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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:45 pm 
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lbt wrote:
Netcurtains3 wrote:
Cajun_Catholic_Guy,
The original title was French - I can't unfortunately read French.

Monkey would be a bad title - the Apes would need to be "big" at least as big as a man
for the story to work.



The title is La Planète des singes (I have the book in French). Literally that means the Planet of the Monkeys.


Ah! That sounds right. I just remember something about that on a documentary I was watching about Planet of The Apes.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:20 pm 
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I haven't read any of his books but is anyone a fan of Orson Scott Card?

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:08 pm 
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His earlier works, yes. In the last 5-10 years, he's started to sound like a bad parody of himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Cajun_Catholic_Guy wrote:
I haven't read any of his books but is anyone a fan of Orson Scott Card?


I consider Ender's Game to be the best book on leadership I've ever read.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:58 am 
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GKC wrote:
You will find female villains amongst the Havenite elite.

I don't think so. There is one female villain among the Havenites (initials CR), the remainder are antagonists at worst.

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And female idiots amongst the Manticoran elite.

There are more male idiots than female, and every time a female officer has a conflict with a male one, it's the female that knows better, and this is true whether she is the superior officer or not. Sometimes this is played for tragedy.

Again, take my criticism for what it's worth. I've not re-read or taken any notes. But I think that women in the Honorverse are consistently portrayed not only as being as capable as men, but more capable. And, what I think is equally curious, is the conceit that no women would prefer their traditional roles but instead will wholeheartedly embrace "equality" at all levels of society (as we see with the Graysons).

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:14 pm 
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On a side note, I re-read The Gripping Hand and it was not as bad as I remembered. Not as good, of course, as Mote but then few things are. And I also read Pournelle's daughter's authorized sequel Outies and it was much better than I feared it would be. It didn't exactly sound like my cup of tea from what I read of it, but it it turned out to be quite good, actually better than Hand. Yes, having a "genderless" character was quite weird but there is a lot of good material. It doesn't pick up where Hand left off, exactly, rather exploring one of the subplots introduced in it but not resolved.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
On a side note, I re-read The Gripping Hand and it was not as bad as I remembered. Not as good, of course, as Mote but then few things are. And I also read Pournelle's daughter's authorized sequel Outies and it was much better than I feared it would be. It didn't exactly sound like my cup of tea from what I read of it, but it it turned out to be quite good, actually better than Hand. Yes, having a "genderless" character was quite weird but there is a lot of good material. It doesn't pick up where Hand left off, exactly, rather exploring one of the subplots introduced in it but not resolved.



I still can't see much in GRIPPING HAND. I have the daughter's book, OUTIES, but haven't looked into it yet. I had the same initial reaction to what I read of it, but perhaps I'll be happily surprised. The daughter lives locally. I hope to get OUTIES signed.

Eventually, I'll reply, disagreeing with you, re: the Honorverse. Opinions are ubiquitous.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:35 am 
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GKC wrote:
I still can't see much in GRIPPING HAND.

When I first read it I would have been inclined to agree, but I realized that I was comparing it to Mote. On its own merits it's a fair read. But then I eat up details about fictional worlds and such, so the details about Sparta, Maxroy's Purchase, and New Utah alone are almost worth the purchase price.

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I have the daughter's book, OUTIES, but haven't looked into it yet. I had the same initial reaction to what I read of it, but perhaps I'll be happily surprised.

It's very different -- the Imperial Navy is not involved at all. The author at least gets the technology (mostly) right, which is more than one can say about some of the "War World" stories set in the same universe. Some of the characters from the other "Mote" books (Blaine, Renner, Horvath) seem unfamiliar, but they are peripheral to the story.

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Eventually, I'll reply, disagreeing with you, re: the Honorverse. Opinions are ubiquitous.

Take your time. :) I think it's only fair to warn you that I've read the 13th book in the series ([i]A Rising Thunder[/]i).

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:53 am 
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Bagheera wrote:
GKC wrote:
I still can't see much in GRIPPING HAND.

When I first read it I would have been inclined to agree, but I realized that I was comparing it to Mote. On its own merits it's a fair read. But then I eat up details about fictional worlds and such, so the details about Sparta, Maxroy's Purchase, and New Utah alone are almost worth the purchase price.

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I have the daughter's book, OUTIES, but haven't looked into it yet. I had the same initial reaction to what I read of it, but perhaps I'll be happily surprised.

It's very different -- the Imperial Navy is not involved at all. The author at least gets the technology (mostly) right, which is more than one can say about some of the "War World" stories set in the same universe. Some of the characters from the other "Mote" books (Blaine, Renner, Horvath) seem unfamiliar, but they are peripheral to the story.

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Eventually, I'll reply, disagreeing with you, re: the Honorverse. Opinions are ubiquitous.

Take your time. :) I think it's only fair to warn you that I've read the 13th book in the series ([i]A Rising Thunder[/]i).




You are to be commended. AFAIK, David has written 50 books, all told (of which I own 50). He's written around 22-24 (I'm not counting or looking up, just estimating) books in the Honorverse, including those collections of multi-authored SS/novellas/novelletes. Of which I have read all save 3, two that he co-authored with Eric Flint (CROWN OF SLAVES and TORCH OF FREEDOM) and the latest A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP, though I have read the novella it is based on. We used to talk on the phone, and by email, back years ago, discussing the series, Honor, his plans for her, etc. And we'd occasionally meet for meals when he was in town. Good times, then.

So, I also have a grounding in the Honorverse. Not that I intend to dig back into it to support my position (though I do cite Admiral Crandall in MISSION OF HONOR, matched with Admiral Byng in STORM FROM THE SHADOWS (last 2 I read) as exemplars of what I assert.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:18 am 
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Admiral Crandall is definitely an idiot, that is true. I daresay if she had been male, and her junior officers female, either she or they would have been removed from command before the disaster.

I'm sure you know much more about the Honorverse than I do -- I figured you had not yet read A Rising Thunder since as far as I know it's only available electronically, and if memory serves you eschew that form of reading. I never assert a greater depth of knowledge of a fictional universe except perhaps where Middle-earth is concerned. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:52 am 
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Bagheera wrote:
Admiral Crandall is definitely an idiot, that is true. I daresay if she had been male, and her junior officers female, either she or they would have been removed from command before the disaster.

I'm sure you know much more about the Honorverse than I do -- I figured you had not yet read A Rising Thunder since as far as I know it's only available electronically, and if memory serves you eschew that form of reading. I never assert a greater depth of knowledge of a fictional universe except perhaps where Middle-earth is concerned. :)




Byng was an equal idiot. And met the same fate Crandall did. There is an equality of idiocy, brains, courage, cowardice, competency, duplicity, honor (in the usual sense) faithfulness, treachery, evil, etc, etc, across both sexes, across all the planets and societies, as one would expect to find in a random distribution, and expecting some societal forms to engender and nurture some qualities over others. The needs of a plot will drive what is revealed, when. But, Our Honor aside, David does not presume a sexual bias in virtue or ability. If you assume some "normal" distribution that is not basically, random, you might see a "bias" that I do not.


I apparently have not read RISING THUNDER, and that surprises me. I knew the name, and when I googled it, the cover looked familiar. But it is, in fact, the penultimate Honor book, due out in 3 months, for which my wife is pacing the floor, in anticipation. While reading A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP. Which she had not read before, but which I had read, in toto, to her, in the novellette form. I do not use the elctronic medium for book reading, 'tis true. This does not mean that I have never read a book, before it appeared in print.

You do know more than the average about Arda. Me too.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:41 pm 
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GKC wrote:
There is an equality of idiocy, brains, courage, cowardice, competency, duplicity, honor (in the usual sense) faithfulness, treachery, evil, etc, etc, across both sexes, across all the planets and societies, as one would expect to find in a random distribution, and expecting some societal forms to engender and nurture some qualities over others. The needs of a plot will drive what is revealed, when. But, Our Honor aside, David does not presume a sexual bias in virtue or ability. If you assume some "normal" distribution that is not basically, random, you might see a "bias" that I do not.

No, I am not assuming anything but a "normal" distribution. I don't expect Weber to conform to my views. If we take a look at villains (and I don't just mean antagonists or foils), then I think the majority of them are men.

Male villains - Pavel Young, various Masadan fanatics and Grayson traitors, Rob S. Pierre, Oscar St. Just, William Fitzclarence, Andre Warnecke, Samuel Mueller, Arnold Giancola, Albrecht Detweiler.
Female villains - Cordelia Ransom, plus one could maybe make the case for Elaine Descroix.

So that's about 9 male villains vs. maybe 2 female ones.

But maybe there are more female villains in the "Wages of Sin" or "Saganami Island" books that I don't know about.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
GKC wrote:
There is an equality of idiocy, brains, courage, cowardice, competency, duplicity, honor (in the usual sense) faithfulness, treachery, evil, etc, etc, across both sexes, across all the planets and societies, as one would expect to find in a random distribution, and expecting some societal forms to engender and nurture some qualities over others. The needs of a plot will drive what is revealed, when. But, Our Honor aside, David does not presume a sexual bias in virtue or ability. If you assume some "normal" distribution that is not basically, random, you might see a "bias" that I do not.

No, I am not assuming anything but a "normal" distribution. I don't expect Weber to conform to my views. If we take a look at villains (and I don't just mean antagonists or foils), then I think the majority of them are men.

Male villains - Pavel Young, various Masadan fanatics and Grayson traitors, Rob S. Pierre, Oscar St. Just, William Fitzclarence, Andre Warnecke, Samuel Mueller, Arnold Giancola, Albrecht Detweiler.
Female villains - Cordelia Ransom, plus one could maybe make the case for Elaine Descroix.

So that's about 9 male villains vs. maybe 2 female ones.

But maybe there are more female villains in the "Wages of Sin" or "Saganami Island" books that I don't know about.



Aldona Anisimovna, Isabel Bardasano, Leokadjá Charnowska, Edytá Sokolowska, and I don't see why anyone would doubt Elaine Descroix.

If I culled the series again, I'd find more, but I'm not, perhaps, making as fine a distinction between antagonist and villain, as you. Nor am I claiming a precise balance, sex-wise. But David is an equal opportunity villain maker.


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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:32 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Aldona Anisimovna, Isabel Bardasano, Leokadjá Charnowska, Edytá Sokolowska

All from Manpower Inc., right? I suppose one could add the entire Detweiler clan (for example, Albrecht's six "sons"), then. But I could object on a couple of grounds. One might be that the "Wages of Sin" books were co-written with Eric Flint. But more importantly, I think, these folks work for someone else and know it.

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Nor am I claiming a precise balance, sex-wise.

Oh, of course not, to expect (say) 5 male villains and 5 female would be silly. But the ratio of male villains to female is much higher than it ought to be given a normal distribution. I think the same is true of "idiots" as well, and this is seen especially when male naval officers tangle with female (whether underlings or superiors). There are three examples which spring to mind right away:

Honor Harrington vs. Rear Admiral Styles (I'll give you this one, since it's Honor Harrington, but Styles was actually right and she was wrong, but Styles is made out to be a fool and a coward for suggesting something quite reasonable)
Elvis Santino vs. Andrea Jaruwalski
George Holderman vs. Alice Truman

In each case the female officer wins the argument and the male officer is made out to be an incompetent, even (in one case) at the expense of his entire command.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
GKC wrote:
Aldona Anisimovna, Isabel Bardasano, Leokadjá Charnowska, Edytá Sokolowska

All from Manpower Inc., right? I suppose one could add the entire Detweiler clan (for example, Albrecht's six "sons"), then. But I could object on a couple of grounds. One might be that the "Wages of Sin" books were co-written with Eric Flint. But more importantly, I think, these folks work for someone else and know it.

Quote:
Nor am I claiming a precise balance, sex-wise.

Oh, of course not, to expect (say) 5 male villains and 5 female would be silly. But the ratio of male villains to female is much higher than it ought to be given a normal distribution. I think the same is true of "idiots" as well, and this is seen especially when male naval officers tangle with female (whether underlings or superiors). There are three examples which spring to mind right away:

Honor Harrington vs. Rear Admiral Styles (I'll give you this one, since it's Honor Harrington, but Styles was actually right and she was wrong, but Styles is made out to be a fool and a coward for suggesting something quite reasonable)
Elvis Santino vs. Andrea Jaruwalski
George Holderman vs. Alice Truman

In each case the female officer wins the argument and the male officer is made out to be an incompetent, even (in one case) at the expense of his entire command.




Rachel Speer.

In each case cited, the female was correct, the male incorrect, Holderman merely being wrong with respect to the LACs, the others with an established record of incompetence or cowardice, in varying degree. Styles' was wrong.

We are not going to agree on this.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:49 pm 
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GKC wrote:
In each case cited, the female was correct, the male incorrect

That's the point. I'm not saying necessarily that the male officers were correct (although Styles was, Harrington got lucky) -- I question the need for the author to always have the women be correct. I can't think off-hand of any situation in which a conflict between a male officer and a female ended with the former being proven correct and the latter being made out to be a fool.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
GKC wrote:
In each case cited, the female was correct, the male incorrect

That's the point. I'm not saying necessarily that the male officers were correct (although Styles was, Harrington got lucky) -- I question the need for the author to always have the women be correct. I can't think off-hand of any situation in which a conflict between a male officer and a female ended with the former being proven correct and the latter being made out to be a fool.



Off hand, I can;t either, but I wouldn't be surprised. But I don't think it is either a conscious or an unconscious plot decision of David's, unless it is that it has a shock value, in isolation. Not, that is, a shock value within the ethos of the Honorverse, but among some readers in this "verse.

Honor was correct as to the Grayson rank, correct as to the means of rescuing the prisoners. Styles was an idiot.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:06 am 
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GKC wrote:
I don't think it is either a conscious or an unconscious plot decision of David's


David Weber wrote:
I'm inclined to think that there is a little quirk in my gallop which enjoys putting women into traditionally "male" occupations and positions. To be honest, I quite frequently end up literally flipping a coin to decide whether a new character is going to be male or female, but there does appear to be a significant bias towards female commanders and authority figures generally in quite a lot of my work [boldface mine].


http://www.davidweber.net/faqs/index/page:4 (Question: "Why do you write about so many female protagonists?")

[I wasn't trying to trap you or anything, by the way; I thought I had remembered reading this before so I searched for it today.]

There are a lot of things to like about the Honorverse -- the technology, the battles, the political intrigue, etc. But Weber is biased toward women in his work and it shows. I also think that, in terms of religion, he -- at least as the author of the Honor Harrington books, in real life he might be quite different -- is a modernist and ecumenist. If his work were not of otherwise high quality then (IMHO) those flaws would be fatal. But the stories are good enough that one can ignore those things.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:05 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
GKC wrote:
I don't think it is either a conscious or an unconscious plot decision of David's


David Weber wrote:
I'm inclined to think that there is a little quirk in my gallop which enjoys putting women into traditionally "male" occupations and positions. To be honest, I quite frequently end up literally flipping a coin to decide whether a new character is going to be male or female, but there does appear to be a significant bias towards female commanders and authority figures generally in quite a lot of my work [boldface mine].


http://www.davidweber.net/faqs/index/page:4 (Question: "Why do you write about so many female protagonists?")

[I wasn't trying to trap you or anything, by the way; I thought I had remembered reading this before so I searched for it today.]

There are a lot of things to like about the Honorverse -- the technology, the battles, the political intrigue, etc. But Weber is biased toward women in his work and it shows. I also think that, in terms of religion, he -- at least as the author of the Honor Harrington books, in real life he might be quite different -- is a modernist and ecumenist. If his work were not of otherwise high quality then (IMHO) those flaws would be fatal. But the stories are good enough that one can ignore those things.



Well cited. But not an indication that he makes the female characters consciously overly the competent ones, once he had the sex decided. If he flipped a coin, he got Ransom, Byng, and Crandall, who were what the plot required, sex not withstanding. Note: he also will make characters one thing or another, sex or role, by reference to his friends, or in response to certain other factors known to his acquaintances. I know 2 of the characters in BEST OF FRIENDS, as well as Honor's cook.

Personal communications indicate he is neither modernist, nor ecumenical, but the latter perhaps more so than the former. Maybe.

There are indeed a lot of things to like in the Honorverse. I like them all.

GKC

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