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The Soul of Haven

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The Soul of Haven
Post by runsforcelery   » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:48 pm

runsforcelery
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Guys, I got to thinking after I listened to Rose's Athens of the Stars fanmix, and it occurred to me that I've never actually said on line what Haven is really all about to me, as the author. I know that Rose is an unrepentant Havenite :lol:, and that's good . . . because so am I.

There is a fundamental difference between the internal struggles of Haven and Manticore, and it's a difference Tim, Tom, and I have been trying to help set into perspective in the Manticore Ascendant series. I think some of that difference gets lost --- or buried --- in the background of the wars between Haven and Manticore. The Manties, after all, are the good guys who see the bad guys coming and then find themselves in a fight for their very existence, but there's another whole war going on that I think some people may miss. For that matter, I think some people have focused on the mechanics of what was wrong with the People's Republic and extracted a message that wasn't really there.

The difference between the SKHM and the RoH is both very simple and very profound. One is fighting for its existence; the other is fighting for its soul, and not necessarily against a hostile star nation.

The SKM never lost its soul (although High Ridge came close); Haven did, and then fought its way through hell itself to reclaim it. And it was never about socialism, never about the Dole — not really. It was about corruption and the usurpation of power cloaked in socialism and concern for its citizens. It was about deals made by powerseeking cliques dealing in bread and circuses, giving control of the benefits provided to its citizens into the hands of Dolist managers who then used those benefits to garner wealth and power for themselves. It was about a vote-buying scheme on a planetary scale which sapped the moral fiber of Haven's own citizens until there seemed to be nothing left beyond apathy and acceptance.

And it was about the people who would die where they stood to make her be what she once was . . . and who proved in the process that not even the Legislaturalists or StateSec could truly extinguish that moral fiber. You were introduced to them more gradually, saw them through the gray-colored lenses of the star nation they served, but they were always there. They were Alfredo Wu and Warner Caslet, Denis LePic and Kevin Usher, Victor Cachat and Lester Tourville and Javier Giscard. And, of course, they were Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart.

I love Honor Harrington and Hamish Alexander, and Honor is definitely the central and defining figure of the books. But Tom and Eloise have actually accomplished at least as much as — indeed, I would say that in many ways they have accomplished much more than — she and Hamish, and from far, far worse beginning points.

Just thought I'd get that out there in case anyone's wondering why I've been doing so much short fiction about Eloise and Bolthole lately.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:30 pm

cthia
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Thanks-a-million RFC. I really appreciate this post. Although I'll dare not claim as much appreciation as our resident unrepentant rosey-cheeked Havenite.

As a reader, the good in Haven was certainly lost on me initially. There just didn't seem to be any redeeming qualities. And Elizabeth was always pointing out their never changing stripes. I suppose as a reader the reality of it was lost on me while I was in the bonding stage with the good guys.

Of course, the good in so many Havenite characters caught me off-guard when finally confronted with it. At any rate, I will always be in awe of, and respect, Rose for seeing the good in Haven. And so darn soon! How did she do that? Like really, she liked them so much so early on that she was smitten. Which was odd to me because I hated Havenites with a passion. They were second only to Pavel Young.

Of course, I see the error of my ways now, but then hindsight has always been easy to master.

Relatedly, I always secretly felt about the League as Rose feels about Haven. Old Earth is the cradle of mankind for goodness sakes! They weathered and endured so much. They are responsible for spreading the seeds of mankind. Their responsibility was hard and their burden was great. I think the League suffered a sad demise. And all at the hands of a quintuplet of idiots.

What will become of the Sol system?

..
Last edited by cthia on Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by CmdrAthenaAprilist   » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:34 pm

CmdrAthenaAprilist
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Posts: 41
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Location: Lacey, WA

Thank you for sharing this; like Rose, I've always been drawn to Haven's struggle. Being an American who had three immigrant grandparents, monarchies, even constitutional ones, just sort of rub me the wrong way. Even more so, authoritarian or oligarchic states such as the Russia my Polish grandparents escaped from. Which only makes me root harder for those characters like Tom, Javier & Eloise (or Daud & Irene!) who are trying to be true to the original democratic ideals of their nations.


I think even if I was from Manticore, I wouldn't let them put no stinkin' title on me- Montainge rocks!

runsforcelery wrote:Guys, I got to thinking after I listened to Rose's Athens of the Stars fanmix, and it occurred to me that I've never actually said on line what Haven is really all about to me, as the author. I know that Rose is an unrepentant Havenite :lol:, and that's good . . . because so am I.

There is a fundamental difference between the internal struggles of Haven and Manticore, and it's a difference Tim, Tom, and I have been trying to help set into perspective in the Manticore Ascendant series. I think some of that difference gets lost --- or buried --- in the background of the wars between Haven and Manticore. The Manties, after all, are the good guys who see the bad guys coming and then find themselves in a fight for their very existence, but there's another whole war going on that I think some people may miss. For that matter, I think some people have focused on the mechanics of what was wrong with the People's Republic and extracted a message that wasn't really there.

The difference between the SKHM and the RoH is both very simple and very profound. One is fighting for its existence; the other is fighting for its soul, and not necessarily against a hostile star nation.

The SKM never lost its soul (although High Ridge came close); Haven did, and then fought its way through hell itself to reclaim it. And it was never about socialism, never about the Dole — not really. It was about corruption and the usurpation of power cloaked in socialism and concern for its citizens. It was about deals made by powerseeking cliques dealing in bread and circuses, giving control of the benefits provided to its citizens into the hands of Dolist managers who then used those benefits to garner wealth and power for themselves. It was about a vote-buying scheme on a planetary scale which sapped the moral fiber of Haven's own citizens until there seemed to be nothing left beyond apathy and acceptance.

And it was about the people who would die where they stood to make her be what she once was . . . and who proved in the process that not even the Legislaturalists or StateSec could truly extinguish that moral fiber. You were introduced to them more gradually, saw them through the gray-colored lenses of the star nation they served, but they were always there. They were Alfredo Wu and Warner Caslet, Denis LePic and Kevin Usher, Victor Cachat and Lester Tourville and Javier Giscard. And, of course, they were Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart.

I love Honor Harrington and Hamish Alexander, and Honor is definitely the central and defining figure of the books. But Tom and Eloise have actually accomplished at least as much as — indeed, I would say that in many ways they have accomplished much more than — she and Hamish, and from far, far worse beginning points.

Just thought I'd get that out there in case anyone's wondering why I've been doing so much short fiction about Eloise and Bolthole lately.
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by cthia   » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:46 pm

cthia
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But it was easy to like the Havenites after the, few -- exceptions to the rule, it seemed to me -- good characters emerged. Early on, it wasn't the fact that they fought to survive, to save their soul, or whatever, that I didn't like. It was that they didn't seem to have any morals, scruples or values at all to go along with it.

Of course all of that was due to having their own sprinkling of High Ridges and wholeasses too. But as a reader early on, those gaps hadn't yet been filled.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by roseandheather   » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:15 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:Guys, I got to thinking after I listened to Rose's Athens of the Stars fanmix, and it occurred to me that I've never actually said on line what Haven is really all about to me, as the author. I know that Rose is an unrepentant Havenite :lol:, and that's good . . . because so am I.

There is a fundamental difference between the internal struggles of Haven and Manticore, and it's a difference Tim, Tom, and I have been trying to help set into perspective in the Manticore Ascendant series. I think some of that difference gets lost --- or buried --- in the background of the wars between Haven and Manticore. The Manties, after all, are the good guys who see the bad guys coming and then find themselves in a fight for their very existence, but there's another whole war going on that I think some people may miss. For that matter, I think some people have focused on the mechanics of what was wrong with the People's Republic and extracted a message that wasn't really there.

The difference between the SKHM and the RoH is both very simple and very profound. One is fighting for its existence; the other is fighting for its soul, and not necessarily against a hostile star nation.

The SKM never lost its soul (although High Ridge came close); Haven did, and then fought its way through hell itself to reclaim it. And it was never about socialism, never about the Dole — not really. It was about corruption and the usurpation of power cloaked in socialism and concern for its citizens. It was about deals made by powerseeking cliques dealing in bread and circuses, giving control of the benefits provided to its citizens into the hands of Dolist managers who then used those benefits to garner wealth and power for themselves. It was about a vote-buying scheme on a planetary scale which sapped the moral fiber of Haven's own citizens until there seemed to be nothing left beyond apathy and acceptance.

And it was about the people who would die where they stood to make her be what she once was . . . and who proved in the process that not even the Legislaturalists or StateSec could truly extinguish that moral fiber. You were introduced to them more gradually, saw them through the gray-colored lenses of the star nation they served, but they were always there. They were Alfredo Wu and Warner Caslet, Denis LePic and Kevin Usher, Victor Cachat and Lester Tourville and Javier Giscard. And, of course, they were Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart.

I love Honor Harrington and Hamish Alexander, and Honor is definitely the central and defining figure of the books. But Tom and Eloise have actually accomplished at least as much as — indeed, I would say that in many ways they have accomplished much more than — she and Hamish, and from far, far worse beginning points.

Just thought I'd get that out there in case anyone's wondering why I've been doing so much short fiction about Eloise and Bolthole lately.


I'll just... be over here, quietly blubbering into my tea mug.
~*~


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: The Soul of Haven
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:48 pm

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A nation losing its way and then fighting fo recover its soul seems like a timely topic now. 20 odd years ago, the topic was darned near prescient! It appears social/geopolitical trends are things the suitably educated can see developing. Honor's insights are a reflection of your insight, eh David?

I enjoyed the Havenite redemption theme very much. I enjoyed it more than Honor's forgiveness of the RoH.
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:42 pm

runsforcelery
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PeterZ wrote:A nation losing its way and then fighting fo recover its soul seems like a timely topic now. 20 odd years ago, the topic was darned near prescient! It appears social/geopolitical trends are things the suitably educated can see developing. Honor's insights are a reflection of your insight, eh David?

I enjoyed the Havenite redemption theme very much. I enjoyed it more than Honor's forgiveness of the RoH.


Pretty much, in that respect. And it's the same reason Annu is working through so many terrorist groups at the time I wrote Mutineers' Moon. Of course, the folks in Europe in 1914 might have thought much the same thing about the Black Hand. Or the folks in Ireland 50 years later about the IRA and UDL. Or . . . well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

Every bunch of corrupt and venal politicians and every group of religious or political fanatics seem to think they invented the concept(s). :roll:

I'm pretty sure Gilgamesh was dealing with it, too. Sigh. :(


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by PeterZ   » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:16 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:
PeterZ wrote:A nation losing its way and then fighting fo recover its soul seems like a timely topic now. 20 odd years ago, the topic was darned near prescient! It appears social/geopolitical trends are things the suitably educated can see developing. Honor's insights are a reflection of your insight, eh David?

I enjoyed the Havenite redemption theme very much. I enjoyed it more than Honor's forgiveness of the RoH.


Pretty much, in that respect. And it's the same reason Annu is working through so many terrorist groups at the time I wrote Mutineers' Moon. Of course, the folks in Europe in 1914 might have thought much the same thing about the Black Hand. Or the folks in Ireland 50 years later about the IRA and UDL. Or . . . well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

Every bunch of corrupt and venal politicians and every group of religious or political fanatics seem to think they invented the concept(s). :roll:

I'm pretty sure Gilgamesh was dealing with it, too. Sigh. :(


Indeed so. It seems that the pendulum of governmental corruption swings between extremes. I wish more people would recognize that the concept of liberty assumes that to be the base state of world affairs. Every government reforms and then over-swings the optimal point to reach another extreme. The best way to jitigate those swings is to limit just how far governemt can reach in those extremes. We aren't going to eliminate corruption or self serving government officials. The best we can do is to limit just how powerful a tool those coorrupt officials can employ to serve their corrupt goals.

We had Andy Jackson usher in his reform. Those new elites secured their positions and voting blocks and led us to the Civil War. The underlying reasons predated Jackson, but the newly formed power blocks enabled the South push back on both legitimate and illegitimate Northern demands. Lord knows what the current President's coterie will do with their newly gained ascendency, but the previous corrupt officials made this swing possible.
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by ywing14   » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:19 pm

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Thanks RFC, I appreciate the insight!
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Re: The Soul of Haven
Post by kzt   » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:33 pm

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PeterZ wrote:
We had Andy Jackson usher in his reform. Those new elites secured their positions and voting blocks and led us to the Civil War. The underlying reasons predated Jackson, but the newly formed power blocks enabled the South push back on both legitimate and illegitimate Northern demands. Lord knows what the current President's coterie will do with their newly gained ascendency, but the previous corrupt officials made this swing possible.

The people who started the civil war with the secession of SC tried to have SC secede while Andrew Jackson was president. Unlike James Buchanan, Jackson’s answer was “Try it and I’ll hang the lot of you.”
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