What I'm Watching: More of Love Death Robots

Apparently Netflix is doing 4 different ep orders, they say it's completely at random, though some people think it's based on gender, sexuality, age, etc. What horoscope does my robot show order reveal? Humans are idiots.

The Dump: Joe Lansdale story of a weird dump thing, videogamey CGI of of slime & trash, quick and obvious, but amusing. Not shown: Fuel-air bombing of the dump after missing persons are tracked there. ★★★½☆

Shape-Shifters: Military werewolves, realistic CGI, clearly the next Call of Duty game. Too much werewolf dick. The transformed state isn't as convincing as the Human. But not bad at the personalities and how shitty the military is. Author's Marko Kloos, a military fanfic writer. ★★★☆☆

Helping Hand: This is perfectly designed to piss me off (or any educated person). As anyone who's ever seen a spacewalk knows, astronauts don't work without a tether and a tight grip on their ship or station. It just does not happen. That was bullshit in Gravity, with idiots flying around on 5-minutes-of-fuel maneuvering packs that haven't been used since the '80s, and it's bullshit here, too. Dumb astronaut—again like Gravity a woman, which is so insulting to Peggy Whitson and other skilled woman astronauts—is knocked off station by space junk. I don't buy a cheap company sending out a lone astronaut, either: Launch cost for an extra body isn't much compared to a whole ship. And then her first solution is dumb, maybe 1kg of reaction mass thrown half-assed overhand won't move a 50kg body anywhere. Her second solution is even dumber—in reality, heat radiates away from a body very poorly in a vacuum. THAT'S HOW A THERMOS WORKS! YOU INCOMPETENT FUCK WRITER! Vacuum of space will chill you eventually, especially if you touch cold metal or regolith, but a floating body won't freeze solid for days. ☆☆☆☆☆ Claudine Griggs, hack "sexual politics" writer, I hate you and want you to get an education and then die of shame at your stupidity.

Fish Night: Interesting look, motion-captured CGI but so cel-shaded it looks hand-drawn. Probably took 10x as much time and money as simple rotoscoping and hand-drawing would've. Alas, I care nothing for the characters or the situation. Stop talking and start doing. Hunter & Dr Gonzo had "The drugs took hold around Barstow, on the edge of the desert", too, but then they did shit. Supposedly another Joe Lansdale story, but it's just nothing but a screensaver. ★★☆☆☆

Lucky 13: More Call of Duty, now in a space dropship but carrying Marines to terraforming stations on some planet. And the writer keeps calling the Marines "Soldiers" which at least modern ones don't like much. Love affair of a pilot and her dropship (AI? Maybe. It never speaks, but gets a camera POV.) is nice, and the dogfight videogame sequences are fine. It's not clear who the enemy are supposed to be, they're just as well-equipped, so are they a rival nation of Humans? Why would anyone bother shipping military to space to fight over an uninhabitable rock? Stupid premise, unexamined. Author's Marko Kloos again. ★★★☆☆

Zima Blue: Another Alastair Reynolds adaptation! Perfectly animated and told. The joke of Zima the beverage is a little weird against a serious story. The theme of transforming and abandoning unneeded complications is done several times in Reynolds (Diamond Dogs is another), but here is the best of those. ★★★★★

Blindspot: Mad Max/Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors/GI Joe do a train job with no planning, and get hosed down amusingly for it. All the nonsensical robot-on-robot violence we grew up with, but more swearing. Fuck yeah! Vitaly Shushko makes more of these ridiculous animations, too. ★★★★☆

Ice Age: A very light microscopic civilization take by Michael Swanwick (Vacuum Flowers!). Almost too silly to publish, the characters are utterly passive, but cute graphics for the micros. ★★★☆☆

Alternate Histories: Multiple ways for Hitler to die and consequences. Trivial, and I hate the stick-figure art, but amusing. Surprisingly by John Scalzi, who managed to make several actual jokes in a row! Maybe he wrote this before the brain injury that made him a humorless Internet troll. But it's about Nazis, so it gets no score according to Godwin's Law. He should have done the Lincoln one instead.

The Secret War: More Call of Duty with Soviets in fur coats in the snow during WWII, hunting monsters. And a story of making monsters, and the futility of being right in the Soviet Union. The monsters look like crap, almost literally, like the Xen in Half-Life. Written by David W. Amendola, another military fiction/horror writer. ★★★☆☆

Fin and Philosophy

And that's it for this season! More dumb combat and horror than robots in this half, and I do not appreciate that.

When I say "Call of Duty", that's not a compliment, I think the lowest form of Human slime make and play these mass murder simulators, and stories which are just "then I shoot everything wooo!" are by and for morons.

I have no objection to monster-killing if it illuminates something in a story, or in games if it's a drain on strategic resources (tactical RPGs with HP, MP, and gear to keep an eye on, and that's why my games are bright and happy AND bone-crushingly hard), but otherwise you leave those monsters alone, it's their world and you're just a morsel in it. Compare especially Beyond the Aquila Rift, where there are no "monsters" but these Call of Duty fuckheads would see one.

Total ratings are not bad, Scalzi and that incompetent Hand ep are all that's really bringing it down, but that glut of mediocre military content is hard to wade thru.

☆☆☆☆☆ 2
★☆☆☆☆ 1
★★☆☆☆ 1
★★★☆☆ 7
★★★★☆ 5
★★★★★ 2

What I'm Watching: Love Death Robots

Anthology series of adult SF cartoons, produced by David Fincher and Tim Miller (Deadpool director). Which is like Netflix said "hey, Mark, we made a thing exactly for you!" I <3 you too, Netflix!

18 episodes, I watched 8 so far, will see the rest next binge.

Sonnie's Edge: I instantly recognized this, but couldn't place it—how could I have seen it already? Impossible! Turns out it's adapted from a short story in Peter F. Hamilton's A Second Chance at Eden. What's weird is I remember it visually, where most of my SF reading I remember as text/lore with a few mental illustrations. Nicely animated 3D, a little bit videogamey and exaggerated. I already knew the twist but I don't think it's hard to figure out. ★★★★★

Three Robots: Walker, tiny walker, and weird pyramid robot explore a ruined city and talk too much. Despite withering contempt for Humans (which is entirely deserved), they don't have enough intelligence to avoid a trap. Meh, I don't like cats much, but people infected with Toxoplasma gondii will find this hilarious. CGI is adequate. Ah, it's a short story by John Scalzi, "Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind from the Era of Humans for the First Time", which is why it feels like obvious jokes driven into the ground by a humorless boot. ★★★☆☆

The Witness: Rear Window/Run Lola Run with a stripper. Characters look like painted dolls, unfocused "camera" like an Italian giallo flick. Striptease could be erotic if they weren't so toy-like. Neatly tied up plot, nonsense surrealism but I like it. Alberto Mielgo has a number of other good animations and paintings. ★★★★½

Suits: Farmers in mecha fighting bugs. Weird 3D with cel-shading to look like a cartoon or plastic toys. This is pretty much daily life in Rifts, they even call the bugs "DeeBees" (dimensional beings in Rifts, no definition given here but maybe Damn Bugs?). Decent combat story, a little personality for the farmers, but not deep. ★★★½☆

Sucker of Souls: Archaeology/adventurer team explore a tomb and are not alone. Hand-animated mostly, I think they had to have traced over 3D in several places. Very aesthetically similar to Castlevania. Not much plot, and no chance of further adventures, but I like the team. Written by Kirsten Cross, who writes hack military-horror shovelware books; short form clearly suits her "talents" better. ★★★★☆

When the Yogurt[sic] Took Over: John Scalzi's shitty parody knockoff of Greg Bear's superb Blood Music, adapted into weird stick-figure and frizzy-hair CGI blobs, narrated ("tell, don't show") by The Brain^W Maurice LaMarche. Sadly no relation to The Stuff, which had a better plot, actors, and special effects. Fucking awful, everyone involved should be drowned in yoghurt. ★☆☆☆☆

Beyond the Aquila Rift: Short story from Alastair Reynolds! Spaceship has a bad wormhole jump/technobabble, ends up somewhere wrong, greeted by a person who shouldn't be there. Music is excessively on-the-nose. CGI is detailed but videogamey, and the space scenes look right out of some space shooter. ★★★★☆

Good Hunting: An evil man and his stupid son hunt a beautiful Hulijing (Chinese Kitsune), tragedy ensues. Then becomes a weird steampunk thing in Hong Kong. Then a superhero origin story? Hand-animated, good fighting motion, but very flat, I don't like the style. Based on a short story by Ken Liu ★★★☆☆

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Hell yeah. I grew up with some of my favorite comics being ROM Spaceknight, Nova, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock (in Marvel Presents, I think?), and so on… the Marvel space series were so much better than their ground superheroes. While the films are a little trashy, they're fun trash, and the music was just awesome.

But then some Nazis doxxed Gunn and Disney was like "I'm shocked, shocked I say, to discover that the writer of Tromeo & Juliet makes dirty jokes!", but happily have seen sense since everyone involved wanted him back.

So here's the music again:

What I'm Watching: Appleseed (1988)

As I noted in Alphaville, Appleseed covers similar ground. Been a few years, so I rewatched it.

But back up a bit to the manga. Shirow Masamune's first manga was Black Magic, about a computer-controlled society of animal-people on a habitable Venus, 60 million years ago when the Earth is full of dangerous dinosaurs, and a powerful young sorceress and her friends who hang out at the Onimal bar fighting the AI throughout the solar system. Rogue AI death machines (in that case cute little "M-66" infiltration/assassination robots) are released, death and mayhem ensue, civilization falls because people lazily give up control to the machines. It's a fantastic book, but too silly at times for the message he wanted to send. There is an "M-66 Black Magic" anime about just the robots but set on modern Earth, incredibly dumb though it does have some T&A which young Mark enjoyed.

Appleseed's 4-volume manga is a reboot of similar ideas, set after nuclear war, with an artificial city controlled by an AI "Gaia", populated by bioroids (in the manga, they go into detail about just how artificial they are; the older ones are more machine than biological and tied directly into Gaia) as servants to a fraction of Humanity. But servants with power don't remain servants. Athena, city administrator biodroid, is torn between wanting to get rid of the Humans entirely, and fulfilling the original mission of the city; and ultimately she's just a tool of Gaia. Wasteland survivors have been brought into the city and haven't really been domesticated, but are trying to make the city work. And terrorists want to tear down the system.

The 1988 movie covers the first volume, sort of, and a bit of the others, and doesn't use the appleseed of the title. There's been a bunch of remakes, but the original's the only one that addresses the moral issues at all. The first two CGI films (Appleseed (2004) and Appleseed Ex Machina (2007)) are unspeakably bad action flicks with preposterous mega-boob physics and cartoon blowjob-doll face for Deunan (who is not so endowed in the manga or anime), and while I haven't seen the reboot CGI flick Appleseed Alpha (2014), it's a "prequel" which has nothing to do with the manga. There's also a TV series Appleseed XIII (2013) which is more action flicks about WOO DEUNAN SHOOT GUNS.

I wouldn't classify any of these exactly as "cyberpunk", because they're not about the street finding new uses for the military-industrial complex's technology; they're about the military-industrial complex. Hard SF, and in the original with a political axe to grind against AI.

I plan to reread Ghost in the Shell's 3 volumes of manga as well, and then I'll comment on the competent but over-simplified 1995 movie and the other junk around that franchise, which follows a similar pattern.

So, read comic books for big ideas, kids, don't look at fucking moving pictures. But I'll talk about the moving picture anyway.

Obviously, this is peak '80s. Like more '80s than the '80s were. Big hair, shoulder pads in women's suits, pastel colors, neon, sleek but sharp vehicles instead of little melted blobs, battlesuits that look like perfect Japanese motorcycles instead of piles of scrap metal held together with hot glue. The music is new wave and smooth jazz, what the Kids Today™ call "synthwave" but this is real, not synthetic, synth music. Cel animation is expensive and backgrounds are pretty static, there's none of this bullshit of using 3D CGI with light cel shading to pretend you're drawing something, no, Human animators toiled over every frame. If you don't like the '80s aesthetic, get the fuck out, you're not welcome here.

Cop Karon and artist Freya ("Fleia") are soon separated by her suicide, from feeling as trapped in a gilded cage as their pet birds, and as we see later in the film, the city's bioroid administration does not respond with kindness and care, but with clinical research on the survivor.

Cute but deadly Deunan (possibly modeled on Markie Post) and cyborg smoothy Briareus (Richard Roundtree in a cyborg bunny face?) are in ESWAT, cleaning up the messes normal cops can't, and a cyborg terrorist getting away and killing a few of their buddies gets them motivated to investigate, though on-screen that largely consists of them wearing trenchcoats, busting down doors, and body-bagging potential informants.

Hitomi, a bioroid who rescued the main characters and many more Humans from the wasteland and acts as their social worker, gets back into the city, in what might be my favorite view of any city: She wakes on a helicopter reflected in solar panels, rushes to the other side to see the city in light. It's only a momentary shot, but makes me think the city might not be so bad. Hitomi's the heart of the manga, and the anime tries its best, with limited screen time. The party at the Onimal bar (a relic from the Black Magic manga) is the only time her faux-Human relations really come up: She loves all her rescued strays, and her would-be boyfriend/pathetic stalker isn't really enough for that love.

The bioroids as machines isn't touched on much in the anime; those other than Hitomi are shown only as drones or would-be tyrants like Athena, and they're DNA-edited and grown in tanks, but just how much of a replaceable part most of them are isn't brought up until Athena tries to decide who lives and who dies.

The Human Liberation Front terrorists do eventually discuss their motives and objectives, to get hold of a giant spider-tank which is the prototype for a fleet of spider-tanks to be directly operated by Gaia; then Humanity will be totally cut off from power. But to get it, they have to lock out Gaia, and there's a key for that. A failsafe which, very deliberately, only Human sympathizers can use.

The action scenes in this aren't Gundam quality, and they're not bloody like many later versions, but they're fine for telling the story. The couple of times the terrorists fight up close brings home just how deadly Landmates (mecha) are in close combat and as mobile infantry/artillery. I'm not sure the "BAN LANDMATES" graffiti is ever visible in the anime, but it's constant in the manga, and kind of an in-joke for old anime fans. While the anime has cyborgs with various levels of replacement, there's no robots, which are a major element of the manga, as a thing even lower than bioroids but also threatening to replace Humanity.

Where this falls down is the final sequence inside Gaia; they have maybe 10 minutes to squeeze in half a volume of arguments and action. In the manga, this is a place where Deunan has to make a moral decision which will change the course of Human history: Free will and endless wars, or inhuman tyranny, or is there a third path? Here, it's just resetting a machine, and what the machines think of that isn't discussed.

★★★★☆, it'd be 5 if they'd ever adapted the rest of the manga, but nobody seems interested in making movies with political philosophy against AI control, I wonder why.

What I'm Watching: Alphaville (1965)

I've seen Jean-Luc Goddard's bizarre SF film every decade or two. It makes no more sense each time but a different kind of non-sense. A Rorschach test for where society is.

Lemmy Caution 003 (Eddie Constantine, reprising his role from Poison Ivy and something like 20 other spy flicks), ostensibly a reporter for Pravda, wanders a bizarre artificial city, with a short target list. Everyone he meets is a drone, but often a drone with a non-drone social role, such as the "Seductress, Level 3" (what's level 1 or 2?!), or the scientists "Heckel & Jeckel" (from the cartoon crows). Or, ultimately, Dr. Nosferatu née Von Braun; they're as subtle as supervillains ever are.

His former colleague Henri Dickson (Akim Tamirof) is a dissolute wreck, unable to adapt to life in Alphaville, but unable or unwilling to betray it or leave before it consumes him. A buck for a room, a buck for a beer, and a buck for a whore, is a good way to kill a man. The analogy that ants started as individuals, with art and creativity, and then became part of the hive and now have nothing… it's very like Frank Herbert's Hellstrom's Hive, but that relies on biology not technology. The theme's also used in Shirow Masamune's Appleseed (read the manga, but the '80s anime deals with this part exceptionally well too), where the 20% natural Humans (using the term loosely for cyborgs like Deunan and Briareous) in Olympus are maintained by 80% Bioroids who pass as Human under the city's all-controlling artificial intelligence, and still the Humans despair and kill themselves because they're birds in a cage.

The extreme conformity and social control making everyone march along to their destruction is very familiar. The execution theatres are more humane than our current model of persecuting anyone who has ever made Human mistakes; they get shot and drowned by pretty girls, while we continue persecuting them forever. One can never expiate sin in 21st C society.

The croaking voice they used as the voice of the computer Alpha 60 is awful; HAL 9000 in 1968 is more like the real future of Siri. And yet obviously you should not ever watch movies in dub, only in the original language with subtitles. The slideshow/exhibition as art of the artificial society is plausibly unbearable to watch for a normal Human, not one of the mutants/controlled people of the city.

The metaphor the city uses of distant planets and galaxies confuses many viewers, and for that matter I don't know that Goddard didn't mean it literally himself even though it's bullshit; but it makes more sense that Alphaville is what it seems, a city in some isolated wasteland, transformed by Alpha 60, and everyone has been taught they're on a distant planet, along with all the other Newspeak and programming they endure. There's no evidence of spaceships, they drive in and out of Alphaville, and it's merely set 10 years in the "future" (stated: 30 years since America & Soviets got nuclear weapons, so 1975 from the film's 1965). And of course Lemmy Caution makes no sense wandering into a science fiction world, rather than just doing his James Bond-like spy shit in a mad genius's experiment.

The city looks great as long as all you can see are dark skylines and brightly-lit office windows, but in the occasional lit street scenes it looks like a sad ex-Warsaw Pact country. Star Trek managed a few large-scale sets in 1966, even though it often cheated and just had a matte and some styrofoam rocks, not actual street scenes. The car chase later is comically bad, slow-motion and visibly just a shitty suburb with cars saved from a wrecker.

The nonsense of "love" in the film is the one thing I really can't stand. Lemmy and Natacha have no connection, barely any interaction; she might at best be infatuated with the weird stranger, and her charms are superficial. I know, the French don't necessarily need such depth to start calling it "amour", but this is a weekend fling.

(reading "bible" aka redacted Newspeak dictionary): "Conscience. Not there. So nobody here knows what it means anymore."
—Natacha Von Braun (Anna Karina) describing Silicon Valley

My Rorschach reading for this viewing is conscienceless men using artificial intelligence to plan the destruction of Humanity and annihilation of home systems, to wit Facebook and Google (Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple being more of a Brave New World/THX-1138 style of consumerist dystopia). Sadly it is not so simple to solve as a few bullets and asking an AI some dumb riddles to blow its fuses (Alphaville, Logan's Run, and Star Trek got their computers from the same substandard maker, it seems). HAL goes crazy, but he's not defeated by anything as lame as a Sphinx.

I… IN… FIN, the ending spells. Is Alpha 60 saying "I am finished", or is it trying to spell infinity?

★★★★★ but it's madness.

What I'm Watching: Occupation

An attempt to do a big science fiction war movie. For Australia, it's very ambitious.

What works: Special effects and explosive squibs are competent. The actors are mostly good, though the hero's a doofus. I didn't hate anyone or anything, though it falls far short of respect.

What doesn't: Almost everything else. It's like the writer saw Independence Day, but didn't have the skill to produce all the intertwined plots, and really didn't have the budget, so it's just the grubby resistance in a single forest. Despite a high female cast, I'm not sure it ever passes the Bechdel test; a male character calls the female Army leader a ball-buster, and Strine misogyny isn't subtle throughout. There are several Asian characters who are treated well, but rather blatantly no Aborigines, who you'd expect would survive well in this environment; but they may be on the side of the invaders since the white fuckers are finally getting what's coming to them.

15 minutes of Australian hooligans doing road work, dating, and playing sportsball, before spaceships with searchlights fly over and shoot up everything. Yee-haw. Then alien infantry who look just like Humans in armor march around with plastic toy rifles shooting buildings. They're completely inaccurate, which is weird for beings that can cross interstellar distances. A dozen local idiots, the protagonists, escape in a camper van, which should be an obvious target for the aliens, but they never seem to be able to hit it. Finally the Strine Air Force manage to shoot an alien down, which again seems implausible for advanced aliens.

There's some ludicrously dramatic "pose as a team" scenes, and a lot of whining and sniping at each other, I think intended to make them feel like a team coming together.

The alien infantry don't have thermal sensors, and are all but blind, they just walk past people hiding in tin shacks and under blankets like children. The armor isn't totally useless, for once, but their guns aren't security-locked, so any monkey can grab one and shoot it. They walk into hostile-occupied buildings and just wander around alone so a group of monkeys can overwhelm them. These idiots are incompetent. The US military is better equipped and trained.

What follows is a training and war montage based on Ewoks vs Stormtroopers, except the Stormtroopers here are even worse idiots. And the Ewoks are so dumb they throw phones containing explosive batteries into a fire (but the filmmakers don't understand the consequences).

The Strine military finally shows up again, which ends the insurgency. I don't believe any of these people could have survived, the military doesn't know how to hide, and does stupid standup fights. While the aliens have shown no cunning or skill, they have apparently endless forces and better weapons.

Of course there's an explanation at last, and it's stupid: The aliens devastated their planet, and we're polluters, so they'll take Earth. But if they already have interstellar ships, they don't need planets, and anyway could've just bought Australia for a few spaceships.

The happy ending is so out of place and not how things work, I dunno what the writer was on.

I'm not unamused by the film, but it's a trainwreck.

★★½☆☆

What I'm Watching: Travelers S3

This is hard to talk about without spoilers, but I'll be vague enough to be useless without watching. Go watch it first, if you liked S1-2.

Every ep is resolving something from S1-2, there's almost no "new missions" as such. Everything has gone very wrong with the Faction taking over people, but that's more or less cleaned up, all the bystanders get mind-wiped and mostly don't recover their memories initially… But there's now Traveler conspiracy/support groups meeting. The boy from S1E3 returns, and I don't think a day of hanging out with a cop is gonna make a sociopath not 'path. Amanda Tapping as 001 returns, briefly, but then she's someone else again.

An AI that's been utterly useless so far gets upgraded, and the messengers aren't as safe as previously thought. Philip and the historians get a showcase episode, which mostly involves interrogating a dead man. The Trevor episode is somewhat annoying: If consciousness transfer works the way it has been described, the problem described can't happen, he'd be in a nice fresh brain every time.

In the only actual two-episode plot of the season, nuclear terrorism and data archives in the silliest possible storage medium, and a Wrath of Khan type ending for someone.

Protocol Omega somewhat contradicts previous explanations of how the Traveler program works, but some of the pieces from the season are assembled to get a hard reset.

I dunno if they're going to do a season 4. They sort of pushed parts together for it, and the last scene with Marcy & David suggests someone made changes already. But I could see them dropping it now and it's at some kind of a stopping point. I don't want another season like this, I want more of S1-S2 when it had plots.

★★★½☆

AI Just-So Stories

Couldn't remember a story reference, so collecting a few of these to make finding them again easier.

How to Read a Peter F. Hamilton Book

There's a new PFH book, Salvation, I'd like to get to reading. Before that, I have a tsundoku in iBooks. So now's the time to read the Dreaming Void trilogy; these are sequels of sorts to Pandora's Star (excellent book about a really horrible alien, read long ago), and Judas Unchained (remember less than nothing about it; did I even read it? Maybe I was drinking a lot).

But there comes the rub: You can't just read a PFH doorstop. No, you need to study it, and take notes like a college class, because the concept of focusing on one protagonist and telling a linear story isn't his thing. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read, is his philosophy.

At 17% through The Dreaming Void, I have the following notes (in Apple Notes so I can edit them anywhere); probably SPOILER, but a good example of my process. For dead tree books I made longer notes on everyone, with page refs, but since you can search iBooks there's no need anymore.

Dreaming Void

Places, Reality

Centurion Station: Near the Void
Ellezelin: Living Dream planet, Makkathran2 city.
Arevalo: Central Commonwealth planet, Higher. Daroca city.
Far Away: Base of the Starflyer
Lytham: Central world far from Earth
Oronsay: External world 100LY from Central
Fandola:

Places, Void

Querencia: Void planet
Makkathran: Main city
Ashwell: Smaller city

Species

Human: Higher, Advancer, Natural
Prime, Starflyer: Mind-controlling aliens
Anomine: Trapped the Prime
Golant: Humanoid
Ticoth: Predators, herds of prey
Suline: Aquatic
Ethox: ?
Forleene: ?
Kandra: ?
Jadradesh: ?
Raiel: Ancient, discovered the Void
Ocisen: BEM. Opposed to Pilgrimage
Hancher: Protected by Humans, enemies of Ocisen

Groups

Commonwealth:
ANA: "Advanced Neural Activity", mind pool of dead Highers
Free Market:
External:

People, Reality

Ozzie & Nigel: wormhole inventors
Inigo: First Dreamer
LionWalker Eyre: director of Centurion Station
Aaron: Blank on Makkathran2
Ethan: Conservator of Living Dream
Lady, Bad News: ?
Chief Cleric Phelim: Ethan's secretary
Corrie-Lyn: Inigo's former lover
Marius: ANA representative
Troblum: Starflyer fanboy, Higher
Mykala: 
Eoin: 
Yehudi: 
Kazimir Burnelli: First Admiral
Delivery Man:
Justine Burnelli: ANA representative
Gore Burnelli: ANA, old boss
Nelson Sheldon: ANA, security, Gore's co-conspirator
Araminta: Waitress, Niks, Colwyn City

People, Void

Waterwalker: Entered the Void
Skylord: ?
Akeem: Eggshaper
Edeard: Eggshaper apprentice
Salrana: Priestess