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FuturePastNow
May 19, 2014




Apparently there are still some more novels following the anti-slavery side plot and anthologies planned. And YA novels set way in the past?

If Weber ever revisits the main storyline (the major bad guys were still out there at the end) I expect he would finally do the 20 year time-skip that was in his original vision. But given his health problems, I'd be surprised if he isn't done, aside from "collaboration" novels that just have his name on them.

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Cobalt-60
Oct 11, 2016

Over time, random factors add up. What is chaos in the moment becomes systemic over time and space. As data accumulates, a pattern emerges.



The YA novels are about Honor's ancestor and the treecats; intelligent psionic 6-limbed cats. I found the first two simplistic, but then, it's YA. And no missiles (yet).

There's another trilogy, the "Manticore Ascendant" trilogy, set back before the discovery of the wormhole, when Manticore is just a neobarb kingdom. It makes a nice change of pace; Manticore is still finding their identity and haven't had a reason to grow out their arrogance, Haven are still decent people, and firing six missiles is a major battle action, not a prelude to the next 994. It suffers from multiple-author syndrome, with plots sort of running around colliding with each other, and the second and third books hastily welded on to the first.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Libluini posted:


Weber's health can't possibly help, though.

Speaking of, he was reported with Covid just in the New Year and I haven't seen any news about how he's doing.

Edit: Oh good, apparently they kept him in for a week then he was released.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/kv2o27/sf_fantasy_author_david_weber_has_been_released/

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Cobalt-60 posted:

It suffers from multiple-author syndrome, with plots sort of running around colliding with each other, and the second and third books hastily welded on to the first.

You know, as someone who grew up reading Perry Rhodan, the world's largest and longest running SF series, written by multiple generations of authors which by now must be tallying in the three digits, I'm wondering why this even happens anymore. PR mostly avoided this after the dawn of the internet, thanks to better communication and even the old days with their many problems didn't have a "colliding plots" problem. Just tons of other problems caused by miscommunication and plain errors.

I guess someone should tell those authors to sit down and plan every plot in advance, like the PR Author Council does since the early 60s. Planning: It avoids issues

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


quote:

HONOR OF THE QUEEN CHAPTER NINETEEN

It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been writing my own books and doing stuff every day that have kept me busy, including lots of plain work. Also, this book is a drat slog to get through, which doesn't help one bit. Oh well, let's get into the book.

quote:

"How dare they?!" Jared Mayhew glared around the council room as if hunting a Manticoran to attack with his bare hands. "Who do they think they are?!"

"With all due respect, Councilman Mayhew, they think they're the only people who can keep those fanatics on Masada from conquering this star system," Chancellor Prestwick replied far more calmly.

Bets on who is a good guy in this conversation and who is a villian that must die. Come on, let's hear 'em.

quote:

"God wouldn't want us to save ourselves at the cost of such . . . such sacrilege!"

"Calmly, Jared. Calmly." Protector Benjamin touched his cousin's shoulder. "Remember that they don't see this as a sacrilegious demand."

"Perhaps not, but they have to know it's insulting, degrading, and arrogant," Howard Clinkscales, Grayson's Minister of Security growled. He and Jared Mayhew were the most conservative Council members, and his mouth worked bitterly. "It spits on all our institutions and beliefs, Benjamin!"

"Hear, hear!" Councilman Phillips murmured, and Councilman Adams, the Minister of Agriculture, looked like he wanted to say something even stronger. Barely a third of the faces present showed disagreement, and Prestwick looked around the long table despairingly.

He and Mayhew had been genial opponents for the five years since Benjamin had become Protector, sparring with elegant good manners over the authority the last six protectors had lost to Prestwick's predecessors. Yet Prestwick remained deeply and personally committed to the Mayhew dynasty, and they'd worked closely to secure the Manticoran alliance. Now it was crashing down in ruins, and there was anguish in his eyes as he cleared his throat.

"At the moment, our concerns—" he began, but the Protector's raised finger stopped him.

"I know it looks that way to you, Howard," Protector Benjamin said, focusing on Clinkscales' face as if to exclude everyone else, "but we have to consider three questions. Do they truly realize how insulting this demand is? Will they really pull their warships out of this system if we reject it? And can we hold Grayson and preserve those institutions and beliefs if they do?"

"Of course they realize how insulting it is!" Jared Mayhew snapped. "No one could have put so many insults into one package by accident!"

The Protector leaned back in his chair and regarded his cousin with a mix of weariness, patience, disagreement, and exasperated affection. Unlike his own father, his Uncle Oliver had steadfastly refused to have any of his sons contaminated by off-world education, and Jared Mayhew was bright, talented, and the quintessential product of a conservative Grayson upbringing. He was also next in line for the Protectorship after Benjamin's brother and ten years older than Benjamin himself.

This is one of those parts that make it obvious that Grayson is suppose to be Space Japan during the Age of Sail. This whole scene is mostly okay. It's probably the best politics that Weber actually does, frankly. I'm more use to Weber's politics where anyone who dares to disagree with the good guys politically in any way are all secret rapist slave-owners who are hyper evil and hypocritical. He manages to mostly avoid that, here!

quote:

"I'm not at all sure 'insult' is the proper word, Jared. And even if it were, surely we've given them just as many 'insults' as they've given us."

Not to mention much more sexual harassment and rape attempts that have already been forgotten by the plot! But I haven't forgot. I never forget. Dreaming, I only dream of never forgetting. Only the dead may forget. I will never die.

quote:

Jared stared at him in astonishment, and Benjamin sighed mentally. His cousin was a gifted industrial manager, but he was so confident of the rectitude of his own beliefs that the notion anyone else might find his attitudes or behavior insulting was irrelevant. If they didn't like the way he treated them, then they should stay away from his planet. If they insisted on contaminating his world by their presence, he would treat them precisely as God wanted him to, and if they felt insulted, that was their problem.


Jared just kind of sounds like all the earlier Bad Graysons whose actions have been forgotten.

quote:

"If you'll forgive me, Protector," a resonant voice said, "I rather think that whether they realize they're insulting us or not is somewhat less important than the last two questions you raised." The Reverend Julius Hanks, spiritual head of the Church of Humanity Unchained, seldom spoke up in Council meetings, but now he gave Prestwick a very hard look indeed. "Do you think they truly would withdraw and leave us to Masada's mercy, Chancellor?"

"I don't know, Reverend," Prestwick said frankly. "Were Admiral Courvosier still alive, I'd say no. As it is . . ." He shrugged. "This Harrington woman is now in complete control of their military presence, and that means her policies are driving their diplomatic position. I doubt Ambassador Langtry would support any decision to withdraw, but I don't know if he could stop her from doing it. And—" he hesitated a moment, glancing at Clinkscales and Jared Mayhew "—I have to say the experiences on Grayson of Captain Harrington and the other women in her crews may well incline her to do exactly that."

"Of course she feels inclined to!" Clinkscales snorted. "What d'you expect when you put women in uniform? drat it, they don't have the self-control and stability for it! She got her feelings hurt when she was here before, did she? Well, at least that explains why she's cracking the whip over us this way now! It's for revenge, drat it!"

Prestwick clamped his lips on a hasty retort, and the Protector hid another sigh. Actually, this one was more of a groan. His was the third Mayhew generation Clinkscales had served, and not just as Minister of Security. He was the personal commander of the Protectorate Security Detachment, the bodyguards who protected Benjamin and his entire family every hour of their lives.

Considering how short the life span the Graysons have, just how old is this dude? 80 years old, apparently.

quote:

He was also a living fossil. The old man was an unofficial uncle—a curmudgeonly, irascible, often exasperating uncle, but an uncle—and Benjamin knew he treated his own wives with great tenderness. Yet fond as Benjamin was of the old man, he also knew Clinkscales treated them so because they were his wives. He knew them as people, separated from the general concept "wife" or "woman," but he would never dream of treating them as equals. The notion of a woman-any woman—asserting equality with a man-any man—was more than merely foreign to him. It was totally incomprehensible, and as the personification of that notion, Captain Honor Harrington was a fundamental threat to his entire way of life.

So he's a good guy, because he pets the dog, so to speak.

quote:

"All right, Howard," Benjamin said after a moment, "assume you're right—that she's just likely to pull her ships out of here for revenge because she's a woman. Distasteful as all of us may find the notion of submitting to her ultimatum, doesn't her very instability make it even more imperative for us to maintain an open mind as we consider it?"

Clinkscales glared at him. For all his conservatism, the old man was no fool, and his Protector's attempt to turn his own argument against him was the sort of thing the overly clever young sprout had been doing for years, ever since his return from that fancy university. His face reddened, but he clamped his jaws and refused to be drawn to the obvious conclusion.

"All right, then," Councilman Tompkins said. "If there's a real possibility this woman will abandon us, do we stand any chance at all of holding off the Faithful without her?"

I mean, she'd definitely have every right to after the rape attempt on one of her officers, which by any means is one of those diplomatic SNAFUs that fucks everything up. But that's been forgotten, and apparently Honor's never even mentioned that it's happened, considering that you'd think that Howard would have pointed it out as why she'd want such revenge. I mean, sure it's been stated that that's probably been retconned out, but it hasn't been officially done so, so I'm all for pointing out every time that little thing that Weber put in should be coming back to haunt him.

quote:

"Of course we do!" Jared Mayhew snapped. "My workers are drawing weapons, and my shipyards are converting every freighter we have into missile carriers! We don't need foreigners to defend ourselves against scum like Masadans—just God and ourselves!"

No one else said a word, and even Clinkscales looked away in discomfort. Jared's fiery hatred of—and contempt for—Masada had always been very public, but no amount of rhetoric could hide Grayson's nakedness. Yet even though they all knew Jared's strident assertions were nonsense, no one had the will—or the courage—to say so, and Benjamin Mayhew surveyed the council room with a sense of despair.


Methinks the lad doth protest too much!

Though real talk it is a little bit weird that everyone is so uncomfortiable with Jared having such a firey passion about hating the Masadans. Considering the Masadans have basically showed up unprovoked to try and massacre all Graysons every time they can and they have spent literally decades of their economy just to nuke Grayson into nothingness... Why ARE they uncomfortable with his passionate hate of the Masadans? They should probably be more in a Masada Must Fall mindset in some form. I don't even expect Liberally Educated Protector Mayhew to be immune to that sort of mindset. Hating Masada doesn't even seem to be in any sort of violation of their religion, either.

quote:

Phillips and Adams had opposed the Manticore treaty from the outset, as had Jared and Clinkscales, though Phillips had seemed to be coming around under Courvosier's influence once Harrington disappeared from the equation. Most of the rest of the Council had been in cautious agreement with Prestwick, Tompkins, and the others who believed the alliance was critical to Grayson's survival. But that had been when an attack by Masada had merely seemed likely. Now it had become a fact, and the destruction of their own navy had filled too many councilmen with terror. Knowing the despised, backward Masadans had somehow acquired state-of-the-art military technology only made their panic complete, and panicked men thought with their emotions, not their intellects.

Despite the desperation of their situation, if Prestwick polled the Council at this moment, a majority would undoubtedly vote to reject Captain Harrington's demand. The Protector felt his heart sink as that certainty filled him, but then an unexpected voice spoke up in support of sanity.

"Forgive me, Brother Jared," Reverend Hanks said gently. "You know my own view of the proposed alliance. Father Church has learned from Masada's example not to meddle willfully in political decisions, yet I, as many in the Faith, have entertained serious doubts of the wisdom of such a close relationship with a power whose fundamental values differ so radically from our own. But that was when we had near parity with Masada's military."

Jared met the Reverend's eyes with an expression of betrayal, but Hanks continued quietly.

"I have no doubt you and your workmen would fight valiantly, that all of you would willingly die for your people and your Faith, but you would die. And so would our wives and children. Masada has always proclaimed its willingness to destroy all life on Grayson if that should prove the only way to cleanse this planet of our 'apostasy.' I fear we have no choice but to assume they mean what they say, and if that be true, Brother Jared, it leaves us only three options: secure the support of this foreign woman's ships in any way we must, surrender all we love and hold dear to Masada, or die."


Hank isn't wrong, of course.

quote:

Silence trembled in the council room as Grayson's spiritual leader put the decision into stark relief. Many of the councilmen seemed more shocked by Hanks' statement than they'd looked when they learned of the Fleet's destruction, and Benjamin Mayhew's pulse throbbed as he felt a moment of balance shivering about him.

The Council had chipped away at the protectorship's authority for a century, hemming successive protectors about with more and more restrictions. Benjamin himself was little more than a figurehead, but a figurehead who'd always known the Protector retained far more authority in the eyes of Grayson's citizens than the Council knew, and now the men in this room faced a decision they wanted desperately to avoid. They were frozen, their supremacy over the protectorship singing with the crystalline brittleness of ice, and he suddenly realized history and Captain Honor Harrington had given him a hammer.

He drew a deep breath and brought that hammer down.

Yeah! Monarchy time, bitches! gently caress the weird federalism that the planet has lived under for a long time! Time to begin pure, undistilled monarchy as EVERY country should prosper under!

quote:

"Gentlemen." He stood, assuming a dominant stance none of them had ever seen before. "This decision is too grave, and time is too short, for us to debate it endlessly. I will meet with Captain Harrington."

Breaths hissed all around the table, but he continued in that same, firm voice.

"Under the circumstances, I would be criminally remiss as Protector of Grayson not to act. I will meet Captain Harrington and, unless her demands are totally unreasonable, I will accept them in Grayson's name."

Howard Clinkscales and his cousin stared at him in horror, and he turned his head to meet Jared's eyes.

"I realize many of you will disagree with my decision, and it wasn't an easy one to make. Bowing to ultimatums never is easy. Nonetheless, my decision is final. I believe, however, that we can arrange to have differing viewpoints represented by placing this meeting in a familial setting. I will invite Captain Harrington to join myself and my family for supper, and I will extend that same invitation to you, Jared."

"No!" Jared Mayhew surged to his feet, glaring at his cousin. "I will never break bread with a woman who spits on everything I believe!"

Benjamin looked at his cousin and hoped his pain didn't show. They'd always been close, despite their philosophical differences. The thought that those differences might force a breach between them at last twisted his heart, but he had to meet with the Manticoran captain. The survival of his planet required it, and he could feel the political structure of Grayson realigning itself about him. If he hesitated, neither his home world nor his chance to forge a new, progressive power base would survive.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Jared," he said quietly. "We'll miss you."

Jared stared at him, his face twisted, then wheeled and stormed out of the Council Room. A ripple of agitation washed over the councilmen at his flagrant breach of protocol, but Benjamin made himself ignore it.

OWNED!!!!!! I dunno, Jared's obviously an evil scumbag, but I dunno, I've never liked there being characters who exist solely so they can be wrong and the good guys can own them in some way. And it's even a double dipper as Jared's the big bad on Grayson.

quote:

"Very well, gentlemen. I believe that concludes our debate."

He turned on his heel and walked through the door to the private quarters of the palace. The frozen Council watched him go, and as the door closed behind him, they knew it had closed on their own control of the government, as well.

* * *

There was no image on the com in the small shop's back room. That was a security measure, yet it also meant the man who'd answered it could never be certain the blank screen wasn't a trap, and he drew a deep breath.

"Hello?"

"The Abomination of the Desolation will not be suffered twice," a familiar voice said.

"Nor shall we fear defeat, for this world is God's," the man replied, and his shoulders relaxed. "How may I serve, Maccabeus?"

"The time has come to reclaim the Temple, Brother. The Protector will meet privately with the blasphemer who commands the Manticoran squadron."

"With a woman?!" the shopkeeper gasped.

"Indeed. But this time sacrilege will serve God's Work. Word of his decision will be announced within the hour. Before that happens, you must mobilize your team. Is all in readiness?"

"Yes, Maccabeus!" The shopkeeper's horror had turned into something else, and his eyes gleamed.

"Very well. I'll com back within forty-five minutes with final instructions and the challenges and countersigns you'll need. After that, God's Work will be in your hands, Brother."

"I understand," the shopkeeper whispered. "My team and I won't fail you, Maccabeus. This world is God's."

"This world is God's," the faceless voice responded. Then there was a click, and only the hum of the carrier.

Gee, I wonder who it could be, being able to tell conspirators within minutes of the Protector making his decision. Anyways, aside from the last part kind of making things a bit obvious, it's not a terrible chapter. Not particularly interesting to read, but it isn't stupid and terrible or anything.

PupsOfWar
Dec 6, 2013



Kchama posted:

I've been writing my own books and doing stuff every day that have kept me busy,

shameful

Gnoman
Feb 11, 2014

"What we therefore hath joined together, let Gnoman put asunder..."


Kchama posted:

This is one of those parts that make it obvious that Grayson is suppose to be Space Japan during the Age of Sail. This whole scene is mostly okay. It's probably the best politics that Weber actually does, frankly. I'm more use to Weber's politics where anyone who dares to disagree with the good guys politically in any way are all secret rapist slave-owners who are hyper evil and hypocritical. He manages to mostly avoid that, here!

Grayson = Japan is an obvious influence, and it is acknowledged in-universe later on, but it is not a 1:1 correlation.


quote:

So he's a good guy, because he pets the dog, so to speak.

The clear intent is more that he's the more genteel type of bigot that has no problem with the <GROUP> individuals he knows personally, but still sees <GROUP> through bigoted eyes in the abstract. The "some of my best friends are black, but them people in Portland need to stop rocking the boat!" variety.

quote:

Though real talk it is a little bit weird that everyone is so uncomfortiable with Jared having such a firey passion about hating the Masadans. Considering the Masadans have basically showed up unprovoked to try and massacre all Graysons every time they can and they have spent literally decades of their economy just to nuke Grayson into nothingness... Why ARE they uncomfortable with his passionate hate of the Masadans? They should probably be more in a Masada Must Fall mindset in some form. I don't even expect Liberally Educated Protector Mayhew to be immune to that sort of mindset. Hating Masada doesn't even seem to be in any sort of violation of their religion, either.

The issue presented here isn't "how dare Jared hate Masada!". It is "We all hate Masada, but Jered's hatred of Masada is causing him to underestimate what they're capable of." He's so blinded with hate that he is incapable of taking the threat seriously - the "Jared's strident assertions were nonsense" part is about his assertions that Grayson doesn't need any help but God's to win.



quote:

Yeah! Monarchy time, bitches! gently caress the weird federalism that the planet has lived under for a long time! Time to begin pure, undistilled monarchy as EVERY country should prosper under!

The government isn't getting any less feudal - it is putting the existing feudal contract into place. The ninety or so absolute dictators that rule the planet are supposed to be subordinate to the Protector already - they've just spent a long time ignoring that part. This is where the Japan parallel is strongest - the Steadholders are the daimyo, with the powerless Emperor and mostly-ceremonial shogun combined in the form of the Protector.

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013




Cobalt-60 posted:

The YA novels are about Honor's ancestor and the treecats; intelligent psionic 6-limbed cats. I found the first two simplistic, but then, it's YA. And no missiles (yet).

There's another trilogy, the "Manticore Ascendant" trilogy, set back before the discovery of the wormhole, when Manticore is just a neobarb kingdom. It makes a nice change of pace; Manticore is still finding their identity and haven't had a reason to grow out their arrogance, Haven are still decent people, and firing six missiles is a major battle action, not a prelude to the next 994. It suffers from multiple-author syndrome, with plots sort of running around colliding with each other, and the second and third books hastily welded on to the first.

It is also way better than the main Honor books, largely because Timothy Zahn is a better author than Weber. Formulaic as hell, sure, but he never gets up his own rear end about the evils of welfare or the innate goodness of monarchy or million missile swarms of commie smiting capitalist power.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Dated but still more realistic mil-scifi than Weber has ever managed to write:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29196/29196-h/29196-h.htm
===
RAGING, Trooper Lane hovered three thousand feet above Tammany Square.

The cool cybrain surgically implanted in him was working on the problem. But Lane had no more patience. They'd sweat, he thought, hating the chill air-currents that threw his hovering body this way and that. He glared down at the three towers bordering on the Square. He spat, and watched the little white speck fall, fall. Lock me up in barracks. All I wanted was a little time off. Did I fight in Chi for them? drat right I did. Just a little time off, so I shouldn't blow my top. Now the lid's gone.

He was going over all their heads. He'd bowled those city cops over like paper dolls, back at the Armory. The black dog was on Lane's back. Old Mayor himself was going to hear about it.

Why not? Ain't old Mayor the CinC of the Newyork Troopers?

The humming paragrav-paks embedded beneath his shoulder blades held him motionless above Newyork's three administrative towers. Tammany Hall. Mayor's Palace. Court House. Lane cursed his stupidity. He hadn't found out which one was which ahead of time. They keep Troopers in the Armory and teach them how to fight. They don't teach them about their own city, that they'll be fighting for. There's no time. From seven years old up, Troopers have too much to learn about fighting.
===

C.M. Kruger
Oct 28, 2013


Finished the Sten series because eh, I dunno, I've got nothing going on at all right now.

Overall I think I'd give it like a C+ because a 3/5 feels a bit much. Tolerable and formulaic pulp, but the authors were entirely too smug about this historic reference or that one, and even for a pulp series it felt like it had a lot of filler or "thing shows up, thing never mentioned again" stuff.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



C.M. Kruger posted:

Finished the Sten series because eh, I dunno, I've got nothing going on at all right now.

Overall I think I'd give it like a C+ because a 3/5 feels a bit much. Tolerable and formulaic pulp, but the authors were entirely too smug about this historic reference or that one, and even for a pulp series it felt like it had a lot of filler or "thing shows up, thing never mentioned again" stuff.

quantumfoam posted:

Recommended Mil-SciFi + Military-Fiction book series from people who've read too much bad Mil-SciFi + Mil-Fiction

My own take on the subject is that you need to read something terrible before you are truly able to appreciate something good........therefore:
Read as many of the Sten Chronicles books as you can stand.
The most interesting man in the world Universe aka The Eternal Emperor doesn't show up until Sten book 2 though, however the Scottish stereotype sidekick also shows up in Sten book 2 and never gets killed off .

Haha, someone followed my reading recommendation. You utter fool you.


Anyway, the SFL Archives delivered yet again.
(From the The DEL REY BOOKS Internet Newsletter Number 2 (March 1993)

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Allan Cole & Chris Bunch

These authors of the _Sten_ series are prolific _and_ many-talented:
besides their eight-book military sf series spiced with recipes and really
bad shaggy-dog stories, they've also written a novel about Vietnam, the
first volume of one of those sweeping historical sagas set in colonial and
Revolutionary times, and now a Grand Fantasy (capitals intentional) that's
nothing like the _Sten_ books--no high-tech flesh-implanted knife, no
Emperor's chili, no bad jokes. Instead, high adventure, magic amulets,
seductive courtesans, spells, and so on...

Books are listed in chronological order, and are science fiction unless
noted (F). The _Sten_ books are Del Rey titles; the other two are from
Ballantine.

The _Sten_ Adventures:
STEN (9/82; 345-32460-9)
THE WOLF WORLDS (3/84; 345-31229-5)
THE COURT OF A THOUSAND SUNS (1/86; 345-31681-9)
FLEET OF THE DAMNED (4/88; 345-33172-9)
REVENGE OF THE DAMNED (2/89; 345-33173-7)
THE RETURN OF THE EMPEROR (11/90; 345-36130-X)
VORTEX (6/92; 345-37151-8)
EMPIRE'S END (3/93; 345-37696-X)

A RECKONING FOR KINGS (Military fiction, out of print)

The Shannon Family Saga:
Book One: A DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY (7/93; 345-36229-2)

About the Authors:
Chris Bunch is a Ranger- and Airborne-qualified Vietnam vet who's written
about phenomena as varied as the Hell's Angels, the Rolling Stones, and
Ronald Reagan.

Allan Cole grew up in the CIA in odd spots like Okinawa, Cyprus, and
Taiwan. He's been a professional chef, investigative reporter, and
national news editor of a major West Coast daily newspaper. He's won half
a dozen writing awards in the process.

Bunch and Cole, friends since high school, have collaborated on everything
from the world's worst porno novel to more film and TV scripts than they
care to admit. They stopped counting at one hundred when they suffered the
total loss of all bodily hair. [Editor's note: They used to list some of
the more colorful TV shows they wrote for, but they seem to have taken that
out of all their "about the author"s by now. But I do remember, to their
probable chagrin, "The A-Team"...]

With _Sten_ complete, Al & Chris's next projects will include _The Shannon
Family Saga,_ the mainstream epic of an Irish-American family from
America's beginnings to the present starting with A DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY and
continuing with SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPET, from Ballantine Books; and a
fantasy trilogy tentatively titled _The Anteros_ that begins with THE FAR
KINGDOMS, from Del Rey.

IN DEPTH

Continuing the Cole-and-Bunch theme of this month's issue, what follows is
an irreverent explanation of what sparked the _Sten_ books:

The _Sten_ series was born out of many long weeks of heated discussion, a
bit of which was even sober. On the verge of quitting our straight jobs in
journalism, we both wanted to vent our years of frustration at the bald
lies told in banner headlines and the evening news. Like most journalists
who enter the fiction world, we were out to get even with the Powers That
Be. But we were much too cynical to take the usual route, which is to have
a noble hero with a halo tilted over the eyes to give a hint of the rogue.
Science fiction seemed the ideal genre to accomplish our aims - because
from the beginning, much of it has been fascist in nature. It also has a
tendency to worship at the feet of Perfect Technology, and as the sons of
cynical engineers (one of whom was a spook), we knew from early childhood
that most things are doomed to break when needed the most. So we thought
we'd turn the whole thing upside-down to get a proctologist's view of the
world we live in and how it came to be.

An example of our faith in technology: In Vietnam, Bunch was given the
marvy opportunity to acquaint himself with a man-capable radar set, which
could supposedly look out for a squillion meters in the blackest of night
and not only spot a single infiltrator being sneaky, but also tell whether
said infiltrator was a man or a woman. Since it weighed about fifty pounds
and was the size of a beer keg, you weren't about to lug it along on a
typical LRRP run, and it required an ear as sophisticated as any sonar
operator's but, what the hell, it was something to play with back at base
camp.

So it went into a big pile of trick technology, and one drunken night was
cranked out for a test run. Full moonlight...one thousand-plus clear
meters across the rice paddies...the only sign of life one peaceably
grazing water buffalo. Turn the radar on, and the dial starts flickering,
the earphones start wailing - holy poo poo, there's a whole Main Force Viet
Cong battalion attacking, can-openers fixed to the ends of their AKs.
Visual check...still one buffalo, now farting in a lonely manner. The next
morning, we tore the radar set apart and found green mold on its aluminum
radome. Mold? On aluminum? (The radar, for anyone interested, is as far
as we know still resident in a medium-deep swamp behind the old Ben Cat
Special Forces camp.) About then, Bunch's Seventh Law of Technology was
formulated: The trickier it is, and the more it promises to do, the greater
the certainty it's gonna break, especially when you really need it.

The next thing we struggled with was making the hero interesting enough to
us, never mind the reader, to carry us through the eight books we needed to
tell the tale. Doyle grew to loathe Holmes, as did Fleming James Bond.
And both killed their heroes off at one point with much relish (both to be
revived in totally unconvincing manners). We seized on Forester's Horatio
Hornblower series, which followed the title character from midshipman to
admiral in the 19th-century British navy. If our hero, like Forester's,
started out as a kid and we grew him to adulthood (marching him up the
ladder of authority), we just might make it to the end without killing the
little bugsnipe.


From the beginning, however, we knew the whole thing had to be a hustle.
It is basic to human nature to ignore the poo poo that goes on around us when
things are going well; we accept the platitudes of our leaders and all
their lying idealization of public and private institutions, swallow heroes
and their creeds whole, and rally happily behind men on white horses.
We're also aware that there are two and ONLY TWO reasons for empires to
succeed and grow. The first is at gunpoint - let's face it, nobody in his
right mind volunteers for the gig of _untermensch_ in the Third Reich. The
second is for inherently economic reasons - the empire either offers you
slightly better living conditions (like the Ottoman Empire in its early
Balkan expansionism being preferable to Christianity and its taxes) or else
it has something you need (like the Johns Company or Hudson Bay Company
having transportation and access to idiots who thought chutney and furs
were inherently valuable). So we created an empire designed to seduce as
many readers as we could put the long con on. And we gave the Eternal
Emperor some endearing, if eccentric qualities. We tried to make people
feel sorry for poor, orphaned Sten. But it was all sugar on the pill. The
Emperor was as great a fascist as Stalin or Hitler, with far more victims
to claim - he just wasn't quite completely bonkers in the beginning. And
Sten, his right-hand man, was his loyal assassin. But, to be fair, we made
sure there were clues planted all the way - clues many of our readers
caught from Day One, to our great delight.

Also, we gave ourselves a lot of leeway for just having fun. In each book
certain things gave us a huge amount of pleasure: the livee news crew
("...you give us 22 minutes and we'll give you the Empire") and the
down-on-the-streets ward politics on Dusable in RETURN OF THE EMPEROR. The
Ranett character in VORTEX and EMPIRE'S END. The Jehovah's Witness
molelike alien in REVENGE OF THE DAMNED. The battling Popes in THE WOLF
WORLDS...and so on. There was a lot of serious belly-laughing going on
when we even starting doodling with these types. We were even a little
sorry when we were done because we realized we'd have to turn off that
portion of the brain devoted to collecting stuff for the _Sten_ novels.
Especially the shaggy-dog stories told by Kilgour. Anyway, despite our
cynical view of life, we had great hopes for _Sten_ when we launched it.
And it's done even better than we imagined - not just the sales, but the
great reactions we've received from readers who have joined us in our
anarchist conspiracy. Of enormous help and inspiration has been the
twelve- year right-wing rule in this country, and the even longer
conservative domination abroad. Most of all, we were happy to make it
through without killing the little poo poo off before his time. But, we fear,
one more volume would have done it.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
SFLer's reaction to Honor Harrington book #3 being scheduled for April 1994.

>David Weber, Honor Harrington #3: The Short Victorious War, Baen
> Oh boy! Another Honor Harrington book, doubtlessly ending triumphantly
> with 85% casualties to the good guys.

I'm slightly embarassed to admit I kind of like the series; at least the
stardrive has some interesting angles to it. I kind of wish the heroine
weren't a man in a woman's suit, though; for all the fuss that gets made
about Harrington's gender in the second book, it almost seems like being
female is purely a plot device rather than something integral to the
character.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 14:18 on Feb 7, 2021

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Oh hey some criticism there I absolutely agree with.

Anyways the next chapter might be in a bit because for the past week I've just been sitting here, rocking in my chair whispering "Ready Player Two" to myself over and over.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Think it's a given that all Honor Harrington/David Weber readthroughs in this thread have been abandoned, even if the Let's Read'ers attempting David Weber readthroughs refuse to admit it to themselves.
In honor of that(pun planned and intended), here is what people of the SFL Archives 1994 thought of Honor Harrington book #3, Short Victorious War.


------------------------------

Date: 6 Mar 94 05:39:06 GMT
From: cpf@alchemy.geo.cornell.edu (Courtenay Footman)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Weber: Honor Harrington

David Weber's new Honor Harrington book, _The Short Victorious War_, is
out, and it is as good as its predecessors. For those who don't know, the
Honor Harrington series is dedicated to C. S. Forester, and it is not a
coincidence that H.H's initials are the same as Horatio Hornblower's.

Weber has done a superb job of putting Horatio Hornblower in space. On
tSVW, Baen has a unique front cover blurb. It says "WE LOVE OUR HONOR!"
Cover blurbs are notorious for their fulsomeness; however, in this case the
blurb is accurate. (At least *I* love her, and I have seen others who also
seem to have this weakness.)

The title does NOT describe the war described in the book; rather Weber is
quoting the unfortunate Russian Minister of the Interior who, in 1903 said
to the Russian Minister of War "What this country needs is a short
victorious war to stem the tide of revolution." He may even have been
right! However, that is not what he got. A short victorious war is what
the People's Republic of Haven wants; I will let you guess whether or not
that is what it gets.

(BTW, for those who have not read the series, the PRH is not what is today
named a "People's Republic". The PRH has an absurd economy, but it absurd
in its own way, not communist.)

The three Honor Harrington books are
On Basilisk Station, ISBN 0-671-72163-5, 1993
The Honor of the Queen, ISBN 0-671-72172-0, 1993
The Short Victorious War, ISBN 0-671-87596-1, 1994
Field of Dishonor is forthcoming, and is scheduled for later this year.
All books are by David Weber and published by Baen Books, New York

The next paragraph contains SPOILERS:

I do love Honor; however I am a bit upset with Weber about one thing: He
named one character Robert (Rob) Stanton Pierre. I was slow, and did not
realize what he was pulling here until he literally spelled it out: Rob S
Pierre. AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! Aside from that, though tSVW
maintains the standards he set in the first two books. One begins to
wonder, though, how much longer the Royal Maticoran Navy will keep giving
Honor ships - each time they do so, she breaks it!

Courtenay Footman
cpf@alchemy.ithaca.ny.us

------------------------------

Date: 7 Mar 94 01:05:16 GMT
From: dani@netcom.com (Dani Zweig)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

cpf@alchemy.TN.Cornell.EDU (Courtenay Footman):
>David Weber's new Honor Harrington book, _The Short Victorious War_, is
>out, and it is as good as its predecessors.

It's light, it's superficial, it's unsubtle, sometimes clumsy, and often
over-predictable. But God, it's fun!

>On tSVW, Baen has a unique front cover blurb.

The first thing that struck me about the cover (aside from the fact that
the uniform appeared extremely wrong) was that Harrington's chair seems
designed to murder its occupant, if the bridge is subject to the sorts of
lateral forces the Enterprise is always putting up with.

>The next paragraph contains spoilers:
>
>I do love Honor; however I am a bit upset with Weber about one thing: He
>named one character Robert (Rob) Stanton Pierre.

It gets worse: He named Rob S Pierre's flunky Saint-Just.

>One begins to wonder, though, how much longer the Royal Maticoran Navy
>will keep giving Honor ships - each time they do so, she breaks it!

Another way to think about it is that she lost 2/3 of her crew the first
time, 1/2 her crew the second time, even less this time: If they can just
keep promoting her faster than she loses ships and people...

Dani Zweig
dani@netcom.com

------------------------------
------------------------------

Date: 6 Mar 94 23:46:27 GMT
From: SAUNDRSG@qucdn.queensu.ca (Graydon)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

cpf@alchemy.TN.Cornell.EDU (Courtenay Footman) writes:
>Aside from that, though tSVW maintains the standards he set in the first
>two books. One begins to wonder, though, how much longer the Royal
>Maticoran Navy will keep giving Honor ships - each time they do so, she
>breaks it!

I, personally, would begin to worry more about *crews* - people who want to
die gloriously have their faults as normal crew!

The Navy is unlikely to complain unless her exchange rate drops toward
parity; so far, she's been using up ships to very good ends.

------------------------------

Date: 8 Mar 94 19:16:01 GMT
From: rcrowley@hildy.zso.dec.com ("Rebecca Leann Smit Crowley")
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

spoilers:

Dani Zweig (dani@netcom.com) wrote:
>cpf@alchemy.TN.Cornell.EDU (Courtenay Footman):
>>I do love Honor; however I am a bit upset with Weber about one thing: He
>>named one character Robert (Rob) Stanton Pierre.
>
>It gets worse: He named Rob S Pierre's flunky Saint-Just.

Nobody's mentioned Danton yet, hunh?

I think I disagree mildly with Courtenay - I think the first and second
books were marginally better than this one. Mind you, this is
hair-splitting; I'm still enjoying this series immensely.

I loved that bit at the beginning where the Peeps are discussing going to
war with the Manties. Paraphrase: "They just can't absorb the kinds of
losses we do. Unless they can manage to inflict really imbalanced losses
on us, I don't think we can lose." Alarms went off at this point; Honor
and co. *always* inflict really imbalanced losses. :-)

The other good line was when Paul was telling Honor he'd spar with her if
she promised not to hurt him, referring to the Grayson incident. "I was
hoping people would forget that." Yeah, *right*, Honor.

(Then there's the potential for fan fiction about Paul, Honor, and the
treecat, but mentioning that would be _silly_.)

Rebecca Crowley
rcrowley@zso.dec.com

------------------------------

Date: 8 Mar 94 19:57:17 GMT
From: sef@kithrup.com (Sean Eric Fagan)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

What I didn't like about the third one was that it is too precisely set up
for a sequel.

First we had Young setting up Honor with what's-his-name, the diplomat's
relative. But nothing happened with that.

Second, this book ends with her just starting out on a mission - the other
two ended with the mission. Very nicely wrapped up, I thought, for each.

Third, the mission she will be starting on is escorting Young to his court
martial.

Lastly, we have the title of the fourth book: _On the Field of Dishonor_
(or is it just _Field of Dishonor_?).

------------------------------
------------------------------

Date: 11 Mar 94 03:31:31 GMT
From: rancke@diku.dk (Hans Rancke-Madsen)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

I enjoyed the first two books, but I thought Weber promoted HH much too
fast. Everyone from Forester over Kent, Pope, and O'Brien to Anderson and
Chandler knows that the higher the rank of the hero, the tougher to involve
them personally in a good plot. Not that it can't be done (and I gather
from these postings that Weber does that in the third book), but it's
easier with more junior ship commanders. The higher up, the more distanced
they are from the action in a way. (The other problem is that successful
Royal Navy captains get their subordinates promoted out under them; I began
losing faith in Dudley Pope when several of his hero's lieutenants refused
promotions "because they felt they could learn more by staying with
Ramage").

Hans Rancke
University of Copenhagen
rancke@diku.dk

------------------------------

Date: 14 Mar 94 20:38:22 GMT
From: wolfone@dumbo.cc.utexas.edu (no one of consequence)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

I've enjoyed all three novels. The third is certainly faster paced.

MinorNit: I get the impression that it's possible to transfer small craft
from ship to ship while in hyperspace. I wish they went into more detail
about that.

>>What I didn't like about the third one was that it is too precisely set
>>up for a sequel.
>
>The truly alarming thing is that if the historical parallel is followed
>exactly we are being set up for twenty five years of war.

Just so long as the Committee of Public Safety is not toppled by a military
coup of some type. Especially if the leader is named 'Leon Naples' or
something by Weber. I'm probably skipping some events in the history of
France at that time though so something else might happen before that.

>>First we had Young setting up Honor with what's-his-name, the diplomat's
>>relative. But nothing happened with that.
>Sometimes things don't. I assume that Commander Houseman got killed along
>with his Admiral.

He could have gotten into an escape pod - no, wait. Not enough time...
unless he ran away before the missiles hit.

>>Second, this book ends with her just starting out on a mission - the
>>other two ended with the mission. Very nicely wrapped up, I thought, for
>>each.
>
>>Third, the mission she will be starting on is escorting Young to his
>>court martial.
>
>This is not much of a mission: Courteously throw him in the brig for a
>couple of weeks while she goes home. He will hate her guts, but he
>already hates her guts. She will have to give evidence at the court
>martial, but as a participant that will be the limit of her participation.
>The court martial will be a political circus, particularly about whether
>to enforce the death penalty, but that will not be Honor's problem.

I vote to hang the bastard...

Hmm... maybe the Republic will take Basilisk and try a two pronged attack
down the wormhole junction. I mean, there's effectively a purge going on in
the Republic but they might try it 'to end the war' or something..

Or maybe Manticore will try to liberate planets taken by the Republic and
get into trouble. No wait, I'm getting this series mixed up with Legend of
the Galactic Heroes..

Patrick Chester
wolfone@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu

------------------------------

Date: 14 Mar 94 21:55:07 GMT
From: rcrowley@hildy.zso.dec.com ("Rebecca Leann Smit Crowley")
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

SPOILERS

Hans Rancke-Madsen (rancke@diku.dk) wrote:
>(The other problem is that successful Royal Navy captains get their
>subordinates promoted out under them; I began losing faith in Dudley Pope
>when several of his hero's lieutenants refused promotions "because they
>felt they could learn more by staying with Ramage").

*snicker* In _The Short Victorious War_, Mike explicitly tells Honor she
expects great things as Honor's subordinate. Why? Because all of her
previous immediate subordinates got ships of their own after Honor got
another promotion.

Rebecca Crowley
rcrowley@zso.dec.com

------------------------------

Date: 15 Mar 94 06:02:02 GMT
From: cpf@alchemy.geo.cornell.edu (Courtenay Footman)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

wolfone@dumbo.cc.utexas.edu (no one of consequence) writes:
>Or maybe Manticore will try to liberate planets taken by the Republic and
>get into trouble. No wait, I'm getting this series mixed up with Legend of
>the Galactic Heroes..

That is exactly what happened at the start of the Revolutionary War. (For
planets read Britany and Toulon...)

Fortunately Weber can not carry the parallels too far, since there is no
analog to the land war that Napoleon excelled at; naval war is all
important. On the other hand, the RoH's fleet is far more experienced and
much more dangerous than France's ever was.

Courtenay Footman
cpf@alchemy.ithaca.ny.us

------------------------------

Date: 16 Mar 94 19:30:14 GMT
From: dani@netcom.com (Dani Zweig)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

rancke@diku.dk (Hans Rancke-Madsen):
>I thought Weber promoted HH much too fast. Everyone from Forester over
>Kent, Pope, and O'Brien to Anderson and Chandler knows that the higher the
>rank of the hero, the tougher to involve them personally in a good plot.

Add to this the need to give HH the limelight. Weber solves the dual
problem by bumping off all her superiors, so promoting her is simply
self-defense.

------------------------------

Date: 17 Mar 94 00:00:23 GMT
From: jazz@hal.com (Jason Zions)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: Re: Weber: Honor Harrington

SPOILER

She doesn't get promoted this time, and she didn't get her ship shot out
from under her; it seemed quite repairable. On the other hand, she got it
straight from the builder's yard, so I suppose they're kind of annoyed at
getting it back broken.

Anyway, RMN muckety-mucks acknowledge (a) she's being fast-tracked, and (b)
she needs more seasoning.

Best thing about it: Honor finally gets laid, and the book dwells almost
not at all on it. She builds a regular relationship with a regular person,
and all we get to see is how her interactions with others change. Rather
more subtle than usually happens here.

Next book is to be entitled "Field of Dishonor"; should prove interesting.

At least I'm not the only one who rather likes these...

------------------------------

Date: 19 Mar 94 03:50:55 GMT
From: an74191@anon.penet.fi (ShadowMist)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: The Short Victorious War

It seems people have been posting reviews of this book, the third in David
Weber's Honor Harrington novels... And I seem to have missed them all!

I would appreciate it, if someone would please post/repost review(s) of it.

Thanks.

------------------------------

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


Every time I remember that the People's Republic of Haven is basically just the US but the executive branch is full of flowery French Revolution style titles makes me laugh. Truly the threat of communism is everywhere.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


I'm actually planning on, as a thing to maybe shake things up a bit after life, depression, and also the book being insanely boring, skip to where it starts going seriously off the rails in terms of everything. It's still going to be very boring, but at least it will be an INTENSELY stupid boring.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Larry Parrish posted:

Every time I remember that the People's Republic of Haven is basically just the US but the executive branch is full of flowery French Revolution style titles makes me laugh. Truly the threat of communism is everywhere.

I think that's maybe true, but there's always a danger of taking your local knowledge when reading and extrapolating from that. I surely never saw the PRH as the "US". It seemed to me like a melange of French Revolution coupled with European Liberalism. Especially when they use British terms like "the dole" to describe their version of unemployment benefits.

The PRH seemed custom-tailored to be the dark future of the European Union, as seen by an American.

And this viewpoint I still have, because it's hard to just shed the environment here in Germany I grew up with, deeply steeped in our own ideas and values, which often clash with US-ideas. Back then when I was first reading David Weber's books, it didn't even really occur to me that a dirty American author may have other, closer targets with his politics. I simply assumed all Americans would naturally be on the same side, politically speaking. The wrong side, of course.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Libluini posted:

I think that's maybe true, but there's always a danger of taking your local knowledge when reading and extrapolating from that. I surely never saw the PRH as the "US". It seemed to me like a melange of French Revolution coupled with European Liberalism. Especially when they use British terms like "the dole" to describe their version of unemployment benefits.

The PRH seemed custom-tailored to be the dark future of the European Union, as seen by an American.

And this viewpoint I still have, because it's hard to just shed the environment here in Germany I grew up with, deeply steeped in our own ideas and values, which often clash with US-ideas. Back then when I was first reading David Weber's books, it didn't even really occur to me that a dirty American author may have other, closer targets with his politics. I simply assumed all Americans would naturally be on the same side, politically speaking. The wrong side, of course.

It's actually Weber who has specifically said that the Republic of Haven/PRH is just "Welfare State America", though you never see it as a particularly thought-out 'welfare state'.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

Kchama posted:

It's actually Weber who has specifically said that the Republic of Haven/PRH is just "Welfare State America", though you never see it as a particularly thought-out 'welfare state'.

Yeah, but the German translators made sure I never knew this. And when I later switched to English originals, I guess I still didn't really care enough about the equivalent of literary junk food to seek out David Weber's non-fiction writing.

Though maybe I should have. Reading an author's ideas of how the world works according to them has become a certain kind of litmus test for me over the last years. If I had known the source of Weber's ideas, I probably had bailed out before this entire mess ended in tedious disappointment. As long as I could brush his wrong-headed ideas off as "typical American with blinders on", I could ignore how nuts he truly is.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


I foolishly read all of Ringo's posleen novels a few years ago and the Weber/Ringo one set in Panama had one of the most truly unhinged afterwords I've ever read about how the UN and EU are secretly full of hardened Marxist sleeper agents, because as we all know the collapse of the CCCP was actually a plot to make us let our guards down.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Larry Parrish posted:

I foolishly read all of Ringo's posleen novels a few years ago and the Weber/Ringo one set in Panama had one of the most truly unhinged afterwords I've ever read about how the UN and EU are secretly full of hardened Marxist sleeper agents, because as we all know the collapse of the CCCP was actually a plot to make us let our guards down.

The evil awful menace of the Tranzis, or Transnationalists.

I can't tell if it's a jab at trans people, nazis, or both.

Wibla
Feb 16, 2011


Larry Parrish posted:

I foolishly read all of Ringo's posleen novels a few years ago and the Weber/Ringo one set in Panama had one of the most truly unhinged afterwords I've ever read about how the UN and EU are secretly full of hardened Marxist sleeper agents, because as we all know the collapse of the CCCP was actually a plot to make us let our guards down.

https://www.garygibson.net/2008/05/oh-john-ringo-no.html

I read the Posleen novels years and years ago, and while they're pageturners, they're hardly GOOD. Don''t overthink anything in them though, if you value your sanity.

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


I honestly cant tell you how I managed to finish them, because I didn't like it at any point. And basically whenever a woman was involved I actively hated it.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


"Don't think about it" always just says "Don't read it" to me.

Wibla
Feb 16, 2011


I thought that was pretty heavily implied

C.M. Kruger
Oct 28, 2013


Ringo is just a bad writer in general, even as a dumb teenager who read too much of the Honor Harrington series I realized that and avoided his stuff.

quantumfoam posted:

Haha, someone followed my reading recommendation. You utter fool you.

Hey there's worse out there, and I mainly read this level of stuff to deaden the pain of existence my brain for a hour or so before going to sleep. Can't do that with a good author because then you start going "oh I'll just keep going another few pages" and it's 4AM.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



Haven is weird because while Weber enthusiastically describes that Haven is bad because it gives out welfare, he never actually depicts people in Haven receiving welfare. If anything Haven reads more as Nazi Germany where their economy is so predicated on stealing poo poo they have to keep expanding, and there are nominal benefits if you're the right people, but as always some animals are more equal than others.

It's in keeping with the line of genre authors to come up with a political metaphor at 2am than crap out 900 pages without bothering to see if the metaphor makes sense.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


TheGreatEvilKing posted:

Haven is weird because while Weber enthusiastically describes that Haven is bad because it gives out welfare, he never actually depicts people in Haven receiving welfare. If anything Haven reads more as Nazi Germany where their economy is so predicated on stealing poo poo they have to keep expanding, and there are nominal benefits if you're the right people, but as always some animals are more equal than others.

It's in keeping with the line of genre authors to come up with a political metaphor at 2am than crap out 900 pages without bothering to see if the metaphor makes sense.

The one single Haven we receive any sort of backstory on in the first two book's entire backstory, and nothing else, is that he was super special because he got to his position without being on welfare or being born into a might-as-well-be aristocratic family.

Gnoman
Feb 11, 2014

"What we therefore hath joined together, let Gnoman put asunder..."


That is a symptom of his focus on the top level. I'm only aware of one short story where we see any PRH civilians, and that's somebody that got kicked off of the welfare system due to corruption.

This is a great weakness of his writing - we eventually see a lot of bottom-up views, but only of the Solarian "protectorates", the pre-annexation Talbott governments, and (via Flint) Mesa. Daily life for normal people in any of the major players is a complete and total mystery.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


Grimey Drawer

TheGreatEvilKing posted:

Haven is weird because while Weber enthusiastically describes that Haven is bad because it gives out welfare, he never actually depicts people in Haven receiving welfare. If anything Haven reads more as Nazi Germany where their economy is so predicated on stealing poo poo they have to keep expanding, and there are nominal benefits if you're the right people, but as always some animals are more equal than others.

It's in keeping with the line of genre authors to come up with a political metaphor at 2am than crap out 900 pages without bothering to see if the metaphor makes sense.

It gets hilarious though if you know enough about the French Revolution to see where Weber was going with this, like the new French Republic having Napoleon wander around unabashedly plundering and stealing around Europe, always adding more "allies" to the revolution to be exploited. And then he crowned himself emperor, turning France back into a monarchy. Like Haven's "presidents" eventually became hereditary.

The parallels to Haven suddenly reveal themselves. Haven of course didn't start as a monarchy, but I'd consider a 1:1 analogy as bad writing, anyway.

Now the question remains: Was this actually intended by Weber, did he consult some historian really into French history for help, or is it all a lucky accident?

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



Can't be an evil monarchy, monarchs are always good!

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Niven/Pournelle nodding in agreement.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



There is a thing about how David Drake & Harry Turtledove went about writing mil-scifi/mil-fiction stories in the SFL Archives. Will post it up in here soonish.

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



That Harry Turtledove thing.

------------------------------

Date: 20 Apr 94 08:54:33 GMT
From: JRZ3@psuvm.psu.edu (Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman)
Reply-to: sf-lovers-written@Rutgers.Edu
Subject: re: Harry Turtledove

Re: the discussion on Turtledove and Toynbee, I took the liberty of asking
Harry what HE thought. His response is below:

History Roundtable 16.3.259, GEnie network, Mon Apr 18, 1994
H.TURTLEDOVE [Harry]

I may have been trained as a historian, but (what I tell you three times is
true) I AM A FICTION WRITER!
I AM A FICTION WRITER!
I AM A FICTION WRITER!
Stories are for entertainment first, or they fail. I have no obligation,
and no intention, of being consistent in historical viewpoint from one
story or set of stories to the next, especially if looking at things is
style B rather than style A lets me do something new and I hope more
interesting.

------------------------------

tldr:Story consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


Polikarpov posted:

Goon Project- Buy the good General the IP rights to the Honorverse.

Wasn't there talk of a movie at one point? I guess that never escaped development hell.

FuturePastNow
May 19, 2014




I don't think they'll be able to find a 6'3" British-Asian fitness model for the lead

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Farmer Crack-rear end posted:

Wasn't there talk of a movie at one point? I guess that never escaped development hell.

Movie was cancelled six years ago. Weber hitched himself to a company that planned a huge multimedia Honorverse blitz including movies, video games, and comic books and the only thing that happened were the comic books and I think the company went under too, taking all the video games and movies with it.

Apparently at some point it was going to be turned into a miniseries because they decided that Honor of the Queen was too difficult to turn into a one and a half hour/two hour movie, which is pretty much of them to think, considering there is not that much anything in HotQ or On Basilisk Station. They were going with HotQ though.

FuturePastNow posted:

I don't think they'll be able to find a 6'3" British-Asian fitness model for the lead



This is the lady Weber wanted to play Honor.

Kchama fucked around with this message at 04:41 on Mar 5, 2021

Larry Parrish
Jul 9, 2012


lmao

C.M. Kruger
Oct 28, 2013


Oh geeze they made a really generic looking mobile game too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie_WOzuO8cY

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





I forgot to link this, General Bautua re-wrote Mission of Honor in six weeks. It's a substantial improvement on Weber's version. Even, or especially, if you've given up on Weber's originals, read this.

https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/mission-of-honor-retold.64883/

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Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP


Note that the comics got as far as doing On Basilisk Station before the company in charge of all of this shut down for good. Weber sure picked a winner with all of this.

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