New Honor Harrington Book, Tree cats suck.

Discussion in 'Space Battles Main' started by TurtleSoap, May 22, 2012.

  1. Tai Falkenburg

    Tai Falkenburg Joy To The World!

    I don't mind Treecats, though I wished Weber just focused on them in the short story collections where they can get better focus and not putter around in the novels. Oh well, at least they have those YA books about the treecats now.
  2. Sven

    Sven Deplorable reindeer

    He first showed up in The Short Victorious War.
  3. Karazor

    Karazor The Monkey Underground

    Did he? Wow, I'll have to reread it. If so, then Weber totally ripped off Flint's Gary Stu character, though.
  4. He didn't actually do anything there. He was a passenger in a convoy that was ambushed by Peep raiders. His wife heroically sacrificed herself and her ship so that the convoy could get away. The passage was more about Theisman's chance to shine by basically telling the Peep CO everything she was doing wrong, which incidentally got him his first fleet command when Pierre and the Committee took over.
  5. Memphet'ran

    Memphet'ran Looking into the light

    You know, from what I've heard of where the series is going that sounds like a premise that would seriously be more interesting than the actual series.

    Mary Sue nation beats up huge state many times its size which has conveniently technologically stagnated so the only difficulty in kicking them over is not having enough ammunition


    Manticore thinks it's Mary Sue nation being heroically successful, but is really the puppets of aliens plotting to take over humanity.
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  6. Slybrarian

    Slybrarian Shiftship Pilot

    Correction: beats up huge state army many times its size that had once technological parity and then, in the course of a couple books/years, suddenly fell off the tech tree and became incompetent. Treecat sabotage may be the best explanation for why the Sollies suddenly went from being fearsome and selling their second-tier military tech to Haven in order to keep them slightly behind Manticore to being decades behind where they supposedly were and unable to run an interstellar polity that dwarfs the rest of human space combined.
  7. It's actually like that, but instead of treecats, it's the the Mesan Alignment plotting to take over humanity and reshaping it genetically.

    It seems that some of those that posted in this thread are missing the fact that the real war will be between Manticore and allies vs. the Mesan Alignment.

    The same Mesan Alignment that spent centuries working on setting the conditions for a crisis big enough to destroy the SL.
    The original M.A. plan was to use the PRH as the trigger of the crisis to advance their agenda a few centuries later in the timeline.
    The legislaturists, after taking control of Manticore, planned to take over Silesia and later the Andermani Empire to continue sustaining their "imperialism based" economy, at that point they believed they would have become big enough to start expanding directly toward SL territory.
    But for various unexpected events (especially treecats trying to keep a low profile, but being quite militant at protecting "their" humans when needed), Haven expansism got stopper, but the M.A. out of that saw an opportunity to speed up their plan (using Manticore to trigger a crisis to speed up the collapse of SL).
    In "A Rising Thunder" Manticore and allies have a technological advantage over the SLN, but they know they can't really win, at most they can expect to survive by making the SL collapse (and triggering a series of secession wars or worse), while SL leadership thinks it can still win by buying time to reduce their military technology gap and later using massive quantity over quality if needed.
    Instead the Mesan Alignment is winning, it's too late to stop the collapse of SL and they think they have all the time needed to build one little step after another their "new" league that will replace the SL in a few centuries and gradually take control of the rest of human controlled space.
  8. king of hybrids

    king of hybrids Bewildered Bystander

    the thought occurs that they might need to reschedule by a millenia or so, considering that Haven, Anderman, Manticore and Grayson are on to them. heck, even the masadans might not be easy to play (in the sense of give ships + point at grayson = watch them distract enemy via trying (and failing) to get to grayson through them) now
  9. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    The Mesan plan really doesn't make a lot of sense.
  10. Again, consider how big is SL and the the vastness of space and timescale involved.

    Even after centuries the Mesan Alignment couldn't hope to take full control of the SL, too big, with too many lobbies and faction and too few effective power in the hands of the top league burocrats. The moment they tried to become too active in peacetime those lobbies and faction would notice something was wrong and react and the Alignment was too dispersed and with too few resources under direct control to hope counter all of them or even a sizable portion of them, in a scenario like that at most it could hope to become yet another lobby/faction in the huge SL political playground.

    So the Alignment solution was to cause a crisis that will shatter the SL and open the road to a "new" league with more centralized control and with the alignment agents prepositioned to be the new leadership risen to the task in time of troubles etc. etc.

    From their point of view their plan has not been delayed, it has been accelerated.
    And they think they can manage the information leaked to Manticore & C.

    To the Alignment the whole Haven sector is just a tool to use and later discard. A whole sector with hundreds of worlds is just a tool to them, a tool to use to destroy an even bigger political entity.

    Now, Manticore, Haven, etc. know about the existence of the Alignment, but it's too late and they know tooo little, with too few evidence to be able stop the conflit that will cause the collapse of the SL and what's more important they don't know how deep Alignment agents have infiltrated SL worlds, nor they know if some of the leaders of the SL worlds that later may cooperate with them are part of the Alignment or not.

    Most of their evidence is a single "traitor" not high enough in the Alignment and the knowledge that Alignment activities started in Mesa and some of their sock puppets (Manpower, etc.) have their headquarters there.
    But the local Alignment leadership is already ready to leave Mesa and erase potential evidence from there in a way or another; from what happens in the book it's clear that they expect a visit by a Manticoran or the Andermani task force loaded for bear and that they plan to use it to their advantage to cover their tracks and maybe further push SL to the point of no return.
  11. mackon

    mackon Missing & Presumed Dead Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Weber himself used to do a much better job of it.
  12. I thought that the plan was that when the Mesans triggered the crisis and the Solarian League shattered, they wanted to make sure that all the pieces would gravitate to THEIR puppet alliance because it would be the ONLY polity that would be able to guarantee safety, law, and order. They didn't want any socially healthy star nations that could possibly form a rival bloc to which Solly fragments would be drawn like the pre-Peep Haven and the current Star Empire of Manticore, because then they wouldn't have effective control of most of humanity.

    As long as the primary Haven sector power was just a big voracious appetite, nobody was going to join it willingly, which would guarantee the Solly replacement state would be able to sweep up all the fragments after the League fell apart. But the Haven Sector powers are no longer mindless conquistadors AND there's not one but TWO (at least) power blocks there that can offer other centers that Solly fragments will gravitate too, which is something the Mesans did NOT want.

    Yeah, the Mesans plan has been accelerated... but only because of a kink in it that could ultimately make it come off the rails. The Mesans wanted ALL of the Solarian League to come under their banner. But that's not going to happen when Manticore and Haven (and possibly even the Andermani) can offer much of the same protections.
  13. Tassadar

    Tassadar The Overlord of Cakes & Toucans!

    How are the SL suppose to shattered, they believe they are sollies first and so any threat to them would draw them closer as it become a "US vs Them", given they are also bigger than any other group they will quickly out tech everyone else to.

    I maybe a fairly out of date.
  14. Firethorn

    Firethorn Cleric, Church of Weber

    Basically, introduce enough social, economic and political shocks that people react with a 'us first' policy, and stop contributing to the solarian government in favor of securing their own planet/sector.

    You can actually see smidges of it here in the USA with Texas, California, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Mississippi, and probably a few other states that I can't remember passing laws that are blatantly illegal under federal law. I'm talking about things like legal medical marijuana, illegal alien sanctuaries, abortion restrictions, gun restrictions/allowances, demands for federal lands, gay marriage, etc...

    Now normally an outside threat would indeed cause all the states to 'shut up and color', but that's where that secret arm of Manpower is 'getting too big for their britches', in that they think they've figured out a way to make an exterior threat another force for dissolution, not fortification.

    My thinking is that they were going after the Solarian Government being seen as 'deserving it' by their own people. Consider the current situation - with proper propaganda, you play up that it was the SOLARIAN fleet that shot at the Manticores, violating the core ethos of the solarian government in the first place. Idea: turn it into a future version of Vietnam.

    Second: The solarian navy gets it's ass reamed. It's been stated many times that the battle fleet is horribly green and a couple centuries behind the technology curve at this point; they can make it up much faster than that, but the current situation is like fresh civil war recruits going up against battle-hardened veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Idea: The solarian military is seen as ineffective; yet the enemy is so remote that, for the most part, other systems and regions don't feel threatened by the attackers; at least not as long as they can spend their resources fortifying their own worlds. So they stop contributing to the front line war effort.

    Third: The threat is not existential for most systems - Manticore, Haven, are still way too small to actually take over all the sollies, and they don't even want to try. They're perfectly willing to sign(and respect) non-agression pacts with systems that withdraw support from the main branch.

    I know I'm not putting it together all that well, but that's my thinking. Remember, I don't think this would/is going to work. It's just that it's the plan the genetic slavers came up with. Roughly.
  15. Tassadar

    Tassadar The Overlord of Cakes & Toucans!

    How long did it take Manticore and Haven to get to where they are at in technology and how much smaller are they compare to SL?
  16. Firethorn

    Firethorn Cleric, Church of Weber

    When do you start the measuring stick? In the books you find out that some of the reserve ships in the solarian battlefleet have been there for several centuries without a refit - they were supposed to get refit, however the resources were diverted elsewhere and the upgrades only took place on paper. I don't know where, but I think I remember reading somewhere that some of them still had autocannon point defense.

    I said navy for a reason, though I should of said battlefleet - the solarians are much more advanced on average, but they hadn't been putting the modernization funds into their dreadnoughts. Instead the frontier fleet is much more cutting edge - to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if a Frontier cruiser group could be a credible threat to a BF SDN.

    It'd be like if we'd had an Iowa class up in drydock for the past 50 years, and it's supposedly had the last generation radars and CIWS installed 10 years ago, but when something happens and we go to put it in the water it's discovered that the last upgrades were actually 40 years ago.

    The 10 year old radar and stuff wouldn't be ideal, but would at least give you a combat ready craft. The 40 year upgrades don't give you anything but a sitting duck at this point.
  17. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Weber is entirely too fond of trying to tug on the heartstrings.....and he's about as subtle as a brick to the face, when he does it.

    Case in point: at the end of one of the "Shadow of Saganami" books, when the shot-up cruiser returns to Manticore from the Talbot Cluster......and the entire <Number> Fleet is in formation to let them pass in review, while signaling "Yours is the honor!".... shed a single tear as you read this, like an Indian who sees litter on the highway.

    Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

    It's especially egregious to anyone who's been in uniform for 10 days or more. You realize that there's a hundred thousand or so Manticoran ratings who got rousted out to do what amounts to a Change of Command ceremony (a pointless waste of time, that requires several multiples of the time spent doing it, just to prepare and organize it).

    Weber has never worn the uniform, and it shows. Not in the combat stuff, which is pseudotechnical enough to sound OK (if rather dry), but in the characters. Usually, that wouldn't matter, but Weber leans on me a bit too much to bear.
    wellis and stormbringer951 like this.
  18. dacis2

    dacis2 Bureaucrat Moderator

    You'd probably still feel pretty good about it if you were the one being honoured though. I would at least.

    Also, your feelings are clearly a reason why you're not suited for flag rank :p Since when have the Powers That Be ever cared about what we have to do when they want to do something that they think is "meaningful"?
  19. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    More often than most would believe.

    ...and, you missed my point, having been one of those forced into the "mandatory congratulations" festivities, I can put myself in the shoes of everyone in those ships who had something better to do with his/her time....and the result is the complete opposite of what Weber was trying to do.

    Weber also waxes hagiographic on the leaders and soldiers on the "good" side (you can recognize them by how much they love/respect/admire Honor Harrington and parrot her opinions), and demonizes everyone on the "evil" (does not like Honor Harrington, and likes to force children to blow goats) side.

    That's not how it works. When I was commanding a Rifle Company, I had a Platoon Leader who was a nightmare to his troops, who hated him for being a maniacal micromanager, and savaged a decent squad leader on his NCOER...but got along with me, understood my orders at the "intent" level, knew how to maneuver a Platoon in a fight and how to train it, and could be trusted to carry out my intent on detached operations (incredibly important in our AO) and accomplish the mission.
    Another PL I had, simultaneously, was adored by his troops, mentored his NCO's, tried at all times to accomplish the Be/Know/Do list....and I couldn't trust him out of my sight. He stuck to my written OPORD at times when he should have used his initiative, used his initiative at times when he should have stuck to the OPORD, and generally fucked up every assignment his Platoon was given. No amount of mentorship or handholding by me or my XO (nor, in one extremely embarrassing case, the Battalion S-3) could get him in the zone.
    The first guy finished his PL time with a glowing OER (from me), and is now at SAMS (School of Advanced Military Studies, a plum assignment). The second was Relieved For Cause (by me), and is now out of the Army.

    No man is all one thing. We're all Angels and Devils in different ways.
  20. Sven

    Sven Deplorable reindeer

    A 20 year long war. The SLN payed very little, if any, attention to it and the tech advances coming out of it.
  21. ewarrior11

    ewarrior11 Vice Admiral, RHN

    I'll go with this. His stuff in the later books has been drier except when things do start exploding, but in the very last book I get the idea that he's gearing up for an epic confrontation.

    Or maybe I just like political thrillers more than I thought.
  22. Fourth: Unless the scene was deleted in the final version, the Mesans also have subverted control of a dozen Solly system governments (their leaders are all secretly card carrying members of the Mesan Allignment) which are all upstanding members of the League with no obvious connections to Mesa. It's outright said that when the time is right, those systems will outright call the League no longer workable and outright secede to form their own "New Solarian League" or some such thing and invite anyone who wants to join them. And of course, the membership requirements are going to be different from the old League and much more to the Mesans' liking.

    Incidentally, I suspect it's Beowulf (which is NOT a Mesan proxy) that winds up leading the secession charge and taking quite a few systems with her... to the Manties. Very much NOT the Mesan plan.

    Fifth: Many/most of the Verge and Shell systems DON'T think of themselves as Sollies because they were literally conquered by Frontier Fleet and administered by the OFS under the guise of "peace keeping" and such. Such "protectorates" are generically described as little more than sector wide kleptocracies where OFS governors loot the local economies to fill their bank accounts. One of the worries expressed by the Solly bureaucrats is that if the SLN's image of invincibility gets cracked that they''ll be looking at uprisings all throughout the Verge and Shell. And that doesn't even get into places like the Maya Sector where the local OFS governor Has A Clue and is already planning to break off and form his own Star Nation.

    Sixth: The Solarian League exists to prevent wars and Eridani incidents and the like. At some point, it's going to become pretty obvious that it's the SLN and League bureaucrats who are pushing the war and that the politicians who are supposed to be in charge can't restrain them. For example, recall that Crandall's speech about how the SLN can't let "uppity neobarbs destroy SLN regardless of whose fault the original incident was" was recorded. The entire content of the speech is in complete contradiction of what the Solarian League is supposed to stand for. So when the Solarian League Navy and Government are actively working against their core mission statement, they pretty much lose any legitimacy in the eyes of their member worlds.
  23. Owen

    Owen Swordsman Extraordinaire! Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    I'd say it's not so much he can't write novels. His early novels a tight, fast paced and enojyable. The problem is that he's doesn't have to please editors any more. Take a Rising Thunder as an example. If it had been say, the third or fourth HV novel, an editor would have refused any suggestion of the book being split in to two, and probably have insist he cut it down to under 400 pages to make it economical for a paperback run. That forces Weber to concentrate on the good bits and discard the filler, no matter how much he might like it. As it is, the editors just let him write however he likes because they know it will sell. Even his short stories suffer from it. His later stuff in the "Worlds of Honor" tend to run at over 100 pages and take up half the book, and are about as slow as his recent novels.

    Part of it is that the universe has kind of gotten away from him. It's nice to have well fleshed out background characters, but you don't have to cover all of them in each book. If you do feel it's necessary, stop adding loads more in each novel!

    However, unlike some other authors with this problem, I do think Weber is salvagable. When he's good, he's very good. He just needs to filter his junk better. I also suspect he gets slower when he's bored of something. Safehold started out well in the first book and got very stodgy later on.
  24. Firethorn

    Firethorn Cleric, Church of Weber

    A sad thing that's happened to at least three authors I know about. Robert Jordan being another. In the movie field George Lucas suffers pretty much the same problem. ST:TNG was in many ways crippled by Gene Roddenberry's political objectives.
  25. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Editorship in general has gone to the dogs at Baen. Witness Ringo and Kratman.