Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Danel: So... I'm not entirely sure, but is there anyone who thinks Victor Cachat might be a Marty Stu?... Please. Is it really necessary to mention it every...single...line? How much fanfiction have you read, anyway? By such standards, he's really not that bad. It helps that this is a setting with Loads and Loads of Characters... and there's lots going on that doesn't involve any particular character.

Calmodulin1: Well, he really is a marty stu, but personally I love him for it. I also don't like Eva or MGL Nanoha, so I might just have significantly different tastes from most of the editors.

Nerem: I'm not the one who put that in, but he pretty well fits the bill, especially in novels where he's one of the main stars. That's partly why he annoys me so.

Khathi: He IS Marty Stu, and even God-Mode Sue — objectively speaking. It's being a Sue and pretty interesting and vell-rounded character at the same time what makes him so captivating. A kind of cognitive dissonance — Sues usually tend to be bland and boring, but Cachat is clearly a Memetic Badass of this very page.

Khathi: Moving this from main page. You should get it on here, guys, not there.
*** You do realise that as her first act in the House of Lords she challenged him to a duel, right? She definatly goes into Determinator mode here, and it does go more then a little too far.
*** And what else she was need to do about him? Say thanks for killing her lover? And he could refuse duel after all.

J: I'm not so sure that Honor and Theisman should be under the Magnificent Bastard category. Both of them are principled people who respect each other as such - which doesn't really jibe with the whole idea of Magnificent Bastardry as I see it.

...or not. Modern China is very corrupt. See; all those schools that collapsed in the quake in april.
Khathi: That's the very reason I made that comment. Conviction for corruption in China = firing squad. The only problem is the sheer scale of the whole thing, as police couldn't keep with its rate. Still, if you're not convinced yet, look at North Korea. ;)

Nerem: Well, to get into the 'duel' thing, he really COULDN'T refuse the duel, because of the laws of Manticore which basically makes you a social pariah and considered 'guilty' by default of whatever crime you were challenged over. It's pretty messed up. UPDATE: I have a good question - why is Victor Cachat seen as a 'God Mode sue Done Right'? Because as far as I know, if you're a God Mode Sue, you're ALREADY done wrong. But I'm curious as to why.

al103: It's applicable to ANY duel. And he could refuse it at the cost of his social standing. And duels are part of the package for Ko M noble - if he wouldn't want to be challenged ever he should have either became commoner or make sure to not piss off anyone.

Khathi: About Cachat's status as God-Mode Sue I'd point to Refuge in Audacity and Rule of Cool — the two tropes that are here specifically to make characters like him work. He might be ridiculously owerpowered/hypercompetent/incredibly lucky, but he's not without his weak point, and his ridiculousness (and its conflict with his persona, that is) is the very reason for why he's here. This trick is rather hard to pull convincingly, but it seems to be Flint's specialty — look at his Belisarius if you're still not convinced. He loves such characters, and what's most important — he could make them fun to read about.

Evil Midnight Lurker: The statement "The Honorverse seems to lack aliens at first" is simply wrong; the Medusan rebellions are a major plot point OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Khathi: Does anyone feel that Strawman Political section is getting overly heavy, with all that examples and counterexamples? Shouldn't we trim it up a bit?

Bloodnok: That might be my fault. Sorry.

On the *Sue topic, I'd forget Cachat; what possible honour or ability could a fanfic author bestow on their Sue that Honor does not already possess?

Very rare telepathic animal companion - check. Proves said animals are intelligent, opens communication with them - check. Super martial artist. Admiral. Admiral in another navy. Tactical genius, strategic genius, brilliant motivator of subordinates. Friend of the Queen and a whole bunch of the nobility. Senior member of said nobility, rising from the common people, and never losing her touch with them blah blah. Friend of the head blokes on the planet of the misogynists. First female member of their nobility, too. Master swordsman. First female recipient of the Star of Grayson. Raft of other medals. Shags White Haven. Incredibly beautiful, tall, strong, intelligent, etc. Good mother. Lethal pistol shot. Filthy rich (earned it). Expert businesswomen. Anyone who opposes her either realises the error of their ways (and becomes a staunch ally themself incredibly rich, powerful, etc) or dies. Expert aviator.

The woman is more capable and blessed than anyone short of Kimball Kinnison. If they held a juggling contest in the Honorverse you can bet she'd juggle three chainsaws, two apples, and an enraged hexapuma, blindfold.

... I seem to be coming back to this. I would argue that the business where all honourable upstanding military officers like and respect each other immediately (very common in Weber, and generally in rightwing mil-SF) is itself a trope. But what is it called?

Khathi: Honor herself is marked as a Canon Sue basically just from the start, so I doubt we can change anything here. ;) (BTW, it's "Dame Honor" or "Dame Honor Harrington", but never "Dame Harrington", if I ever understand how Brtish titles work). But for Cachat — well, he's a Canon Immigrant, actually, so he is to be held by the other standards... It's just that Flint is no smaller Sue-lover than MWW. And for Strawman Political — ok, then I'll trim it up a bit tomorrow or some days later. I'd like to pack it into something more readable.

Chuckg: Actually, currently its either "Admiral Harrington", "Duchess Harrington", "or "Steadholder Harrington", depending on whether you're addressing her in her military capacity, or socially as a Manticorean or Grayson peer of the realm. "Dame Honor Harrington" was for when her highest Manticorean social rank was being knighted, and she's long since made the peerage.

As for Honor's ridiculous capacities... while goodness knows the woman ranks in the 99th human percentile at virtually everything, you can at least say that they're not coming out of left field with it. Her family tree on both sides has been almost uniformly full of geniuses for generations (the Harrington family history is discussed in both More Than Honor and Worlds of Honor and the dumbest person yet seen in the family would be considered quite intelligent by normal standards — as for her mother's side, Alison is revealed in At All Costs to be descended from one of Beowulf's most famous medical dynasties, a family with literally galactic renown for generations upon generations of scientific genius), and her father's side of the family is genetically engineered for borderline superhuman physical capacities on top of it. Add in that prolong allows her to have spent almost a century practicing martial arts with a 20-year-olds' body, and its not surprising that she's what she is. Indeed, part of the reason why the Honorverse in general seems so full of overachievers is that with the exception of the youngest characters everybody has had several additional decades' worth of time to master their respective crafts while yet remaining young and vigorous.

  • Khathi: So true, so true. It doesn't make them less Sueish from our current viewpoint, but that's one of the themes consistently addressed by Weber. In pre-prolong societies, like pre-Alliance Grayson or Talbott cluster in SoS, people with prolong are basically viewed just like Sues — in other words, as we see them. And, for the sake of exactness, as of "now" (that is, AAC, which is 1921 p.d. by internal chronology) Honor is not yet a centennarian, she's just sixty two. In On Basilisk Station (1901 p.d.) she is said to be 42, and just has got her first cruiser command, so it seems like rather young age in prolong society. It's Ham who just broke his first century — he and Emily are actually from Honor's parents generation, but still it's merely a beginning of maturity. That's one more funny social effect of prolong, btw, — when people live for three or five centuries fit an vigorous, May–December Romance suddenly starts to feel lot less Squicky.

Evil Midnight Lurker: "Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Not at first but latter books tend to be titled with some pun involving the title character's first name." Inaccurate. Every even-numbered book is an Honor pun, from the beginning, quite regularly.

Nornagest: Re: the following —

* Artistic License - Economics: Havenite economics.
** In-universe, mind ye. Weber seems to have a decent enough handle on things.

Well, I'm not an economist, haven't read the books in a few years, and haven't actually done the math in any detail, but casual analysis suggests that Havenite economics are horribly unsustainable over the timespans described in the books. They're basically a Ponzi scheme fed by the tax burden on newly conquered worlds, meaning that the entire Havenite sphere of influence will have to expand (by GDP, not by population or by volume) at a rate equal to the rate at which productive capacity on those worlds decreases — plus the additional and significant burden of logistics and military spending. That describes an exponential curve, which should at the very least have run out of steam a couple of years after the war with Manticore started. I'm not convinced that it could have gotten off the ground at all.

Of course, Weber's basically using it to make a political point, so maybe I shouldn't be analyzing this in terms of real economics...

Nohbody: For the 50-odd years prior to OBS, 1846 PD (Post Diaspora, or after 2103 CE) to 1901 PD (time setting of On Basilisk Station), they'd been gobbling up other star systems to help prop up their system under the DuQuense Plan. Prior to the start of the People's Republic of Haven in the early 1700s PD, it's said in that same source that Haven "rivaled the Solarian League for economic power", so there was plenty of room to start the slide without immediately killing the PRH.

(The above from the infodump The Universe of Honor Harrington, at the end of the anthology More than Honor.)
tbszgr: about Crowning Momentof Awesome : Quote from "Ashes of Victory" just after the ships exploded. "And then the spell was broken as Shannon Foraker looked up from the console from which she had just sent a perfectly innocent-seeming computer code over the tactical net to one of the countless ops plans she'd downloaded to the units of Twelfth Fleet over the last thirty-two T-months.

"Oops," she said."
Computer Sherpa: I'm adding Honor to the TV Tropes Pantheon under the "War" category. I got the basics in place, but it needs some Wiki Magic—more followers, especially. Once her entry is in a good place, we should copy it over to the Pantheon/Good category.

al103: deleted

  • YMMV on the Honorverse definition of "moderate", which tends toward ultra-militaristic neoconservatism. Manticore's Conservative Party seems to be something of a misnomer, in that their general cowardice, rampant hatred of the military, and passion for massive overspending and excessive taxation are much more in line with the beliefs of a strawman liberal than a strawman conservative. The Liberals and Conservatives are more or less indistinguishable except for the Liberals being corrupt bureaucrats or executives and the Conservatives being corrupt hereditary aristocrats. On all plot-important issues, the Centrists and Crown Loyalists are actually pretty far to the right of the Conservatives.

because Conservatives love military and before they were in need of coalition "to put that crowned bitch in place" they always blocked with royalists and centrists in military matters. Please remember HOW dishonorable discharge from military is perceived amongst them and that we see more then one member in military, both "strawman" and true to believes. Military is what was conceded by Conservatives in coalition, not what they cheerfully abandoned. So someone need to reword this...

J: It's also untrue for other reasons. "Moderate" in Honorverse terms means fairly socially liberal, economically conservative, and pragmatic. The reason the Centrists have been arguing in favor of military buildup for so long is because the PRH, which had several times the resources that Manticore did, was aggressively expanding in their direction. Manticore is fighting a fundamentally defensive war - if the PRH had not attacked them, there never would have been a war in the first place. Of their recent territorial expansions, Basilisk fits into their general policy of controlling the termini of their wormhole, San Martin requested admittance, as did the Talbott Quadrant. The only exception to the pattern is Silesia, which I'm pretty sure was part of the deal which brought the Andermani into the Alliance. There's nothing ultra-militaristic or neoconservative about being an Honorverse moderate.

J: Reverted Ramidel's edit of the Strawman Political example from the following:
* Strawman Political: if you are not a moderate militaristic conservative who pretends to be moderate in the Honorverse, then rest assured you will be holding the Idiot Ball and/or Villain Ball.
For reasoning, see my comments above.

Nohbody: Does anyone else find the following entry amusing, considering that Eric Flint (who created Cathy) is a self-identified socialist? I'm referring in particular to the Fox News Liberal pothole, at the end.

Spoilers for the first 10 chapters of Torch of Freedom "'Torch of Freedom' finally adds more persons of other orientations..."

I'd be very interested in knowing where this information came from (read, is there any more available online yet? (November isn't coming soon enough)). There are a few places where romantic attachments are mentioned (One married het couple and one frustrated teen) and then there's the bit detailing the bridge crew of the Beowulfan ship (which is admittedly confusing considering two of the names are usually used for people of the opposite gender to these ones). It breaks down like this:

  • Hugh Arai = M
  • Marti Garner = F
  • Haruka Takano = M
  • Stephanie Henson = F

  • Hugh/Marti (former)
  • Haruka/Stephanie

So was this a case of noun confusion (does the page need editing) or is there more available to read on line? Elfey There are some minor ones later on if you buy the E-Arc, a few throwaway characters none really distinct. Sadly, most are Mesans...
Chuckg: Took out the Idiot Plot entry for the Manticorean/Havenite diplomatic correspondance, as the original editor got his facts wrong. One, Kevin Usher suspected what was going on almost as soon as the war started, and had been investigating it the whole time (and having to laboriously penetrate multiple layers of security and cover-ups to do so, while operating under the additional handicap of operating without official sanction). Also, Giancola required the willing cooperation of the bagman actually carrying the correspondence and his department's seniormost computer security guy to actually do the hacking, and most importantly, he needed the Manticorean Foreign Office's official encryption key. Something that he could not remotely be expected to have normally, which is why only Kevin "Calling me paranoid is a compliment in my job, thank you" Usher was even investigating at all. (As for the logistics of how he got one of the Manties' encryption keys, the short version is that State Sec had stolen it right before the coup that put the Pritchart Administration in power, so while the key itself rested safely in the Foreign Office's files the operatives who'd actually done the job were all fired, missing, or dead. And obviously a covert operations success like this would not have been widely advertised)