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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. Sheโ€™s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Eric Gimlin
    August 15, 2012 @ 12:26 am

    How important was it that Terrance Dicks was one of the earliest writers to do a book in the series? Not just in terms of how good the book was, but at establishing the legitimacy of the series? He was clearly the major name on the books and had been for a very long time at this point. Even I knew that around the time this came out,and I had no interest in the books (or even Doctor Who in general) at this point.

    On another point: Congratulation on reaching this stage of the blog. You've been talking about it for a long time, but here it begins. Looking forward to this stage of the journey immensely, I just hope I can keep ahead of the reading. (I've got a five week lead at this point, so I'm good for a while at least.)


  2. Bob Dillon
    August 15, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    I always took the Hitler/timewyrm thing the other way round. She was trapped in this horrible mind, and when the Doctor exorcized her, Hitler became disorientated – rather than "reverting back".

    maybe wishful thinking on my part but (I read this first when I was 14) I really only saw the Timewyrm's influence on the events at the castle as her fault, everything else was ours.

    Oh and you didn't dwell on the first scene in Genesys, it's important for the best checkov's gun in the entire show, comming in at 14 years later.


  3. verlaine
    August 15, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    Without ever being willing to excuse sexual assault; isn't it a bit weird to feel squicked out by the Doctor accepting the status quo of a culture where the age of consent is lower than our own, if we accept his powerlessness in the face of Aztec human sacrifice? (Of course, in the Aztecs, we have Barbara to provide some countervailing moral outrage, but it's not like Ace stands acceptingly by in Genesys).

    Sure, John Peel lingering lasciviously over a 13 year old because he can is pretty sleazy, pretty Roman Polanski, but I don't think the Doctor refusing to fight for the objective righteousness and purity of no-sex-till-16-please-we're-British is a contradiction of the series' ideals.


  4. Andrew Hickey
    August 15, 2012 @ 2:03 am

    If the 'perfect sacrifice' in The Aztecs had been unwilling, do you think the Doctor would have stood by the same way?

    For that matter, in The Aztecs, Susan's unwillingness to get married is portrayed as a positive thing.

    It's not the Doctor standing by and letting other cultures have different sexual morals that's the problem — it's his chastising of Ace for not wanting to be raped.


  5. Jack Graham
    August 15, 2012 @ 2:05 am

    I seem to recall reading the DWM review of 'Timewyrm: Exodus' and being horrified by the reviewer saying something like "if there was ever such a thing as a nice Nazi, it was Hermann Goering". Yeah, I mean we only have his signature on memos talking about thrashing out the details of the Final Solution. I can't remember the actual book well enough to say if the reviewer (whoever it was) was picking up on a ghastly mistake made by Terrance Dicks or just making a ghastly mistake of his own.


  6. daibhid-c
    August 15, 2012 @ 3:25 am

    Pretty sure it was a ghastly mistake of the reviewer, but an understandable one in the context of the book. IIRC, Terrence does portray Goering as the most reasonable and friendly of the high command, but equally, as the guy who's doing this anyway; not a carictacure of a monster, but still a monster.


  7. jane
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:00 am

    Terrance does portray Goering as the most reasonable and friendly of the high command

    On the one hand, Goering's portrayal comes closest to addressing Phil's admonition, because portraying Goering's personal demeanor, even charisma, makes him human and makes his atrocities human horrors rather than space-alien horrors. On the other, Dicks doesn't really go out of his way to show the more monstrous side of this man — reading Exodus, I never got a sense of the utter contempt Goering in which he held other human beings.


  8. jane
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    maybe wishful thinking on my part but (I read this first when I was 14) I really only saw the Timewyrm's influence on the events at the castle as her fault, everything else was ours.

    This interpretation could work, except for War Chief, who teaches Hitler's high command the arts of propaganda and psychological manipulation.

    So, not only are the Nazis empowered by aliens rather than people, they're the responsibility of a renegade Time Lord. It's almost like indicting the TV show for the horrors of humanity. Almost.


  9. Andrew Hickey
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:10 am

    Which is probably actually a point in Dicks' favour — Goering was, by all accounts, the most charming and likeable of the Nazi high command, and managed to get a great deal of respect even from the guards in the prison at Nuremberg. He simply didn't seem like a monster to people, even though he clearly was.


  10. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    Indeed – the Doctor outright says that Nazi propaganda "doesn't really belong in this century" before revealing that the War Chief is behind Hitler's rise. That's the part I find so insidious.


  11. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:22 am

    Except he's not standing in the way of Ace's purity. She's saying that if Gilgamesh touches her, she'll fight back. He says she shouldn't do that.

    The analogy isn't, as Andrew suggests, whether the Doctor would have stood by if the perfect sacrifice had been unwilling. It's whether he would have stood by if it had been Ian up for sacrifice.


  12. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:28 am

    I think Goering is one of the best done parts of the book, precisely because he's still unambiguously a terrible person and a Nazi, but it's so easy to get seduced by him momentarily and enjoy his team-up with the Doctor. And I think Dicks is doing something very clever there, because this is what he describes Hitler as being like, even to Ace. But the reader is going to be too able to resist ever liking a character named Hitler, so instead that reaction gets moved over to Goering.

    As I said, much of what Dicks is doing in Exodus is fantastic, simply because he really does believe he's doing something intensely morally and conceptually challenging by dealing with Nazis. And while he's not, at least by 1990s sci-fi standards, which are what the New Adventures typically demand to be read by (for better or for worse), there's still a wonderful power to a book written in the sincere conviction that Nazis are the absolute worst and most horrifying thing that anyone can write about. Simply because he's right, just not in the sense that people mean when they say "for grown-ups."


  13. William Whyte
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:30 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  14. William Whyte
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    What happens in the first scene?


  15. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    The Timewyrm, or, rather, the alien that eventually becomes the Timewyrm, crashes to Earth. I admit, I'm not sure, reading it, what the gun Bob is referring to is.


  16. tantalus1970
    August 15, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    It does portray Goering as a slightly more likeable person than the others, but I think that's mostly because the plot needs the Doctor to have a 'go-to' guy in the Nazi High Command.


  17. tantalus1970
    August 15, 2012 @ 6:02 am

    The 'Hitler possessed by an alien' plot is a real weakness in Exodus, although to be fair it is at least executed fairly well. And Dicks isn't the only one to have had that idea. How many times did fans on message boards suggest a story where Hitler would turn out to be the Master?

    I think Dicks' approach was that the reader shouldn't need to have it explained that the Nazis were bad; they should already know.

    I love that the Doctor's criticisms of the interrogation techniques are purely technical, rather than moral. Because the reader (who would be presumed to be a DW fan) already knows that the Doctor is morally outraged inside. In that sense, he is a generic Doctor, rather than the 7th specifically. But if you're going to do generic Doctor, Terrance is your man.


  18. Aaron
    August 15, 2012 @ 6:23 am

    He's talking about the Ace losing her memory scene, which some people use to slot the Big Finish audios in before the New Adventures. Which I think trivialises both ranges, but, y'know, that's just me.


  19. Bob Dillon
    August 15, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    I was talking about that scene, but in relation to the Gallifrey Chronicles


  20. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 6:29 am

    Ah. In that case the answer is "I've never actually read the Gallifrey Chronicles."


  21. Gnaeus
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    "Which brings us to Timewyrm: Genesys, a book whose sole claim to being for adults amounts to the fact that Gilgamesh sexually assaults everything in sight and everybody focuses on breasts a whole lot. "

    Err, no. It is worth noting that the one person Gilgamesh is not having it off with (or trying to) is Enkidu, and this despite the very obvious undertone (overtone?) of the epic. So it's being outré, but the sort of outré that isn't actually going to outrage anyone. How English.

    "Ooh. Aren’t we edgy, talking about thirteen-year-old girls getting their breasts fondled by grown men because that’s how ancient Sumerian culture was and we’re being honest and oh gag me already while I take a bloody shower to wash the sheer ugliness of this sort of schoolboy version of “adult” off."

    I thought I was the only person to actually have read the book and had this reaction.

    But, laying aside the casual rape references, and the moronic "adult" element, we have a book written in a stultifying prose style, with a plot that would have made it on TV (circa 1974), but frankly has no business being in a book written fifteen years later. Its stultifying approach to the past ("People in the Bronze age were stupid, and their religious beliefs an be reduced to this A-B-C paradigm" seems to be the underlying thought process for much of it) and absurd need to literalise myth (Enkidu as a neanderthal, anyone?) is matched only by its enormous ignorance of subject (Swords in 2700 BC? Twenty-foot high stone walls thick enough for four men to walk abreast along the top? Ziggurats swarming with people?), its over-reliance on fanwank (see the final scenes in the TARDIS), the plasterboard-and-hope characterisation (Ishtar is bad enough, but the Brian Blessed knockoff Gilgamesh is possibly even worse) and Peel's terrible, terrible prose style.

    "Because it shows what writing Doctor Who about serious topics can look like."
    Preaching, pompous, two-dimensional and smug?

    Look, I get that Exodus is a step up from Genesys, but that' about all you can say for it. It's still not good. It's… fine. On the level of a Target novelisation, in fact. I'm not unsympathetic to calling it good – after bludgeoning my eyes with Peel's effluence, it felt like a godsend to me, too. But still.

    (I may be a bit bitter generally, as I made several bad reading choices around the same time – including buying "The End of Mr. Y".)


  22. Ununnilium
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    So you're going to use quotes from the Big Finish audios for the New Adventures books? Innnnnnnnnnteresting.


  23. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    Not quite – the quote is from The Ice Warriors. The difference from normal practice is that it's not a quote from the Doctor.


  24. jane
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    Yes, let's have a go at Peel's "prose" — feel like I'm sullying the concept of "prose" simply by juxtaposing the word with this dreck. And it's not just Peel, much of the awfulness of the writing I lay at the feet of the editor. The word "grimly" gets special abuse, but such an observation is easy to miss amidst the inundation of adverbs.

    At least Dicks' style is clean, but it lacks any kind of literary aspiration I can discern. Even when the TV show was produced under the meanest of budgets, I always had a sense they understood the language of television as having value in of itself, that there could be some artistry in telling a story. Looking ahead, Exodus may be a better story than Apocalypse, but at least Robinson shows signs of caring about writing in of itself.


  25. Ununnilium
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    Ahhhh, okay. Very good then.


  26. Jesse
    August 15, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Just wanted to express my admiration for this sentence: "A failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev takes place in the USSR, many of the Soviet republics declare independence, and the Super Nintendo is released."


  27. AndyRobot800
    August 15, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I gotta say – I was a little worried that – because the NA's had a lower readership, this is where people would lose interest. But 27 comments in the first day? Not too shabby.

    Anyway – Genesys… is terrible. It's full of ickiness. Horrible way to start the line – and I wonder how many people picked it up and thought "well, these books are going to be terrible," and then never read anything else. My Dad did that. But it ain't boring, which you can't say about some of the NAs to come.

    I still love Exodus, although I have to admit I never thought about Dicks' treatment of the Nazis in that way. Doesn't quite ruin it for me, especially not when there's a horrendously deformed War Chief with a weird spider body creeping around throughout the book.

    Then again… his name is Kriegslieter. Which is German for… oh dear. So, did the TARDIS translation psychic… thingy… just not change his name or something? Because if everyone else is speaking German…

    Oh, never mind. CREEPY SPIDER BODY!!!!


  28. Matthew Celestis
    August 15, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    I read Timewyrm Exodus when I was eleven. I don't think I had ever enjoyed reading a book as much as Timewyrm Exodus before, even though I had read countless Target Novelisations. Not only did I read TW Exodus again and again, but it inspired me to read lots of history books too.

    I love Terrance Dicks.


  29. Aaron
    August 15, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Your reading of this makes that abhorrent, yes. I've always read it as Ace judging through the whole book, and the Doctor finally stopping her and saying "look, we can't always judge other cultures like this" in the general. I can't imagine Peel meant it such that the Doctor was telling Ace she needed to be okay with being sexually assaulted. Instead, I think he's (maybe misjudgidly) trying to tell Ace to try and understand Gilgamesh not as a pervert, but of his time.


  30. Matthew Blanchette
    August 15, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    Another world event happened in 1991: I was born. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Great post, Phil, though I'm surprised you didn't, with Peel, touch upon the ruinous "War of the Daleks" controversy…

    Also… this fellow, a few years back, made a rather interesting argument concerning Dicks's War Chief; might be interesting for you to read it: ๐Ÿ˜‰


  31. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 15, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    War of the Daleks' time will come.

    God help me.


  32. BerserkRL
    August 15, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    "Release the Super Nintendo!" — Liam Neeson


  33. Ununnilium
    August 15, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    You whippersnappers! Get off my lawn, etc.


  34. jane
    August 15, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Anyway – Genesys… is terrible. It's full of ickiness. Horrible way to start the line

    And, yet there's something redeeming about it, I thought. Yes, the execution is terrible, much of the content is questionable, and insofar as it tries to depict "history" it mangles it up (not to mention Ace's history — she never went to Paradise Towers) but there's something rather apropos about beginning the line by dropping into one of the oldest myths preserved as literature.

    Nor is it completely without literary merit. On the face of it, Peel's propensity to jump willy-nilly between POVs seems amateurish, yet given the nature of the Timewyrm's ability to invade multiple consciousnesses, I can support such a decision. And sure, we get clunky contemporary phrasing like suggesting someone's grateful for a "steady job" but we also get occasional glimmers of thoughtfulness, like, "the goddess condescended to visit us."

    Oh but I wish he had an active editor! Someone who could appreciate naming a character Ninani, alluding to Inanna, but who would also point out the character bears little resemblance to her mythic counterpart, someone who could point out that giving a physical description of a character by having her look in a mirror is terribly cliche, not to mention doing it twice, someone who'd realize you couldn't see the top of a twenty-foot wall to discern its width, let alone what its occupants are doing, without having the vantage point of superior elevation.


  35. peeeeeeet
    August 15, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    I could be wrong, but I think that was from an interview with Dicks that was incorporated into the review, rather than the review itself – so it was Dicks himself who was saying Goering was at the nice end of the Nazi scale. If it wasn't, the reviewer was the esteemed (or should that be erstwhile ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Gary Russell. I might see if I can dig it out and check.

    [Meanwhile, these recaptchas are getting ridiculous. One looked like a photograph of a bit of door furniture and it said "type the word". Dr Judson would have a fit]


  36. encyclops
    August 15, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    The first New Adventure I read was Love and War, probably because I'd read online that it was good. (…it wasn't bad. But we'll talk about that eventually.)

    I have a good suspicion that part of the reason I didn't start in on these earlier, and never got around to reading any of the Timewyrm books, was that they had the word "Timewyrm" in the titles. It struck me as absurdly pretentious for the title of a Doctor Who story, particularly when followed wyth a wyrd lyke "Genysys." Ugggghhh.

    On the basis of subject matter alone, my gut feeling is the opposite: a book about a Sumerian goddess impersonator full of sex and loincloths sounds infinitely more appealing to me than a book about Nazis, even a good one. I mean, apart from the obvious sex > death issue…I'm sure we'll talk more about this when we get to "Jubilee" (and "Let's Kill Hitler," for that matter) but I'm really beginning to feel that it may be very difficult now even to do good fiction about Nazis, that familiarity has bred desensitivity whether they're alien-inspired villains or loathsome depraved sadistic humans.

    But of course these books aren't subject matter alone, and yes, I have to agree that the hierarchy of awesome things does look more like this:

    Sexy time in the ancient world

    Having Gilgamesh put his hand down your shirt (if you're me)

    Having Gilgamesh put his hand down your shirt (if you're Ace)

    Being told to forgive Gilgamesh for putting his hand down your shirt


    Space Nazis

    I guess sexy time in the ancient world might not REALLY be so awesome, what with diseases and limited access to showers and so on. So maybe consider those relative endpoints, or read this as referring to the world of fiction rather than reality.

    But yeah, speaking of fiction, the writing does indeed sound atrocious and maybe okay, respectively. I'm really going to enjoy reading about these books without actually having to read them, I think.


  37. Anton B
    August 16, 2012 @ 1:04 am

    Yes, I can't thank you enough Phil for relieving me of the ghastly (from the, admittedly limited, evidence so far) task of having to read these books. I think the important question this all raises, and one I hope you'll address is – How far from 'Doctor Who' does a thing (Book, audio, Fanwank slashfic, lunch-box) have to be before it ceases to be 'Doctor Who'? The answer of course may only be subjective. For me the list of 'Not Whos' must include a few of the TV episodes while my list of 'Is Whos' includes a few personal creations which no-one outside my circle of friends will have heard of. This isn't the old 'Canon' debate but something else. Attempting to define what a thing is not can only place what it may actually be into focus. The shift into the 'written word' level which you, and the show at this point, have made provides a servicable vehicle to attempt some cartgraphy of its meta-fictional landscape, otherwise I fear we may get bogged down in the 'so and so was a terrible writer' and 'this writer can't do dialogue' arguments.


  38. peeeeeeet
    August 16, 2012 @ 1:37 am

    Yeah, it was Dicks, and the quote is a bit more reasonable in context:

    "Goering was as evil as the rest – I think a good Nazi is a contradiction in terms, but Goering was about as near as you could get."

    It is telling elsewhere in the interview that he compares the Nazis to Al Capone or the Krays – he essentially sees them as crooks and gangsters who just happened to be in power.

    Here's a scan of the relevant page, loves


  39. peeeeeeet
    August 16, 2012 @ 1:43 am

    (Ooops, that link falls foul of the hotlink protection. You'll have to refresh the page after clicking it to get the image)


  40. AndyRobot800
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:44 am

    I'll grant you the "dropping into one of the oldest myths in literature" thing. And the "Paradise Towers" thing turned out to be one long shaggy dog story (if you ever read the 8th Doctor book, The Gallifrey Chronicles, published 15 years later, you'll know that. Clever Lance Parkin.)

    A big part of the charm of the NAs was "hey, we're a bunch of crazy kids and we'll publish ANYTHING!" Problem is, that leads to the "inactive editor" thing, too…


  41. AndyRobot800
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:52 am

    It's not the fact that there's lots of sexy-time, it's the fact that it's really badly done, kind of shoe-horned in… and yeah, there's that unfortunate moment where Ace is like "hey, I sure hope Gilgamesh doesn't sexually assault me" and the Doctor's like 'oh, don't be so judgmental."

    I'm totally down with sexy-time in Doctor Who fiction. In later books, I've cheered on companions for getting it on. It's just that it was handled so badly here that it immediately triggered a wave of complaints by sexually repressed fanboys going "oh dear, no sex in Doctor Who please! we want more stories where the daleks fight the ice warriors and the meddling monk turns out to be the Doctor's father. And NO DIRTY SEX!"

    Luckily, this attitude only manifested itself on the letters page of Doctor Who Magazine, and (rarely) in the books themselves… but still, it cast a pall over the stories.


  42. Jack Graham
    August 16, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    That's not how I remember the paragraph at all. The memory cheats, I guess. It's still a stupid thing to say, even with the qualifiers. Goering was directly involved in initiating the holocaust, unlike lots of members of the Nazi party. So he's nowhere near as near to being a "good Nazi" as you can get.


  43. Tommy
    August 16, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    In terms of doing a more adult version of Doctor Who, I think the mid 80's to early 90's Audio Visuals well predate what the New Adventures were doing.

    As for Ace being chastised for wanting to resist her would-be rapist, it may be more vile than anything in the TV series, but unfortunately it's not unprecedented. Not when Warriors of the Deep has the Doctor chastising humans for planning to defend themselves against invading creatures who will murder them otherwise. I have a horrible feeling a story like that made John Peel feel like he'd got the voice of the Doctor.


  44. encyclops
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    AndyRobot800, I totally got all of what you mention in the first paragraph — it's even on my diagram of awesome/not so awesome.

    I didn't know about the fanboy reaction, though. Sigh.


  45. encyclops
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    I think we've already learned that everything is Doctor Who, including lunchboxes. It's all part of the groovy no-rules-man anything-goes spirit of this "text." ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But seriously, I do empathize with the resistance to debating canon, if for no other reason than that you have to include the TV Movie no matter how you slice it, and if there's one thing I want desperately to ignore, it's that.

    Is the angle you're taking on this the question of how badly can you write Doctor Who before it becomes not only terrible writing but a story about different characters in a different universe who just happen to have the same names?


  46. Jesse
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    If there's one thing I'm sure of, it is that bad writing does not disqualify a text from being Doctor Who.


  47. Anton B
    August 17, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Yes and no. As Jesse suggests, if bad writing were the arbiter we'd have to disqualify a great deal of the classic era. I'm pretty sure there isn't an answer but am suggesting that as, of course, we Eriditorites know that 'everything is Doctor Who' (except Noddy) but that shouldn't preclude us attempting to map the boundaries (while keeping in mind that 'the map is not the territory').


  48. DocBenway
    July 16, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

    I understand that some folks have criticized the novel because they feel that having the War Lords seeking to manipulate the Nazis undercuts the very real, very savage, and very human [not alien] nature of fascism. Here is my take on the situation: I see the points these folks are trying to say but in the end I don't think any of the aliens in the novel are responsible for Nazism. They are just tagging along, mostly. First of all, yes, the Timewyrme is in Hitler's brain, but she doesn't seem to have accomplished anything other than making Hitler freak out from time to time like Orson Wells rampaging around the room at the end of Citizen Kane. She has had no strategic impact and her presence in Hitler's brain seems to be a total wash. She is powerless and impotent. Second of all, yes, the War Lords are working with the Nazis, but all they really seem to have accomplished is to juice up Hitler's speeches with a bit of techno-gadgetry. And that doesn't seem to have had a profound effect either. Ace cries when she hears Hitler's speech, but she isn't converted or brainwashed, so, in the end, I think the effect of the War Lords' intervention was just to increase the psychological effect of the speeches slightly on those who were already susceptible to them, etc. The War Lords have a presence as a sub-cabal within the SS but they are mostly along for the ride, are not responsible for producing Nazism, and are just waiting until they can change history and by helping the Nazis win WWII, afterward they would use the soldiers and infrastructure to begin a campaign of universe domination.

    So, in the end, I think the criticisms that the Timewyrm and the War Lords truly "responsible" for Nazism within the novel are overstated and exaggerated.


  49. David Gerard
    December 7, 2013 @ 12:00 am

    "Continuing with 1990, it’s another World Cup, and the West Germans win everything"

    Except official theme song. England definitely won on that.


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  51. Rei Maruwa
    December 16, 2023 @ 4:47 am

    I’m a decade late here, but I wanted to point out that portraying Gilgamesh’s actions as a difference in culture is completely bizarre in the first place, given that Gilgamesh is, for all intents and purposes, a fictional character. Sure, there might have been a real Gilgamesh, but obviously any writing about him (including, it seems, this book) is based on the Epic of, which is a fantastical mythological story – and crucially, a story in which Gilgamesh assaulting any woman he wants (among other tyrannies) is the impetus for the entire plot. In other words, Gilgamesh’s treatment of his female subjects is something his story and character arc is explicitly against! Timewyrm’s treatment of this subject matter seems completely confused to me, especially since it clearly would have gotten these ideas about Gilg’s behavior from the text in the first place.


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