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What are the MORALS of the Gap Cycle?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moral of the story...zone implants suck.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, one of the following:

Redemption is always possible, as is the reverse.

Don't mess with Angus Thermopyle.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The books are filled with manipulation and doublecrossing and all manner of brutality. All the characters are compromised by their actions at some stage or other.
Yet it seems to be about holding onto a moral code, involving truth, courage, honetsy, integrity, decency and respect for personal freedom in the face of a world that is not really like that. Because this is a novel that struggle can be externalised into the battle to topple Holt Fasner. There is a whole thing about chaos/freedom versus order/coercion going on too. It is hard to get a handle on in some ways because for large stretches of this huge work it is just a page turner and one gets caught up in it.
I just finished reading the Gap tonight, I thought it was great how Morn cries at the end for all that has happened to her and her friends, and for things she has done (then cleans herself up, she has survived, life goes on). I think this grief at what the world is like is part of what these books are about, the gap betwen how things are and how we want them to be, the gap between our different points of view, the gap between what we perceive and what is true.
Although Donaldson gives the forces of straightforward integrity symbolised by Min Donner the upper hand at the end, it is the shifty Hashi Lebwohl, albeit chastened, who gets the last word, Warden has used extralegal means to finish Holt's power, and Angus finishes in bloodthirsty form, despite his final message which shows some change in him.
It is so hard to do right, often you wind up compromising to get by, but eventually you have to fight to get to some good back or lose it completely, but then it is even harder. You might inspire others to do likewise - that might help.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, wow, awesome post. Minus the spoilers that should come up if you google "What's the GAP series about?"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dukehenry wrote:
For me, one of the following:

Redemption is always possible, as is the reverse.

Don't mess with Angus Thermopyle.


sweet summary duke ..

I love this about Donaldson .. the constant faith in humankind .. that we are all flawed and some of us pretty messed up .. and because of that I love the anti-hero concept .. not only for its basis in the real world .. but also cos it imbues us with a desire not to be too quick to diminish the value of each other .. but to see great worth is inherant in us all and that we all have the capability for actions both negative and positive and its our current choices and actions that define us .. where we are heading not so much where we have come from.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me it is simply this:

We all must comprimise some of our principles at some point for the good of other principles. Compromise is a fact of life.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the opposite - if there is a moral to the gap cycle imo it is that nobility keeps us from the brink of destruction and chaos ..

i think its true that compromise is a fact of life .. in life we have to weigh decisions and balance choices .. but this does not equate with compromising of principles

in the gap cycle we see that the compromising of universal principles occurs far too easily .. people willing to sell one another out for personal or corporate gain .. and this path ultimately leads to self-destruction .. and chaos

this is riddled throughout the cycle .. in the corruption present in the UMCP and its corporate handlers/drivers
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The futility of the human condition to reconcile good and evil in the short term of emotion is one theme. The cliche of Donaldson's writing is that of being redemption. (many discussions etc)
But more than his other books cruelty and a nasty disposition are a theme in itself. Some are irredeemable. Evil exists and can never be expunged. In the fantasy works this a basic trait, but in the Gap series it almost seems taken to extremes because this a more plausible future, and we are not talking about ravers, but human beings in a possible future.

Donaldson out of the significant writers of fantasy perhaps only with George RR Martin explores this underbelly of humanity like no other.

The Gap while I did not enjoy it, I am impressed enough to see his pretty much consistent vision of flawed humanity. I personally do not choose to take such a dim view in my fiction writing but hey, I don't sell many books.
There are many storys to tell about human interactions. This is an unpleasant one by any regards. But a flawed told tale.
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roynish wrote:
The futility of the human condition to reconcile good and evil in the short term of emotion is one theme. The cliche of Donaldson's writing is that of being redemption. (many discussions etc)
But more than his other books cruelty and a nasty disposition are a theme in itself. Some are irredeemable. Evil exists and can never be expunged. In the fantasy works this a basic trait, but in the Gap series it almost seems taken to extremes because this a more plausible future, and we are not talking about ravers, but human beings in a possible future.

Donaldson out of the significant writers of fantasy perhaps only with George RR Martin explores this underbelly of humanity like no other.

The Gap while I did not enjoy it, I am impressed enough to see his pretty much consistent vision of flawed humanity. I personally do not choose to take such a dim view in my fiction writing but hey, I don't sell many books.
There are many storys to tell about human interactions. This is an unpleasant one by any regards. But a flawed told tale.


the view of flawed humanity is a view of reality .. we are flawed .. I like that Donaldson sees beyonhd this with his lead characters (indeed with all his characters). Despite their personal flaws (their normality) they are capable of rallying .. and doing good.

I love GRR Martin .. and I hate that he rips characters out from under you .. characters you come to love .. characters that do good .. and are fair and reasonable and then others survive that are despicable .. I love that cos its real .. in life it is the same ..

quite often bastardly types live to mess up another day .. while good and lesser beings die .. death is no respecter of persons and neither is life.

this mix of reality and fictional themes is what makes great authors awesome .. imho

its not so much the 'futility' of the human condition but the challenges to the human condition that make us who we are .. more so how we respond to those challenges that makes some amazing


TC a socially despised leper .. cast out by his physical and human condition .. tortured by self loathing and self pity .. Morn tortured by her physical condition .. tortured by self loathing and self pity .. seeking to measure her life within the challenges of the circumstances she finds herself in .. and she does.

Both Morn and TC find a self they can live with .. once they do what is required of them ..

good rich and the stuff of good fiction
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to register, because I thought that this really needed to be said.

I think one of the primary morals of the Gap series, other than those listed already is...

Horrible compromises are made, and horrible prices are paid by those who attempt to extend beyond their humanity.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good one, KC!

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some great stuff in this thread!

It's been awhile since I've reread The Gap -- I reread everything. But I remember Morn herself saying more than once that problems should be solved by those who discover them. Simple at first reading but there's a lot of depth to that and personal integrity is at the heart of it.
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I think I've read that somewhere else as well.

Welcome to the Watch btw. Go introduce yourself in the Summonsing. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omgosh where did Guts pop up from?! I must be tired because the first post with him appears to be quoting someone, yet there are only 2 posts with him.

Is Guts using Esmer's powers to travel here and there, in both space and time? For that matter should we call him Doctor Whosmer?

I haven't read the Gap series recently enough to provide anything useful, but the show with the pretty man and the giant phallus from that picture, is epically wonderful and does have things in common with the Covenant books, the least of which is that they are both dark as hell.

Also the first episode of Berserk is one of the masterpieces of anti-cliche media, and if it was in my power, I would make it required watching for anyone involved in media production, especially the people who make True Blood and Lost Girl.

I don't want to spoil it, but if you roll your eyes every time some toolish monster/demon/vampire/whatever gives the cliche rant about how humans are weak/pathetic/food/whatever then you will like the resolution to the episode!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, 7 and a half years after making this thread and replies still trickle in. Pretty cool. Cool

Thanks for all the replies it has made for some terrific perspective.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morals are dictated by circumstance and genetics. No one can make a bad person good.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno...what makes bad people bad? And what is a bad person for that matter?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ob3r0n wrote:
It's been awhile since I've reread The Gap -- I reread everything. But I remember Morn herself saying more than once that problems should be solved by those who discover them.


Avatar wrote:
Hmmm, I think I've read that somewhere else as well.


You have indeed read that somewhere else, Avatar! Problems should be solved by those who see them is the personal philosophy of the character Myste in the Mordant's Need books.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, you're right, that's where it was. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<shudder>>I just had this vision of Angus popping out of the (MN) Champion's war suit when Myste got to it...<</shudder>
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