7. Dark Orbit - Unexplored themes
The book suggested a couple of themes that it might have explored, but didn't.
One was the traveller/settler split. The people on the ship had the Waster/Plant split, with all the ship crew being the travelling Wasters. Torobe had the same split, with wenders and villagers (and all adult men expected to be wenders). I was expecting there to be some clash between the two attitudes to life and community: the crew being both from a different culture and the flitting Wasters, with the Torobes being the settled villagers.
The other theme was the nature of identity and teleportation (and probably less interesting). There was lots of teleportation in the book, and it was unclear exactly how it worked. I'm mainly thinking about the mass: the laser beam could transfer the information to make a person, but I expect that the mass to make the body at the receiver to come from the receiver. In that case, what happened to the body/mass that was left behind? I was expecting an occasion where someone in a teleport was trapped in a fold of dark matter and hence we ended up with two copies of the same person. A bit hackneyed, but there if the author wanted to go there.
Did you pick up on the suggestion of these themes? Do you think the book would have been stronger or weaker if it had explored them? What themes did you find in the book that you weren't too engaged with?