Near the start of the story, Captain Taneel breaks Nosh out of prison, where he's being held because he's been falsely accused of killing the Emperor. Nosh points out that he'll just be hunted down and re-arrested, but the Captain says that to prevent this, she'll destroy the prison colony's data centre. Because the prison is so remote that it rarely synchronises its archives with the rest of the Empire, the Captain says Nosh's file will thus be lost forever, presumably sparing him further pursuit. But... he's been accused of killing the Emperor. It's a big deal. Officials would note his absence from the prison (or of his body from its wreckage, at least). People will have heard of him, and will know who he is, file or no file. Also, he was brought to the prison colony from somewhere else; wouldn't records of his alleged crime and of his transfer to the prison also exist there, at least? Later plot developments make all this a moot point, but it's still odd that the Captain and the other characters expect this plan to work at all. Yet it's a major and necessary plot element: the destruction of the prison's archives is the reason why Skeeter's amnesia is such a big problem for the Empire.
The plan wasn't to wipe any information on Nosh, the Empire knows all about him. The point was to eliminate any data that pointed to this being anything other than an accident or would indicate he survived. What they were hoping was that they could elude pursuit and leave no one the wiser as to who exactly had escaped. Given the planet was considered suitable for the killer of an emperor, there was likely others who would have been targets for break out attempts of that mangnitude.
It is implied that the ring drive is the only form of Faster-Than-Light Travel in this setting (and probably the only form of faster-than-light communication, too). Only the Humans and the Continuum have it. Yet quite separately from them, there exist vast interstellar empires, interstellar trade, interstellar warfare, planets where you can find individuals from hundreds of different worlds gathered together to do business, numerous interstellar freight ships that consider it no big deal to pick up a bunch of hitch-hikers for a moderate price, and take them to other planets at the speed of plot... Not all of this is necessarily completely illogical — other science fiction authors have conceived of interstellar civilizations where travel between stars still takes decades or more, at merely near-light speeds. But details in the comic and the back-story sometimes seem to imply the existence of something like Casual Interstellar Travel... at slower-than-light speeds.
It's particularly puzzling since possession of the Drive is implied to be a major advantage (as it should be), but this advantage doesn't get demonstrated much. The Empire's even been in a couple wars, and did not fare as well as one would expect...they weren't even able to beat the Tesskans on their own.
it has since been established that there are other FTL's in the setting, as the Grasskan's have one. It is just that the Continuum's FTL, The Circles End as they call it, and what humanity calls the Rings, is just the best FTL around. Humanity (with the help of the Fillipods) actually seems to have found applications for the technology that the Continuum haven't. for example the Industriaglobo's Ring Relay communications system, which uses a Fillipod modified Ring Drive system to send and receive messages faster than light. a technology the Continuum do not have, since they have to send a physical courier to relay their defeat. and the Continuum appears to be ignorant of the cuddow effect, suggesting that while they use the Rings and understand the basics of how it works, they don't do much in the way of experimentation and testing to find out the limits of it.
Considering what the Drive does to planets, why doesn't it also mulch incoming asteroids?
The big question of course: When the Driver threatens that gangster with a pistol round against his forehead and a claw hammer behind the round, would hitting the back of the round with the claw hammer ignite the gunpowder and propel the bullet into the guy's skull? What would happen to the Driver's gloved hand that hold's the bullet?
No, a hammerhead would be too broad a surface to ignite the primer. It would be easier to hit the primer by placing a nail on it and hitting the head of the nail with a hammer. Also, it wouldn't explode with much force. The barrel of a gun is necessary to focus the explosion in one direction and shoot the bullet at lethal velocity. So ultimately, the Driver is just threatening to hammer the bullet into the man's head like a nail, not shoot the bullet into his head via hammer strike. Either way, it's not intended to be a practical tactic, just an intimidating threat.
No seriously, is The Driver autistic?
I don't think so. As I understand it, the biggest sign of autism is a failure to pick up on social cues. The Driver doesn't do that. On the contrary, he seems to be watching people very closely and picking up what's going on. Although he's very quiet and withdrawn, everything he does seems to be very deliberate, and he's never behind the curve on what people are thinking or doing around him. In my armchair, layman analysis, I would guess that whatever the Driver's issues are probably derive from some sort of trauma or tragedy in his past.