Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: fallsfromtrees and 7 guests

SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by MrZero   » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:44 pm

MrZero
Ensign

Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:21 am

Kufat wrote:Overall, I'm pretty happy with this installment.

That said, the lack of post-victory content was surprising and disappointing. RFC picked a heck of a time to catch a bad case of brevity!

For me, at the end of Sign of Triumph, Weber tries to wrap up as much as he can as fast as he can. Too fast. Yes, I'm glad there's no "French revolution", "era of free use of the guillotine" or even the word plebiscite involved. But he tries to sum up three months of action in single-paragraph form. All the reactions, the last desperate acts, the it's not over until I tell you, then the post-immediate boardroom wrangling, blame-throwing, decisions and ramifications. All that's the entertaining stuff. Do you expect us to believe everybody just shrugs, goes home, takes off their boots and waits for supper to be served? No! There's supposed to be a heck of a lot of yelling and rash actions about all the decisions! The Knights of the Temple Lands were disbanded. You can't "just disband" the local Stonemasons with a single sentence. Where do you think they all get their ruby rings from? Everybody owes everybody massive amounts of money- and what about the Church's new-mint coins being worthless? What about the Charis entry into Zion, Merlin in the Church, etc. I'm happy enough with the book, it's the end that's much too rushed. For the same reason, the 20 year timeskip that's said to happen is a mistake. The action is immediate reaction. In 20 years all the important (and entertaining) stuff is long over. Weber might try to plaster over all that, too. If he could think of "What about the month, Year? 5 years after?" then he would write it. If he can't, he'll skip ahead, which he's said to plan to do.
Much of this should have been saved for the next book, but Clyntan's fate being sealed does make up for much. It just shouldn't have taken three months book-time. We never even got any amusing attempt by the faithful to petition his release- or attempts to rescue him!
I suppose I'm starting to jones for the next book... I'm not alone in that, am I?
Top
Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by Max   » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:44 pm

Max
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:53 pm

I have only gotten about a quarter of the way into Sign, so I have skipped more than a little of the commentary in this thread, but I do see a few points that need to be made...

The tech transfer to the Church is necessary, not accidental. It is needed to take care of the Gabba. It is troublesome from the immediate, tactical Military point of view, but getting the whole planet up is a strategic goal and the leaks accomplish that. Still, there is more than a little to much hokeyness to really play well.

If Sign goes the way these comments say it does, I would not be too surprised if the closing book is much delayed, or even if it never arrives. There are apparently a huge number of loose ends, but I have seen more than a few series that simply ended with loose ends galore...

What would be very helpful would be a large format Safehold atlas, battle maps, force tables and battle sequence summaries, particularly if there is a bibliography of related 19th and early 20th century military history citations. I have tried to follow series events on the maps in the various volumes, but usually just having to shrug and think 'if you say so David...' which is disappointing since he obviously put a lot of work into those sequences...
Top
Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by wkernochan   » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:56 pm

wkernochan
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 38
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 1:47 pm

I am unsure what thread to put this in -- this one was the closest to the topic of my post.

I have just read a book about Ultra called The Secret Lives of Codebreakers, which shows in my opinion that the Safehold plot was far more realistic in terms of WWII parallels than I had imagined. Specifically:

The Ultra intercepts for most of the war allowed immediate insight into enemy plans, deployments, and other valuable info. In some cases, they even put Britain and the US (as well as, to a certain extent later, Russia) inside the communications loop of Germany and Italy.

They had a far more profound, pervasive effect than just the Battle of the Atlantic. For example:

* Ultra message deciphering many times allowed the British during the Battle of Britain to anticipate bomber routes and then "bend the cross-beams" that the Luftwaffe was using to target, making bombs fall short or long and harmlessly. Later, it was also used to direct British and American bombing, avoiding many German countermeasures.

* In army terms, commanders could often see what the enemy's deployment and reaction to the ebb and flow of battle were in near-real time. Thus, in the battle of El Alamein, Monty knew exactly where Rommel was going to attack and when the enemy was beginning to crack. Likewise, Ultra was vital to Russian success in the Battle of Kursk.

* In navy terms (this was the hardest code to crack and for two periods there were no decipherings) there was not only the enormous fall-off in convoy sinkings when Ultra was working, avoiding potential British starvation, but also Ultra's without-which role in finding the Bismarck to sink, wiping out an Italian fleet sent to destroy much of British Mediterranean naval power in the early stages of the war, and destroying the Tirpitz.

Without Ultra, the Allies would not have known definitively that the Germans had taken the bait that landings were to be at the Pas de Calais, and so the D-Day landings would have been far more uncertain of success, to the point where they might have been delayed a year.

Three other parallels to David's Safehold:

Ultra intelligence was fed often directly and only to Churchill. Churchill decided what to act on often with a careful eye to what would give away the existence of Ultra to the Nazis. Thus, the interception of the Bismarck had to seem like luck on the part of scouting planes.

Ultra allowed, early in the war, identification of Abwehr agents in Britain. These were then "turned", as in AtSoT, to feed false information to the Nazis. There is a possibility that a similar technique was used with the Russians late in the war in anticipation of the Cold War.

The atmosphere at Bletchley Park was extraordinarily collegial, casual, and egalitarian, between military and civilian, men and women, university don and no-degree crossword-puzzle whiz from Perth. Of course, they didn't swear as much ... :)

Anyway, a fascinating read, and imho a strong validation of David's "we can read their minds" part of the plot.
Top
Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by Louis R   » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:25 pm

Louis R
Commodore

Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Hmmm... You know, it never occurred to me that anyone could find that element implausible or contrived. In fact, I was still wondering what your point was right up to the last sentence ;)

But then, I first read about Ultra over 40 years ago, and had already read The Codebreakers and similar books before that. And as a ComOp was acutely aware of the role and dangers of signals intelligence. So I was aware of the historical parallel in the books.

BTW, if this sort of thing interests you, see if you can turn up a copy of RV Jones' Most Secret War. A first-person account, but IIRC he had access to his official records when he wrote it. Chunks of it had already been declassified by then, particularly the V weapons investigation that was covered much earlier in Cawdell's The Mare's Nest, but there's much that was very little known at the time, and it's a fun read. It will also point you at topics that have probably been studied more dispassionately by other since the '80s

wkernochan wrote:I am unsure what thread to put this in -- this one was the closest to the topic of my post.

I have just read a book about Ultra called The Secret Lives of Codebreakers, which shows in my opinion that the Safehold plot was far more realistic in terms of WWII parallels than I had imagined. Specifically:

The Ultra intercepts for most of the war allowed immediate insight into enemy plans, deployments, and other valuable info. In some cases, they even put Britain and the US (as well as, to a certain extent later, Russia) inside the communications loop of Germany and Italy.

They had a far more profound, pervasive effect than just the Battle of the Atlantic. For example:

* Ultra message deciphering many times allowed the British during the Battle of Britain to anticipate bomber routes and then "bend the cross-beams" that the Luftwaffe was using to target, making bombs fall short or long and harmlessly. Later, it was also used to direct British and American bombing, avoiding many German countermeasures.

* In army terms, commanders could often see what the enemy's deployment and reaction to the ebb and flow of battle were in near-real time. Thus, in the battle of El Alamein, Monty knew exactly where Rommel was going to attack and when the enemy was beginning to crack. Likewise, Ultra was vital to Russian success in the Battle of Kursk.

* In navy terms (this was the hardest code to crack and for two periods there were no decipherings) there was not only the enormous fall-off in convoy sinkings when Ultra was working, avoiding potential British starvation, but also Ultra's without-which role in finding the Bismarck to sink, wiping out an Italian fleet sent to destroy much of British Mediterranean naval power in the early stages of the war, and destroying the Tirpitz.

Without Ultra, the Allies would not have known definitively that the Germans had taken the bait that landings were to be at the Pas de Calais, and so the D-Day landings would have been far more uncertain of success, to the point where they might have been delayed a year.

Three other parallels to David's Safehold:

Ultra intelligence was fed often directly and only to Churchill. Churchill decided what to act on often with a careful eye to what would give away the existence of Ultra to the Nazis. Thus, the interception of the Bismarck had to seem like luck on the part of scouting planes.

Ultra allowed, early in the war, identification of Abwehr agents in Britain. These were then "turned", as in AtSoT, to feed false information to the Nazis. There is a possibility that a similar technique was used with the Russians late in the war in anticipation of the Cold War.

The atmosphere at Bletchley Park was extraordinarily collegial, casual, and egalitarian, between military and civilian, men and women, university don and no-degree crossword-puzzle whiz from Perth. Of course, they didn't swear as much ... :)

Anyway, a fascinating read, and imho a strong validation of David's "we can read their minds" part of the plot.
Top
Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by 6L6   » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:11 pm

6L6
Commander

Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:37 pm
Location: Sourthern Md. USA

Thank you MrZero, it would be nice if David could write us a couple of chapters postscript to fill us in on the issues you raised. The ending seemed to me to be too "wam-bam thank you mam" and kind of left my head spinning, Sort of like "Out of the Dark" a book that was a good read right up to the end but then it seems that David said to his self ' time to rap this up' , not his best effort.
Top

Return to Safehold