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Honorverse ramblings and musings

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:06 pm

quite possibly a cat
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Wait TWTSNBN is the grav-lance? Honestly, I thought it did okay for a brand new weapon. How long did gunpowder take to displace crossbows again? Wasn't some of its tech used in those FTL comms too?

Although how no one had figured out how to send messages via wedge for several hundred years always confused me. Bees can communicate via movements. Why couldn't a ship do the same thing? Maybe some sort of Waggle Drone?

On the topic of drones why not more armed drones? Were are the Predator Drones? Shit, you have remotes that can manage martial arts! Give one of them a gun! I swear its like this society had a war were billions of people died because of out of control technology!
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by ti3x   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:17 pm

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quite possibly a cat wrote:Wait TWTSNBN is the grav-lance? Honestly, I thought it did okay for a brand new weapon. How long did gunpowder take to displace crossbows again? Wasn't some of its tech used in those FTL comms too?


Yeah, it wasn't a brand-new weapon. It's the equivalent of the terrestrial ship ram, which even came back into vogue with iron-clad ships here on Earth.

So the grav lance was standard issue on older BBs, DNs and SDs (as were energy torpedoes). They had the room to spare. The new use was on a "disposable" light cruiser.

In many ways, the Shrikes espouse a similar philosophy, except they are small and stealthy enough and the weapon is long-ranged enough to make them actually viable. Essentially torpedo boats.

This, too, isn't a coincidence.

quite possibly a cat wrote:Although how no one had figured out how to send messages via wedge for several hundred years always confused me. Bees can communicate via movements. Why couldn't a ship do the same thing? Maybe some sort of Waggle Drone?


Because reasons! Well, no, because of the finesse required to pull it off. That's why the early versions were so very low-bandwidth. It's why today light is used for high-speed communications, but used to be able to send very slow messages by semaphore, and before that, with only fire and no way to concentrate the signal, was unable to do much at all except to show that someone was there.

It's not the making of a wiggle that was the problem, it was the controlled making of a wiggle.

quite possibly a cat wrote:On the topic of drones why not more armed drones? Were (sic) are the Predator Drones? Shit, you have remotes that can manage martial arts! Give one of them a gun! I swear its like this society had a war were billions of people died because of out of control technology!


Actually, they kinda did...

Well, really, most of this stuff is ignored because of authorial fiat. That's why there is no high-level AI visible. Nor combat drones.

I believe part of it would likely be that this series was started over 25 years ago. Combat drones as we know them today were not around, and AI and machine learning as we know it today had not permeated the zeitgeist. DW may or may not have known about it (a lot of scifi authors of that generation/time were stuck in the Isaac Asimov model of AI, where AI has actual personality and resembles humans, and DW specifically avoided that kind of AI), but really, it wasn't until relatively recently that it all stopped being pie-in-the-sky stuff and became over the horizon or closer tech.

So any tech like that has to be retconned in, and sometimes it's just not worth the bother and easier to just say that there are moral objections to using it. Other times the author can get away with saying that it was always there but in the background.

This isn't limited to the Honorverse either. A lot of scifi authors miss simple things in their visions of the future, because at the time of writing that thing which we find very simple and every day isn't even on the horizon. That's why we as fans celebrate when authors do see something coming down the pipe, even if the resemblance is pretty janky.

But I feel your pain. As a futurist, I've often gotten pulled out of one of the Honorverse books because they appear to lack certain things that I knew were actually on the horizon even at the time of reading them. Prolong and the lack of augmented reality were the big ones for me, but a lot of low-level AI issues (esp. in the early books), and how in-universe programming works (it doesn't) are also things that I found difficult to swallow.

That's why as a sci-fi fan you should always keep your suspenders of disbelief clean and ready. ;)
Last edited by ti3x on Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:19 pm

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ti3x wrote:Cthia, dear, this isn't about you. This is about you raising a topic that is verboten for some very good reasons.

<SNIP>

And every time the topic has not been shut down forcefully, it multiplies. Because every reasonably worded "no" from the author just gets fans to reasonably and insistently suggest a new way (that has likely been suggested dozens or sometimes hundreds of times before). Which gets another "no". After which the fan will typically insist on an explanation from the author because entitlement, and the author ends up spending all his time explaining again and again why the answer is still "no" until he decides that fan interaction is just "the worst" and decides to go back to his life and family. You saw it starting in this thread.

<SNIP>



Cythia, it's not so much that I mind a good tussle. Even when I think the other guy's wrong, anyone with a half open mind learns something in every argument. KZT and Dilandu and I have gone a few rounds in the past (and KZT is still wrong about Admiral Chin and the BoM :P , so there! :lol: ), and generally enjoyed it a lot. But this particular thread is different. It's sort of like runaway killer nanotech. Like ti3x says, if I don't jump on it and beat it to death the instant it appears, the nanotech control program goes haywire, it proliferates, and before you know it, the entire forum has melted down into a seething tide of black goo.

I think another bit of it is that I really do try to listen reasonably to questions about/interpretations of Honorverse tech (and politics, for that matter) and the logical implications of what's going on. Logical implications (and consequences) are critically important to any story line that depends on evolving technology and doctrine. Otherwise, you've got to figure out why the transporter is broken this episode . . . or just ignore the question of why no one beamed 5 or 6 kilos aboard the Borg Cube on its way to Earth while all those boarding parties were trying to rescue Picatd. Hah! like to see their "personal shields" deal with that! :twisted:

But because I do listen, and because I try to take comments and suggestions seriously, I sometimes have to be able to just turn a thread off or get into an endless chain of explanations for why it won't work or The Reason That's a Very, Very, [i][b] Very Bad Idea™. I really do hate just flat shutting down threads by sort of authorial fiat, but sometimes I don’t have a choice.
Last edited by runsforcelery on Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by kzt   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:53 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:a half open mind learns something in every argument. KZT and Dilandu and I have gone a few rounds in the past (and KZT is still wrong about Admiral Chin and the BoM :P , so there! :lol: ), and generally enjoyed it a lot.

Chin? I have issues with Kuzak's and 3rd fleet mass suicide. Chin did exactly what she was supposed to and your explanation makes sense.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:07 pm

quite possibly a cat
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ti3x wrote:Yeah, it wasn't a brand-new weapon. It's the equivalent of the terrestrial ship ram, which even came back into vogue with iron-clad ships here on Earth.

So the grav lance was standard issue on older BBs, DNs and SDs (as were energy torpedoes). They had the room to spare. The new use was on a "disposable" light cruiser.
Ohhhh.... Wow, this stuff is really well thought out!
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by ti3x   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:18 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:<SNIP>

I think another bit of it is that I really do try to listen reasonably to questions about/interpretations of Honorverse tech (and politics, for that matter) and the logical implications of what's going on. Logical implications (and consequences) are critically important to any story line that depends on evolving technology and doctrine. Otherwise, you've got to figure out why the transporter is broken this episode . . . or just ignore the question of why no one beamed 5 or 6 kilos aboard the Borg Cube on its way to Earth while all those boarding parties were trying to rescue Picatd. Hah! like to see their "personal shields" deal with [i]that![/] :twisted:

<SNIP>


Or how about those bio neural gel packs that somehow managed to work faster than the made up circuitry that was faster than the other made up circuitry that was faster than regular old molecular or near-molecular circuitry...

...when the primary purpose of a biological neural network is to do massively parallel "fuzzy-logic"* work as efficiently as possible at an acceptable, although not terribly fast, speed.

Also, don't build vital ship components that can catch a cold.

* Edited to add fuzzy-logic, since that was the old programming term before neural nets and machine learning were actual things we could make. And for anyone that's a stickler, yes, they are different, but in the 90's that was the best we had.
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:05 pm

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cthia wrote:But it wasn't just the money. It was also the implications of said money, if found, when found, after an investigation. A transfer into his account just prior to his apparent "suicide" would possibly suggest foul play to an astute investigator and it seems that the MA would want to avoid any and all strings and complications.

It may also beg to question why someone who had just received such a large amount of cash would kill himself. I think I missed something.

I don't remember the specifics of that transfer, but in theory a large transfer of cash just before someone killed themselves could support the idea of a suicide.

They were bribed to do something horrible, they couldn't live with themselves after doing it, so they killed themselves.

In theory if the MAlign could make it looke like the head of the SLN took bribe money from an interstellar to push for Raging Justice to smack down the uppity Manticorans it wouldn't be all that hard to believe that he'd then be unable to live with the outcome (not just the thousands of dead sailors, but the massive loss of prestige to the SLN and the destruction of capture of literally over a century of their warship construction)

ti3x wrote:Dude, TWTSNBN was a major source of fracture in the fandom, and has been a major pain in the side of the author since at least the original Baen's Bar web forum opened (and possibly earlier, when fans would congregate on Usenet). Your proposal is unlikely to even be the first for that particular setup.
I seem to recall the first suggestion that a spider drive leg could act like a grav lance coming up about 5 minutes (minor exaggeration) after we first heard about them.

And it got shot down almost as quickly. RFC has said, innumerable times over the last couple decades, that NOTHING other that a wedge of at least a CL sized warship has the power to project a lance capable of dropping the sidewall of a major warship.

Those TWTSNBN threads simple dwarf to insignificance the little spats had here over the proper use of captured SLN SDs (true whether you're measuring by longevity, vitriol, or recurrence). Heck just in the infodump pearls you can see some responses from him to suggestions from 1998 Usenet threads about crazy uses for the grav lance.

I recall that RFC once said he actually had had a possible evolution of the grav lance penciled in as far future part of the tech tree and thought better of that after the insanity of all those threads.

Let's all keep this genie safely bottled. (And sorry if this triggers any more posts on GLs)
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by kzt   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:28 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
I recall that RFC once said he actually had had a possible evolution of the grav lance penciled in as far future part of the tech tree and thought better of that after the insanity of all those threads.

It’s probably going to turn out that grab lances are the counter to something the MA has, but only one ship still in service has one... :lol:
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by ldwechsler   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:57 pm

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kzt wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:
I recall that RFC once said he actually had had a possible evolution of the grav lance penciled in as far future part of the tech tree and thought better of that after the insanity of all those threads.

It’s probably going to turn out that grab lances are the counter to something the MA has, but only one ship still in service has one... :lol:



can we drop this topic and weapon already?
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Re: Honorverse ramblings and musings
Post by George J. Smith   » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:46 am

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The snippets from rfc have certainly re-galvanised the forum!
.
T&R
GJS

A man should live forever, or die in the attempt
Spider Robinson Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (1977) A voice is heard in Ramah
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