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SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists

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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:40 pm

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Theemile wrote:I think you summed up most of our responses perfectly. The story line needs to have a time jump due to Flint's plot lines forcing David to move the original outline up by 20-30 years, and this continues the story, slays the horrid beast, and sets up the pause for the next story when Honor's kids are old enough to take their own death rides. This book just ends the current plot lines and sets up the next.


As of the last video I saw of David, he wasn't going to jump forward. This book however would allow him to, if the characters don't clue in to the discrepancies we've noticed.

So, will he?

Note how they've set up Ruth Winton as the super-spy, a role that had been meant for Katherine, and Helen Zilwicki is in the officer role that was meant for Raoul.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:54 pm

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Junk1992 wrote:Hi guys, Im new in this parts. Just finished the book and even though i really liked it, i feel that plotwise, it ended at the same spot it began. McBryde is in Darius and ready to betray the Malignment. Zilwicky, Cachat, Firebrand an the Ghost hunters will investigate that recently conquered Alignment planet and find clues about the Alignment bolthole. Honor is retired after a battle were a bunch of other secondary characters from different navies followed her, but she will return to deal with the Alignment once they are found. Seriously, the only thing that advanced were the secondary plots, they were really good though.


First of all, welcome to the forum!

I agree and I find it weird that the last 20-25% of the book are very different from the first portion. The first portion is clearly a Crown of Slaves book. Then we get Honor and it's pretty much a mainline book. But like you said, it resets back to where we were. Galton was introduced and removed from the board in one book, which is atypical of David.

If he had ended the book before the assault on Galton, possibly after the scouting expedition was sent but before they'd returned, it would have been a good ending. We'd have made a major advancement in the plot. The next book could have dealt with the assault on Galton and what happened after the dust settled, especially if the intelligence collected had immediate applications.

These two things lead me to believe Theemile has a point about a timeline jump forward. The introduction of Galton allows David to reset back to the original plan of retiring Honor and giving other characters the honour of dealing with the Alignment. Benjamin's musings about the plan not ending in his lifetime is pretty telling.

But I'm not convinced. They've spent too much time and effort developing characters like Ruth, Helen, Abigail and Audrey to just throw them away, and reset to completely new characters. This is especially true of Audrey, which is the oldest of the quartet there and may not be expected to be relevant in another 30 T-years, and her development came from this book.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by tlb   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:18 pm

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tlb wrote:Darius got the bulk of its population the same way that Galton did: out of the bio-tanks that could mass produce children. The slave labor might do the initial construction, but I expect they were eliminated when the tanks started producing; since you do not want the new workforce to be contaminated with slave contact. Instead they would be reared by loving foster parents that were full citizens, the same as everyone with whom the workforce would meet.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Fair enough, but the question remains: where from? With a starter seed population of 15k slaves, how quickly can you set up infrastructure to develop the planet? And to do so in less than 200 T-years.

Which begs two more questions on population: just what are the Darius and Galton's population today? The book talks about 300 million people in space colonies in Galton, but we know of billions on the surface of Darius. That seems unlikely, given which one was started first and had the most influx. We're told few people live on Tschermak due to the high gravity, so is ~300 million the entire population of Galton?

The starting population has to be more than just the number of slaves, so there had to be other ships (not just slave ships). There also had to be numbers of cargo ships for biological equipment and so on.

You raise an interesting question about population growth and I do not have full answers (nor necessarily correct ones). Just how fast can population grow when it is not bound by the number of women of child-bearing age? Initially the population growth is based on the bio-industrial capacity and the limiting factor there is the number of nurses and child care workers for the preschool cohort; as well as the number of teachers and counselors for those in school. When the initial cohorts reach child bearing age, then you get an additional surge.

If there is capacity for 100,000 children per month, then that would give (assuming prolong like life spans) 240 million after 200 years; which does not include either increased industrial capacity nor addition of natural child births. The hardest part of achieving that is the limit caused by the need for caregivers; so they would need to start smaller and dedicate a large percentage of the newly adult workers to supporting the increase in population. I guess that after about the first hundred years the workforce would be less invested in child care and more in the hard industrial work.

PS: I should not have suggested that the slave workers would be eliminated when the children started coming out out the incubators. It is only necessary that a strict separation would be enforced between the two groups on Darius (I do not think this is needed in Galton, which is more of a Sparta like environment; allowing for the existence of slaves). By the time the children of Darius were ready to take their place in the factories, the initial slave population could have died out naturally.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:04 pm

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tlb wrote:The starting population has to be more than just the number of slaves, so there had to be other ships (not just slave ships). There also had to be numbers of cargo ships for biological equipment and so on.

You raise an interesting question about population growth and I do not have full answers (nor necessarily correct ones). Just how fast can population grow when it is not bound by the number of women of child-bearing age? Initially the population growth is based on the bio-industrial capacity and the limiting factor there is the number of nurses and child care workers for the preschool cohort; as well as the number of teachers and counselors for those in school. When the initial cohorts reach child bearing age, then you get an additional surge.


Indeed, because otherwise the math doesn't work.

Let's say we're off by an order of magnitude of the initial population: 150k non-slaves. If the population now is 4 billion, then it has grown 26666x in about 190 T-years. That's one doubling every 13 years. We haven't seen that in our history nor does it look like it has happened in the HV, despite availability of land and resources.

But it's possible: if every couple has a child every 6 years, then then after 12 years the 150k have produced 150k children for a total population of 300k. After 24 years, that's 300k children, 75k of which are now in reproduction age and could add an extra 75k, for a total of 150+300+75 = 525k. That's less than 4x in 24 years and assumes no one has died. But you get the picture.

Most likely, the Alignment was also helping. Yes, with artificial wombs, but also in other ways. And this being a "genetically superior" society, the Alignment probably also mandated the selection of couples and did genomic editing in the children.

If there is capacity for 100,000 children per month, then that would give (assuming prolong like life spans) 240 million after 200 years; which does not include either increased industrial capacity nor addition of natural child births. The hardest part of achieving that is the limit caused by the need for caregivers; so they would need to start smaller and dedicate a large percentage of the newly adult workers to supporting the increase in population. I guess that after about the first hundred years the workforce would be less invested in child care and more in the hard industrial work.


You can't calculate linearly. This has to be exponential growth, which means the capacity has to start small and grow with the population.

That's also why I am asking about population: industrial capacity also grows with population (unless you have massive automation, which we haven't seen in the HV). Ditto for availability of personnel for military tasks.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by tlb   » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:22 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:You can't calculate linearly. This has to be exponential growth, which means the capacity has to start small and grow with the population.

That's also why I am asking about population: industrial capacity also grows with population (unless you have massive automation, which we haven't seen in the HV). Ditto for availability of personnel for military tasks.

It can be exponential, although I only showed a linear estimate to give a base line for population.

We have seen automation on the scale near where you want, from Echoes of Honor, chapter 22:
StateSec didn't even carry the expense of shipping in and issuing the sort of preserved emergency rations she and her people had been living on. They grew fresh food on Styx, which, unlike any of the rest of Hell, had been thoroughly terraformed when the original prison was built. To be more precise, their automated farming equipment and a handful of "trustees" did all the grunt work to raise the crops, and the Peeps simply distributed it.

Also RFC has talked about the manufacturing process around Manticore: it is basically automated with a handful of supervisory personnel, as above.

So we have the situation where the only manpower intensive process (after the initial construction) is raising the working population, that can then begin to perform the massive military construction that is planned. All the other resources needed are available from the farms and the orbital factories. And once the working population is available the farms and orbital factories can be extended.

We have had long discussions on how it can be that the manufacturing capacity destroyed by the Yawata Strike could be replaced so quickly.

Here is the reference by RFC on construction, he first starts discussing with a note dated Mar 22, 2019 in this thread: "Construction"
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:07 am

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I don't see how this could be setting up her children to take death rides because I don't see how there will be any more such things.

We have already seen that at current tech levels a sufficient mobile force can defeat any system. There is only one target. When Darius is found it's going to be hit by most of the wallers of the GA and perhaps some others also. After Gaston they're going to bring everything they can to beef up their defenses against stealth attacks.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:42 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:I don't see how this could be setting up her children to take death rides because I don't see how there will be any more such things.

We have already seen that at current tech levels a sufficient mobile force can defeat any system. There is only one target. When Darius is found it's going to be hit by most of the wallers of the GA and perhaps some others also. After Gaston they're going to bring everything they can to beef up their defenses against stealth attacks.


So how do you find Darius? Finding Felix won't help (does anybody think that the Darius side of the wormhole isn't fortified?). Unless somebody figures out a way to predict the probable location of the other end of a wormhole, the only way is to check every star system within nnn light years of Felix (nnn being the maximum known span of a wormhole). That is a rather extensive proposition. Depending on how close you have to be to detect lots of high energy sources (3 light weeks means visiting every such star system, 30 light years wouldn't), it could require a lot of ships or a lot of time.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:06 am

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
So how do you find Darius? Finding Felix won't help (does anybody think that the Darius side of the wormhole isn't fortified?). Unless somebody figures out a way to predict the probable location of the other end of a wormhole, the only way is to check every star system within nnn light years of Felix (nnn being the maximum known span of a wormhole). That is a rather extensive proposition. Depending on how close you have to be to detect lots of high energy sources (3 light weeks means visiting every such star system, 30 light years wouldn't), it could require a lot of ships or a lot of time.


I think Darius' location will be found by other means. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

Warning: I'll go on wild speculation here with not all that much base in the text. I just feel like it today.

The easiest would be either a person or another clue being found in the civilian installations of Galton that are being investigated.

Yes, the Malign will have (tried) not not leave any clues there but since the Malign seems to have planned for those installations to be wiped out by the GA attack but failed in that respect it is quite likely that something survived there that wasn't supposed to have survived.

- some person who knows about Darius may actually have been captured who was supposed to not be there in the first place or to be killed in the battle. Or it is someone who for some reason knows about Darius even though they weren't supposed to and the Malign doesn't know they do.

- or the data in the installations gives away clues. For instance courier ships could have turned up at regular intervals and from the same direction. And/or events the courier ships reacted to and their arrival times could allow estimates about how far they had to go. Wormholes make that much more difficult but it is still not completely impossible that some deduction can be made once a wormhole is found in that direction. Or maybe they went the direct way, without wormhole. Or maybe the electronic signatures of those ships can be identified from the records of completely different star systems and the times when they were at certain places or especially if they were in certain places that they couldn't have realitically have been allows certain conclusions.

- Even worse ships with different drive systems (and speeds) could have arrived at different intervals, allowing to refine the estimates.

- someone may not have followed protocol and have left some traces in some computer system that weren't supposed to be left. For instance a recorded conversation. The huge size of the captured installations makes this one more likely.

- the new (storywise new, not in-universe new) rebel faction in Darius may have been able to emplace an agent in Galton who is found and either willingly or unwillingly gives away info

- O'Hanrahan may know something (about where her contacts came from for instance and what their turnaround-times where) which she doesn't know is important but once she finds more puzzle pieces in Galton she suddenly is able to put it together or even if she can't the superspy squad may be able to.

- the Malign may have parked stealthed spider-drive ships near Galton to keep an eye on things and someone may stumble upon those and either capture one or feed it fictional info, then follow it (or the courier if it uses one) on the way to deliver that fake info to their next contact or even float a tiny stealthed bug onto its hull and later retrieve its report once the ship returns.


Aside from Galton there are possibilities too.

- for instance an agent in the Solly bureaucracy or Technodyne or whatever could finally be captured alive for some reason and know more about Darius than is good for the Malign. Maybe their killer nanotech malfunctions or someone is immune to it or someone's records show they got it even though they didn't or the rebel faction disabled it or someone figured out how to circumvent the trigger (by hypnosis or partial anaestesia or by blocking certain receptors in the brain or whatever.)

- someone in Galton or O'Hanrahan or a computer system in Galton or elsewhere may have info about the travel schedules of actual high-level Malign operatives across multiple systems and those may allow deductions as to where Darius ultimately is.

- tiny stealthed robotic drones could be parked near a suspicious wormhole and maybe sneaked onto a courier hull

- a courier's transition of the wormhole can maybe be studied in such detail by a stealthed installation that some conclusion about its destination can be drawn? I have no idea how all of this works but maybe the 4-dimensional approach of a wormhole allows conclusions about the travel the ship makes once entereing 5th dimensiional space. Or maybe not. It's all up to the authors :P
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by George J. Smith   » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:04 pm

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I still think that Ruth is going to turn something up in Torch related to the wormhole. That may lead to the location of the other end of the wormhole, which in turn will get people wondering about what happened to Harvest Joy and subsequently dispatch a strike force through hyper. That will then lead to Darius through the other wormholes.
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Re: SPOILERS TEiF Plot Twists
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:26 pm

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:So how do you find Darius? Finding Felix won't help (does anybody think that the Darius side of the wormhole isn't fortified?). Unless somebody figures out a way to predict the probable location of the other end of a wormhole, the only way is to check every star system within nnn light years of Felix (nnn being the maximum known span of a wormhole). That is a rather extensive proposition. Depending on how close you have to be to detect lots of high energy sources (3 light weeks means visiting every such star system, 30 light years wouldn't), it could require a lot of ships or a lot of time.


Yeah, finding Darius is the hard part. What I'm saying is that there's little role for combat at this point until Darius is found. Honor's children won't be in a precarious place because there won't be a precarious place. Honor has spent decades in a galaxy at war, her children will not.
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