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-SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by Weird Harold   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:24 pm

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JohnRoth wrote:...In addition, most "locked" mods are dominant, that is, they are always inherited. This includes the Meyerdhal mods, the Winton mods and, I suspect, the Mesan Alpha mods.

...


I think the Alpha lines are NOT locked -- nor are any of the other "star lines" because that would make the constant "improvements" dictated by the Long Range Planning Board more difficult. The only line that might be locked is the Detweiler Clones, and they are probably clones precisely because the line is NOT locked.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by JohnRoth   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:46 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:...In addition, most "locked" mods are dominant, that is, they are always inherited. This includes the Meyerdhal mods, the Winton mods and, I suspect, the Mesan Alpha mods.

...


I think the Alpha lines are NOT locked -- nor are any of the other "star lines" because that would make the constant "improvements" dictated by the Long Range Planning Board more difficult. The only line that might be locked is the Detweiler Clones, and they are probably clones precisely because the line is NOT locked.


I see you decided to delete my reason for thinking they were locked. Here it is:

JohnRoth wrote:The earliest alpha lines could have been seeded on Manticore is in the immigration wave immediately after the Plague, meaning sometime in the decade after 1486. This is about 400 (not 600) years before Honor is born. Given the 4 generations per century rule of thumb, this is about 16 generations, which should have diluted the alpha line mods to incoherence unless they were "locked."


I'm not going to try to defend RFC's concept here. I am going to say that, if a mod that involves multiple changes on multiple chromosomes isn't "locked," only half of it will be inherited in the second generation, only a quarter in the third generation, etc. By the 16th generation only 1/64,000 th of it will be available. That assumes, of course, that all marriages are with outsiders, and if this is a "lost" alpha line, that's going to be true more often than not.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by ldwechsler   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:40 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:I obviously disagree with quite a few of the criticisms being raised, or I wouldn't have written the book the way I did to begin with. :P :lol:

Having said that, I'll certainly concede that anyone who wants to critique is both entitled and welcome to do so. In response to some of the points which have been raised, however, I offer the following humble rebuttal.

As far as the "we should pull her from command" on the part of the rest of the high command, the only people who really realized how emotionally compromised she might be were probably either her immediate subordinates or Elizabeth III (who probably agreed with her). There was no one left at the Admiralty who knew her as well as White Haven, Caparelli, Givens, or any of the other senior flag officers with whom she'd worked. Elizabeth sure as hell wasn't going to tell her she couldn't go. She trusts Honor Harrington the way she trusts gravity. Even if she hadn't had just as much blood in her eye as Honor (and been perfectly capable of her own "take that!" moment) she would have trusted Honor to come through in the end despite any inner demons. Theisman was the only person who might have argued with that decision or been sent in her place, and Theisman did not realize what she was capable of doing in that state because he'd been fortunate enough to never meet the Salamander in an . . . adversarial situation. He knew she could be an unstoppable force of nature; he didn't realize that there was a genuine risk that she wouldn't stop herself. And if anyone had the right to command that operation, it was the in-space commander of the Grand Alliance, who was both Manticore and and Beowulfan.

The person who probably should have considered removing Honor from command of this operation was Honor herself. You can make up your own mind whether she didn't remove herself because deep inside she knew she truly wasn't out of control or because she was so far out of control that she was no longer capable of even that much rational judgment. I have my own view on the subject, apropos of which, see my next paragraph! (It's a very short one) :D


As for Honor's "derangement" syndrome, please! :roll:

Yes, she was in a bad place, and, yes, she later demonstrated that her judgment was impaired. She was nowhere near so mentally compromised as she thought she was, however, as her ultimate response to her own momentary control lapse demonstrated. And most of the people around her realized it. Her mother, for example, wasn't concerned she was off to commit an Eridani violation: she was concerned that she would never recover from the emotional blow she'd taken on a personal level. White Haven, when he discovered she'd been sent off to blowup the Sol System, was frightened for her on two levels. One, which was his weaker fear but the greatest danger, was that her judgment would in fact be so compromised that she would commit a mass-casualty attack of her very own. The possibility of her doing that was minute, and he knew it. What might happen in a confrontation between military units was a different matter, of course, and that was precisely where her judgment did glitch. However, from the perspective of the Eridani Edict, Hamish Alexander-Harrington never thought for a moment that Honor might commit one. His stronger fear was, like Allison Harrington's, for Honor's survival. With what she might do after she'd accomplished her mission, especially if Nimitz suicided thinking Samantha was already dead.

I will concede that she did, in fact, experience her very own "I am out of control" moment with the heavy cruisers, where she wouldn't have aborted the launch without Mercedes' intervention. We've seen her there before, at Blackbird Base. And, as at Blackbird, someone else had to step in to prevent it. You might recall that the Blackbird incident was in the second book in the series, so this side of her character isn't something that I've been unaware of from the very beginning. And one of her strengths is that she has not only surrounded herself with people strong enough to recognize those moments but people who are also strong enough to stop her even if they agree with her emotionally. And note that as damaged as she was, she did abort the launch when Mercedes shook her. She didn't have to. She was in command, not Mercedes and not Rafe Cardones. If she'd really wanted to take those ships out, she could have and she would have.

I thought I'd made it clear that the nature of her damage was that she was so fixed on the destruction of the cruisers when they were legitimate targets that she simply didn't recognize the moment at which they stopped being legitimate targets. She should have. An undamaged Honor would have. This is true, and it is indeed an argument against sending her in command. The time lag between the impeller wedges coming down and the moment at which she aborted the launch, however, was tiny. It may seem longer than it actually was because I jump to the Solarian cruisers' bridge between the moment at which Cardones realizes the wedges are down and the point at which Mercedes tells Honor that they are down. In fact, the entire interval between the point at which the wedges come down and the self-destruct order is authorized is only about 16 seconds. (In case you're curious, I timed it out.) That's the delay of a woman who is damaged but fundamentally under control, not someone who is demented.

As far as the instructions and the warning she gives the cruiser squadron after they surrender, every point of it is absolutely covered by the Deneb Accords. The same is true of the ultimatum she gives the commander of Ganymede Naval Station. At no time — except, arguably, for the delay of the self-destruct order on her initial missile salvo — does Honor Harrington do a single thing which violates even the spirit of the Deneb Accords or the Eridani Edict.

As far as the "the Grand Alliance was stupidly complacent" under the Harrington Doctrine versus the "going after the Sol System all of a sudden is a case of just saying 'screw it,' and it only worked because the author decided it should," I would point out a view things.

First, the Harrington Doctrine was predicated on the fundamental understanding — which Honor and the Grand Alliance had, even if no one else does [that was a snark :P :P :twisted: :lol: ] — that politics drive strategy. You don't fight wars just to fight wars or just to kill as many people as possible. True, the other side will have to give up if you manage to kill everyone on it. That's not a very sound basis for strategy, however, and Honor in her conversation with Captain Peterson puts her finger on precisely what the ultimate object of any war should be. The proponents of the Harrington Doctrine recognized not only that, but also that a military victory would have been frigging useless if it was purchased at the cost of a Solarian League which was both revanchist and intact and that, at that moment, whatever the Mesan Alignment might be capable of, the Solarian League's conventional military forces could not realistically threaten the Grand Alliance's core systems. The disparity in force was simply that great. By the same token, what they did against the Solarian League was unlikely to just make the Alignment go away. They were two separate threats (admittedly, they coalesced at Beowulf) and were regarded as such. The strategy against the Alignment was to protect themselves as much as possible at home while going after the enemy with Tenth Fleet, Victor Cachat, Anton Zilwicki, and now Damien Harahap. The strategy against the Solarian League was the Harrington Doctrine — basically an extension of Lacoön Two's thinking, aimed at three separate but related strategic goals:

(1) crippling the federal government while doing the minimum amount of damage to individual Core Worlds in order to strangle the SLN's war-fighting capability and bring about the central government's collapse

(2) encouraging the secession of additional core systems, like Hypatia, Cachalot, etc. in order to break the League into as many successor states as possible

(3) avoiding revanchism by doing no damage not absolutely unavoidable to the League's infrastructure and, especially, its population.

This strategy was possible only as long as they continued to enjoy an overwhelming tactical advantage. It was a strategy of self-imposed restraint, and because it was self-imposed, its proponents always recognized that the restraint could be abandoned at any point when the changing spectrum of threats made that essential. The steady buildup of the Mycroft defenses would have freed up even more striking power, which was always going to be made available for decisive offensive operations should the situation change in a way which made them necessary. Honor and White Haven and Elizabeth and Theisman and Pritchart were all aware that they ran the risk — as Sonja and Shannon discussed — of having the League produce a "joker" that could tip the military balance against them. They were also aware, however, that if the League survived even the most devastating military defeat imaginable but was not broken up, then the Grand Alliance was doomed. That was actually the hole card the Mandarins had tucked away from the beginning, and they were aware of it, too. The problem they had was that the Harrington Doctrine was working. The central government was about to collapse and — absent the proposed constitutional amendment after the apparent Manticoran atrocity at Mesa — it couldn't get the funding it needed to fight the war without opening a political can of worms which would have doomed the Mandarins and their entire "government by bureaucrat" regime . . . and thereby almost inevitably led to a significant change of policy on the part of the Solarian League. Probably one sufficient to end the war without a whole bunch more people getting killed on either side.

In other words, the Harrington Doctrine emphasized a political victory because a purely military victory was ultimately unsustainable, whatever might be accomplished in the short term. By the same token, the Harrington Doctrine (and the White Haven Admiralty) always recognized that the political aspects of their strategy might fail, in which case they would have no choice but to play the role of Admiral Yamamoto and hope like hell that they could do enough damage to force at least a temporary end to hostilities in which some miracle might arise which would allow them to survive the renewed attack of such an overwhelming behemoth. The odds of that were . . . not real good, shall we say, which was why they were doing everything they could to avoid that option.

What happened after the Beowulf attack was that the entire strategic equation changed.

First, whether the Solarian League was directly complicit in the destruction of the habitats or not, the Alignment had just demonstrated that it was continuing to use the war as cover for mass-casualty attacks. Whether or not it would continue to launch those attacks without the cover of the war was an unknowable; the fact that they were continuing those attacks was a self-apparent fact, just as what was happening on Mesa demonstrated that the Alignment was not going to be rooted out next Tuesday.

Second, the Solarian League had demonstrated in the Hasta that it was beginning to find new approaches and, in the person of Capriotti, coming up with admirals who could — and would — execute very, very well tactically. This was a factor in computing (and sustaining) the tactical superiority which was the central underlying plank of the Harrington Doctrine's restraint.

Third, the Solarian League, whether intentionally or not, had provided the Grand Alliance with an unimpeachable justification for taking the war to the League. They had forty million-plus dead Beowulfan citizens, killed as a direct consequence of the League's unremitting attacks upon the Grand Alliance, its allies, the League's own seceding member systems, or even any neutral star system which dared to trade with the Grand Alliance. And when Honor moved on the Sol System, she made it abundantly — explicitly — clear to every Solarian citizen (via her geosynchronous Hermes buoys) that she and the Grand Alliance were not taking and would not take the life of a single Solarian civilian, despite the murder of millions of its own. And in pressing her ultimatum, she also gave the League an out: arrest the "war criminals" for trial and write a new constitution, and we'll go home without shooting any more of your people and you can deflect the war guilt for allowing millions of civilians to be killed onto someone else. (Who, just coincidentally, deserve it. Always a nice plus when it comes to conscience salving. ;) )

Fourth, as a direct consequence of taking out Ganymede, there were no Solarian military/technological surprises left. The Grand Alliance had it all: the League's complete naval R&D, including systems already deployed, systems awaiting deployment, systems under development, and even systems which were still being blue-skied, plus all of their theoretical research. It's entirely possible that one of the system defense forces or Technodyne's secret labs in Outer Slabovia might have had something cooking away in a back room somewhere that Honor didn't take home with her from Ganymede, but it's kinda unlikely. And all of that material was taken directly to Bolthole, where it was turned over to the team of Sonja & Shannon to be combined with the Grand Alliance's entire joint R&D program. I don't care how big the Solarian League is, with that kind of head start, who's going to win any arms races at any point in the foreseeable future?

So, yeah, the League packed it in. It did it because Honor had demonstrated in conclusive terms that no one could overlook that the League was militarily screwed. She had also demonstrated that despite its previous restraint, the Grand Alliance would take immediate and decisive military action once it deemed it necessary. She had also demonstrated that despite the provocation of the single most murderous attack in the history of the human race, the Grand Alliance would not strike back indiscriminately. And she had shown the League the path out of the disaster the Mandarins had built for it.

In a very real sense, the final attack on the Sol System was a direct extension of the Harrington Doctrine's fundamental concepts. They didn't break the League up; instead, they changed the League into something else and managed to do it without generating League-wide revanchism. No doubt there are quite a few people living inside the Kuiper who feel quite a lot of revanchism at the end of the day; but "inside the Kuiper" thinking isn't going to be controlling Solarian policy for at least the next several decades.

Like I say, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion about what I did here, just as everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion about whether or not I should have wrapped up every single story strand of a series that's run for twenty-five years in a single book – oh, and I should have done that, of course, without infodumps and without letting the word count get out of hand. :roll: :lol:

This book was intended to wrap up the Honor Harrington story line that began with On Basilisk Station. There is no way on God's green earth I could have wrapped up all of the threads in the Honorverse without writing a 17,000-page novel, and I don't believe I ever said anywhere that this book was intended to wrap up the Honorverse.

So if I'm gonna write more novels down the road — and I may — I need to leave myself some plot hooks. And if I decide I'm not gonna write more novels down the road, the plot strands I left unresolved probably aren't going to keep a lot of you awake at night.


Amen, Brother Chaser After Tasteless Veggies.

What I liked was that at Hypatia, OTHER warriors got a chance to shine. Almost all our battles featured mostly Honor's buddies which was unrealistic.

What I didn't like was dividing things up chronologically which smushed some things together far too much.

But I really liked the book. And I believe there will be a Zilwicki and Cachat book coming our way and that might answer a few more questions.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by Weird Harold   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:00 am

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JohnRoth wrote:I'm not going to try to defend RFC's concept here. I am going to say that, if a mod that involves multiple changes on multiple chromosomes isn't "locked," only half of it will be inherited in the second generation, only a quarter in the third generation, etc. By the 16th generation only 1/64,000 th of it will be available. That assumes, of course, that all marriages are with outsiders, and if this is a "lost" alpha line, that's going to be true more often than not.


Without the tight control over matches, and individual zygotes, excercised by the LRPB that is exactly what I think happens to any "lost" Alpha Line (or any "star line.")

Detweiler assumption of genetic superiority "rising to the top" doesn't change the reality of your analysis. "One of ours" is totally wishful thinking on the clones part.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by JohnRoth   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:30 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:I'm not going to try to defend RFC's concept here. I am going to say that, if a mod that involves multiple changes on multiple chromosomes isn't "locked," only half of it will be inherited in the second generation, only a quarter in the third generation, etc. By the 16th generation only 1/64,000 th of it will be available. That assumes, of course, that all marriages are with outsiders, and if this is a "lost" alpha line, that's going to be true more often than not.


Without the tight control over matches, and individual zygotes, excercised by the LRPB that is exactly what I think happens to any "lost" Alpha Line (or any "star line.")

Detweiler assumption of genetic superiority "rising to the top" doesn't change the reality of your analysis. "One of ours" is totally wishful thinking on the clones part.


I'm not so sure, for two reasons. First, RFC has made a point of Albrecht, at least, being very cautious about jumping to conclusions just because he likes them, and that should be characteristic of the clones as well.

Second, and more important, while Benjamin, Colin, Daniel, Franklin and Gerevais might not be really solid on genetics as they practice it, Everett is in charge of their biological research: he ought to be up on how it works and what that means in excruciating detail.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by Weird Harold   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:23 pm

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JohnRoth wrote:Second, and more important, while Benjamin, Colin, Daniel, Franklin and Gerevais might not be really solid on genetics as they practice it, Everett is in charge of their biological research: he ought to be up on how it works and what that means in excruciating detail.


But it wasn't Everett who lamented the Honor "should have been ours, it was Benjamin. Everett's reaction wasn't shown.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:43 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:Second, and more important, while Benjamin, Colin, Daniel, Franklin and Gerevais might not be really solid on genetics as they practice it, Everett is in charge of their biological research: he ought to be up on how it works and what that means in excruciating detail.


But it wasn't Everett who lamented the Honor "should have been ours, it was Benjamin. Everett's reaction wasn't shown.



Funny you should mention that . . . . :lol:


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by JohnRoth   » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:49 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:Second, and more important, while Benjamin, Colin, Daniel, Franklin and Gerevais might not be really solid on genetics as they practice it, Everett is in charge of their biological research: he ought to be up on how it works and what that means in excruciating detail.


But it wasn't Everett who lamented the Honor "should have been ours, it was Benjamin. Everett's reaction wasn't shown.


I haven't read past the snippets, so I didn't know who made the comment. Benjamin is obviously thinking "we could sure use a fleet commander like that." After all, that was his portfolio before he became *A* ^H^H^H Alpha One. (At least I assume he inherited the cape.)

Everett is probably wondering how he can get a copy of Honor's actual genome for analysis.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:15 am

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The Detweiller theory of genetic superiority is no doubt predicated on the assumption that his uplifted people will be intrabreeding amongst themselves. This ishardly unprecedented. Witness the Jewish community that has retained a certain genetic destinctiveness post diaspora. The Scrags seemed to have retained their genetic destinctiveness by breeding almost exclusively amongst themselves.


Weird Harold wrote:
JohnRoth wrote:I'm not going to try to defend RFC's concept here. I am going to say that, if a mod that involves multiple changes on multiple chromosomes isn't "locked," only half of it will be inherited in the second generation, only a quarter in the third generation, etc. By the 16th generation only 1/64,000 th of it will be available. That assumes, of course, that all marriages are with outsiders, and if this is a "lost" alpha line, that's going to be true more often than not.


Without the tight control over matches, and individual zygotes, excercised by the LRPB that is exactly what I think happens to any "lost" Alpha Line (or any "star line.")

Detweiler assumption of genetic superiority "rising to the top" doesn't change the reality of your analysis. "One of ours" is totally wishful thinking on the clones part.
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Re: -SPOILER- Uncompromising Honor - Likes and Don't Likes
Post by Hegemon   » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:39 pm

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ywing14 wrote:
Of course they were armed - they fired weapons. However, the GA has no PROOF they are conventional warships - they are just guessing at enemy capabilities.

And they aren't "armed" in the truist sense that indicates a warship. The Ghosts Scout ships carried no weapons, just sensors and a flat packed firecontrol platform. The Sharks had no other weapons, just it's pod core and external launchers for Grav torps (they were just test vehicles for the attack concept, without even defensive systems, more for training command crews than anything else.)

SO Loren's correct - the Sharks are essentially colliers for pods.[/quote]

Hello,

Do you have any information what is the offensive armament carried by a 4 MT Shark:
- how many Cataphract pods with 10 with missiles each ?
- how many graser torpedoes from external launchers ?




I'm not necessarily arguing what the Sharks are. I am arguing what the GA believes they were. The Lenny Dets are purpose built warships. The fact is the SEM was attacked by naval vessels of a hostile star power. To simply assume the MAlign has no warships after what happen at Yawata would be nuts.[/quote]
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