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Old 26th February 2012, 03:12 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

Yes again I would agree with you for the most part though there are some bad examples. One of the latter Honorverse books drove me crackers with something like the first two thirds of the books taken up alomst exclusively with converstaions taking place in offices, restaurants etc. and virtually no action, not even a conversation whilst walking down the street. Essentially it was all political info dumps.

It is a worrying trend that I sincerely hope he does not take too much further.

And bleek indeed Funnily enough treecats are one thing that I have a little problem with. I love them, but whilst I'm not sure exactly how I imagine them, it's definitely not the way they are portrayed on the jacket covers. Again I'm not sure quite what is wrong they just don't look right to me
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Old 26th February 2012, 03:36 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

I actually have a policy of enjoying the artwork on covers but never assuming they are accurate representations of the characters as they never even vaguely match my clearly accurate perception of what everything looks like. I have my minds eye image and simply assume the cover artist took silly artistic license in their portrayal as they are never even close to what I "see" and therefore can be summarily ignored.
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Old 27th February 2012, 03:02 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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Yes again I would agree with you for the most part though there are some bad examples. One of the latter Honorverse books drove me crackers with something like the first two thirds of the books taken up alomst exclusively with converstaions taking place in offices, restaurants etc. and virtually no action, not even a conversation whilst walking down the street. Essentially it was all political info dumps.

It is a worrying trend that I sincerely hope he does not take too much further.

And bleek indeed Funnily enough treecats are one thing that I have a little problem with. I love them, but whilst I'm not sure exactly how I imagine them, it's definitely not the way they are portrayed on the jacket covers. Again I'm not sure quite what is wrong they just don't look right to me
Treecats! Now there is a character (is that the right word?) that has grown over the process of this series. I can remember in one of the early books "Field of Dishonor?" where they are described as having a simple philosophy "enemies must be killed" to something much more nuanced. I think the short story "Changer of Worlds" was a very big lynch pin into making the society of tree cats an equal (or nearly so) in intelligence. I have always held that a truly telepathic race probably would not develop technology and Weber seems to be walking down the same path.

I believe that they are going to play a much larger role in the books to come as they deal with the slavers. I would also agree that the covers with them on are not at all what I had pictured, but then I don't really have a coherent picture. I saw them a lot fluffier, more like a Persian for example.
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Old 27th February 2012, 03:14 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

The political info dumps have become a staple of the Harrington books. I've gotten somewhat used to them. They're still readable without boring me silly. My main issue with them is that there is so much information thrust at us, that it has become impossible to remember it all by the time the next book comes out. I even lost as I'm reading them. I'm not sure if this is because I forgot the stuff that happened in the previous book or because it's just become too convoluted to begin with.
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Old 27th February 2012, 01:22 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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The political info dumps have become a staple of the Harrington books. I've gotten somewhat used to them. They're still readable without boring me silly. My main issue with them is that there is so much information thrust at us, that it has become impossible to remember it all by the time the next book comes out. I even lost as I'm reading them. I'm not sure if this is because I forgot the stuff that happened in the previous book or because it's just become too convoluted to begin with.
I am having this problem also, the sheer size and scale of the star systems the story now operates in, the number of main characters, the number of sub stories, the number of minor characters who are nevertheless important to the story line. You need a scorecard. That is one of the reasons I am doing a complete re-read before I dig into the new book (well that and the fact that I simply enjoy the books).

I would like a large map of the of the star systems involved showing the junctions of course and with enough space to show what each stars political affiliation is. I think it would help me greatly. The little maps in the book are okay but something considerably larger in color that I could post on my wall would be awesome.
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Old 27th February 2012, 05:21 PM   #141 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

This is one of my big concerns. As I understand it, when Weber is not writing novels he is a fairly serious military historian. There is a big danger that his books are starting to become (future) history books rather than novels. He has not gone that far for me... yet. But he has for some; I know of people who have given up on the HH series because of his massive political info dumps. He needs to beware of this in my opinion. For myself I'm OK with it as it is in the last few books... just. If he goes much further down this line then I'm afraid he will eventually loose one more reader.
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Old 28th February 2012, 12:11 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

I actually don't mind the political info that much. I feels he weaves it in to help us understand how the bigger picture and the military situation got to where they are. Besides since I live in a nation whose politicians, or at least many of them, have chosen to simply ignore reality when they speak I am often reminded of what is going on here when the dysfunction of the House of Lords is discussed or some of the maneuvering that is going on is highlighted. I also find it pretty easy to drop into scan mode and blow through it for content without worrying about pleasure and then slow it down when I get back to the good parts.
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Old 28th February 2012, 07:01 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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I actually don't mind the political info that much. I feels he weaves it in to help us understand how the bigger picture and the military situation got to where they are. Besides since I live in a nation whose politicians, or at least many of them, have chosen to simply ignore reality when they speak I am often reminded of what is going on here when the dysfunction of the House of Lords is discussed or some of the maneuvering that is going on is highlighted. I also find it pretty easy to drop into scan mode and blow through it for content without worrying about pleasure and then slow it down when I get back to the good parts.
Often I consider the political info "the good part." A lot of his views reflect my own, and they are rarely seen in mainstream SF.
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Old 28th February 2012, 07:18 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

I do enjoy the political stuff but I also need it to be tempered with other stuff. It's just that I feel his balance there has shifted. I'm actually still very happy where it is now but I'm not sure I would want it to go much further.
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Old 29th March 2012, 02:56 PM   #145 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

Whew, what a great read the entire series is when done back to back. I believe my better half is a bit miffed at me as when I was not working I was buried in one of the books. Naturally our business took an up tick (not a bad thing unless you want time to read) and that made it even worse as it felt like I was constantly working and all I wanted to do was get back to the books. The end of A Rising Thunder was certainly abrupt!! SPOILER ALERT********










Will the Mandarins last much longer?

Will the Mesan Alignment violate the Eridani rule when it comes to Beowulf? Perhaps under cover of some moron action by the Sollie Navy at the behest of the Mandarins.

Will the treecats learn to spot members of the Mesan Alignment? I cannot see how they can but without something to help with this it is going to be difficult to eliminate this threat once and for all.

Will the 4 intelligence operatives, 2 from the Sollie navy, 1 Sollie marine and the gendarmine(?) be able to do anything to prevent the mandarins taking everything with them when they self destruct?

Will the new alignment between Haven and Manticor develop a sensor capability to spot the new spider drive?

Will other verge and Shell planets try to join the Star Kingdom or the Republic as they see everything start to fall apart around them?

I am way to psyched for the sequel already.

All spelling errors above are my fault and mine alone, too lazy to look them up.
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Old 29th March 2012, 03:09 PM   #146 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

I've carefully avoided the spoiler Timba and you've certainly whetted my appetite! however I'm going to stick to my guns and not take up this book until the next is also available. I just hate waiting for 'the next book'!

I am tempted, though, to go back and do a full re-read. But I have so many other books demanding my attention...
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Old 29th March 2012, 03:35 PM   #147 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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I've carefully avoided the spoiler Timba and you've certainly whetted my appetite! however I'm going to stick to my guns and not take up this book until the next is also available. I just hate waiting for 'the next book'!

I am tempted, though, to go back and do a full re-read. But I have so many other books demanding my attention...
I think you would find a re-read worth the time. I too have a disturbingly large backlog of reading to do but I was simply enthralled during my re-read.

Given how abruptly A Rising Thunder ends I think you may be wise to wait for the next book. It almost seemed as if it was simply cut off. Of course that feeling may just be because the whole story now contains so many active threads that it is difficult for Weber to find an end point that seems appropriate. It was so abrupt that it made me wonder if the file I got was corrupted! I have not had a chance to check that out yet though, going to have to get to a store and see how a hard copy ends just to give myself peace of mind although that is going to do nothing to abate my burning desire for the next book to come out RIGHT NOW!
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Old 29th March 2012, 04:22 PM   #148 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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I think you would find a re-read worth the time. I too have a disturbingly large backlog of reading to do but I was simply enthralled during my re-read.

Given how abruptly A Rising Thunder ends I think you may be wise to wait for the next book. It almost seemed as if it was simply cut off. Of course that feeling may just be because the whole story now contains so many active threads that it is difficult for Weber to find an end point that seems appropriate. It was so abrupt that it made me wonder if the file I got was corrupted! I have not had a chance to check that out yet though, going to have to get to a store and see how a hard copy ends just to give myself peace of mind although that is going to do nothing to abate my burning desire for the next book to come out RIGHT NOW!
Since I've read the book (once) I did read the spoiler. You had a number of interesting questions. l can tell you that the hard cover ends as abruptly as it sounds like the ebook did. So if you were worried there is no problem there.

I am not sure we should discuss your questions but for those who want to follow along and be spoiled, you know what to do (highlight for further spoilers)


Will the Mandarins last much longer?

I believe that they will. They are far too useful as boogey men to kill off quickly.

Will the treecats learn to spot members of the Mesan Alignment? I cannot see how they can but without something to help with this it is going to be difficult to eliminate this threat once and for all.

As I understand it, it is not the members of Mesan Alignment that they spot it is those who have been programed and then only when the programing takes control. The best they offer (as I understand it) is that they can give a warning of a few minutes to a split second depending on when the programing cuts in.


Will the 4 intelligence operatives, 2 from the Sollie navy, 1 Sollie marine and the gendarmine(?) be able to do anything to prevent the mandarins taking everything with them when they self destruct?

A reread may be in the works for me sooner rather than later. I am not connecting with this question. Are you actually refering to the "madarins" here or are you thinking of the Mesan Alignment as they retreat to "Sanctuary?"


Will the new alignment between Haven and Manticor develop a sensor capability to spot the new spider drive?

Not soon. I think giving technological advantages to the opponent opens up a whole new avenue to pursue Honor's tactical genius.



Will other verge and Shell planets try to join the Star Kingdom or the Republic as they see everything start to fall apart around them?

Absolutely, the questions are "In what numbers?" and "What effect this will have of the Sollies and the Mesan Alignment?"

I too am Psyched!
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Old 30th March 2012, 01:43 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

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Since I've read the book (once) I did read the spoiler. You had a number of interesting questions. l can tell you that the hard cover ends as abruptly as it sounds like the ebook did. So if you were worried there is no problem there.

I am not sure we should discuss your questions but for those who want to follow along and be spoiled, you know what to do (highlight for further spoilers)

Hi Parson, good to know that the hard cover ends as abruptly, makes me think that Weber may have a good head start on the next installment although that could just be wishful thinking. Additional spoilers below, highlight at your own risk.


Will the Mandarins last much longer?

I believe that they will. They are far too useful as boogey men to kill off quickly.

A point I had no considered. Does he need more boogey men than the Mesan Alignment though? If the mandarins initiate an attack on Beowolf, whether it succeeds or fails how could they hold onto power and if Mesa violates the Eridani edict under the cover of a Sollie attack on Beowolf that question becomes even more pointed.

self destruct?

A r
Will the treecats learn to spot members of the Mesan Alignment? I cannot see how they can but without something to help with this it is going to be difficult to eliminate this threat once and for all.

As I understand it, it is not the members of Mesan Alignment that they spot it is those who have been programed and then only when the programing takes control. The best they offer (as I understand it) is that they can give a warning of a few minutes to a split second depending on when the programing cuts in.

I understand the treecats ability to spot those who have been "adjusted" when the programing kicks in but it just crossed my mind that will all the Mesan Alignment (MA from now on) members in positions of power in other star systems it would be damn handy to have a way to spot them. Cannot not see how the cats could do it but perhaps the geneticists from Beowolf could develp a test, anyway, just seems like something they are going to have to cope with and I wonder how they will do it.


Will the 4 intelligence operatives, 2 from the Sollie navy, 1 Sollie marine and the gendarmine(?) be able to do anything to prevent the mandarins taking everything with them when they eread may be in the works for me sooner rather than later. I am not connecting with this question. Are you actually refering to the "madarins" here or are you thinking of the Mesan Alignment as they retreat to "Sanctuary?"


No I am thinking of the 2 Sollie navy intelligence types, one who was always in trouble because he kept raising warnings about Manty technology developments and his female partner in crime who he kept out of the same trouble by making sure she did not speak out-those 2 eventually met with a Sollie marine intelligence operative and a Gendarmine crime solver down in the bowels of navy intelligence in a file room and the 2 navy folks brought the other two into their thinking. I can see little or no point for this story line unless he has plans for them to take action in some way, what actions will they take and how they manage to do whatever seems a fascinating line of thought to me. All 4 of these folks seemed like decent people and they are beginning to believe the Manty warnings about the MA.

Will the new alignment between Haven and Manticor develop a sensor capability to spot the new spider drive?

Not soon. I think giving technological advantages to the opponent opens up a whole new avenue to pursue Honor's tactical genius.

Excellent point, however, I think they have to have at least an improvement on what they have already figured out about the spider drives footprint when it comes out of hyperspace, perhaps just a fine tuning of sensors and computer systems to make sure these folks can be spotted and while I am thinking about it a better ability to "see" through the MA stealth. It is difficult to be a tactical genius if you are not aware your enemies have arrived and you cannot see them at all. The explanation of MA stealth technology made me think current Manty sensors would be adequate to break the stealth if they new what anomolies to look for. As I understood it the stealth mirrored the surrounding stars and that, it seems to me, could be seen if the computer programs knew to do so. Of course the Manty's are unaware of how this stealth works but they literally have weeks of sensor readings of their own system when they know the MA had to be present prior to the attack on their infrastructure. Be interesting to see how he deals with this.


Will other verge and Shell planets try to join the Star Kingdom or the Republic as they see everything start to fall apart around them?

Absolutely, the questions are "In what numbers?" and "What effect this will have of the Sollies and the Mesan Alignment?"

Yes, and I also wondered about MA trying to slip some of the shell systems whose leadership are actually a part of the MA into an alliance with the SK and Repub alliance in order to be on an inside track of info. So many possibilities for nastiness in this whole setup.

I too am Psyched!
I am going to try to get into another book just to break my train of thought on this.
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Old 30th March 2012, 03:46 PM   #150 (permalink)
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Re: David Weber

Okay, This is a hard way to carry on a thread but in the interests of all those who may come after us I shall now move into stealth mode

Will the Mandarins last much longer?

I believe that they will. They are far too useful as boogey men to kill off quickly.

A point I had no considered. Does he need more boogey men than the Mesan Alignment though? If the mandarins initiate an attack on Beowolf, whether it succeeds or fails how could they hold onto power and if Mesa violates the Eridani edict under the cover of a Sollie attack on Beowolf that question becomes even more pointed.

Usually an oligarchy does not need to be too concerned about the niceties of playing fair. I think as long as they are not irretrievably losing the war they can play fast and loose.

self destruct?

A r
Will the treecats learn to spot members of the Mesan Alignment? I cannot see how they can but without something to help with this it is going to be difficult to eliminate this threat once and for all.

As I understand it, it is not the members of Mesan Alignment that they spot it is those who have been programed and then only when the programing takes control. The best they offer (as I understand it) is that they can give a warning of a few minutes to a split second depending on when the programing cuts in.

I understand the treecats ability to spot those who have been "adjusted" when the programing kicks in but it just crossed my mind that will all the Mesan Alignment (MA from now on) members in positions of power in other star systems it would be damn handy to have a way to spot them. Cannot not see how the cats could do it but perhaps the geneticists from Beowolf could develp a test, anyway, just seems like something they are going to have to cope with and I wonder how they will do it.

It would indeed be handy but remember the cats are empaths, they don't read minds as such. I think it would make a much more interesting scenario if you can never be sure of anyone. It may well be that Weber is working off the current terrorist climate, where you can never be completely sure who might be willing to die to kill you. In such a situation no one ever feels entirely comfortable because it always lingers in the back of your mind.


Will the 4 intelligence operatives, 2 from the Sollie navy, 1 Sollie marine and the gendarmine(?) be able to do anything to prevent the mandarins taking everything with them when they eread may be in the works for me sooner rather than later. I am not connecting with this question. Are you actually refering to the "madarins" here or are you thinking of the Mesan Alignment as they retreat to "Sanctuary?"

No I am thinking of the 2 Sollie navy intelligence types, one who was always in trouble because he kept raising warnings about Manty technology developments and his female partner in crime who he kept out of the same trouble by making sure she did not speak out-those 2 eventually met with a Sollie marine intelligence operative and a Gendarmine crime solver down in the bowels of navy intelligence in a file room and the 2 navy folks brought the other two into their thinking. I can see little or no point for this story line unless he has plans for them to take action in some way, what actions will they take and how they manage to do whatever seems a fascinating line of thought to me. All 4 of these folks seemed like decent people and they are beginning to believe the Manty warnings about the MA.

Okay, Now I'm tracking. Yes, I would agree that there is something cooking there and I don't have much of a clue where Weber is headed. But I would wonder about the value of intelligence in this war. It looks to me like intelligence gathering is going to be elevated a great deal and this group might be a conduit into the halls of power. On the other hand, they might be the ones who bring a shot of common sense into the Sollie regime and make them a much more difficult enemy than now they appear to be.

Will the new alignment between Haven and Manticor develop a sensor capability to spot the new spider drive?

Not soon. I think giving technological advantages to the opponent opens up a whole new avenue to pursue Honor's tactical genius.

Excellent point, however, I think they have to have at least an improvement on what they have already figured out about the spider drives footprint when it comes out of hyperspace, perhaps just a fine tuning of sensors and computer systems to make sure these folks can be spotted and while I am thinking about it a better ability to "see" through the MA stealth. It is difficult to be a tactical genius if you are not aware your enemies have arrived and you cannot see them at all. The explanation of MA stealth technology made me think current Manty sensors would be adequate to break the stealth if they new what anomolies to look for. As I understood it the stealth mirrored the surrounding stars and that, it seems to me, could be seen if the computer programs knew to do so. Of course the Manty's are unaware of how this stealth works but they literally have weeks of sensor readings of their own system when they know the MA had to be present prior to the attack on their infrastructure. Be interesting to see how he deals with this.

Once again, I think intelligence gathering is going to be crucial in this "war." I would also think that the whole idea of baiting and trapping an enemy who might just be a little too dependent on his/her technical advantages could figure into a rip roaring sequel or two. This could well shape up to a gorilla war where the one side would pound the other if they could ever bring them into a major battle. Another avenue here is there is only one planet. If found what happens to the MA? (I am really selling myself on this intelligence angle.)


Will other verge and Shell planets try to join the Star Kingdom or the Republic as they see everything start to fall apart around them?

Absolutely, the questions are "In what numbers?" and "What effect this will have of the Sollies and the Mesan Alignment?"

Yes, and I also wondered about MA trying to slip some of the shell systems whose leadership are actually a part of the MA into an alliance with the SK and Repub alliance in order to be on an inside track of info. So many possibilities for nastiness in this whole setup.

Hm! good thought. You ought to suggest that to Weber. (big grin!)

I think we only have to wait, oh 2 years, for the real answers. (sigh!)
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