MM 4 – The Metropolitan Man, Chapter 4

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  1. I’m a fan of hpmor and I’m wondering, why does Lex never wonder how does Superman charges his body with sufficient energy to preform the physical feats he’s capable of. The notion that a little bit of sunlight can be utilized to fuel so much mechanical force is ludicrous.


    p.s this is handled well in hpmor (this is not a question to the podcast creator).
    Great podcast!

    • Well, you can ask the author himself if you’d like. :)

      It’s never actually established in MM that Superman is solar-powered, his source of energy is left as an unknown. If you don’t mind me speculating… it seems to me that Alexander was simply uninterested in that particular question. MM is very much about the ethics of god-powers. What should one do with them, if one had them? What sort of psychology would drive a person to act as Superman does (as described in the comics)? Should this sort of god be fought against? And if so, what are the moral limits to what can be done in a struggle against him? How do we quantify the actual risk of human-genocide that Superman poses, vs the benefits, and how does that relate to the costs of pursuing a covert campaign against him?

      There isn’t a lot of room left over for the physics of his powers in all that. And while it’s true that the work could simply be made longer, I personally feel that splitting the focus among multiple themes like that would diminish all of them. I prefer a story that stays very focused on its primary theme. Exploring all the physics involved would greatly distract from the ethical & psychological themes.

      Of course, that avenue is still open to others. Fanfiction is a wonderful thing!

      And thank you, I’m always happy to hear that people enjoy my podcasting efforts. :)

  2. This podcast is really well done! Making an audiobook out of HPMOR was brilliant work and now Metropolitan man is up to a very good start. :-) Keep the good work up!

    PS: I have read in your blog, that you are trying to find out right now, if you have the discipline to work as a writer to make a living. Have you considered podcasting as an alternative, if that doesn’t work out? I have enjoyed your work as much as many (good!) commercial ones and for example Dan Carlin’s model of podcasting seems to support him (and Ben, if there is a Ben).

    PPS: After the Metropolitan Man episodes end, the soundtrack repeats the word “holocaust”. Why does it do that? I have to admit I find that’s a rather disturbing end for each episode (I am German..).

    PPPS: But to not end with criticism, I am very much looking forward to the next episode.

    • I’m glad you enjoy it! :) The writing is going pretty well right now, but of course writing is rarely very lucrative, so once I finish this novel I will return to accounting work.

      Podcasting is even less lucrative than writing is, so I don’t think that would be an option? Usually one needs a base of 100,000+ listeners to make it a full-time option (which is verrrrrry far away :) ) Also, if this was a for-profit venture rather than a fan-project I would not be able to podcast any fanfiction unless the author bought licencing rights from the IP owner, which just doesn’t happen. In short, it would be infeasible right now from both a practical and legal perspective.

      The intro/outro song is “Handlebars” by Flobots – It’s about a precocious kid who starts out bragging about how he can ride his bike without using the handlebars, and follows him as he accumulates more and more power throughout his life, and ends with him bragging about how now he commands satellites and armies and has enough power that “I can end the world in a holocaust!” It’s a story about arrogance and the drive to power, and I felt it appropriate for the themes of MM. Whether it applies to Lex Luthor or Superman (or both?) is up to the listener. :)

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