TORCH OF FREEDOM — Snippet 03:

A moment or two of silence hovered in the office. Then Rozsak cleared his throat.

“Well, be that as it may,” he said more briskly, “and whatever possible problematical advantages we may be able to squeeze out of Ms. Stein at some theoretical future date, I have to admit that entire funeral charade on Erewhon and the follow-up on Torch has landed us in a situation that’s significantly better than I ever would have predicted ahead of time.”

“So I’ve gathered. Your last report said something about a meeting with Imbesi and Al Carlucci?”

Barregos raised his eyebrows again, and Rozsak nodded.

“Actually, Imbesi’s main immediate contribution was to make it very clear to Carlucci that our talks had his blessing — and that Fuentes, Havlicek, and Hall were on board, as well.”

It was Barregos turn to nod. The government of the Republic of Erewhon wasn’t quite like anyone else’s. Probably because the entire system was directly descended from Old Earth’s “organized crime” families. Officially, the Republic was currently governed by the triumvirate of Jack Fuentes, Alessandra Havlicek, and Thomas Hall, but there were always other people, with differing degrees of influence, involved in the governing process. Walter Imbesi was one of those “other people,” the one who’d organized the neutralization of the Mesan intrusion into Erewhon’s sphere of influence. His decision to cooperate with Victor Cachat — and, for that matter, Luiz Rozsak — had gotten Mesa evicted from what had been the system of Verdant Vista and was now the Congo System.

It had also finished off, for all intents and purposes, Erewhon’s alliance with the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Which, Barregos knew perfectly well, had been possible only because of the way the High Ridge Government had systematically ignored, infuriated, and — in Imbesi’s opinion — fundamentally betrayed Erewhon and Erewhon’s interests.

Regardless of Imbesi’s motivations, he’d once again restored his family to the uppermost niches of power in Erewhon. In fact, he’d become for all intents and purposes the triumvirate’s fourth, not quite officially acknowledged member. And in the process, he had moved Erewhon from its previous pro-Manticore position into a pro-Haven position.

“Is Erewhon really going to sign on with Haven?” the governor asked.

“It’s a done deal,” Rozsak replied. “I don’t know if the formal treaty’s actually been signed yet, but if it hasn’t, it will be soon. At which point Erewhon and Haven will become parties to a mutual defense treaty . . . and Nouveau Paris will suddenly become privy to quite a lot of Manty technology.”

“Which will piss Manticore off no end,” Barregos observed.

“Which will piss Manticore off no end,” Rozsak acknowledged. “On the other hand, Manticore doesn’t have anyone to blame but itself, and from Prince Michael’s attitude at Queen Berry’s coronation, he and his sister know it, whether anyone else in Manticore’s prepared to admit it or not. That idiot High Ridge handed Erewhon to Haven on a platter. And” — the rear admiral’s smile turned suddenly wolfish — “handed Erewhon over to us, at the same time.”

“Then it’s settled?” Barregos felt himself leaning forward and knew he was giving away far more eagerness and intensity than usual, but he didn’t really care, and he watched Rozsak’s expression carefully.

“It’s settled,” Rozsak agreed. “The Carlucci Industrial Group is currently waiting to sit down with Donald, Brent, and Gail to discuss commercial agreements with the Maya Sector government.”

Barregos settled back again. Donald Clarke was his senior economic adviser — effectively the Maya Sector’s treasurer. Brent Stephens was his senior industrial planner, and Gail Brosnan was currently the Maya Sector’s acting lieutenant governor. Given the peculiarities of Maya’s relationship with the Office of Frontier Security, Barregos was confident Brosnan would eventually be confirmed by OFS HQ back on Old Earth. At the same time, he was even more confident she would be the “acting” lieutenant governor for a long, long time, first. After all, his superiors would be hoping he might have a heart attack or be hit by a micro meteorite or something, at which point they could finally get rid of his entire administration. Including Brosnan.

“Should I assume you’ve been invited to come along as an unofficial member of our trade delegation?” he asked.

“You should.” Rozsak smiled again. “I’ve already had a few words with Chapman and Horton, too. Nothing too direct yet — I figured we’d better be sure we had the civilian side firmly nailed down before I started talking military shop. But from what Imbesi said, and even more from what Carlucci said after Imbesi was ‘unexpectedly called away’ from our meeting, the Navy’s ready to sit down with me and start talking some hard numbers. Exactly what those numbers are going to be will depend on how much we’ve got to invest, of course.”

He raised an interrogative eyebrow, and Barregos snorted.

“The numbers are going to be higher than anyone in Erewhon probably expects,” he said frankly. “The limiting factor’s going to be how well we can keep it under the radar horizon from Old Earth, and Donald and I have been working on conduits and pump-priming for a long time now. There’s a hell of a lot of money here in Maya. In fact, there’s a hell of a lot more of it than Agatá Wodoslawski or anyone else at Treasury back on Old Earth even guesses, which is probably the only reason they haven’t insisted on jacking the ‘administrative fees’ schedule even higher. I think we’ll be able to siphon off more than enough for our purposes.”

“I don’t know, Oravil,” Rozsak said. “Our ‘purposes’ are going to get pretty damned big if and when the wheels finally come off.”

“There’s no ‘if’ about it,” Barregos responded more grimly. “That’s part of what this is all about, after all. But when I say we can siphon off more than enough, what I’m really saying is I can siphon off all that we dare actually spend. Too much hardware floating around too quickly, especially out this way, is likely to make some of my good friends at the ministry just a bit antsy, and we can’t afford that. Better we come up a little tight on the military end when the shit finally hits the fan than that we tip off someone back on Old Earth by getting too ambitious too soon and see the balloon go up before we’re ready.”

“I hate balancing acts,” Rozsak muttered, and Barregos laughed.

“Well, unless I miss my guess, we’re getting into the endgame. I wonder if any of those idiots back in Old Chicago have been reading up on the Sepoy Mutiny?”

“I certainly hope not,” Rozsak replied with a certain fervency.

“I doubt anyone has, really.” Barregos shook his head. “If any of them were truly capable of learning from history, at least someone would have seen the writing on the wall by now.”

“Personally, I want them to go right on being nearsighted as long as we can get away with,” Rozsak told him.

“Me, too.”

The governor sat thinking for a few more moments, then shrugged.

“Do we have a firm date for this meeting with Carlucci?”

“It’s a week from here to Erewhon by dispatch boat. I told them I figured it would be at least ten days.”

“Is three days going to be enough for you and your people?”

“My people are already two-thirds of the way into the loop on this one, Oravil. With the exception of that little snot Manson, most of them already know — or they’ve guessed, at least — exactly what’s about to happen. I’ve already made arrangements to peel him off for a few days while the rest of us sit down and talk nuts and bolts and I think three days should be long enough for us to get most of the pieces lined up. Donald and Brent are going to have to be part of that, too, I suppose, but they’ll be sitting in mostly as observers, to make sure they understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish. It’ll be time to get them involved in generating actual numbers after they’re up to speed on the hardware side, and I’ll have the transit time back to Erewhon to finish kicking things around with them. It’ll do, I think.”

“Good.” Barregos stood. “In that case, I think you should probably head on off to your office and get started talking about those nuts and bolts.”

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38 Responses to TORCH OF FREEDOM — Snippet 03

  1. Summercat says:

    Ah, now it’s being ‘openly’ discussed what we’ve known for a while.

    …Maya is going to leave the League.


    Manticore is England, Andermanni is Germany, Haven is France, Erewhon is Italy, Silesia is Poland, the… new area of Manticore is America…

    Grayson is Japan, sorta. Beowulf is… um… er… Dunno. Giant wildcard?

    But what’s the League…

  2. evilauthor says:

    Imperial China of course, right before the European countries started carving chunks out of it.

  3. DGrimes says:

    @1 & 2: I think a slightly better analog would be Imperial Rome, but without the Gothic invasions.

    Or, perhaps, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, pre-Napoleon. everyone assumed it was still the toughest guy on the playground simply because it had been for so long. However, when actually confronted by a professional, well-led and equipped army, it crumbled. Much like it seems likely to do when Mr. Weber has it openly confront Manticore and Harrington.


  4.         The big question is, why the secrecy and stealth?  All the League member states have the theoretical right to seceed at any time.

            I can only conclude that the Mayans’ have plans for what happens after the secession that the League bureaucracy wouldn’t approve of.  Perhaps they plan to peel away a big chunk of the Verge and Protectorates?

  5. OBelow says:

    Hmmm, I am wondering about the reference to the Sepoy Mutiny, since that one was unsuccessfull… why did he use that historical episode when it looks like he is working toward an independent Maya policy? Has anyone any idea why he used that reference?

  6. Olegreyowl says:

    @1 Beowulf is Switzerland. :)

  7. Karsten says:

    @3: Maya isn’t a member state of the league – it is an OFS Sector. And no OFS Governor in his or her right minds wants to seceed from home, as long as he doesn’t have a really formidable insurance police like … oh, a real solid military alliance with Haven or Manticore or something like that … you know, something, that would cause the bureaucrats back home at Old Earth some real impressive headaches ;)

  8. Drak Bibliophile says:

    David Weber has said that the Solarian League has no counterpart in our history. However, I personally think Imperial China is the closest match.

  9. JN says:

    The point of the Sepoy Mutiny, presuming DW means the 1857 revolt, is that the mutiny came from native, in that case Indian, elements of the British Army. In the story, Thandi Palane is the case in point, but much of the Frontier Fleet is manned by personnel from non League planets.

    To use another historic reference, three soldiers are late reporting for duty. One says to the others, “What is the penalty for insurrection?” They reply, “Death.” The first continues, “What is the penalty for being late reporting?” The others reply, “Death.” The first says, “We are already late.” The Emperor of that particular age of China was overthrown.


  10. bamics says:

    An OFS Sector is like when the US is still the Crown Colony of UK, paying taxes for every little thing they bring into their planet. A “milking cow” of sorts for Earth… The idea, i believe, is to secede when they have a strong military that will cost Earth heavily to defeat; a few more secessionist Sectors to divide Earth attention and military; and with heavy Earth reliance on recruiting military and naval personnel(especially rank and file) from planets with long history of OFS corruption and abuse ( a Sepoy Mutiny in the making)… should be “living in interesting times” when the “Revolution” happens…

  11. Mark says:

    Maya Sector governor’s looking to get his hand on quite a lot of Manty technology from Erewhon to build a fleet or even build it in erewhon

  12. Peter Z says:

    @8 Imperial China succeeded in establishing a strong, unified sense of nationhood. The SL hasn’t and seems intent on actually preventing this development. At best Sollies view their nation’s membership in the league as an inexpensive insurance policy. At worst they view the SL as a waste of time and resources. I get the impression that most Sollies view their central government as a fact of life with only a distant impact on their own Star Nation. So Beowulfers think of themselves as Beowulfers first, Earthers as Earthers first and each nation is a member of the League second.

    This view is more consistent with the way nationalistic views are held Africa, where Africans are members of their tribe first and citizens of their nations second often a distant second. As impotent as the League seems to have become in interstellar astro-political affairs, the colonial Africa comparison seems the most powerful. Toss in how Honor proposed to chop up the League into more manageable parts just as Mesa and Maya appear to want to do as well, and the colonial Africa model fits what will happen to the League to the “T”.


  13. Peter Z says:

    In addition, it is the League that engages in genetic slavery. They sell individuals born into their societies into this foul institution based on genetics, just as had happened in Africa. Too many parallels to avoid my conclusion.


  14. Michael says:

    Well, not the League engaging in genetic slavery so much as Manpower, Inc. And it’s already been established that Manpower, and more broadly Mesa itself, is nothing more than a blind for the Alignment… and the vast majority of Mesa and Manpower (and Jessyk, etc.) have no idea they’re simply a diversion from the real show.

    The slave trade is only useful for the ‘criminal’ tag it paints on Mesa and all it’s workings. Criminals are never conquerors, they’re parasites. And once successful, they tend to be very conservative parasites, never wanting to upset the profitable status quo. The cover the slave trade gives the Alignment is nearly perfect.

  15. Peter Z says:

    This snippet occured late 1919. SftS finished in 1922. Maya must have finished anything short of SDs for their emerging navy. Erewhon is in their back pocket so I would assume they have 1 gen FTL com, capacitor MDMs and 1 or 2 gen improved compensators and missile pods. Designing podnaughts shouldn’t have been a problem only time consuming. If Haven helped them out, then the Mayan Navy may have podnaughts by Mission of Honor. All of their local built small fry should have bow and stern walls, and they would have modern LACs. I would suspect Mayan LACs to be somewhere between Manty and Havenite LACs in effectiveness because there would be more individuals with practical experieince using fusion plants available to the Mayans than to haven.

    If this logic is correct, what does the astro-political playing field look like for the Haven Sector with a Mayan Navy as powerful as this? If Barregos and Rozsak are more powerhungry than principled, how would that play? How would it play if these two were principled but those principles were not compatible with Manty or Havenite principles in the long run or short run?

    Too many assumptionss may have been made after CoS about these issues regarding Rozsak and Barregos. We don’t know squat about them. I can’t wait to find out.


  16. Peter Z says:

    @12 Michael, for every seller there is a buyer. Manpower couldn’t be used as a front if Sollies weren’t buying slaves. The MA wouldn’t have had so much wealth if they didn’t sell as many slaves as they do. Yes, there are other products Mesa sells, but slaves provide a significant chunk of their cash flow. This wouldn’t be the case if a sizable portion of the SL and verge didn’t participate in the slave trade in some capacity. Again much like colonial Africa.


  17. fester says:

    @ Peter Z in # 13 —

    I think your build-up timeframe is a bit aggressive as it will be a touch more than 3 years between the start of this book and the end of Storm (~38/39 months is my guess). We know that Manticore going balls to the walls on a new waller design takes 30 to 40 months to get the ship out of the yard (22 months to build, 8 or more months for ‘first in class’ production learning curve, design and engineering time) and then several more months (3 to 6) to get a combat ready, shaken down unit. Battlecruisers or light battleships could probably be done as first in class within the timeframe, but just barely, especially if the Mayan Self Defense Forces are incorporating a massive lump of new technology and thus new doctrinal possiblities.

    I think the build the infrastructure and then build the heavy ships approach is more likely with this quote:

    what I’m really saying is I can siphon off all that we dare actually spend. Too much hardware floating around too quickly, especially out this way, is likely to make some of my good friends at the ministry just a bit antsy, and we can’t afford that. Better we come up a little tight on the military end when the shit finally hits the fan than that we tip off someone back on Old Earth by getting too ambitious too soon

    It seems like Roszak wants to have a surge capacity available for once shit hits the fan, so he wants the infrastructure in place to quickly lay down hulls and complete them in a reasonably short time frame. I think producing wallers, especially of a wierd new design for Solarian forces would be too noticable. I am leaning towards thinking that producing a NIKE analogue or even a large BC-P would be noted as very ‘odd’

    Instead, what I think we’ll see at the Defense of Torch that was hinted at in SftS are some new build heavy cruisers and potentially a few new build ‘light’ pod-battlecruisers, more in the line of the Courversiors II (a touch more than a megaton) than the Aggs (~1.75 MT) along with numerous ships that have been retrofitted with as much Erewhon tech transfer as possible. There might be a bastardized merchant conversion CLAC classified as a “fleet support vessel” but I don’t see dedicated new build CLACs or SDPs involved. I am seeing improvements such as sticky pods or a modified donkey or the Andermani half-pod solutions. I am see modified HALO with Ghost Rider. I definately see improvements in fleet acceleration. I am a little bit iffier on bow and stern walls as that is a major change. I can see 2nd Generation FTL comms (think HAE levels).

    Now the bigger and more interesting question that you raise: What is the geopolitical realities in the late 1920s/early 30s if Maya has built and defended its infrastructure, gotten experience operating a modern fleet and can afford to build and maintain a very large fleet. We could have a five power condominium for the Haven Quadrant that works fairly nicely as a buffer zone against the Solarian break-up.

  18. Peter Z says:

    @15 Fester, your astro-political conclusions assume some modicum of compatibility between the Haven Quadrant polities and Maya. What if there isn’t enough compatibility? What if Barregos and Roszak have no issues with the MA about destroying the power structure of the SL. What if their difference of opinion stems from who will lead the reborn SL.

    Can the Haven sector polities afford to have a strong and unified Solarian League under any competent leadership? I suspect that they can’t and won’t tollerate a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.


  19. Peter Z says:

    BTW, Fester, what if as Gary Jordan at the Bar suspects, Bolthole is in or close to Maya. Would it not be relatively easy for Haven to accept observers after proper precautions are taken to help Maya plan on building their infrastructure? I really don’t disagree with your time constraints, I simply suspect that there is a potential to see a powerful Mayan Navy by Mission of Honor.


  20. Mark says:

    I don’t think the governor cares about haven or even the mainties, other then that they provide a distraction to allow them to advance their plans without being discovered. They will try to keep their new fleet as secret as possible to make the best use of it when the moment they are waiting for occurs, what ever exactly that may be

  21. Ian Darley says:

    I think what we’ll see happen is that when Maya breaks away the first thing they are going to need is powerful backup and the next 2 large powers after the League are Haven and Manticore. Once H&M discover they have both been played into restarting their war the one thing they will agree on is to stop shooting at each other and start looking for the responsible parties.
    Cachat and Zilwicki both know they can work with Roszak and tying in with Maya will give H & M complete info on Solarian tactics and tech. More than just “knowing” they are better, they will have full details.
    Remember that Weber has consistently mentioned the potential power of the Union as well as the sheer size of the Solarian fleet and Stalin’s comment about quantity having a quality of it’s own comes into immediate play. I suspect we will end up with a battle whose casualties dwarf the losses at Manticore 2.
    Add in the looming assault from the Alignment and “minor” disagreements will have to be set aside in the interest of survival.

  22. robert says:

    We are not addressing the new Mesan technology. If the new ships begin an attack sequence and can’t be seen nor tracked, what is the defense? How will Manticore cope with the attack on Manticore II and how will Torch (and its presumed allies) cope with an even larger-scale attack?

    I think it is a given that over the next few books (sooner?) the League will fall apart. Even the Mesans (Alliance) are counting on that. It is what happens when a citizenry stops paying attention to its government/governance. Rebellion, disintegration, foreign conquerors succeeding, etc.–all the stuff you all mentioned.

  23. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Peter Z, as David Weber said there’s no exact match for the SL.

    However, like Imperial China the Solarian League considers itself the only Civilized Nation with only barbarians outside of it.

    Like Imperial China, the Solarian League was the most advanced nation around but fails to realize that outsiders are more advanced.

  24. Peter Z says:

    I am not arguing about the SL’s past or even present. My focus is more on what will hapen now. In that light the colonial Africa model seems more appropriate, Drak. Your arguments about how the SL and Imperial China are similar are good ones. Unfortunately for the SL, where they diverge from Imperial China guarantees they will fragment where China would have remained whole under the impending stress.

    The European powers estimated correctly that Africa was more valuable to them as constituent parts. They also estimated correctly that China was more valuable as a functioning whole. The inefficiencies of the SL central govt. guarantees that the individual members are more valuable to anyone powerful enough to defeat the SL than the SL in its current state as a whole. So, although I am sure the MA wants to swallow the SL whole, the SL will crumble and much of it will fall out of their mouths well before they can swallow it all down.


  25. robert says:

    I kind of see the SL as the Soviet Union in its last years. The Frontier states are like the satellites and clients, e.g., Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, etc. The central government is run by an inefficient bureaucracy (oxymoron?), there are factions but no real political opposition, there is a giant war machine but it is rusting away and obsolete. Rebellion springs up, is ruthlessly put down, but authority begins to erode. External forces put extreme pressure on the system. Finally it collapses and constituent part go flying off.

  26. robert says:

    Oh, I forgot corruption rampant. Having been in the Soviet Union in 1990, just before the collapse, it was all there to see. The government subsidies were what made it a worker’s paradise, but they also made bread cheaper than the grain needed to produce it. Result: the farm collectives sold grain dearly, bought bread cheap and fed the bread to their livestock instead of the grain. Hoarding with the expectation of higher prices later was everywhere. Economics wins again. Spread that kind of idiotic policy throughout a giant economy and it is every person for himself/herself and it all came tumbling down.

    Come to think of it…

  27. Peter Z says:

    Not fair, Robert! Your are thinking outside the box of historic periods. ;-)
    On the whole that fits much better than anything I have thought of. The only thing missing are external forces trying to prevent the fragmented CCCP’s from consolidating. Had the US or Europe been aggressively expansionist, the breakup would have been more significant without any of the consolidation we have seen in the recent past. The Russian sphere of influence would have been much smaller.


  28. robert says:

    You are right, Peter. That was not nice. But it was soooo obvious, I couldn’t resist. But, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks: “You want nice? Get Donna Reid.” Now there is a historical reference!

    You can be sure that many of the Eastern European nations still sincerely hate the Russians. We stopped in Budapest for a few days on our way to the USSR back then and all the informational signs in Russian had words misspelled–on purpose. The ’56 Revolution may have failed, but they were still rebelling and even today, in a way, still are. So if DW has the conquered peoples acting as they often do, little rebellions are happening all the time. Remember the Communist workers’ credo: we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. So noble!

  29. fester says:

    @ Peter Z in # 19 —
    I’m just thinking in terms of transit time regarding the potential of Bolthole being in the Maya Sector. I don’t think it works.

    1) We were told that Bolthole was too far away for Theisman and other senior government and military officials to out to more than once or twice a year.

    2) We know Erewhon is 7 days from Smoking Frog.

    3)AAC IIRC Torch was at least two weeks, potentially 3 weeks from Nouveau Paris if Haven is unable to access the Wormhole Networks. Torch was a few days away from Erewhon and closer to Haven than Erewhon.

    4) So roughly speaking Smoking Frog is at least 3 weeks (plus or minus a little bit) to 4 weeks away from Nouveau Paris for a one way trip. So if we assume that Smoking Frog is the central point of the Maya Sector, a roundtrip to a Mayan located Bolthole would be at least six weeks of transit time PLUS what time on the ground is spent.

    I could see the occassional journey in that direction by the SecDef, but it would be extraordinarily noticable if Theisman fell off the face of the Earth for 4 months a year in his Bolthole visits.

    Ahh yeah, here is the info dump segment I was looking for:

    (“Bolthole,” by the way, is simply the code name assigned to a system which already had a fair population — well up in the hundreds of millions — before the yard was moved in. The system in question, however, was “off the charts” as far as foreign intelligence agencies were concerned for several reasons. The main one is its extreme distance from Haven — there’s a reason Theisman can only get out there once or twice a year. It’s way far on the other side of the RH’s space from the SKM, and in an area which, overall, was never noted for its industrial or economic muscle before,

    So Weber is telling us it was a minimally developped system (which the Maya Sector has been implied not to possess) and on the “other side of the RH’s space from the SKM.” Going to the Galactic south of Haven does not buy the defense in distance/depth that I am interpreting in the second phrase.

    We’ll find out soon enough I hope

  30. Mark says:

    why not think of the eventual fate of the SL as the begin of the
    Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in china

  31. robert says:

    @29 Do you mean that when the SL collapses there will be a period like that of the 5 dynasties and 10 kingdoms? That lasted only about 60 years, which is nothing in terms of the time period of the books, what with prolong and long time-lags for information to get from one place to another. (If DW did not invent prolong, the Honorverse would not exist.)

    But that assumes the later re-emergence of the entire SL region under new management. I don’t think so.

  32. robert says:

    @19 When the remnants of the Haven attacking forces surrendered to Harrington (in At All Cost), she demanded that they leave intact their data and records. So my question is, didn’t those records/data contain any information about where bolthole is? Not even a clue? What makes anyone suspect that Bolthole is near Maya?

    I admit that I have some trouble keeping the events since the end of At All Costs and SofS aligned. Thanks for the timeline, Peter. So “when” does Mission of Honor take place? What are the overlapping books?

  33. Peter Z says:

    One assumes MoH begins as SotS ends. It appears that SotS ends after ToF. Until now, there really haven’t been any overlap outisde of SotS, SoS, AAC and ToF. DW may overlap more books but I don’t see how he can do so for MoH, unless he intends to depict Havenite affairs leading to OB after BoMA.

    BTW, how new are you to the honorverse or at least posting about it, Robert? I am just curious and intend no insult with my question.


  34. Peter Z says:

    @31 You would have to ask Gary, Robert. I suspect that his logic was built around plot elements in the stories as opposed actual clues within the stories. IIRC, no data about Bolthole was retrieved. I could be wrong and may have misremembered or misinterpreted conversations.


  35. Summercat says:


    Thanks. Was thinking that, but it seems Beowolf has a bit more gravitas than Switzerland did.


    No equivalent, eh. That might be way I’m having a bit of a hard time thinking about what it may be like. Aside from.. Mmm. One of the late-stages of one of the Indian Empires, perhaps? No, I don’t think that’d work.

    In all honesty, I’m thinking of something like a merging of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and Imperial Russia.


    As 9 said, it failed – but the lack of learning from the Sepoy Mutiny would mean you’d miss the signs of ANOTHER Sepoy Mutiny.

  36. robert says:

    @33 I have been reading these books since they first appeared. So that must be about 15 or 16 years ago, which was before there was an Honorverse, I guess. And before Crown of Slaves there was no need to keep a timeline because everything was sequential, except for some of the stories in the “Worlds of” books which filled in, or even preceded the lives of the characters as they appeared in the books. I did not even realize that some of the characters would end up having book lives of their own. And that is one of the things that makes DW a genius (even tho’ I get impatient with some of the work he does like the Multiverse books, which I disliked a lot).

    As for posting, I have not done any of that on Baen’s Bar or anywhere else, except for a bit on Amazon. I mostly just read ’em, but I have, always read the Sample Chapters on the Baen site so I started to look for the same thing for the Safehold books. And I found this nice place with interesting comments and ideas from interesting people–so I threw my oar in, too. I also found the Buckley site and so I have been looking at Stirling’s forthcoming book. It is starting to get weird.

  37. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    For those looking for “Napoleonic” era historical equivalents to the various star nations, you need to begin by realizing that Andermanni does not represent all of Germany, just Prussia-Brandenburg. Silesia would be the minor German states (a pretty big chunk of Central Europe). I wouldn’t put Beowulf equivalent to Switzerland because the Swiss hadn’t yet transited from being a military power to a commercial one (they were ‘neutralized’ by Napoleon). I’d think Beowulf is closer to the Netherlands, with a long commercial history using many of the same trade routes as England.

    David is of course right that there is no exact equivalent to the Solarian League, but it’s a colonial power — the big ones (other than England and France) in the 18c were Russia, Ottoman Turkey and Spain. If you pick Spain it has a colonial empire in the Americas, Africa, and Asia with an active slave trade. That would make Barregos (or maybe Roszak) into Simon de Bolivar. I think that’s the best fit you are going to get. Imperial China doesn’t really work because China did not really have any anyone wanting to split off — revolt to control the center, yes, break away, no. Talbott sector would be India, sort of — big resources, underdeveloped, balkanized, and England was just moving in during the late 1700’s. Alas no prior Mughal Empire equivalent, but you can’t have everything.

    Of course you can push those things too far. The series got a lot more interesting to me once David broke away from a 1:1 correspondence to the French Revolution.

  38. John T Mainer says:

    A really good model would be Imperial Rome. A military long gutted for fear of coup, a populace that was crushed by taxation and regulation so that the huge mass of empire existed to fund a few rich Oligarchies in the home provinces. An empire held in check by deliberate antagonism of its populations, rather than building a unified citizenry, concentrating on pitting each group against the other so a small elite can effectively control masses who ought to be united in their hatred of the central government. An empire that was the watchword for military power, a military was the standard against which military professionalism and effectiveness would be measured against thousands of years later, and a military that was ALREADY NOTHING BUT A MEMORY. Like the late Imperial Rome, the SL Navy is “unquestionably unbeatable” as long as it never has to fire a shot.

    Once the legend is questioned, none of the provinces are held in enough strength if the Sepoys decide they can win. My ancestors were with the Bengal Lancers and the 17th Territorial Infantry. It is clear from their writings, the English could have easily lost. I don’t see the SL having loyal troops to pour in, or the ability to shift its administration to bring the weight of empire to bear. They took such pains to make the SL too ponderous to get in the way, its like a dinosaur so terrifyingly huge yet so utterly paralyzed that a ten year old with a hacksaw can take a month and slowly saw off its head, without fear of being stopped.

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