The Last Centurion by John Ringo

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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Pugnax » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:22 pm

Okay, I have to ask. What is a "Ringo Red Shirt"?
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by MarkTBSc » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:54 am

John Ringo used to be very active on the Web Forum called Baen's Bar, in his own section (Ringo's Tavern). He'd chat to a lot of people, meet them at Cons etc. Anyway, he would occasionally solicit people's names from the bar for use as characters in books, often people who died in singularly horrible ways. These he dubbed red-shirts and they formed something of a group, known collectively as "Ringo's Red-Shirts". They even had the shirts made up. They read: "Ringo's Red-Shirts - When death is inevitable, style counts."

The first red-shirt was a chap named Buckley. He's made his way into several people's books now and always seems to be dying in some unpleasant way or another.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Pugnax » Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:45 am

MarkTBSc wrote:John Ringo used to be very active on the Web Forum called Baen's Bar, in his own section (Ringo's Tavern). He'd chat to a lot of people, meet them at Cons etc. Anyway, he would occasionally solicit people's names from the bar for use as characters in books, often people who died in singularly horrible ways. These he dubbed red-shirts and they formed something of a group, known collectively as "Ringo's Red-Shirts". They even had the shirts made up. They read: "Ringo's Red-Shirts - When death is inevitable, style counts."

The first red-shirt was a chap named Buckley. He's made his way into several people's books now and always seems to be dying in some unpleasant way or another.
How funny! Thank you.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Shmerlin » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:48 am

I got killed by the Giant Crab-pus in "Vorpal Blade". "Wyvern au tere" I belive the term is.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by MarkTBSc » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:59 pm

Well, next time remember to gargalize that Mo-Fo.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Lambykins » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:05 pm

I bought The Last Centurion for my darlin' man, at his request. He is currently in Iraq.
Well, I read the damn book before sending it to him.
Not my style.
Every man a hero, every woman a perfect specimen ---for mans needs, of course.
He sings the praises of *Round-Up* so many times, I thought he worked for Monsanto. (I said so in my review on amazon, too)
I also bought One Second After and Enemies, Foreign and Traitor to put in the package I sent as well.
I preferred both of them to Ringo's offering.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Pugnax » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:38 pm

Lambykins wrote: Every man a hero, every woman a perfect specimen ---for mans needs, of course.
Hello,

I just don't get that at all, can you extrapolate?

I suppose you could point out the "traditional" farm wife reference. And although I would agree that that is not necessarily how the husband-wife relationship worked on a farm (I did spend a couple of summers on my Step Father's Mother's farm in Colorado), I still don't see how it fits into your accusation?

I am sure you could also point out the bit about the young female..."help" brought into the camp in Iran, but I still don't see how that fits the accusation?

Also, there really was only one Hero, the main character. Sure, he is a total Hero's-Hero, but how is that different that let's say John Clark in a Tom Clancy novel? What aggravated you specifically about this character that you extrapolate your angst to the other (arguably) minor male characters in the novel?

Please don't take this as an attack, it's not. Just a friendly "book-club" discussion.

PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.
PS: Round-up is great, can't wait to use it on the over grown yard of the house we are buying.

:P
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Lambykins » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:06 pm

Pugnax wrote:
Lambykins wrote: Every man a hero, every woman a perfect specimen ---for mans needs, of course.
Hello,

I just don't get that at all, can you extrapolate?

I suppose you could point out the "traditional" farm wife reference. And although I would agree that that is not necessarily how the husband-wife relationship worked on a farm (I did spend a couple of summers on my Step Father's Mother's farm in Colorado), I still don't see how it fits into your accusation?

I am sure you could also point out the bit about the young female..."help" brought into the camp in Iran, but I still don't see how that fits the accusation?
I don't have the book in front of me at the moment...but here's my objections in a nutshell:
Like most *survivalist* or PAW novels (Ringo is certainly not the only offender on this point!),
almost every female encountered of breeding age (whether or not they are over 18) is sexually compliant to the *heros* needs and desires, has perfect physical attributes and goes on to greater heights (presumably because of her encounter with the *hero*).
His "temporary wife" in Iran, for example, goes on to be an ambassador or something--who is also known for her great beauty.
The female characters are, for the most part, *accessories*.
When older, less attractive females are encountered, they are dismissed as harridans, harpies, mentally unstable (as in the female president) or incompetent.

I know there was only one *hero* but he was writ so large that it approaches "camp" proportions. His compatriots are also perfect fighting machines and warriors.

I guess I expected more than I got with the novel. Wooden, one dimensional characters, formulaic plot devices; it just really disappointed me. I felt my money would have been better spent elsewhere.

As for the Monsanto crap...I hate that company and their products. When I lived in Montana, they went after a farmer, saying he had *stole* some of their patented seed...after one of his fields was contaminated with seeds from their nearby test field. He lost the family farm trying to defend himself from their bogus BS. Many a farmer has felt Monsanto's wrath and had their *goon squads* show up on their property...no warrant, going over their property with a fine toothed comb, so to speak, seeing if one speck of pollen or one seed happened to stray from Monsanto's precious patented crops onto their land.
Every normal man must, at times, be tempted to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats -- HL Mencken

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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Lambykins » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:08 pm

Pugnax wrote:
I suppose you could point out the "traditional" farm wife reference.
Oh, and I have been a *traditional farm wife*. I know how it works out.
Every normal man must, at times, be tempted to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats -- HL Mencken

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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Pugnax » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:44 pm

I must defer to your experience with Monsanto. What you describe is horrible. My only surprise is that these folks were not run off with a shotgun, as I would like to think my Grandmother would have done on her spread.

Eventually I think we will have to agree to disagree on the rest of the points. We likely just have different tastes...and that's cool, because what it really comes down to is that we have the luxury to haggle over fiction :)

But to counter some of your points:
Lambykins wrote:almost every female encountered of breeding age (whether or not they are over 18) is sexually compliant to the *heros* needs and desires, has perfect physical attributes and goes on to greater heights (presumably because of her encounter with the *hero*).
His "temporary wife" in Iran, for example, goes on to be an ambassador or something--who is also known for her great beauty.
Most female characters of "breeding age" found in the book were from Iran. Nor were they all described as being total babes (the first girl they took in, for example). These characters were described as being compliant as a result of the hyper male dominated society they came from. This was not described as being a good thing. Ringo was not kind in his description of Islamic treatment of women.
Lambykins wrote:The female characters are, for the most part, *accessories*.
When older, less attractive females are encountered, they are dismissed as harridans, harpies, mentally unstable (as in the female president) or incompetent.
I disagree, and would point out that most of the female characters (whose physical attributes were never discussed) were neither "harridans, harpies, mentally unstable". Prominent examples include the mother who woke up to find her husband dead in the bed next to her, the daughter of the church minister who took over the entire operation of distributing aid in the area, and the female reporter/producer that dropped in on them in Iran.

With regard to the mentally unstable presendent, lets be honest; President Warrik was Hillary Clinton...and this novel is very right of center in regard to her ability to lead.
Lambykins wrote:I know there was only one *hero* but he was writ so large that it approaches "camp" proportions. His compatriots are also perfect fighting machines and warriors.
Well, yea...he practically conquers the middle east with less than a Battalion on US Mobile Infantry. But I don't get the "perfect fighting machines and warriors" part at all. My take was that Ringo is extolling the training the average US Soldier received vs other non-first world armies.

For example, the "Nepos" in the company were far from perfect soldiers. Also remember how he "talked" his infantry guys out of the Abrams when the real tankers arrived? The tank guys put on a demonstration to show how it was done (and by implication, how the infantry guys were not doing it), due to their greater familiarization and...training...whith that equipment.

I remember seeing an interview with a high ranking US officer who lead tanks in the first gulf War. He made the claim that the US forces could have swapped their superior tanks with the Iraqi's, and still would have won because of the level of training the average US soldier received vs his counterpart. My take was that Ringo was taking this theme a degree further.
Lambykins wrote:Wooden, one dimensional characters, formulaic plot devices;
Totally have to disagree. Most PAW books formula = The world ends and some dude or dudette is trying to survive on their own or in a small group. Maybe it goes further as to encompass the trials and tribulations of a small region. Don't get me wrong, this is cool, and I cant get enough of it. Very few books try to take an "epic" view of how a nation overcomes an apocalyptic event, WWZ and The Last Centurions being an "original" exception, in my opinion.

With respect to character depth; different folks different strokes. I have read books where the reviews celebrated how deep the characters where because they went through some unfortunate event as a child, were a criminal with a conscience, etc, but then went on to do the stupidest things, and still survive, in a horror-apocalypse situation. I like characters that think, plan, and inventory, which the main character did in this novel.
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Lambykins » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:10 pm

Pugnax wrote: Eventually I think we will have to agree to disagree on the rest of the points. We likely just have different tastes...and that's cool, because what it really comes down to is that we have the luxury to haggle over fiction :)
<snip>

With respect to character depth; different folks different strokes. I have read books where the reviews celebrated how deep the characters where because they went through some unfortunate event as a child, were a criminal with a conscience, etc, but then went on to do the stupidest things, and still survive, in a horror-apocalypse situation. I like characters that think, plan, and inventory, which the main character did in this novel.
Yes, I expect we will have to "agree to disagree".
I was brought up on Shakespeare, John Dunne, Jonathan Swift....loads of classics.
I think I read my first modern "apocalyptic* fiction a scant 3 or 4 years ago (unless you want to count the Dune novels!). I have found the genre a bit intriguing, a bit annoying....

My fella liked the book, although he got annoyed at the *overkill* of technical details, as he said "I don't need all the specs on these damn weapons, I play with those fuckers every day!" (He is currently deployed in Iraq....getting a bit cranky with the heat and all...)

Read up on Monsanto...they are truly evil fuckers. Just a few examples:
http://www.nelsonfarm.net/issue.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.keepmainefree.org/suesuesue.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... crops.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by suntzu » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:25 pm

I sent a message to John Ringo asking him if he'd start using some fuglies in his novels. I'd hate for anyone to feel left out of a fucking book. It takes a village, you know, and all that...

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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Shmerlin » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:09 pm

suntzu wrote:I sent a message to John Ringo asking him if he'd start using some fuglies in his novels. I'd hate for anyone to feel left out of a fucking book. It takes a village, you know, and all that...

lol
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by bgnad » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:25 pm

Shmerlin wrote:LOL, yea! more Baen fans :D

I've even been a Red Shirt in one of the Ringo books.
OUTSTANDING!

I got tukkerized in the last one myself (but the guy is still alive, so no red shirt for me).

What can I say, I love the work of John Ringo, Tom Kratzman, Mad Mike Williamson (who is a member of ZS).

But then I am a well known knuckle dragging, brain dead, low IQ, jingoistic Myrmidon, so what do I know? :D
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John Ringo's "Black Tide Rising" series is now my favorite Zombie PAW Universe.

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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by Shmerlin » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:45 pm

bgnad wrote:
Shmerlin wrote:LOL, yea! more Baen fans :D

I've even been a Red Shirt in one of the Ringo books.
OUTSTANDING!

I got tukkerized in the last one myself (but the guy is still alive, so no red shirt for me).

What can I say, I love the work of John Ringo, Tom Kratzman, Mad Mike Williamson (who is a member of ZS).

But then I am a well known knuckle dragging, brain dead, low IQ, jingoistic Myrmidon, so what do I know? :D

LOL, not bragging but I introduced Madmike to ZS from the Baen forums. I feel its one of my greater accomplishments in life... but I don't know if thats a good thing or a bad thing .... :? :lol:
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Re: The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Post by bgnad » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:45 pm

Shmerlin wrote:
bgnad wrote:
Shmerlin wrote:LOL, yea! more Baen fans :D

I've even been a Red Shirt in one of the Ringo books.
OUTSTANDING!

I got tukkerized in the last one myself (but the guy is still alive, so no red shirt for me).

What can I say, I love the work of John Ringo, Tom Kratzman, Mad Mike Williamson (who is a member of ZS).

But then I am a well known knuckle dragging, brain dead, low IQ, jingoistic Myrmidon, so what do I know? :D

LOL, not bragging but I introduced Madmike to ZS from the Baen forums. I feel its one of my greater accomplishments in life... but I don't know if thats a good thing or a bad thing .... :? :lol:
Counts as brag points to me 8)
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