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Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"

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Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by roseandheather   » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:54 pm

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Hi all! Just dropping by to let y'all know I'll be starting my re-read in about.... eighteen hours, give or take :mrgreen:

If you have anything in particular you want me to focus on/talk about/etc, please drop a line here! I'll be posting my reflections by chapter (unless said chapters are super short, in which case I'll do two or three at a time). Hope y'all enjoy!
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by John Prigent   » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:52 am

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Well, if you're being 'Rosie' for this I hope you'll be sitting with a cup of Rosie Lee while you read!

Cheers, John

roseandheather wrote:Hi all! Just dropping by to let y'all know I'll be starting my re-read in about.... eighteen hours, give or take :mrgreen:

If you have anything in particular you want me to focus on/talk about/etc, please drop a line here! I'll be posting my reflections by chapter (unless said chapters are super short, in which case I'll do two or three at a time). Hope y'all enjoy!
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by roseandheather   » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:39 pm

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So... I actually meant "eighteen hours plus a day"? ::sheepish::

Anyway. On with business! :mrgreen:

Prologue

I'd completely forgotten that we open not with Honor, but with Haven's government (well, one of them). It's a typically RFC-ish way to open things, and I find myself truly amazed at how much information and worldbuilding gets crammed into those few short pages. I know RFC is deservedly known for his Infodumps of Doom, but he really does have a knack for conveying information without them, too, and he shows that masterfully here.

I also find it absolutely phenomenal to look back on Haven as it was at the start of the series. It's funny, I tend to think of OBS-era Haven as a one-note villain, but that perception is really incorrect; right off the bat RFC establishes Haven as a star nation "riding a neotiger". They're caught in a trap they can't get out of, and there were no sudden switch-flips in the nation's development - evolution, yes, and positive bucketloads of it, but no switch-flipping.

And still, if you'd have sat me down after this one novel and told me that two decades or so of in-universe time would see the Old Republic restored and Haven standing with Manticore in the Grand Alliance - and, perhaps even more so, if you'd told me just how much Haven as a nation as well as her main heroes would come to mean to me personally - I don't think I'd have believed you. There are master classes in character (...nation?) development, and then there is this. Magnificent.

Discussion? Discuss! Up tomorrow: Chapters 1 through 4. :D
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by ZVar   » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:48 pm

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One thing I would like to know on a re-read is if you notice his writing style changing over the course of the first few books, or if his style was mature from the get-go.

It's been too long for me to remember, and a re-read is simply out of the question knowing only a few books remain. I'll do it then. :)
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by roseandheather   » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:18 am

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ZVar wrote:One thing I would like to know on a re-read is if you notice his writing style changing over the course of the first few books, or if his style was mature from the get-go.

It's been too long for me to remember, and a re-read is simply out of the question knowing only a few books remain. I'll do it then. :)


Duly noted! I'll be sure to keep an eye out. :D
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by Dauntless   » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:05 am

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no question upon reading that prologue you would not believe how haven changes over the course of the books
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by roseandheather   » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:38 am

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Chapters 1 & 2

Aaaah, and here we meet the beloved infodump in earnest, including the one titled "RFC's Political Opinions 101". :mrgreen:

In all honesty, I'd forgotten how young Honor was when we first met her. And how politically inexperienced, for that matter. "This school of tactics is right, that one is wrong, and thus it ever was and ever shall be." Oh, Honor, you'll learn to love "Horrible" Hemphill soon enough! ;) Granted, Sonja has some (a lot of) learning of her own to do, and I can only laugh at Honor's thoughts here looking back from the perspective of her discussion with Sonja about Fearless in AAC.

It's also interesting to re-meet Alistair McKeon, particularly with the hindsight of how close he and Honor are going to become. But they're both a bit raw here - basically caterpillars, to be honest, and not yet butterflies. (Also, Janacek is just as much of a jackass here as he is a dozen books later, and Nimitz is awesome.)

6 chapters to go until we meet my beloved Dame Estelle! See you next time. :D
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by tonyz   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:46 pm

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In the early stages, one tends to take Honor's viewpoint as accurate -- yes, she's painfully naive politically, but we expect her to be reasonably up-to-date on her technical stuff. There's the hint that she, too, yearns for a decisive end to the tactical stalemate, but she seems quite clear that the "Sonja Swarm" isn't the way to do it. Which is ... ironic, considering the eventual development of her career to being the person who writes the report authorizing the Sonja Swarm (more or less) as the basis for the construction of SD(P)s.
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by kzt   » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:19 pm

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The first 3 or 4 books were all written and submitted together, so they really do interlock well. I'm unclear how far out David's plotting extended and how much what ultimately got written over the next 25 years matched the original extended plotting.
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Re: Rosie Re-reads, Part 1: "On Basilisk Station"
Post by The E   » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:12 am

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tonyz wrote:In the early stages, one tends to take Honor's viewpoint as accurate -- yes, she's painfully naive politically, but we expect her to be reasonably up-to-date on her technical stuff. There's the hint that she, too, yearns for a decisive end to the tactical stalemate, but she seems quite clear that the "Sonja Swarm" isn't the way to do it. Which is ... ironic, considering the eventual development of her career to being the person who writes the report authorizing the Sonja Swarm (more or less) as the basis for the construction of SD(P)s.


Except she really didn't. The Sonja Swarm was about a bunch of cheap, inexpensive ships that could get up and close to eliminate wallers; that concept eventually morphed into the CLAC concept we see later. Honor's particular objection to the Swarm back then was all about Hemphill's willingness to see light combatants as expendable assets, with their crews being sent on suicide runs; it was only when LAC designs with bow walls (and thus a decent degree of survivability against ships below the wall) got introduced that Hemphill got any traction on that idea.
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