June 27th, 2005

userinfo senji
2005/06/27 22:12:00 - AmISueOrNot?
OK, so here's a list of characteristics...

  • Frequently described as beautiful, but unable to see it
  • Solves an impossible problem (once) in the first couple of chapters and is then punished for it, but comes out of that punishment better off than she started
  • Everyone either:
    • Likes her
    • Dislikes her, but comes to like her
    • Hates her and is killed
    • Hates her and is a scumbag
  • She has a rare variety of pet
  • Actually, make that a symbiosis with an alien sophont
  • By the end of the third book she's:
    • received the Personal Thanks of the Monarch four times
    • become a hereditary noble in two different states
    • had three ships practically blown away underneath her
  • Over the course of a 10 year war in a society with life-spans 2-3 times longer than ours she rises from Captain JG to Admiral in two different Navies
  • She's genetically modified, supposedly a major social faux pas but noöne leaks this information to her political opposition
  • She goes from ingenue to political mastermind in about 3 years
  • Dropped on a planet of religious misogynists she gains almost total respect within the course of months
  • Even the best minds in the enemy's forces like her!
  • And I could go on…

Is this person a Mary-Sue?


Do you know who I am talking about?


Current Mood: [mood icon] picky
Current Music: Banarama – It Ain't What You Do
Entry Tags: books 2005, poll, question

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userinfo enismirdal
2005/06/27 21:40:57
Well, in context. Since I don't know who this is I could modify to say, "In a universe where this sort of thing doesn't happen to everyone, she is a Sue." If she lives in a universe where that kind of stuff applies to everyone, she'd just the same as everyone else! :D
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userinfo ewx
2005/06/27 22:29:44
I think I can guess from external context, despite not having read any of the fiction in question. But isn't one of the requirements for a Sue that they are essentially the author projected into the story?
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userinfo paleshadow
2005/06/27 23:11:48
Which doesn't really apply in this case, I think. Not to mention that I think the author in question does a good job of a) writing it well, and b) showing the reactions to the extraordinary events in a way that, while not making them ordinary, makes them plausible and even realistic.

To the extent that realism occurs in that genre, that is.

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userinfo angoel
2005/06/28 06:55:26
My feeling is that she's only slightly more Mary-Sueish than Miles Vorkosigan is. And given I don't think of him as a Mary-Sue, then nor is she.
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userinfo cartesiandaemon
2005/06/28 09:19:32
That's what I was thinking. It does depend on context: based on Senji's description it sounds like a sue, but if she overcame appropriate obstacles it could work. After all, the reluctant hero who ends up saving the world is a traditional archetype, who I don't know whether counts as a sue or not, but does form a necessary part of literature.
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userinfo damerell
2005/06/28 16:33:37
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userinfo senji
2005/06/28 21:44:11
Oh, I forgot some of those things. She can't do Maths though, remember…
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userinfo douglas_reay
2005/06/29 15:12:26 - Miles' Medals
I think you could make a good case that no one else has both been awarded the Cetagandan Imperial Order of Merit http://www.fictionbook.ru/author/bujold_lois_mcmaster/barrayar_5_cetaganda/bujold_barrayar_5_cetaganda.html#TOC_id2495865
and had their genes added to the haut genome.

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userinfo damerell
2005/06/29 15:15:06
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userinfo douglas_reay
2005/06/29 15:21:13
To quote this page: http://www.subreality.com/marysue/explain.htm

"a Mary Sue is a primadonna (usually but not always badly-written) who saps life and realism out of every other character around, taking over the plot and bending canon to serve his/her selfish purposes."

I believe David Weber's Honour Harrington books were modeled on C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series, which are a damn good read.

Question: is the stainless steel rat or James Bond a Mary Sue because they are implausibly good at everything?

Our Man Flint
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