Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 6, Part V

In the fifth and final part of the sixth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit gets a visit from Mamvish that sheds light on… some things. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

Okay, we’ve got three major things to discuss here, and THIS IS DEEPLY UNFAIR.

Symbiosis

I don’t know that I need a further explanation of the mystery of the Tevaralti at this point because this feels like I’ve been given just enough information to understand them. I can connect the dots from here! I’d not considered what was going on with the planet’s kernel, but it’s so fucking cool to me that I just read about evolution in The Science of Discworld right before I got to the bit in Lifeboats that utilizes evolutionary to explain how it is that the Tevaralti might have developed an innate attachment to their planet. It’s now possible—practically outright confirmed!—that the Tevaralti kernel contains an element of their culture within it. Which is super fascinating to me because I’d always assumed that a kernel only dealt with physical manifestations. But why wouldn’t it cover cultural elements that make up a people or a world?

And in this case, the kernel of Tevaral contains an element of their “one mind” cultural shift/experience that could very well explain why some of them don’t want to leave. They feel deeply within themselves that this planet was made for them, that they have to care for it by themselves. Thus, they wouldn’t exactly feel that welcoming to a group that comes in to help evacuate people from it, right? Why wouldn’t they abandon a place they are certain is their only true place in the entire universe?

Which means… lord, they’re not going to save these people, are they? That opening scene is pretty much the ending, isn’t it??? HELP.

Sucralose

Okay, I was so confused at first when Kit started laying out the ingredients to ketchup because… did we really need that? Was that super necessary? DEAR READERS, IT ABSOLUTELY WAS. I love that Duane doesn’t shy away from sex, puberty, or the uncomfortable realities of being a teenager, and this is just another example of that. Granted, she keeps us at an arm’s length from learning how sex works for Mamvish and her species, but there’s still an awkward exchange when Kit realizes that both tomatoes and sucralose may play an important part in the mating habits of Mamvish’s species. Which… I love this? I love that we don’t quite find out what she means by this, and I love that Duane still presents it as a natural part of this world. It’s awkward, but no one is shamed for it. YES. YES.

The Fourth

AHAHAHA I LITERALLY ASKED FOR THIS TO BE IMPORTANT AND GUESS WHAT I REGRET ALL MY CHOICES

Okay, soooooooo…. they exist outside our dimension??? The human mind literally cannot fathom their physical form so we just see them them as a shifting, shapeless group of shadows??? WHY THE FUCK DID THAT ONE WANT TO TALK TO MAMVISH?

I wholly expected that the Fourth would disappear when Djam showed up, but nope! No! Creepiness for everyone! Why did it say “Pathfinder” to Kit??? What’s “half the way”? WHO IS THE “OTHER HALF”?

What have y’all done to me.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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