SD Alternative

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” - Dr. Seuss

Oh yeah, I read “Yukikaze”

The story of one man’s heartrending discovery that his computer doesn’t love him :’(

The translation is well done, though the writing is repetitive in places (the story was originally serialized).

As for the story, it has a weird set-up where after we are told that Rei and the other Sylph pilots are machinelike and only interested in playing videogames and flying their planes, we get to see Rei in situations – he has a friend, he used to have a girlfriend – that another author, looking in from the outside, would assume a character like that wasn’t be capable of.

Rei’s autism-spectrum personality manifests as kind of selfishness where he only cares about the things that he cares about, and doesn’t care about anything else. The good people are the people who recognize Rei’s limitations and speak to him in his own language about the things that he is interested in (Tomahawk). The bad people are the ones who see everything through the prism of their ape-brains and assume that social laws between people are paramount, even above immutable facts like the alien JAM.

Speaking of, the sections on how the machines are fighting a war between themselves that humans can barely perceive, let alone comprehend, are some of the best in the series.

Sabina joked that you can tell this book was written in the eighties because the characters talk about the trade-off between the size of the plane and the processing power of the computer that flies it. At one point they get rid of the co-pilot to put in a bigger computer.

Remember, kids! Opponents always have easily contradicted, simplistic worldviews so that they will be easy to win arguments against. Otherwise Rei, with his even more simplistic worldviews, would have no chance.