Fans Tear New Mass Effect Book to Shreds

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Yeah, "element zero" could refer to neutronium. ...Which presents problems of its own, of course, such as being too dense for ordinary matter to even hold.

imnotparanoid:
These people have waaaaaay to much time on their hands.
And thats coming from someone who spent the last 4 hours making orogami seals.

If you actually read the page and scroll down to the credits of who did it there is a good 10-15 names there.

Good, the more people hear of this the better I say.

I was kind of surprised when I was reading all of this, but then I saw the name William Dietz, and remembered reading a god awful novelization of the first Halo game a long time ago also written by a William Dietz.

Daverson:
Erm, point 4, I don't think you can make assumptions of the "science" behind ME, considering their magical crystal are "Element Zero".

For those of us who apparently don't know what science is, elements in the periodic table are numbered by the number of protons they've got in their nucleus. So, Element 1 (Hydrogen) has a single proton in the nucleus, while element 13 (aluminium) has 13. Element 0 isn't something that's physically impossible, it's literally nothing! You can't have nothing as your magical crystals!

And it's not like it's just called "Element Zero", but it's something else entirely, they go out of their way to say that's exactly what it is! I'm pretty sure this is the first thing you learn in chemistry classes these days!

To be fair, since we've already ventured into the realm of pseudo-science, it's not unreasonable to state that Eezo is simply a proton-less atom. More colloquially, the atomic core is nothing but neutrons. We never actually are told what the atomic weight of Element Zero is, so we can't definitively state that it's nothing.

Daverson:
Besides, I thought the whole point of the guns in ME was that the projectiles where part of a solid ammunition core that was broken off in minuscule amounts (say, less than a nanogram), and accelerated to speeds close to the speed of light to cause an equivalent amount of destruction to a conventional firearm. Yeah, if you accelerate something like an apple to relativistic speeds, it's gonna blow up half a major city (hand-wavy physics here! don't correct me by saying it'll only blow up a few blocks =p ), but obviously at a microscopic level, there's no nearly as much destructive potential. (think about it, light travels at the speed of light, but each photon that hits the earth doesn't wipe out everything, does it?)

Kinda sorta. You've got the basic principle right, but you are vastly underestimating the energies involved. The only reason photons don't destroy the Earth is because they have no mass. Since there's no mass involved, there can't be kinetic energy transfer, and thus nothing gets destroyed.

Also, you're vastly underestimating the size of the projectile used in the ME verse. Even with relativistic speeds, a nanogram projectile moving at 10% of C would have less kinetic energy than a standard 28g modern-day shotgun slug. They would need pieces at least as large as a milligram to do decent damage, at relativistic speeds no less.

All I have to say is, what did you expect from a man who wrote Halo: The Flood and somehow messed that up? I mean come on all he had to do was watch someone play the game, Halo: Combat Evolved wasn't that long, and he couldn't even get that right?

I do feel sorry for the fans that read his books, I honestly think he does it to games because he doesn't care about them, how else would he be chosen to write for them in the first place if he was not a competent writer anyways?

DVS BSTrD:

image
"Ah yes 'fact checking'. The act of checking factual assertions in a text intended for publication to determine the veracity and correctness of statements made there in. The job requires general knowledge and the ability to conduct quick and accurate research. We have discontinued this practice"

This.

This is beautiful.

You have singled out the novel's greatest problem, it's inconsistency with the setting, and striked at it with the power of Exterminatus in the form of an inside joke from the very franchise the Author has failed to capture accurately. The fact that it was done with more detail than the average post just settles it.

This is my favourite comment ever.

You, good sir, have reminded me about what makes the Internet so great.

image

What makes things very sad is that for the preview of this PoS, a third to maybe half of the 90 errors in the whole book are present. And I thought that Retribution was bad.

How this managed to get approved by BioWare, is beyond me. I am just so glad that when I went to B&N earlier, that they didn't have any copies.

Also, can someone tell me the three characters that get killed off casually (not the one that already died in the second book please)?

Daverson:
Erm, point 4, I don't think you can make assumptions of the "science" behind ME, considering their magical crystal are "Element Zero".

For those of us who apparently don't know what science is, elements in the periodic table are numbered by the number of protons they've got in their nucleus. So, Element 1 (Hydrogen) has a single proton in the nucleus, while element 13 (aluminium) has 13. Element 0 isn't something that's physically impossible, it's literally nothing! You can't have nothing as your magical crystals!

And it's not like it's just called "Element Zero", but it's something else entirely, they go out of their way to say that's exactly what it is! I'm pretty sure this is the first thing you learn in chemistry classes these days!

There are various exotic forms of matter outside the domain of chemistry and the periodic table. For example, neutron stars are made out of neutronium, a material that has no protons or electrons and is a ~100 billion times more dense than any matter on the periodic table. In fact, the chemist who first hypothesized the existence of neutronium placed it on his periodic table as "element zero", although of course that didn't catch on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutronium

Another possibility is the "dark matter" that is studied in astronomy and cosmology. Dark matter is not made of protons, in fact one of the things that made us look for dark matter is that someone realized that the visible universe has only ~10^80 protons and that this is not enough to account for the accelerating expansion of the universe - two other independent things that led us to dark matter were the rotation speeds of galaxies and an effect called gravitational lensing, but the "not enough protons" problem was definitely part of it.

As a more general framework for exotic matter, recall that protons and neutrons are made of quarks. There are six quarks (up, down, charmed, strange, top, bottom) but protons and neutrons only involve up/down and their respective antiparticles. Charmed, strange, top, and bottom are generated in particle accelerators. For example, omega baryons are like heavier cousins of protons, made out of strange and charmed quarks instead of up and down quarks.

Sorry for going on so long. The point is that the periodic table does not describe everything, not even close. It's estimated that 90% of the total mass in the universe is dark matter, not found on the periodic table.

i'd still rather read a book by dietz than karen travis

*Smirk* I wonder if his excuse will be "I wasn't allowed to use Wikipedia in college, why start now?"

Wow, that's pretty harsh! I've never played the mass effect games (probably release a trilogy edition or something) but even this is pretty childish.

Ah; Aside from not knowing about the fourth book, I thought it would have been done by Karpyshyn and I was curious to see if he was just failing across the board (since apparently Revan wasn't very good either). Anyway, there was another huge technology-based error in Mass Effect 2 when they introduced a combat system which restricts the ammo for all of your guns even though small-arms are described as almost never needing to be reloaded.

I read about this on the ME wiki and they are pissed about it.

And as a fan of the series, I have to agree with them. If you're writing something official that goes into an established canon, you'd better make damn sure to check your facts.

When you can look up basic information of the universe in-game and still get most of it wrong in the final print, you know you've fucked up bad.

I'm not much of an ME fan, but the least you could is get your facts straight before you start writing.

Shoggoth2588:
Ah; Aside from not knowing about the fourth book, I thought it would have been done by Karpyshyn and I was curious to see if he was just failing across the board (since apparently Revan wasn't very good either). Anyway, there was another huge technology-based error in Mass Effect 2 when they introduced a combat system which restricts the ammo for all of your guns even though small-arms are described as almost never needing to be reloaded.

To be fair, they didn't introduce an ammo capacity, they simply added a disposable cooling system. As opposed to cooling over time as in Mass Effect 1, the guns now function on "thermal sticks" which absorb the heat generated (they can absorb the heat of a set amount of rounds fired) and then need to be replaced.

Drago-Morph:

Shoggoth2588:
Ah; Aside from not knowing about the fourth book, I thought it would have been done by Karpyshyn and I was curious to see if he was just failing across the board (since apparently Revan wasn't very good either). Anyway, there was another huge technology-based error in Mass Effect 2 when they introduced a combat system which restricts the ammo for all of your guns even though small-arms are described as almost never needing to be reloaded.

To be fair, they didn't introduce an ammo capacity, they simply added a disposable cooling system. As opposed to cooling over time as in Mass Effect 1, the guns now function on "thermal sticks" which absorb the heat generated (they can absorb the heat of a set amount of rounds fired) and then need to be replaced.

Right: I should re-word my post but I know what you mean. While the heat-sink...bars or, sticks don't limit the ammo of each standard gun, it does limit the number of times it can be shot in a way the old system didn't really enforce. It's more a gameplay thing because being out of heat-sinks is more or less the same as being out of ammo since you can't shoot without the things.

I've only read the comics but mostly because they (are drawn and colored well see: Dark Horse and) are written by the lead writer (of Mass Effect 2, I believe). Leave to the lead writer of the game to not fuck up the basic know how of the series. As somebody else mentioned when dealing a series (or books based on a series) you're dealing with fans and as finicky as fans may be you should always get your facts straight or have as minimal errors as possible. I've only played the games and read the comics but I wouldn't have made nearly as many as the mistakes as this guy made even without any additional research. Many of the mistakes are just laughable. Forget non-canon this is like non-relateable and probably non-Mass Effect in any sense beyond the name.

WMDogma:
**snip**

I enjoyed the first three novels in the series - enough that after reading one I bought the other two. They had some errors, but mostly minor things (there are a lot of writers working on the ME universe, and there are inconsistency errors in the GAMES - so this wasn't that surprising).

This just sounds... sad. Particularly since I rather liked the character this novel was to star in the previous books, and was looking forward to seeing her further developed.

Maybe I'll see if they get a copy at the Library first? Or possibly take an hour and read the first couple of chapters in Barnes and Noble before I decide if I want to pick it up. **sigh**

Edit: **Reading Document**

Oh, by the goddess - it isn't just wrong about stuff from the games and universe and stuff, it's wrong about the events of the previous novel that THIS NOVEL IS A DIRECT SEQUEL TO.

This is like if J.K. Rowlings asked someone to write book 5 of Harry Potter and they didn't bother to read what happened in book 4. And a certain character who dies in book 4 turned up unharmed in book 5 without anyone thinking this was odd. And if several characters grew three years between books (rather than one year, since only a year passes between Harry Potter books), changed personalities, sexual preferences, etc. This is just... so awful.

I don't think I even want to read this at the library or B&N now. Seriously, read the list - the awfulness just isn't conveyed properly by the OP.

imnotparanoid:
These people have waaaaaay to much time on their hands.
And thats coming from someone who spent the last 4 hours making orogami seals.

Origami Seals? Sounds neat.
Pics?

EA gave some money to some asshole to write a tie in book so they could make more money, EA fucks up/kills almost everything they touch. The fact that I really, really didn't enjoy Dragon Age II has made me very skeptical about Mass Effect 3. The demo will hopefully convince me that they aren't desperately clawing at the ADD riddled audience of the Call of Duty games.

I've only played mass effect one, and I knew most of the lore and tech errors. Though I'm the kind of person that reads all the tid-bits the game leaves around. I learned greek mythos from age of mythology by reading the context guide

Anyways Haven't read any of the novels went through the doc and the writter should have a least played the first game or previous books. From the way the fans are pointing out errors I bet the guy got his facts form reading half a wiki article.

Jesus christ, it's disappointing enough that fans had to put in all that work to detail all the inconsistencies and general shite-on-the-lore-iness of such literary travesties.

If a game developer wants their universe to be respected as a legitimately well-fleshed-out, living, breathing creation, they should have their own department to police this kind of stuff.

I think in book language, that's called an editor.

The first three Mass Effrct novels were not particularly good, but i was still able to enjoy them because they were competent and coherent.

The only other Dietz novel i have read (Halo: The Flood) was pretty "meh" but still readable.

Deception is, without a doubt, the worst novel i have ever read. It fails not only as a tie-in but also as a novel. Even ignoring the errors, the writing is so clunky, expository and just fucking bad.

All of the retarded inconsitencies and errors combined with the shitty amatuerish writing is mind bogglingly bad. I could acccept one or the other, but both?

Fucking terrible. Killing off a main character, who has been in the series since she was 12 by having her stabbed with a toothbrush by a cereal thief?

What the fuck?

This is just terrible.
If the book really is like this then there is no reason for it. Why did nobody check up on the crap this fellow was making?

Not to imply that this man deserves anything but scorn for his failure. I recall not being overly impressed by The Flood, but it wasn't terrible. How does somebody make such mistakes?

isometry:

Daverson:
Erm, point 4, I don't think you can make assumptions of the "science" behind ME, considering their magical crystal are "Element Zero".

For those of us who apparently don't know what science is, elements in the periodic table are numbered by the number of protons they've got in their nucleus. So, Element 1 (Hydrogen) has a single proton in the nucleus, while element 13 (aluminium) has 13. Element 0 isn't something that's physically impossible, it's literally nothing! You can't have nothing as your magical crystals!

And it's not like it's just called "Element Zero", but it's something else entirely, they go out of their way to say that's exactly what it is! I'm pretty sure this is the first thing you learn in chemistry classes these days!

There are various exotic forms of matter outside the domain of chemistry and the periodic table. For example, neutron stars are made out of neutronium, a material that has no protons or electrons and is a ~100 billion times more dense than any matter on the periodic table. In fact, the chemist who first hypothesized the existence of neutronium placed it on his periodic table as "element zero", although of course that didn't catch on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutronium

Another possibility is the "dark matter" that is studied in astronomy and cosmology. Dark matter is not made of protons, in fact one of the things that made us look for dark matter is that someone realized that the visible universe has only ~10^80 protons and that this is not enough to account for the accelerating expansion of the universe - two other independent things that led us to dark matter were the rotation speeds of galaxies and an effect called gravitational lensing, but the "not enough protons" problem was definitely part of it.

As a more general framework for exotic matter, recall that protons and neutrons are made of quarks. There are six quarks (up, down, charmed, strange, top, bottom) but protons and neutrons only involve up/down and their respective antiparticles. Charmed, strange, top, and bottom are generated in particle accelerators. For example, omega baryons are like heavier cousins of protons, made out of strange and charmed quarks instead of up and down quarks.

Sorry for going on so long. The point is that the periodic table does not describe everything, not even close. It's estimated that 90% of the total mass in the universe is dark matter, not found on the periodic table.

Neutron Stars are neutron degenerate matter, which isn't the same thing as neutronium (neutronium actually isn't even a thing, it was theorized back before we understood the nature of these particles, but for various reasons neutrons don't clump together in a nucleus by themselves). As for dark matter, yes, that's a good idea. They should have gone with that instead. (Isn't dark matter the magic rocks in Futurama? You know you've done goofed with the satire is more scientifically accurate than you are...)

Yes, the periodic table doesn't describe everything, but it does describe everything on the periodic table, so when you go out of your way to state your magic rocks as element zero on the periodic table, you're just setting yourself up to fail.

Agayek:
To be fair, since we've already ventured into the realm of pseudo-science, it's not unreasonable to state that Eezo is simply a proton-less atom. More colloquially, the atomic core is nothing but neutrons. We never actually are told what the atomic weight of Element Zero is, so we can't definitively state that it's nothing.

See the above.

The_Darkness:
Okay, can't quite believe I'm getting into this, but that isn't exactly right. The atomic number refers to an element's number of protons, not the total mass of the nucleus. So Element Zero would just be an atom with no protons (cf neutron stars). It still doesn't make perfect sense, but it's better than, well, nothing :)

And you too.

Agayek:
Kinda sorta. You've got the basic principle right, but you are vastly underestimating the energies involved. The only reason photons don't destroy the Earth is because they have no mass. Since there's no mass involved, there can't be kinetic energy transfer, and thus nothing gets destroyed.

Also, you're vastly underestimating the size of the projectile used in the ME verse. Even with relativistic speeds, a nanogram projectile moving at 10% of C would have less kinetic energy than a standard 28g modern-day shotgun slug. They would need pieces at least as large as a milligram to do decent damage, at relativistic speeds no less.

Yeah, I covered that back in post 26. You'd need a segment with the mass of a few hundred micrograms travelling close to the speed of light.

Photons have a very small mass, which we can't really measure, but it's theorized to at most 10^-60 kg. (about 30 orders of magnitude less than an electron or neutrino, which in any mathematical model is statistically nothing.)

WMDogma:

10. Batarian pirates slave-raid on the turian homeworld of Palaven - while not impossible, this is incredibly unlikely due to the militaristic nature of turian society, one consequence of which is possession of one of the largest military fleets in the galaxy. And even if there had been a raid on Palaven, the turians would have likely responded with overwhelming military force. [Error: Lore]

It's actually mentioned that most of the Turian fleet was destroyed in the Battle of the Citadel by the Geth... soooo... this actually isn't wrong.

the other two seem like nitpicking to me. I might read the rest when I get back to work... just wanted to say that, thus far, I don't have much faith that the fans themselves know much about the Lore.

The relativistic speeds thing is interesting, but I'd have to read the section of the book in context (was the author using it as an exaggerating description of the power of the device, or did he actually make the reference?). From my understanding, it's also possible for anything with a mass effect generator (Which is how bullets are shot) to have potentially unlimited force - guns and the like are actually capped because of the laws of thermodynamics, which would cause a equal amount of force to be shot backwards as forwards (meaning the dude holding the gun would be blown to smitherings!).

Either way... nit picking.

Don't get mad at Bioware people. While they have ceirtanly made numerous faults as of late, this one is hardly one of theirs. Bioware is only responsible for developing the games, they are not responsible for hiring novel writers (as far as I know) and in the end EA owns the Mass Effect franchise and have the final say in who should write what and what should be published.

Nitpicking is nitpicking. A large number of complaints about Mass Effect 2 boil down to the same issue. 'Why is the lore inconsistent.'

I haven't read the book but if the overall story is good I have no problem with him accidentally misusing the term "relativistic speeds."

Good god and I thought I was a nerd...

I guess no one checks it. I read the list and there are some really obvious mistakes although others are a bit nit picky. especially when dealing with a sci-fi novel. Thing is, even the creators are not the best people to check the book before being published, only a die hard fan is qualified....same as with Star Trek and Star Wars. Need nerds to proof read it and ensure its correct.

these guys are idiots i reckon i dont really care if there's plot holes in ME i guess some people want to share there frustration with the world. I haven't read any ME novels so i feel sorry for the author who wrote this he/she tried there best to do it but the fans are bitching seems like it to me, i love Mass Effect i really do even though im mocking the fans but to be honest there just whining to me

That's sad. I was rather looking forward to this one.

Wow. I haven't played any of the mass effect games, but this just sounds like it screws it up so bad.

The_Darkness:

Daverson:
Element 0 isn't something that's physically impossible, it's literally nothing! You can't have nothing as your magical crystals!

Okay, can't quite believe I'm getting into this, but that isn't exactly right. The atomic number refers to an element's number of protons, not the total mass of the nucleus. So Element Zero would just be an atom with no protons (cf neutron stars). It still doesn't make perfect sense, but it's better than, well, nothing :)

On topic... GOOD GRIEF. I spend an indecent amount of time keeping track of Mass Effect canon in my head (particularly how things would be changed by what happened in my playthrough), and I'm also an amateur author. Something like this just hurts...

so it would be a just a neutron...

that's disappointing. let's interpret 'element zero' metaphorically and say they called it that because it's the foundation of galactic society.

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