor was it's legacy.

So.. I'm not feeling that central hook. Not like I was with say, Planetary's stuff involving early, secret NASA missions - which is seemingly ironic now that NASA apparently have an Artemis program.

Tom Lehre's

Date: 2012-04-21 05:50 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-21 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I wouldn't call it a super-optimistic symbol, but I wouldn't necessarily say that the Manhattan Project was "bleak" either--from what I've read of it, what they were doing wasn't quite unlike what CERN is doing with the LHC today: they were pretty sure that splitting the atom wouldn't blow up the entire world, but they couldn't say with 100% certainty that it wouldn't. It was more of a symbol of the unknown.

Date: 2012-04-21 06:59 pm (UTC)
cainofdreaming: cain's mark (pic#364829)
From: [personal profile] cainofdreaming
They were unsure if an atomic explosion would ignite the atmosphere, actually. Not blow up the world.

Date: 2012-04-21 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Ah, right--either option is pretty bad for humanity in general, though.

Date: 2012-04-21 07:24 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
True, but when the Manhattan Project is mostly associated, these days, with the atomic bomb, and that is basically Oppenheimer's legacy, it's not a positive thing, and I just don't feel it's incredibly - especially for someone like Hickman - imaginative to hide such things behind the shadow of the bomb.

Date: 2012-04-21 09:03 pm (UTC)
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
From: [personal profile] killerkaleidoscope
I realize this is a pretty short clip, but I don't particularly care for this characterization of Feynman. I have a book of his letters I'd recommend as a good read for anyone interested in the guy. Feynman was never all this dry. He was very cheerfully up-front about everything in a way that read like arrogance, but I'm pretty sure it was only a lack of false modesty--he knew exactly what he was like and capable of, which was an awful lot. There is a decent chance he would have told General Robo-Arm to stuff it because he had faith in proper scientists being able to discover it on their own.

Obviously this would have made for a very short story. But it would have been fun to see the real Feynman in action.

(Also: "We are the same, you and I?" Please.

Date: 2012-04-21 09:53 pm (UTC)
joysweeper: Picture of a masked human with the words "Androgynous Sith Lord". (Default)
From: [personal profile] joysweeper
Yeah, seriously. I feel like his name and a couple details just got grubbed up and plugged in. "Real personality? Pfffft. All we need is a stock Narcissist to play the part of Scientist Sans Ethics!" I read Feynman's book involving anecdotes from working on the Manhattan Project, too - I think it was "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" - and it was a lot more compelling.

By the way, Feynman's last letter to Arlene.

Date: 2012-04-21 10:08 pm (UTC)
goattoucher: (Outrage)
From: [personal profile] goattoucher
This. I don't know why the chose to use Feynman, a man with a well known public persona, instead of just introducing a new character. He is clearly there to serve more as a vehicle for exposition than as a character.

Date: 2012-04-21 11:35 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
So Hickman's method is to turn every scientist into an asshole? First Oppenheimer has a cannibal brother who devours him. Now Feynman is an egocentric prick. I can't wait for child-molesting Einstein and wife-beating Fermi. But maybe Klaus Fuchs won't be a traitor in this version to even out.

Date: 2012-04-21 11:41 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
Awful, clich├ęd writing. "Winners write history" is one of those stock phrases I could live the rest of my life without listening or reading again.

Date: 2012-04-22 12:18 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
This, too. It's one thing to give ancient scientists whatever types of personalities the writer wants to project on them, as Hickman did in SHIELD, but another entirely to do this sort of thing for people like Feynman and von Braun who lived within living memory of most of us (well, maybe just me and a few others in von Braun's case, at least as far as s_d is concerned) when he could have easily have just made two new characters. But that's less of a hook, I guess.

Date: 2012-04-22 12:23 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
Aside from the art, which looks like someone trying to imitate Frank Quitely and not quite getting what makes him unique, the premise isn't very promising. In terms of forbidden technology featuring in a secret history starting in World War II, Hickman (and just about anyone else) has a pretty high bar to clear where it was set by Charles Stross' Laundry books, and he's coming nowhere near it, if this is any indication.

Date: 2012-04-22 01:06 am (UTC)
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
From: [personal profile] killerkaleidoscope
Exactly! I mean, my book is called "Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track", which, IIRC, is a phrase he used in defense of someone who'd asked what some would call a stupid question.

My favorite letters of his are the ones he sent in reply to random joes who wrote him with a question about science or a theory to expound. No matter how basic the query or how crackpot they sound, his answers were always perfectly polite and clear. Very patient fellow, very loving, and a lot of fun--one of the few American historical personages I would genuinely have given anything to meet.

The writer's defense is, inevitably, going to be 'well this makes for a better stooooory...' which is a damned lie. The true Feynman was exactly the kind of guy who could be belligerantly nice while also being a ferociously clever genius. It would have been like tossing the best traits of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in a blender and throwing the resultant superbeing at the Nazis.

Date: 2012-04-22 01:36 am (UTC)
joysweeper: Picture of a masked human with the words "Androgynous Sith Lord". (Default)
From: [personal profile] joysweeper
Even in accounts in his own books, where you know he's going to make himself look good because we are all on our own sides first, he could be smarmy and annoying. He was kind of a womanizer about a decade after Arlene died, too. But geez, it was a totally different kind of annoying, amicable and grinningly self-deprecating, not... this.

I'd have liked to see that, too.

Date: 2012-04-22 10:08 am (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
And why should it be different for ancient scientists? Some have left personal accounts, and there are always biographies. Perhaps it's harder to get their personalities right, but research is part of writing. Research is something I don't see in this book at all.

From Hell this is not.

Date: 2012-04-22 01:05 pm (UTC)
pyrrhocorax: a furret has a pink flower behind her ear (SCIENCE)
From: [personal profile] pyrrhocorax
"What if everything...went wrong?"

I think you could make a pretty good argument that it DID.

Date: 2012-04-22 01:12 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Again, this is partly my point. I don't think piggybacking the Manhattan Project is incredibly inventive, personally - especially in terms of what it opened up in real life, let alone the atomic-age fiction and stuff like that which came from the bomb. It just feels like Hickman picked this because the Manhattan Projects sounded catchy as a title, somehow.

Date: 2012-04-22 01:14 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
This. The Cold War was hardly all wine and roses between Russia and America.

Date: 2012-04-22 03:11 pm (UTC)
sherkahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sherkahn
I have to concur. The idea had more potential, but I'm not seeing anything new or fresh or innovative in this work, especially in a 2nd issue, that wants me to come back for more.

Re: Tom Lehre's

Date: 2012-04-22 07:06 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
Dang it!
Beat me to it!

Date: 2012-04-23 04:00 am (UTC)
glprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glprime
Motto, motto. and yet more motto.

Date: 2012-04-23 07:01 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
Einstein is already in it, and he's actually kind of awesome from what I've seen.

Date: 2012-04-23 07:10 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
Ah, kind of prefer Braun's characterisation in the similarly themed Ministry of Space book that Warren Ellis did some time ago. He's still got an element of his "For Science!" mentality going on, but due to being trapped in the UK (and thus closer to the wrath of British people who were at the recieving end of the Germany bombing and rocket attacks) he's had the wind knocked out of his sails a bit more, and he comes off as more human.

I do wonder how many people complaining about this series' protrayal of American people getting involved in a conspiracy to kind of rescue Nazis for the US space and war efforts are actually aware of Operatioin Paperclip though. "Had a slave labour camp to help build your rockets, which you fired at our allies? Sure, come to America and be part of our space program!".

Re: Tom Lehre's

Date: 2012-04-23 12:08 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Wener Von Braun is a fascinating case, the "reformed Nazi" who was rehabilited enough to appear on at least one episode of "The Mickey Mouse Club"

However, people overlook John Whiteside Parsons, an equally bizarre and important figure in the field of rocket scientist. Whilst not a Nazi, he WAS a practicing Satanist and would perform ceremonies along the lines of Crowley's Thelema system of beliefs to ensure test shots would go well. Oddly, perhaps, he NEVER appeared on "The Mickey Mouse Club"

Date: 2012-04-23 12:08 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Complete agreement

Date: 2012-04-23 09:13 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
Give it time. So far we've only seen Einstein being badass off-screen. Of course I understand badassery is today's only characterisation, so I can understand why you're so awesomed by it. Me, I'd prefer a proper human being.

Date: 2012-04-24 07:04 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
I could do without the condescension, THANK YOU.

Date: 2012-04-24 08:48 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
Well, I won't apologise for not having your ability to get excited over so little. I know it makes me look positively out of the popular loop not to call everything awesome, but that's just the kind of humourless retrograde I am.

Mod Note

Date: 2012-04-24 09:59 pm (UTC)
aeka: Art by: http://nogoodhabits.tumblr.com/ (Huntress [modhat]:)
From: [personal profile] aeka
While we acknowledge you have every reason to be upset about the characterisation, aggressively and sarcastically asserting your disagreement can in most cases be construed as a personal attack that can quickly escalate into an all out flamewar. When having a disagreement with a fellow member, please conduct yourself in a more respectful manner.

Re: Tom Lehre's

Date: 2012-04-29 07:00 pm (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
At least this awful series introduced me to Tom Lehrer.

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