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Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)

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Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by RustyDust   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:39 am

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Hello everyone,

I just got around to registering. I've been a fan of the Honorverse books for around six years now. I devoured them in one two-month long mega-readathon, up to the available volumes.

I am a rabid fan, yet after three or four complete read-thrus of the complete books, spin-offs, anthologies, some online available stories, etc I have detected a few inconsistencies in the books.

I'd like to pose them as questions, rather than assuming I am right about it. So, without further ado:

1) Temporal inconsistency: In "The Promised Land" and "Ruthless" we come to see the story of Judith and Michael Winton. In this story Michael Winton's role first is that of quasi-ambassador to Massada, plus his help in gettting Judith and the refugee women to Manticore.
But in "Ruthless" Michael's role is that of the patsy to embarass his sister, Queen Elizabeth, so that the newly formed alliance contract with Grayson should become invalid and useless. This is pretty much the reason for the whole shenanigans of the second story.

Problem: this story plays 2-3 years after "The Promised Land", which was set in 1892 A.D., so it should play around 1894-1895. Unluckily for the temporal consistency, there was no contract of alliance with Grayson at that time. That is dealt with in the novel "Honor of the Queen", which is set in 1903 A.D., thus at least 8 years AFTER "Ruthless". Thus, the whole premise for the story becomes invalid. Unluckily it is also not possible to just rejigger the whole stories of the escape from Massada by a few years forward, as Michael would then have been a few years older, and his family and relatives would also have been older as well. But the story explicitly points to the specific ages of Michael's relatives.

A) Did anyone notice this? And
B) How would you propose to solve this conundrum in future editions of the books (should there be re-edited versions in the pipeline)?

2) In "Honor Among Enemies" during the last few chapters, the destroyer Hawkwing tears off in its 'unscheduled' exercise, while Artemis and the convoy the destroyer is guarding are in a grav-wave at several thousand gravities acceleration. Here comes the inconsistency:
Mr Weber specifically explained multiple times that missile combat in hyper is completely impossible as absolutely NO impeller wedge can form inside a grav-wave in hyper-space.
Thus there could also NEVER be sidewalls in H-space, as there would be no wedge floor and roof to anchor the sidewalls to.
But the description of the faked action of the destroyer includes multiple inconsistencies: the destroyer bringing up sidewalls before haring off, then multiple missile waves in rapid fire mode being fired at an imaginary target that Artemis could not detect,all while in H-space.

Is this an inconsistency, or did I miss info about alterations to sidewall generators that work off the Warshawski sails? Or missiles that work in H-space by employing Warshawski sails as propulsion?

3) How is any kind of communication possible inside H-space among ships of a convoy? As any kind of emmissions used for communications are basically light-speed or slower, but the ships themselves are travelling in a compressed H-space bubble at speeds effectively greater than the speed of light, anyone at the front of such a convoy could never recieve ANY kind of transmission from anyone behind them in the convoy.

4) How are pinnaces or shuttles able to travel between ships in a convoy in H-space as they can not generate warshawski sails themselves. As they leave the field of the Warshawski sails of the ship that is carrying them they should immediately be slower than the ships they just took off from, as these ships are under continuous acceleration. As pinnaces and shuttles are ONLY able to generate wedges, but not warshawksis they should not be able to travel inside a grav-wave at all by themselves. As such, transfer from one ship to another inside a grav-wave by pinnace or shuttle should be impossible.

Again, did I miss somethig there?
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Theemile   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:52 am

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RustyDust wrote:Hello everyone,

I just got around to registering. I've been a fan of the Honorverse books for around six years now. I devoured them in one two-month long mega-readathon, up to the available volumes.

I am a rabid fan, yet after three or four complete read-thrus of the complete books, spin-offs, anthologies, some online available stories, etc I have detected a few inconsistencies in the books.

I'd like to pose them as questions, rather than assuming I am right about it. So, without further ado:

1) Temporal inconsistency: In "The Promised Land" and "Ruthless" we come to see the story of Judith and Michael Winton. In this story Michael Winton's role first is that of quasi-ambassador to Massada, plus his help in gettting Judith and the refugee women to Manticore.
But in "Ruthless" Michael's role is that of the patsy to embarass his sister, Queen Elizabeth, so that the newly formed alliance contract with Grayson should become invalid and useless. This is pretty much the reason for the whole shenanigans of the second story.

Problem: this story plays 2-3 years after "The Promised Land", which was set in 1892 A.D., so it should play around 1894-1895. Unluckily for the temporal consistency, there was no contract of alliance with Grayson at that time. That is dealt with in the novel "Honor of the Queen", which is set in 1903 A.D., thus at least 8 years AFTER "Ruthless". Thus, the whole premise for the story becomes invalid. Unluckily it is also not possible to just rejigger the whole stories of the escape from Massada by a few years forward, as Michael would then have been a few years older, and his family and relatives would also have been older as well. But the story explicitly points to the specific ages of Michael's relatives.

A) Did anyone notice this? And
B) How would you propose to solve this conundrum in future editions of the books (should there be re-edited versions in the pipeline)?

2) In "Honor Among Enemies" during the last few chapters, the destroyer Hawkwing tears off in its 'unscheduled' exercise, while Artemis and the convoy the destroyer is guarding are in a grav-wave at several thousand gravities acceleration. Here comes the inconsistency:
Mr Weber specifically explained multiple times that missile combat in hyper is completely impossible as absolutely NO impeller wedge can form inside a grav-wave in hyper-space.
Thus there could also NEVER be sidewalls in H-space, as there would be no wedge floor and roof to anchor the sidewalls to.
But the description of the faked action of the destroyer includes multiple inconsistencies: the destroyer bringing up sidewalls before haring off, then multiple missile waves in rapid fire mode being fired at an imaginary target that Artemis could not detect,all while in H-space.

Is this an inconsistency, or did I miss info about alterations to sidewall generators that work off the Warshawski sails? Or missiles that work in H-space by employing Warshawski sails as propulsion?

3) How is any kind of communication possible inside H-space among ships of a convoy? As any kind of emmissions used for communications are basically light-speed or slower, but the ships themselves are travelling in a compressed H-space bubble at speeds effectively greater than the speed of light, anyone at the front of such a convoy could never recieve ANY kind of transmission from anyone behind them in the convoy.

4) How are pinnaces or shuttles able to travel between ships in a convoy in H-space as they can not generate warshawski sails themselves. As they leave the field of the Warshawski sails of the ship that is carrying them they should immediately be slower than the ships they just took off from, as these ships are under continuous acceleration. As pinnaces and shuttles are ONLY able to generate wedges, but not warshawksis they should not be able to travel inside a grav-wave at all by themselves. As such, transfer from one ship to another inside a grav-wave by pinnace or shuttle should be impossible.

Again, did I miss somethig there?


Hello RustyDust, Welcome to the Forum, as it's customary here: Sidle up to the bar and the first virtual Old Tilman's on us.

After that, My stock is running low, so If you find a local vendor, please let me know.

Let me handle a few things...

#2) this has been brought up before. I believe it was authorial error - It was meant to be set in Hyperspace between grav waves, not a grav wave itself. It's been awhile since I read the book. It might have been set in a Rift - a volume of space that a rogue wave travels. The Rogue waves move across these voids randomly, so Rifts are usually avoided unless they are in major trade paths, which one (the Sellkar?) does between Andermani and Silesian Space. When the wave isn't there, the Rifts are just like normal Hyper space, and are traversed via wedges. The problem is the wave can suddenly shift positions, so the rifts are traveled at a fairly low speed, so sensors will give you enough warning to shift to sails if the wave suddenly comes your way.

At that time, sidewalls required wedges to be stitched to and there has never been a hyperspace missile - It would require Alpha nodes to make the sails, and thus be the size of a small Dispatch boat, and as expensive to boot.

3) When you are in Hyper, each Band acts like a version of normal space - with a local light speed and similar physics rules. You just need the hyper generator to move between them - the generator is in standby mode when you are moving in a hyperband. The big difference is the grav waves that run through the bands. Light and radio still work the same, so you could still talk via radio and laser beam - you would just need to adjust for any gravity distortion of the signal - which would be easy with a digital signal.

4) same as #3 - when you are in "normal" hyper space, the physics rules are similiar enough that any thing you can do in normal space, you can do in Hyper space. The partical count is significantly higher, so I would assume the radiation count is also - so no sunbathing without SPF 9x10^8, and all swim trunks should be lead lined.

In an Grav wave, however, nothing can exist without Sails, so small craft, missiles or EVA is impossible, but in the spaces between waves (which is >90% of Hyper space) the normal rules apply.

I strongly suggest checking the pearls if you havn't, Joe Buckley (the one who launched a thousand deaths) has collected some of David's wisdom from conversations online.

http://infodump.thefifthimperium.com/series/Harrington/
Last edited by Theemile on Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by kzt   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:06 am

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#1. It’s a cool story. It understands the cultures and tech and has characters that seem fairly real. But the timeline doesn’t work. You are not the first person to notice that. It is what it is.

Basically you have to not think too hard about the timeline.
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Theemile   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:06 am

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kzt wrote:#1. It’s a cool story. It understands the cultures and tech and has characters that seem fairly real. But the timeline doesn’t work. You are not the first person to notice that. It is what it is.

Basically you have to not think too hard about the timeline.


It could have been that they were negotiating for that long.

The crazyiest point is Grayson and Masada are just 1 week's hyper travel from Manticore - a region that Manticore has been patroling in one way or another since the war with the Brotherhood (Prior to 1600 pd), and is essentially Manticore's back yard. And yet, Manticore (whose freighters will travel 1000 light years to make a buck) is just getting around to normalizing relations and extending trade to both of the planets in 1890-1902 PD. Since they are the only "power" in the region, Manticore had to be THE member of the "Outside Universe" which refused to give Grayson technology to bring them back up to the level of the rest of the known universe, so Grayson had to develop it themselves.

Yet, in Honor of the Queen and the 2 sub-stories, we get the impression that Manticore is saying "Hey look, someone new, what will it take to make them my friend?" Not the "I guess we need the barbarians now, what shiney things will they want" attitude that the timeline and location suggests.

Worse, Graysons and Mesada's only hangup appears to be all the females strutting around in uniforms, not the fact that the richest and most advanced polity in the known Universe sits figuratively at the end of the block and has refused to talk to them or invite them in until recently, when Manticore decided to start a block watch due to the encroachment of people from the wrong side of the tracks.

Sorry, that's always bothered me....
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:18 am

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Theemile wrote:
#2) this has been brought up before. I believe it was authorial error - It was meant to be set in Hyperspace between grav waves, not a grav wave itself. It's been awhile since I read the book. It might have been set in a Rift - a volume of space that a rogue wave travels. The Rogue waves move across these voids randomly, so Rifts are usually avoided unless they are in major trade paths, which one (the Sellkar?) does between Andermani and Silesian Space. When the wave isn't there, the Rifts are just like normal Hyper space, and are traversed via wedges. The problem is the wave can suddenly shift positions, so the rifts are traveled at a fairly low speed, so sensors will give you enough warning to shift to sails if the wave suddenly comes your way.

At that time, sidewalls required wedges to be stitched to and there has never been a hyperspace missile - It would require Alpha nodes to make the sails, and thus be the size of a small Dispatch boat, and as expensive to boot.
He might have originally intended to set in in a rift, but if so he only did an incomplete revision when he moved it into the 'wave.
The book always has the ships accelerating away at "close to two thousand gravities, thanks to the grav wave", and Hawkwing always deploys sidewalls and decoys. But the original version of the text (which is what my ebook is) also has her launching missiles. I've also read a later partial revision where instead she lashes out with her energy mounts. (But that revision didn't fix the problem of sidewalls and decoys -- neither of which Hawkwing would have been able to deploy in a grav wave)

Just authorial error I assume - especially given that RFC did a partial fix in later editions. (It'd have been easier to just reduce the accel and claim the convoy was in a rift; that would have been just one sentence to change)

Now there are sidewalls that can work in grav waves, with sails up. Those are the bubble sidewalls that forts use, and one of the infodumps in either SVW or MTH mention that they can be used in ships - but grav wave combat is so rare that no navies do so; to much trade off against where they'd expect to experience combat.
Theemile wrote:
3) When you are in Hyper, each Band acts like a version of normal space - with a local light speed and similar physics rules. You just need the hyper generator to move between them - the generator is in standby mode when you are moving in a hyperband. The big difference is the grav waves that run through the bands. Light and radio still work the same, so you could still talk via radio and laser beam - you would just need to adjust for any gravity distortion of the signal - which would be easy with a digital signal.
One minor addition to that. You're right about how light and radio waves propagate in hyper, but there should be a surprising twist about how grav sensors and Manticore's FTL comms work there (that isn't really discussed in the books).

RFC said that the FTL comms and grav sensors work by detecting ripples moving along the next higher alpha wall AND that those signals propagate that that next higher hyper band's speed of light.

So in normal space those signals move at 62c (because if you look at the pearl on Effective Speed by Hyper Band we see that the velocity multiplier for the Alpha bands is 62, so the ratio between Alpha and normal is 62/1=62.
In the Delta bands where most merchant ships travel that multiplier is 2178; however the ratio between the Delta and Epsilon bands is a mere 1.32 - which implies that all FTL signals (ship's wedge/sail emissions, FTL coms, etc) are only 1.32x faster than light within the Delta bands. Vastly less useful than 62x you get in normal space.
And the Theta bands where warships travel it's an even lower 1.16 ratio.

So in commonly traveled hyper bands what your sensors tell you of other ship's maneuvers is far less FTL than you're used to.
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Theemile   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:52 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Now there are sidewalls that can work in grav waves, with sails up. Those are the bubble sidewalls that forts use, and one of the infodumps in either SVW or MTH mention that they can be used in ships - but grav wave combat is so rare that no navies do so; to much trade off against where they'd expect to experience combat.


You missed the other salient point about Bubble Sidewall Generators - they are huge. Nothing short of a Super Dreadnaught can carry one casually - and even then it would cut significantly in to its armament.

Forts use them because:
1) Forts are friggin' huge
2) Forts get to save mass on not having the 2nd drive ring, the Alpha nodes in the main ring, and all the associated hyper hardware - not to mention the normal sidewall generators
3) Forts are defending a point target so they don't need to move
and
4) The Bubble allows Forts 360 degree firing arcs - perfect for defending against attackers coming from all angles.

Awhile back we discussed what a Grav wave only combatant would look like - It would be a ship optimized for a Grav wave run between 2 points in pace, with little to no normal space fighting capability.

It would probably be a BB sized ship, with no missile launchers or CMs or PDLCs, festooned with armor on all sides and armed with Heavy Grasers. With no missiles, no missile defenses and ECM would be needed. With no Wedges in a Grav wave, determining the actual location of any ship would be easy for an opponent, removing the need for a multitude of small energy weapons to achieve a high probability of hits, which was required for Wedge combat.

To make a multipurpose version, you would have a gelded SD sized ship, probably with a BB's firepower and active defenses, just to protect merchies in a grav wave.

And no one would build either one - it would be pointless, especially due to the rarity of hyperspace combat (because just finding someone there is ... hard, to say the least). Since such a ship would be next to defenseless inside a system (where pirates and commerce raiders actually tend to lurk) and in the >90% of hyper that lies outside a grav wave, a normal destroyer, built a <10% of the cost, would be a better solution.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:00 am

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Theemile wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:
Now there are sidewalls that can work in grav waves, with sails up. Those are the bubble sidewalls that forts use, and one of the infodumps in either SVW or MTH mention that they can be used in ships - but grav wave combat is so rare that no navies do so; to much trade off against where they'd expect to experience combat.


You missed the other Salient point about bubble Sidewall Generators - they are huge. Nothing short of a Super Dreadnaught and carry one casually - and even then it would cut significantly in to the Armamant.

I didn't miss the point so much as gloss over it in my reference to "too much trade off" for installing them.

Though I admit I'd forgotten that the text in SVW explicitly said "capital ships"
Short Victorious War - Honor Harrington's Navy: NAVAL DESIGN AND DOCTRINE wrote:A few navies have experimented with the idea of mounting the sidewall bubble generators used to generate 360° "sidewalls" around fixed fortifications in their capital ships for use in hyper-space engagements, but the sheer mass of the system is self-defeating. A ship so equipped has an enormous advantage in hyper, but the volume consumed by the generators cuts deeply into that available for weapons, which places the same vessel at an even greater disadvantage in normal-space combat. Since n-space combat is the rule and hyper-space combat is the exception, no navy has ever built a major class of warship with bubble generators.
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by TheMadPenguin   » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:10 am

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There is another incongruency that is both dreadfully large and incurable:

It's just fiction; the whole Honorverse is just fiction!


Dammitalltohell!
Last edited by TheMadPenguin on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
======================================
Nimitz has a bleek sense of humor.
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Daryl   » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:44 am

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Careful they will hunt you down and kill you for that.
I have greatly enjoyed reading the Honorverse, regarding it as some of the finest entertainment I have ever come across in 65 years of reading. That said I do find some discussions on here amusing, as fans debate finer points as if it is actually real.

TheMadPenguin wrote:There is another incongruency that is both dreadfully large and incurable:

It's just fiction; the whole Honoverse is just fiction!


Dammitalltohell!
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Re: Incongruencies in the books (yet I still love them)
Post by Daryl   » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:35 am

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Come on you folks, I expected an immediate response.
Combining the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle with the reality of an infinite universe, whatever can happen will. Robert Heinlein covered this in "Friday".
Somewhere in this infinite cosmos there is a Honor Harrington fighting the good fight with Nimitz on her shoulder.

Daryl wrote:Careful they will hunt you down and kill you for that.
I have greatly enjoyed reading the Honorverse, regarding it as some of the finest entertainment I have ever come across in 65 years of reading. That said I do find some discussions on here amusing, as fans debate finer points as if it is actually real.

TheMadPenguin wrote:There is another incongruency that is both dreadfully large and incurable:

It's just fiction; the whole Honoverse is just fiction!


Dammitalltohell!
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