History Literature / TheStarsAreColdToys

25th Sep '17 5:20:37 AM ChronoLegion
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* AlternateTechline: Early Geometer history somewhat parallels ours, but the planet's location near the galactic core has significantly affected their society. Night lighting wasn't as important due to the abundance of stars in the sky, so farming could be done at night as well. However, navigating by stars is all but impossible, so the Geometers were stuck on a single continent for centuries, even after developing steam engines. It took the creation of their versions of compasses and gyroscopic navigation equipment before they finally ventured beyond the shores of that continent and discovered others. Also, the abundance of stars affected their philosophy, and they have accepted early on that there had to be other intelligent beings out there in the galaxy.
22nd Aug '17 6:57:16 AM ChronoLegion
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* SpacePlane: Due to the invention of the jumper device, the Space Shuttle program is still alive and well in the US. Other countries have built their own versions (e.g. Europeans are using the ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_(spacecraft) Hermes]]'' design), and Russians are using old Soviet designs, such as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) Buran]] and the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-105 Spiral]]. When launching from Earth, boosters are used to get shuttles into orbit. When launching from or landing on alien worlds, {{Tractor Beam}}s are used instead.

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* SpacePlane: Due to the invention of the jumper device, the Space Shuttle program is still alive and well in the US. Other countries have built their own versions (e.g. Europeans are using the ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_(spacecraft) Hermes]]'' design), and Russians are using old Soviet designs, such as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) Buran]] and the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-105 Spiral]]. When launching from Earth, boosters are used to get shuttles into orbit. When launching from or landing on alien worlds, {{Tractor Beam}}s are used instead. All in all, there are hundreds of shuttles that have been built and even more in the process of being built, partly to increase humanity's presence and partly to make up for losses (ships never coming back, ships crashing on landing, ships exploding during launch). There were never enough pilots and jump navigators to crew them all, and it's mentioned that, at least in Russia, civilian pilots could now apply to be re-trained for space (previously, only military pilots could go into space). There are twenty spaceports across the world, on all inhabited continents, and twenty more being constructed. On average, there are fifty to seventy launches per day across the globe.
22nd Aug '17 6:41:11 AM ChronoLegion
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* SpacePlane: Due to the invention of the jumper device, the Space Shuttle program is still alive and well in the US. Other countries have built their own versions, and Russians are using old Soviet designs, such as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) Buran]] and the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-105 Spiral]]. When launching from Earth, boosters are used to get shuttles into orbit. When launching from or landing on alien worlds, {{Tractor Beam}}s are used instead.

to:

* SpacePlane: Due to the invention of the jumper device, the Space Shuttle program is still alive and well in the US. Other countries have built their own versions, versions (e.g. Europeans are using the ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_(spacecraft) Hermes]]'' design), and Russians are using old Soviet designs, such as the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) Buran]] and the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-105 Spiral]]. When launching from Earth, boosters are used to get shuttles into orbit. When launching from or landing on alien worlds, {{Tractor Beam}}s are used instead.
22nd Aug '17 6:11:26 AM ChronoLegion
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* ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming: The ''Buran''-class shuttles are named after religious titles, such as the ''Volkhv'' (a pagan Slavic priest) and the ''Prophet''. This is different from the original ''Buran'' program, which planned to call its shuttles after weather phenomena.
11th Aug '17 9:23:53 AM ChronoLegion
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* GenericanEmpire: Pretty much any interstellar governing body or alliance follows this trope. Examples: Conclave, Star Shadow, Crystal Alliance, Trade League.

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* GenericanEmpire: Pretty much any interstellar governing body or alliance follows this trope. Examples: Conclave (sometimes called the Galactic Conclave, which still fits), Star Shadow, Crystal Alliance, Trade League.
11th Aug '17 9:23:07 AM ChronoLegion
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* LostColony: [[spoiler:The Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by humans from the Core]].

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* LostColony: LostColony:
**
[[spoiler:The Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by humans from the Core]].
11th Aug '17 9:21:52 AM ChronoLegion
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** The author's knowledge of [=MiG-105=] (''Spiral'') is lacking. He seems to envision it as much larger than it really is (only 35' long), to the point where the pilot can fly around the cockpit (as if it's a smaller version of the ''Buran'' shuttle). In fact, the ''Spiral''[='s=] cockpit was incredibly small. The protagonist also mentions that the ''Spiral''[='s=] landing speed is 350 kph. In fact, it's closer to 250-270. While it is possible the ''Spiral''[='s=] design has been ''radically'' modified, that's never hinted at in the book. Furthermore, it's mentioned that the ''Spiral'' is very old, dating back to the Soviet days, implying it's the original.

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** The author's knowledge of [=MiG-105=] (''Spiral'') is lacking. He seems to envision it as much larger than it really is (only 35' long), to the point where the pilot can fly around the cockpit (as if it's a smaller version of the ''Buran'' shuttle). shuttle), which also has room for a copilot. In fact, the ''Spiral''[='s=] cockpit was incredibly small.small and designed for only one person. The protagonist also mentions that the ''Spiral''[='s=] landing speed is 350 kph. In fact, it's closer to 250-270. While it is possible the ''Spiral''[='s=] design has been ''radically'' modified, that's never hinted at in the book. Furthermore, it's mentioned that the ''Spiral'' is very old, dating back to the Soviet days, implying it's the original.
11th Aug '17 8:20:30 AM mlsmithca
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* AIIsACrapshoot: the primary reason why [=AIs=] are banned in the Conclave, requiring the use of Counters. The Geometers solve that problem by programming their [=AIs=] to think they're dreaming. After all, if we accept the craziest stuff we dream about, then why can't a machine? The [=AIs=] can read minds and know the Geometers ''think'' they have programmed them to dream it all, but that is not enough to convince them they're awake. Pyotr comes the closest by asking a ship's computer what it wants to do.
* AliensStealCable: averted, as it's brought up several times that alien eyes and visual cortices are unable to properly perceive information conveyed by human screens. A Counter named Karel explains that all he sees when he looks at a TV is incoherent light, not meaningful information. He points out that the raster scan geared towards humans is too slow for Counters. Later, when [[spoiler:Nik]] is escaping from an Alari ship, he notes that an Alari screen is likewise incomprehensible to his eyes.
* AllJustADream: the Geometers solve the problem of [[AIIsACrapshoot AIs going rogue]] by programming them to think they are dreaming and are thus subjects to their own subconsciousness. Essentially, the machines think that they are obeying their creators simply because none of it is real. Even though they can read minds and see people thinking it, they are still not convinced enough to break the illusion.

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* AIIsACrapshoot: the The primary reason why [=AIs=] are banned in the Conclave, requiring the use of Counters. The Geometers solve that problem by programming their [=AIs=] to think they're dreaming. After all, if we accept the craziest stuff we dream about, then why can't a machine? The [=AIs=] can read minds and know the Geometers ''think'' they have programmed them to dream it all, but that is not enough to convince them they're awake. Pyotr comes the closest by asking a ship's computer what it wants to do.
* AliensStealCable: averted, Averted, as it's brought up several times that alien eyes and visual cortices are unable to properly perceive information conveyed by human screens. A Counter named Karel explains that all he sees when he looks at a TV is incoherent light, not meaningful information. He points out that the raster scan geared towards humans is too slow for Counters. Later, when [[spoiler:Nik]] is escaping from an Alari ship, he notes that an Alari screen is likewise incomprehensible to his eyes.
* AllJustADream: the The Geometers solve the problem of [[AIIsACrapshoot AIs going rogue]] by programming them to think they are dreaming and are thus subjects to their own subconsciousness. Essentially, the machines think that they are obeying their creators simply because none of it is real. Even though they can read minds and see people thinking it, they are still not convinced enough to break the illusion.



* TheAtoner: the entire Geometer race turns out to be this, as a major turning point in their history was the destruction of another sentient race on their planet through the use of a designer plague. This (along with another major event) triggers a major shift of their culture into one focused on Friendship with everyone ([[spoiler:whether they want to or not]]).
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Geometers are so called by the main characters because images of their homeworld show that they have deliberately altered the shape of their continents into perfect geometric shapes (e.g. squares, triangles, circles). Everybody is horrified at the ridiculous waste of resources on something so impractical.
** It's later revealed that the coastlines are maintained by "undesirables" who are confined to sanatoriums (i.e. penal colonies) using ''shovels''.
* BeePeople: the Hiksi (or Hiksoids) are 3-meter-tall mantis-like aliens. Humanity is their responsibility.
** They're also implied to be from a low-gravity world, as Pyotr has once witnessed a Hiksi trip and fall on world with Earth-like gravity, easily breaking a limb.
* BigBlackout: whenever a shuttle makes a jump, its batteries are drained in its entirely and any data storage currently under power is wiped. This requires the pilot to restore the on-board computer from backup disks (using [=CDs=], since optical media aren't as vulnerable) after each jump, while the batteries are recharged.

to:

* TheAtoner: the The entire Geometer race turns out to be this, as a major turning point in their history was the destruction of another sentient race on their planet through the use of a designer plague. This (along with another major event) triggers a major shift of their culture into one focused on Friendship with everyone ([[spoiler:whether they want to or not]]).
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Geometers are so called by the main characters because images of their homeworld show that they have deliberately altered the shape of their continents into perfect geometric shapes (e.g. squares, triangles, circles). Everybody is horrified at the ridiculous waste of resources on something so impractical.
**
impractical. It's later revealed that the coastlines are maintained by "undesirables" who are confined to sanatoriums (i.e. penal colonies) using ''shovels''.
* BeePeople: the The Hiksi (or Hiksoids) are 3-meter-tall mantis-like aliens. Humanity is their responsibility.
**
responsibility. They're also implied to be from a low-gravity world, as Pyotr has once witnessed a Hiksi trip and fall on world with Earth-like gravity, easily breaking a limb.
* BigBlackout: whenever Whenever a shuttle makes a jump, its batteries are drained in its entirely and any data storage currently under power is wiped. This requires the pilot to restore the on-board computer from backup disks (using [=CDs=], since optical media aren't as vulnerable) after each jump, while the batteries are recharged.



* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: it is revealed that [[spoiler:the jumpers only work because humans believe they do. The novel mentions that the scientific basis for the jumpers was made ''after'' the device was invented and is hardly airtight. This is why most aliens can't handle a jump]].

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* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: it It is revealed that [[spoiler:the jumpers only work because humans believe they do. The novel mentions that the scientific basis for the jumpers was made ''after'' the device was invented and is hardly airtight. This is why most aliens can't handle a jump]].



* CripplingOverspecialization: each Weak race is pigeonholed into a specific role in the Conclave based on their unique talents/skills. The humans with their near-instantaneous jumpers act as glorified mail carriers and cargo haulers. The rat-like Alari are good at warfare, so they serve as the Conclave as its fleet. The reptilian Counters are living computers and serve in this role. The shapeshifting Kualkua are used as TranslatorMicrobes and put in missiles/bombs to make sure they reach their target. No Weak race can ever go beyond its role in the Conclave. A race is mentioned to be working on a "universal philosophy" that can be applied to any sentient species in an attempt to break out of a pigeonhole. Anyone GenreSavvy enough knows that this will, at most, result in them being assigned a new pigeonhole. The Strong races aren't interested in helping the Weak races, only exploiting them.
* CurbStompBattle: the first encounter between a massive Alari fleet and a single Geometer scoutship nearly ends in the destruction of the entire armada, had the Alari not swarmed the Geometer ship and forced it into a docking bay. They still sustain heavy casualties. The scoutship is not even armed with traditional weaponry.
* EagleLand: After the Russian university students invent the jumper, they immediately get offers to move to the US. They pack up (including their research) and go. As [[AuthorTract Pyotr notes]], what America can't think of on its own, it buys. It's a little strange that the Russian government would let such an important discovery (not to mention the minds behind it) leave the country.

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* CripplingOverspecialization: each Each Weak race is pigeonholed into a specific role in the Conclave based on their unique talents/skills. The humans with their near-instantaneous jumpers act as glorified mail carriers and cargo haulers. The rat-like Alari are good at warfare, so they serve as the Conclave as its fleet. The reptilian Counters are living computers and serve in this role. The shapeshifting Kualkua are used as TranslatorMicrobes and put in missiles/bombs to make sure they reach their target. No Weak race can ever go beyond its role in the Conclave. A race is mentioned to be working on a "universal philosophy" that can be applied to any sentient species in an attempt to break out of a pigeonhole. Anyone GenreSavvy enough knows that this will, at most, result in them being assigned a new pigeonhole. The Strong races aren't interested in helping the Weak races, only exploiting them.
* CurbStompBattle: the The first encounter between a massive Alari fleet and a single Geometer scoutship nearly ends in the destruction of the entire armada, had the Alari not swarmed the Geometer ship and forced it into a docking bay. They still sustain heavy casualties. The scoutship is not even armed with traditional weaponry.
* EagleLand: EagleLand:
**
After the Russian university students invent the jumper, they immediately get offers to move to the US. They pack up (including their research) and go. As [[AuthorTract Pyotr notes]], what America can't think of on its own, it buys. It's a little strange that the Russian government would let such an important discovery (not to mention the minds behind it) leave the country.



* EarthShatteringKaboom: at least two worlds were obliterated by the Alari at the behest of the Conclave. One belonged to a race of {{Hive Mind}}ed bugs simply because they were useless to the Conclave. The other one was the Kualkua homeworld for disobeying the will of the Conclave.
** One such destruction was recorded and sent to Earth governments as a warning.
* EnergyBeing: the Torpp are a race of sentient plasma whose homeworld is a star. As such, they have no need of ships. They are, essentially, miniature stars. It's not made clear, though, if they are able to go FTL without a ship.
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: anyone who thinks that the morals of the Geometer society are wrong is immediately labeled as ill and placed into a sanatorium, which is basically a penal colony. Attempts to escape are punished by death.
** Interestingly, the food and drink in sanatoriums does not include tranquilisers normally present in all Geometer food and drink that lower one's sex drive and aggression. This is not public knowledge, though.
* ExplosiveLeash: when Pyotr is captured by the Russian government, he is fitted with an explosive collar (specifically designed to explode inward to prevent collateral damage). If he gets too far away from his guide, the collar with explode. Like the [[StunGuns paralizers]], this is a prototype technology developed by an agency that watches sci-fi movies for good ideas.
* FrickinLaserBeams: when helping Nik escape the Alari ship, Colonel Danilov gives him his laser sidearm, apparently standard-issue for Russian cosmonauts. Nik uses the pistol to kill a few Alari before the weapon's charge runs out.
* FTLTravel: the jumper allows a ship to instantly punch through the folds of space in identical increments of just over 12 light years. The Conclave races use SubspaceOrHyperspace for interstellar travel that still takes months. The Geometers combine the two methods by entering hyperspace and then jump, allowing them to achieve extraordinary speeds.

to:

* EarthShatteringKaboom: at At least two worlds were obliterated by the Alari at the behest of the Conclave. One belonged to a race of {{Hive Mind}}ed bugs simply because they were useless to the Conclave. The other one was the Kualkua homeworld for disobeying the will of the Conclave.
**
Conclave. One such destruction was recorded and sent to Earth governments as a warning.
* EnergyBeing: the The Torpp are a race of sentient plasma whose homeworld is a star. As such, they have no need of ships. They are, essentially, miniature stars. It's not made clear, though, if they are able to go FTL without a ship.
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: anyone Anyone who thinks that the morals of the Geometer society are wrong is immediately labeled as ill and placed into a sanatorium, which is basically a penal colony. Attempts to escape are punished by death.
**
death. Interestingly, the food and drink in sanatoriums does not include tranquilisers normally present in all Geometer food and drink that lower one's sex drive and aggression. This is not public knowledge, though.
* ExplosiveLeash: when When Pyotr is captured by the Russian government, he is fitted with an explosive collar (specifically designed to explode inward to prevent collateral damage). If he gets too far away from his guide, the collar with explode. Like the [[StunGuns paralizers]], this is a prototype technology developed by an agency that watches sci-fi movies for good ideas.
* FrickinLaserBeams: when When helping Nik escape the Alari ship, Colonel Danilov gives him his laser sidearm, apparently standard-issue for Russian cosmonauts. Nik uses the pistol to kill a few Alari before the weapon's charge runs out.
* FTLTravel: the The jumper allows a ship to instantly punch through the folds of space in identical increments of just over 12 light years. The Conclave races use SubspaceOrHyperspace for interstellar travel that still takes months. The Geometers combine the two methods by entering hyperspace and then jump, allowing them to achieve extraordinary speeds.



* HiveMind: [[spoiler:the Kualkua are revealed to be a single being spread out over millions (if not billions) of entities. A race of sentient bugs was found to be this, but they were wiped out by the Conclave]].
* HumanAliens: the Geometers don't only look like us, but they are also genetically identical to humans, which cannot be explained by a quirk of evolution. [[spoiler:Turns out both the Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by the same people]].
** More are found at the Core. [[spoiler:They are revealed to be the original humans]].
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: averted for humans, played straight for most aliens with the jumper. Any alien is either killed or goes insane during a jump. On the other hand, humans experience the greatest euphoric feeling that neither sex nor drugs can match. All in the space of a split-second. In fact, this euphoric effect is so damaging to the psyche that astronauts are usually sent to tropical resorts where all their whims are satisfied before starting their careers in order to prepare them for the effects.

to:

* HiveMind: [[spoiler:the [[spoiler:The Kualkua are revealed to be a single being spread out over millions (if not billions) of entities. A race of sentient bugs was found to be this, but they were wiped out by the Conclave]].
* HumanAliens: the The Geometers don't only look like us, but they are also genetically identical to humans, which cannot be explained by a quirk of evolution. [[spoiler:Turns out both the Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by the same people]].
**
people]]. More are found at the Core. [[spoiler:They are revealed to be the original humans]].
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: averted HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace:
** Averted
for humans, played straight for most aliens with the jumper. Any alien is either killed or goes insane during a jump. On the other hand, humans experience the greatest euphoric feeling that neither sex nor drugs can match. All in the space of a split-second. In fact, this euphoric effect is so damaging to the psyche that astronauts are usually sent to tropical resorts where all their whims are satisfied before starting their careers in order to prepare them for the effects.



* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: subverted. While humans do gain access to some nifty alien toys, the Conclave has laws specifically limiting Weak races in their use of these. The Weak races are only allowed to use alien items for the same purpose as the original inventors. This means that, when humans obtain [[SharpenedToASingleAtom monomolecular]] wires, they cannot use it to build {{Space Elevator}}s and must only use it for birthing purposes. The humans manage to convince the Strong races to let them use heat-resistant alien plates (which are normally used as decorations) to cover a shuttle by claiming it will make it look nicer.

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* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: subverted.ImportedAlienPhlebotinum:
** Subverted.
While humans do gain access to some nifty alien toys, the Conclave has laws specifically limiting Weak races in their use of these. The Weak races are only allowed to use alien items for the same purpose as the original inventors. This means that, when humans obtain [[SharpenedToASingleAtom monomolecular]] wires, they cannot use it to build {{Space Elevator}}s and must only use it for birthing purposes. The humans manage to convince the Strong races to let them use heat-resistant alien plates (which are normally used as decorations) to cover a shuttle by claiming it will make it look nicer.



* JustPlaneWrong: A number of example of DidNotDoTheResearch.

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* JustPlaneWrong: A number of example of DidNotDoTheResearch.JustPlaneWrong:



* LoopholeAbuse: the Strong races impose strict rules on the use of ImportedAlienPhlebotinum for the Weak races, requiring them to use the technology for the same purpose as those who invented it. Most nations respond by creating agencies dedicated to finding ways to go around this rule. Most of the time, though, they fail.
* LostColony: [[spoiler:the Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by humans from the Core]].

to:

* LoopholeAbuse: the The Strong races impose strict rules on the use of ImportedAlienPhlebotinum for the Weak races, requiring them to use the technology for the same purpose as those who invented it. Most nations respond by creating agencies dedicated to finding ways to go around this rule. Most of the time, though, they fail.
* LostColony: [[spoiler:the [[spoiler:The Geometers' homeworld and Earth were colonized by humans from the Core]].



* NumberedHomeworld: the Hiksi number their colonies. At the beginning of the first novel, Pyotr is leaving Hiksi 43 (human designation - Sirius VIII) to get back to Earth.
* OrganicTechnology: [[spoiler:the Counters are revealed not to be living beings but organic machines]].
* PublicBathHouseScene: after Nik returns to the Geometer homeworld, his friends take him to a bathhouse involving swimming in an ice-cold indoor stream and then lounging on hot rocks. Oh, and everybody (men and women together) is naked.

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* NumberedHomeworld: the The Hiksi number their colonies. At the beginning of the first novel, Pyotr is leaving Hiksi 43 (human designation - Sirius VIII) to get back to Earth.
* OrganicTechnology: [[spoiler:the [[spoiler:The Counters are revealed not to be living beings but organic machines]].
* PublicBathHouseScene: after After Nik returns to the Geometer homeworld, his friends take him to a bathhouse involving swimming in an ice-cold indoor stream and then lounging on hot rocks. Oh, and everybody (men and women together) is naked.



* TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies: the Strong Races behave this way toward the Weak ones. The galactic rules are like this: if your race is powerful enough to wipe out any other race except fellow Strong ones, you can do whatever you please. If it isn't, you'd better possess some unique talent useful to the Strong races, or be wiped out by them to make space for new strains of evolution.

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* TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies: the The Strong Races behave this way toward the Weak ones. The galactic rules are like this: if your race is powerful enough to wipe out any other race except fellow Strong ones, you can do whatever you please. If it isn't, you'd better possess some unique talent useful to the Strong races, or be wiped out by them to make space for new strains of evolution.



* RuleOfThree: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Counter.
** While the explanation provided by the humans seems a little ridiculous, it does make strange sense to us. It goes something like "two is not enough, and four is too many".
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: [[spoiler:the Geometers and their Friendship philosophy turn out to be not as innocent as they first appear]].

to:

* RuleOfThree: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Counter.
**
Counter. While the explanation provided by the humans seems a little ridiculous, it does make strange sense to us. It goes something like "two is not enough, and four is too many".
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: [[spoiler:the [[spoiler:The Geometers and their Friendship philosophy turn out to be not as innocent as they first appear]].



* SnakePeople: the Dusties, a Weak race, are worm-like and used for mining by the Conclave. The Limber Friends (a race "befriended" by the Geometers) are snake-like and have two mouths with sharp teeth (basically, imagine a lamprey with a mouth on either end).

to:

* SnakePeople: the The Dusties, a Weak race, are worm-like and used for mining by the Conclave. The Limber Friends (a race "befriended" by the Geometers) are snake-like and have two mouths with sharp teeth (basically, imagine a lamprey with a mouth on either end).



* SplitPersonality: [[spoiler:after Pyotr is physically altered to appear like a dead Geometer named Nik Rimer (who actually resembles Pyotr a little), his own memories are suppressed and Nik's partial memories are written in his place. Later, when Pyotr's consciousness resurfaces, he can still feel Nik's presence in his head and, at one point, [[SplitPersonalityTakeover Nik takes over]] before disappearing for good]].
* StunGuns: Pyotr associates manage to obtain several prototypes of paralizers, capable of stunning any biological organism. However, they are one-shot weapons, as human science is still incapable of recharging the unique battery used in the weapon.

to:

* SplitPersonality: [[spoiler:after [[spoiler:After Pyotr is physically altered to appear like a dead Geometer named Nik Rimer (who actually resembles Pyotr a little), his own memories are suppressed and Nik's partial memories are written in his place. Later, when Pyotr's consciousness resurfaces, he can still feel Nik's presence in his head and, at one point, [[SplitPersonalityTakeover Nik takes over]] before disappearing for good]].
* StunGuns: StunGuns:
**
Pyotr associates manage to obtain several prototypes of paralizers, capable of stunning any biological organism. However, they are one-shot weapons, as human science is still incapable of recharging the unique battery used in the weapon.



* TakeAThirdOption: by the end of the duology, it appears that Pyotr has one of two choices to save Earth. However, neither of the choices are favorable: ally with the Geometers but risk becoming their "friends" or join with the Star Shadow and allow humans access to unrestricted freedom. Pyotr's choice is [[spoiler:to plead with the Conclave on humanity's behalf, using what he knows as leverage, which results in humans becoming a Strong race]].

to:

* TakeAThirdOption: by TakeAThirdOption:
** By
the end of the duology, it appears that Pyotr has one of two choices to save Earth. However, neither of the choices are favorable: ally with the Geometers but risk becoming their "friends" or join with the Star Shadow and allow humans access to unrestricted freedom. Pyotr's choice is [[spoiler:to plead with the Conclave on humanity's behalf, using what he knows as leverage, which results in humans becoming a Strong race]].



* TechnicalPacifist: the Geometers are an entire race of these. They believe that they must become friends with all other races, whether those races want to or not. They don't even have a word for "enemy". The closest equivalent is "non-friend", which simply means someone who is not yet a friend. They have no problem killing "non-friends", though.
* TooDumbToLive: after nearly destroying the Alari armada and being forced into the flagship's docking bay, [[spoiler:Nik Rimers]] decides to come out of his scoutship and greet his future "friends" and [[spoiler:quickly gets swarmed by the large rats and has his throat torn out]].
* TractorBeam: unlike Earth, when landing on alien worlds, human {{Space Plane}}s are directed using focused gravity beams, so no fuel is actually used to either land or take off (they can't launch on their own anyway). Since humans don't have the technology, they're still forced to launch shuttles using boosters, and shuttles land the old-fashioned way.
* TykeBomb: [[spoiler:Pyotr]] is one to [[spoiler:his grandfather]]. It turns out that [[spoiler:the real Pyotr Khrumov died in the same plane crash that killed his parents; Andrey Khrumov tested many orphans for intelligence and picked the smartest one that also happen to look like his dead grandson, grooming him to be a cosmonaut]]. It turns out that the authorities knew all this but didn't feel that it mattered.

to:

* TechnicalPacifist: the The Geometers are an entire race of these. They believe that they must become friends with all other races, whether those races want to or not. They don't even have a word for "enemy". The closest equivalent is "non-friend", which simply means someone who is not yet a friend. They have no problem killing "non-friends", though.
* TooDumbToLive: after After nearly destroying the Alari armada and being forced into the flagship's docking bay, [[spoiler:Nik Rimers]] decides to come out of his scoutship and greet his future "friends" and [[spoiler:quickly gets swarmed by the large rats and has his throat torn out]].
* TractorBeam: unlike Unlike Earth, when landing on alien worlds, human {{Space Plane}}s are directed using focused gravity beams, so no fuel is actually used to either land or take off (they can't launch on their own anyway). Since humans don't have the technology, they're still forced to launch shuttles using boosters, and shuttles land the old-fashioned way.
* TykeBomb: TykeBomb:
**
[[spoiler:Pyotr]] is one to [[spoiler:his grandfather]]. It turns out that [[spoiler:the real Pyotr Khrumov died in the same plane crash that killed his parents; Andrey Khrumov tested many orphans for intelligence and picked the smartest one that also happen to look like his dead grandson, grooming him to be a cosmonaut]]. It turns out that the authorities knew all this but didn't feel that it mattered.



* UnusualUserInterface: the Geometers interface with their ships via telepathy. However, during battles, when more precise control is required, the pilots place their hands into receptacles filled with a fluid called a "colloid activator", which allows the pilot and the ship's AI to, effectively, become one. On one of the Shadow worlds, Pyotr becomes a fighter pilot in a Delta, an aircraft that is also telepathically-linked with the pilot.

to:

* UnusualUserInterface: the UnusualUserInterface:
** The
Geometers interface with their ships via telepathy. However, during battles, when more precise control is required, the pilots place their hands into receptacles filled with a fluid called a "colloid activator", which allows the pilot and the ship's AI to, effectively, become one. On one of the Shadow worlds, Pyotr becomes a fighter pilot in a Delta, an aircraft that is also telepathically-linked with the pilot.



* UnusualWeaponMounting: the Alari, being human-sized rats, are incapable of carrying hand-held weapons. Instead, they carry large guns that are mounted on their backs and operated with their snouts.

to:

* UnusualWeaponMounting: the The Alari, being human-sized rats, are incapable of carrying hand-held weapons. Instead, they carry large guns that are mounted on their backs and operated with their snouts.



* VoluntaryShapeshifting: the Kualkua are are race of symbiotic shapeshifters. When merging with another being, they can (to an extent) alter their host's body. There are people in the Core called metamorphs who can do so on their own.

to:

* VoluntaryShapeshifting: the The Kualkua are are race of symbiotic shapeshifters. When merging with another being, they can (to an extent) alter their host's body. There are people in the Core called metamorphs who can do so on their own.



11th Aug '17 7:19:24 AM ChronoLegion
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** The author's knowledge of [=MiG-105=] (''Spiral'') is lacking. He seems to envision it as much larger than it really is, to the point where the pilot can fly around the cockpit (as if it's a smaller version of the ''Buran'' shuttle). In fact, the ''Spiral''[='s=] cockpit was incredibly small. The protagonist also mentions that the ''Spiral''[='s=] landing speed is 350 kph. In fact, it's closer to 250-270. While it is possible the ''Spiral''[='s=] design has been ''radically'' modified, that's never hinted at in the book. Furthermore, it's mentioned that the ''Spiral'' is very old, dating back to the Soviet days, implying it's the original.

to:

** The author's knowledge of [=MiG-105=] (''Spiral'') is lacking. He seems to envision it as much larger than it really is, is (only 35' long), to the point where the pilot can fly around the cockpit (as if it's a smaller version of the ''Buran'' shuttle). In fact, the ''Spiral''[='s=] cockpit was incredibly small. The protagonist also mentions that the ''Spiral''[='s=] landing speed is 350 kph. In fact, it's closer to 250-270. While it is possible the ''Spiral''[='s=] design has been ''radically'' modified, that's never hinted at in the book. Furthermore, it's mentioned that the ''Spiral'' is very old, dating back to the Soviet days, implying it's the original.
11th Aug '17 7:17:14 AM ChronoLegion
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* JustPlaneWrong: early on, Pyotr muses that a shuttle glides with all the grace of a charcoal iron. Even passenger airplanes with disabled engines can only expect to crash. The last part isn't true at all. Most aircraft are designed with this in mind. In fact, as a rule, a large passenger airplane is fully capable of gliding in for a safe landing (in the event of a total engine failure) for up to 75 miles. There are numerous cases of this happening.

to:

* JustPlaneWrong: early A number of example of DidNotDoTheResearch.
** Early
on, Pyotr muses that a shuttle glides with all the grace of a charcoal iron. Even passenger airplanes with disabled engines can only expect to crash. The last part isn't true at all. Most aircraft are designed with this in mind. In fact, as a rule, a large passenger airplane is fully capable of gliding in for a safe landing (in the event of a total engine failure) for up to 75 miles. There are numerous cases of this happening.happening.
** The author's knowledge of [=MiG-105=] (''Spiral'') is lacking. He seems to envision it as much larger than it really is, to the point where the pilot can fly around the cockpit (as if it's a smaller version of the ''Buran'' shuttle). In fact, the ''Spiral''[='s=] cockpit was incredibly small. The protagonist also mentions that the ''Spiral''[='s=] landing speed is 350 kph. In fact, it's closer to 250-270. While it is possible the ''Spiral''[='s=] design has been ''radically'' modified, that's never hinted at in the book. Furthermore, it's mentioned that the ''Spiral'' is very old, dating back to the Soviet days, implying it's the original.
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