History Literature / TheMerchantPrincesSeries

17th Feb '18 8:25:10 PM ryg
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A {{Fantasy}} series by Creator/CharlesStross, about a journalist named Miriam Beckstein who finds an AlternateUniverse stuck in MedievalStasis where her long-lost family are powerful traders who can travel between dimensions. There are six books so far: ''The Family Trade'' (2004), ''The Hidden Family'' (2005), ''The Clan Corporate'' (2006), ''The Merchants' War'' (2007), ''The Revolution Business'' (2009), and ''The Trade of Queens'' (2010). They are now available in a new edition that combines them into three volumes (''The Bloodline Feud'', ''The Traders War'', and ''The Revolution Trade''), with some minor changes to the text.

The series was originally planned as four very long books, but the publisher got cold feet about the length of the books and insisted [[ExecutiveMeddling they be broken up into multiple volumes]]. The six books published so far started out as the first two books of the original plan. Stross is currently working on the "next generation" sequels: ''Empire Games'' was released in January 2017, and the follow-ups ''Dark State'' and ''Invisible Sun'' are scheduled for publication in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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A {{Fantasy}} series by Creator/CharlesStross, about a journalist named Miriam Beckstein who finds an AlternateUniverse stuck in MedievalStasis where her long-lost family are powerful traders who can travel between dimensions. There are six books so far: ''The Family Trade'' (2004), ''The Hidden Family'' (2005), ''The Clan Corporate'' (2006), ''The Merchants' War'' (2007), ''The Revolution Business'' (2009), and ''The Trade of Queens'' (2010). They are now available in a new edition that combines them into three volumes (''The Bloodline Feud'', ''The Traders War'', and ''The Revolution Trade''), with some minor changes to the text.

The series was originally planned as four very long books, but the publisher got cold feet about the length of the books and insisted [[ExecutiveMeddling they be broken up into multiple volumes]]. As a result, the overall story is now split into two sub-series with a big TimeSkip in the middle.

The "original series" consists of six books published so far started out as books:
* ''The Family Trade'' (2004)
* ''The Hidden Family'' (2005)
* ''The Clan Corporate'' (2006)
* ''The Merchants' War'' (2007)
* ''The Revolution Business'' (2009)
* ''The Trade of Queens'' (2010)

In 2014, these were collected into three omnibus volumes named ''The Bloodline Feud'', ''The Traders War'', and ''The Revolution Trade'', with some minor changes to
the first two books of the original plan. Stross is currently working on the text.

The
"next generation" sequels: series occurs after an approximately 20-year time skip and consists of three books:
*
''Empire Games'' was released in January 2017, and the follow-ups (2017)
*
''Dark State'' and (2018)
*
''Invisible Sun'' are scheduled (slated for publication in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
early 2019)
15th Nov '17 6:32:41 PM Ramidel
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** [[spoiler:Medieval does not mean Moronic. In the first place, the Progressive younger generation of the Clan were opposed to the nuking. In the second place, the older Conservatives did not go "Here is a much stronger nation, let's open relations by nuking their Capitol." First, they engaged in illegal drugrunning in America. Then, a renegade member of the Clan planted a nuclear timebomb in Boston on a deadman switch. So when the government discovered this, they decided to send the nuke back to the Clan on a short fuse (helped along by the fact they did not know how the Clan could retaliate, what with the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing). THEN the Clan retaliated against America.]]
12th Oct '17 9:49:18 AM tmazanec1
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** [[spoiler:Medieval does not mean Moronic. In the first place, the Progressive younger generation of the Clan were opposed to the nuking. In the second place, the older Conservatives did not go "Here is a much stronger nation, let's open relations by nuking their Capitol." First, they engaged in illegal drugrunning in America. Then, a renegade member of the Clan planted a nuclear timebomb in Boston on a deadman switch. So when the government discovered this, they decided to send the nuke back to the Clan on a short fuse (helped along by the fact they did not know how the Clan could retaliate, what with the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. THEN the Clan retaliated against America.]]

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** [[spoiler:Medieval does not mean Moronic. In the first place, the Progressive younger generation of the Clan were opposed to the nuking. In the second place, the older Conservatives did not go "Here is a much stronger nation, let's open relations by nuking their Capitol." First, they engaged in illegal drugrunning in America. Then, a renegade member of the Clan planted a nuclear timebomb in Boston on a deadman switch. So when the government discovered this, they decided to send the nuke back to the Clan on a short fuse (helped along by the fact they did not know how the Clan could retaliate, what with the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing.doing). THEN the Clan retaliated against America.]]
12th Oct '17 9:48:31 AM tmazanec1
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Added DiffLines:

** [[spoiler:Medieval does not mean Moronic. In the first place, the Progressive younger generation of the Clan were opposed to the nuking. In the second place, the older Conservatives did not go "Here is a much stronger nation, let's open relations by nuking their Capitol." First, they engaged in illegal drugrunning in America. Then, a renegade member of the Clan planted a nuclear timebomb in Boston on a deadman switch. So when the government discovered this, they decided to send the nuke back to the Clan on a short fuse (helped along by the fact they did not know how the Clan could retaliate, what with the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. THEN the Clan retaliated against America.]]
2nd Oct '17 7:42:19 PM tmazanec1
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Added DiffLines:

* [[spoiler: OhCrap: 'We just nuked the White House' she reminded him. 'What would you do in their shoes?' 'I'd-' His expression would have been funny if the situation hadn't been so serious.'Oh. Scheisse.']]
4th Sep '17 9:00:44 PM Peteman
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** It's worth noting that the series is quite a brutal {{Deconstruction}} of the usual "Alternate Universe" setting. The logistical and geopolitical consequences are explored quite thoroughly.

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** It's worth noting that the series is quite a brutal {{Deconstruction}} of the usual "Alternate Universe" setting. The logistical and geopolitical consequences are explored quite thoroughly.
10th Aug '17 9:32:56 AM Ramidel
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* PragmaticVillainy: Colonel Eric Smith is a Homeland Security spook, but one of his roles in the story is to explain in exhausting detail to Agent Gomez (a StupidEvil CommanderContrarian) why the American dark state tries to avoid such things as assassination, kidnapping and forced conscription. Human intelligence assets are impossible to control by force, and blunt instruments are incredibly clumsy and unreliable; spies need to be persuaded that they're on the right side.



* Pirates Of Penzance: The general was the perfect model of a modern military man



* StupidEvil: Agent Gomez in ''Empire Games'' [[CommanderContrarian consistently suggests]] using nasty, brute-force black-bag techniques when dealing with Rita. She gets shut down each time because Colonel Smith knows that that's the ''wrong'' way to train a covert agent.

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* StupidEvil: Agent Gomez in ''Empire Games'' [[CommanderContrarian consistently suggests]] using nasty, brute-force black-bag techniques when dealing with Rita. She gets shut down each time because Colonel Smith knows that that's the ''wrong'' way to train a covert agent. The incident that takes the cake is when she suggests threatening Rita's grandfather with deportation because he lied about his Stasi connections when immigrating. Even if Gomez could persuade an immigration judge to ''care'' about a defection from the long-gone GDR, Kurt would be deported to a rich country where he had family, would be received with open arms as someone who fled the GDR, and probably given a pension. Her threat was completely worthless.
10th Aug '17 8:41:22 AM Ramidel
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Added DiffLines:

* EnemyMine: The defining feature of New British and French foreign policy in Timeline Three was their mutual enmity. However, after the Revolution toppled New Britain, the King-in-Exile became a fixture of the French court, and his son a fast friend of le Dauphin, while France began ramping up production for another world war with the New American Commonwealth. For all their previous enmity, the New British had been a fellow monarchy, and a Communist revolution represents an existential threat to the idea of monarchism.
10th Aug '17 8:28:28 AM Ramidel
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* ChummyCommies: The New American Commonwealth, established in 2003 in Timeline Three after the fall of New Britain's monarchy. The government is a theoretically-democratic one-party state running an economic program explicitly based on the New Economic Policy, and are introducing massive innovations from computer networks to antibiotic factories both to develop a defense against the United States, and to generally improve the lives of the people. Miriam and her Clan allies are working as hard as they can to step on the [[DirtyCommunists darker sister trope]], as they know exactly how ''that'' kind of Communism turns out.

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* ChummyCommies: The New American Commonwealth, established in 2003 in Timeline Three after the fall of New Britain's monarchy. The government is a theoretically-democratic nominally-democratic one-party state state[[note]]They're trying to democratize, but the people haven't really gotten the idea that you can vote ''against'' the government[[/note]] running an economic program explicitly based on the New Economic Policy, and are introducing massive innovations from computer networks to antibiotic factories both to develop a defense against the United States, and to generally improve the lives of the people. Miriam and her Clan allies are working as hard as they can to step on the [[DirtyCommunists darker sister trope]], as they know exactly how ''that'' kind of Communism turns out.
10th Aug '17 8:21:58 AM Ramidel
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* ChummyCommies: The New American Commonwealth, established in 2003 in Timeline Three after the fall of New Britain's monarchy. The government is a theoretically-democratic one-party state running an economic program explicitly based on the New Economic Policy, and are introducing massive innovations from computer networks to antibiotic factories both to develop a defense against the United States, and to generally improve the lives of the people. Miriam and her Clan allies are working as hard as they can to step on the [[DirtyCommies darker sister trope]], as they know exactly how ''that'' kind of Communism turns out.

to:

* ChummyCommies: The New American Commonwealth, established in 2003 in Timeline Three after the fall of New Britain's monarchy. The government is a theoretically-democratic one-party state running an economic program explicitly based on the New Economic Policy, and are introducing massive innovations from computer networks to antibiotic factories both to develop a defense against the United States, and to generally improve the lives of the people. Miriam and her Clan allies are working as hard as they can to step on the [[DirtyCommies [[DirtyCommunists darker sister trope]], as they know exactly how ''that'' kind of Communism turns out.
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