A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 01

A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 01

A Call To Vengeance

Book III of Manticore Ascendant

DAVID WEBER & TIMOTHY ZAHN with THOMAS POPE

BOOK ONE

1543 PD

CHAPTER ONE

The Spanish Inquisition hadn’t been the first political and religious witch-hunt in Old Earth’s violent history. Nor had it been the last, or even been the bloodiest. But for some reason, the memory of its long and persistent reign of terror had lingered in common human memory up to the Diaspora and throughout the long centuries since.

Lieutenant Travis Uriah Long, late of the cruiser HMS Casey, didn’t know why that was. Perhaps it was the faintly exotic name that continued to catch the human ear and imagination. Perhaps it was the cautionary proverb of a long-forgotten pre-Diaspora philosopher, who had warned that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But whatever the reason, he was familiar with the history of that particular malevolence, and had always wondered how the victims felt as they faced their stone-eyed accusers.

It was, he suspected, probably a lot like he was feeling right now.

“…I do so solemnly affirm,” the clerk prompted.

“I do so solemnly affirm,” Travis repeated.

The clerk gave a brisk nod and raised his voice. “Long life to the King.”

“Long life to the King,” Travis repeated. This time he was joined by the rest of the men and women seated across from him in the hearing room.

All of whom, he had no doubt, grimly recognized the irony of the sentiment.

Long life to the King…

At the center of the long, curved table, Prime Minister Davis Harper, Duke Burgundy, cleared his throat. “We are assembled today,” he intoned, “to examine the events of 33rd Twelfth, and the events and decisions leading up to the loss of His Majesty’s corvette Hercules — ” he paused, just noticeably ” — and the resulting death of Crown Prince Richard Winton. Do you understand, Lieutenant Long?”

“Yes, Your Grace,” Travis said. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Only in this case, it was not only expected but virtually guaranteed.

Never mind that four other ships of the Royal Manticoran Navy had been destroyed, with the loss of their entire crews. Never mind that half a dozen others had suffered damage, with some of their crew members also dead or injured. Certainly the Battle of Manticore had brought with it more than enough death and trauma to go around.

But those deaths were relatively anonymous except to the families and friends who had lost their loved ones. Richard’s name and face, in contrast, were known to everyone in the Star Kingdom of Manticore. He was the symbol of the Navy’s desperate defense, and as such had become the center of the swirling questions of How and Who and Why.

The Star Kingdom was solidly focused on Richard. That went double for the members of Parliament. It went triple for the Committee of Naval Affairs.

And Travis had no doubt that half the members of the latter group were determined to find Travis’s commander, Commodore Rudolph Heissman, personally responsible for the Crown Prince’s death.

Which was both ridiculous and a complete waste of time. The Navy’s Board of Inquiry had already cleared Heissman of any wrongdoing. The rest of the long, official hearings had ended a week ago. What was going on in here today was nothing but political posturing.

Travis hated political posturing.

Burgundy was running through the standard welcome routine, thanking Travis for his service to the Crown and emphasizing the importance of the testimony he was about to give. Listening with half an ear, Travis let his gaze drift over the line of men and women arrayed against him, his eyes and brain automatically running threat assessments.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Anderson L’Estrange, Earl Breakwater, was clearly out for blood. Not specifically because it was Commodore Heissman on the hot seat — Travis doubted the Chancellor even knew Heissman — but because anything that besmirched the Navy’s reputation could only put his own Manticoran Patrol and Rescue Service in a better light. MPARS’ contribution to the battle had been minimal, mainly because only two of its ships had been in position to help. Still, those two ships had acquitted themselves well.

But Breakwater was never satisfied with the simple gathering of laurels. He much preferred gathering his laurels with one hand and wilting those of his political opponents with the other.

The embodiment of that opposition, Minister of Defense James Mantegna, Earl Dapplelake, would of course be pulling the opposite direction, for similar but reverse reasons. The Navy had suffered huge losses in the battle, and Dapplelake had no intention of letting any more of the Star Kingdom’s limited shipyard and manpower resources be siphoned off to MPARS than was absolutely necessary.

The two men’s political, economic, and philosophic rivalry had been going on for a long time — the entire fourteen T-years that Travis had been in the Navy, at least, and probably longer. Most of the Committee members had also been in various positions of power for much of that time, and they’d long since sorted out which team they preferred to kick for. Secretary of Bioscience Lisa Tufele, Baroness Coldwater, and Shipyard Supervisor John Garner, Baron Low Delhi, typically lined up behind Dapplelake: Low Delhi because his family and Dapplelake’s were friends, Coldwater because boosts to Navy funding often meant more money for her budget, as well. First Lord of Law Deborah Scannabecchi, Duchess New Bern, and Director of Belt Mining Carolynne Jhomper tended to vote with Breakwater: New Bern because she was a big believer in legal balance and thought the Navy threw its weight around too much, Jhomper because the more patrol ships MPARS put into her area of responsibility, the better. Secretary of Industry Julian Mulholland, Baron Harwich, and Foreign Secretary Susan Tarleton didn’t favor either side: Harwich because all ship-building projects made him happy, Tarleton because Foreign Secretary was largely an honorary position and no one ever paid much attention to her anyway.

As for Prime Minister Burgundy himself, who had assumed chair of the Committee, he would be trying hard to stay neutral. But as a close ally and personal friend of King Edward, Travis had no doubt that his judgment would be at least somewhat skewed.

Which direction that bias might run, though, was a question all its own. In public, the King had studiously avoided saying anything beyond the simple acknowledgment of his son’s death, with no judgment or recriminations. What he said in private was something Travis doubted more than a handful of people knew.

“Let’s start with the basics, Lieutenant,” Burgundy said. “Where were you when it first became apparent that the distress call you were responding to was, in fact, an invasion?”

“That recognition was more an ongoing process than the result of a single bit of data or insight, Your Grace,” Travis said. “But to answer your question: I was on Casey’s bridge during the entire time in question.”

“I see,” Burgundy said, and Travis thought he could see a flicker of approval in the Prime Minister’s eyes. It was all too easy to second-guess decisions and actions after the fact, but matters were seldom obvious to those in the middle of a given situation. Travis’s reshaping of the question should help to underscore that reality for the rest of the Committee. “When it did become evident — or at least likely — that an invasion was underway, what was Commodore Heissman’s response?”

“We’re particularly interested in his deployment of his four Janus Force ships,” Breakwater put in. “Why was Gorgon put into aft-relay position instead of the Crown Prince’s ship, Hercules?”

For a moment Travis was sorely tempted to play out a little rope in the hope that Breakwater would manage to hang himself somewhere down the line. But he resisted the urge. Breakwater was a master manipulator and politician, and if Travis tried to play any games the Chancellor would have him for breakfast. The truth, as straightforward and open as possible, was his best bet. “Hercules was a corvette, My Lord,” he said. “Gorgon was a destroyer. As such, Gorgon had aft weaponry — specifically, autocannon — which Hercules didn’t. Since Gorgon was already farthest from the enemy when it was time to flip and decelerate, and was therefore most likely to survive the opening salvo, Commodore Heissman elected to leave her there as our best chance of getting full sensor data back to Aegis Force.”

“Really,” Breakwater said with clearly feigned surprise. “I’d have thought that Casey herself, with aft autocannon and an aft laser, would be the best suited for such survival. So why didn’t Commodore Heissman put his own ship in that position?” He glanced both ways down the table, as if inviting agreement. “After, perhaps, bringing the Crown Prince aboard?”

Dapplelake stirred. “That kind of personnel transfer requires the entire force to cease deceleration while a shuttle makes the run. They had little enough time to prepare as it was. The loss of that hour would have — ”

“Would have what?” Breakwater interrupted. “Commodore Heissman lost three quarters of his force as it is. Three hundred and fifty good men and women. Including the Crown Prince.”

Travis squared his shoulders. Enough was enough. “If I may, My Lord?” he spoke up as Dapplelake opened his mouth to launch another verbal salvo.

Breakwater turned to him, and for a second Travis thought the Chancellor was going to lay into him for daring to interrupt a private conversation. Then he seemed to remember where he was, and the reason they were all there, and the surprised outrage smoothed away from his face. “Of course, Lieutenant,” he said. “You were about to say…?”

“I was about to expand on the reasoning behind Commodore Heissman’s decision, My Lord,” Travis said. “First of all, as Earl Dapplelake has said, it would have cost us an hour to transport Prince Richard to Casey, with our wedge down much of that time. Our mission at that point was to stay between the invaders and Manticore as long as possible. As it was, we unavoidably sped through missile range very quickly. Shortening that time would have meant even less time for us to inflict damage on the enemy.”

“Exactly,” Dapplelake muttered, and out of the corner of his eye Travis thought he could again see a glint of approval from the Prime Minister.

“More important, though, were the tactical realities of the situation,” Travis continued. “Casey had counter-missiles in addition to her autocannon. Gorgon, Hercules, and Gemini each had only autocannon. Putting Casey at the rear of the formation would have meant our countermissiles couldn’t help in the defense of the other ships.”

He held his breath, fully expecting Breakwater or one of the others to call bogus. In theory, he was correct: Casey’s countermissile spread could indeed help protect the other ships. But as a practical matter, that kind of screening formation was seldom used unless a battlecruiser or other high-value ship was in play. With Casey the biggest and most powerful ship of her small task force, her countermissiles were mostly useful for her own defense.

 

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22 Responses to A Call To Vengeance – Snippet 01

  1. Daryl Saal says:

    Seeing this snippet was like winning a small lottery. An extra treat three times a week.

    • Geoffrey Nichols says:

      Or you can go to the Baen web site and get nine sample chapters and binge out all at once. But you probably knew that.
      Then again, you miss out on all the interesting comments, like below.

  2. Lyttenburgh says:

    “Nor had it been the last, or even been the bloodiest. But for some reason, the memory of its long and persistent reign of terror had lingered in common human memory up to the Diaspora and throughout the long centuries since.”

    Nah, it’s just the current zeitgeist of the “Black Legend” reigning supreme over those authors who resort to such comparisons because they mean something in their (Western) countries. Do you really think that this same concept bears the same memeticness in, say, India or China? Or are we to believe that the world of the future will be… the West World?

    • Drak Bibliophile says:

      It is Honorverse Canon that Mantiocore original settlers were from the West not India or China.

      This is one world and on other worlds of the Honorverse, the Black Legend likely wouldn’t be part of other worlds history/memes.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “It is Honorverse Canon that Mantiocore original settlers were from the West not India or China.”

        Yes – in 1416 PD/3519 AD, albeit the settlers left the Earth in 775 PD/2878 AD. Which still would presume that the Black Legend would survive – as it is – for 800 years more.

        As for the origins of the settlers:

        “The colonial expedition was arranged by over 50,000 people, originating from various regions of Earth. About sixty percent came from Western Europe, most of the others from North America and the Caribbean. The expedition also included a small group of Ukrainians”
        – Honorverse wiki

        Surely, there were less cheesy ways to start a novel, instead of namedropping the Spanish Inquisition.

        • Daryl Saal says:

          Please just go away Lyttenburg. The Honorverse is whatever RFC wants it to be. His creation, his rules, and no place for your nit picking on whatever hobby horse you have today.

          • Graham Kent says:

            1. A little courtesy please.

            2. Surely the real reason for the Spanish Inquisition reference is to make this Monty Python joke:
            . “Perhaps it was the cautionary proverb of a long-forgotten pre-Diaspora philosopher, who had warned that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”. .”.

          • Andy says:

            I agree with the sentiment. But at least he somewhat limits the length of his comments now!

    • Johnny says:

      The West comprises about 1/4 the population on Earth and about half the total GDP of the planet.

      Why wouldn’t the West’s memes continue in the future? For that matter, why wouldn’t the Spanish Inquisition be remembered? Something is going to be and it’s already a cultural touchstone.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “The West comprises about *1/4 the population* on Earth and about half the total GDP of the planet.”

        1) Define “The West”

        2) Comprises – now. The events take place centuries in the future.

        “Why wouldn’t the West’s memes continue in the future?”

        For the same reason we don’t use the “memes” that were popular, say, in 1200s.

        “For that matter, why wouldn’t the Spanish Inquisition be remembered?”

        a) There is no reason for it to be remebered at all.

        b) There is little reason for it to be remebered via the Black Legend myth which is just that – a myth.

        “Something is going to be and it’s already a cultural touchstone.”

        How often are the Paulicians remembered these days?

        • Richard H says:

          For the same reason we don’t use the “memes” that were popular, say, in 1200s.

          I submit to you the persistent references to Beowulf in certain authors’ writing. “Ah, but that’s literature,” you object? Literary references are mostly memes that have survived more than a decade or two.

          Similarly, I submit any vehicle or building named for a member of a mythos of a dead culture: “Zeus”, “Thor”, and “Odin” persist as names when someone wants to name something larger-than-life and threatening.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “I submit to you the persistent references to Beowulf in certain authors’ writing”

            Say, Richard – how memetic was the Beowulf in 12-13 cc.? How often had it been mentioned by the (virtually nonexistent) intellectual elite of Europe? Had it been known beyond the England in any significant way? Or it’s prevalence and memeticness in the modern era have more to do with the rise of the Great Britain just a few centuries ago and it using everything in its arsenal to advance its own “soft power” via all facets of the national culture?

            You know what were the true “memes” of that period? References to Aristotle (obligatory among the “academia” when discussing virtually any issue), references to the comedies by Publius Terentius Afer (thorugh which a lot of people learned Latin) and for those who wanted some “bawdy” or “edgey” stuff – Juvenal’s Satirae, Ovid’s Ars Amatoria or virtually anything by Martial. Martial was so memetic, that often instead of referencing him by name, the Medieval authors used his “nickname” – Cocus (“the cook”), due to his propensity to describe various feasts.

            Oh, and the Bible, of course. Educated people back then could quote it extensively by heart and “pepper” their works with “shadow quotes”, which other educated people could easily understand and connect the reference to this or that verse and chapter.

            “Similarly, I submit any vehicle or building named for a member of a mythos of a dead culture: “Zeus”, “Thor”, and “Odin” persist as names when someone wants to name something larger-than-life and threatening.”

            What – everywhere on Earth? Everywhere on the planet Earth, in all periods of time, the people had been using Scandinavian and/or Olympic gods’ names for naming conventions? Or is it something much more recent and confined to a narrower category of the population? Besides – even within this narrower category of the population (the so-called “West”) back in 1200s – how prevalent were such naming conventions?

            • Richard H says:

              I think we are looking at this from different perspectives and are never going to come to an agreement on this.
              Each culture definitely has its own touchstones, and they vary from culture to culture. And for sure, those vary: the amount of daily output from the current mass of humanity boggles the mind.

              I’m fascinated by your insistence on this culture not appropriating your own culture’s touchstones, however. Does it so thoroughly break versimilitude for you to recognize references in the text? Surely this means that authors should write them in a synthetic language that you need to learn before you can even read them. If we want to be fully realistic, I would be astonished if there isn’t another vowel shift and another spelling standardization in the next thousand years: The only realistically futuristic spelling scheme is the one for names in Safehold, and that one doesn’t go far enough.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “I think we are looking at this from different perspectives and are never going to come to an agreement on this.”

                I.e. you can’t prove your point, and instead of agreeing that you are wrong and I’m right, you try to use face saving “let’s agree to disagree” trick. Got it.

                Are you denying the logic, Richard? Are denying that there exist cause and effect? That things not just “happen”, but that there is reason for them to happen in that particular way?

                “Each culture definitely has its own touchstones, and they vary from culture to culture. And for sure, those vary: the amount of daily output from the current mass of humanity boggles the mind.”

                I remind you, the original argument made by me – inserting “Spanish Inquisition” for laughs/reference was cheesy and totally unwarranted. It’s really grating, when some authors describing the (human) societies of the far future in fact just describe the modern (to them) people in funny suits. Such thing is never good.

                “I’m fascinated by your insistence on this culture not appropriating your own culture’s touchstones, however.”

                Where am I saying that? It was you who claimed that the Beowulf could be uses as example of the Mediaval “meme” prominence in the modern times. I explained to you (and even suggested to make some research yourself, which, I hope, you did), that the Beowulf had never been “memetic” in the Middle Ages, and that it’s “memetic” popularity only began in 19 c., which makes it a modern meme. I also mentioned why it happened when it happened. See? Cause and effect.

                Now, the events in this book take place 1600+ years in the future, yet the people and their cultural outlooks are portrayed rather… “retro futuristic”. If it was the plan all along – I have nothing to complain. If it was meant to be a satire – doubly so. But if not…

                “Does it so thoroughly break versimilitude for you to recognize references in the text?”

                It makes me facepalm, to see the authors taking such cheap and cheesy approach. They – all of them – can do better than that.

  3. Drak Bibliophile says:

    Lyttenburgh

    Quote

    I.e. you can’t prove your point, and instead of agreeing that you are wrong and I’m right, you try to use face saving “let’s agree to disagree” trick. Got it.

    End Quote

    The above quote is why many people (including me) don’t like your posts.

    There is no way to prove what societies 600 years (or even 50 years) in the future will be like.

    But you imagine that You Know The Future and everything you don’t like in a fictional portrayal of the Future is “Obviously Wrong”.

    On the other hand, your comments about “cheap tricks” about what the authors do are another matter which IMO is even worse.

    You have decided that your “tastes in reading” are superior to anybody else’s “tastes in reading”.

    There are plenty of books that I don’t like especially the containing themes that the authors chose to use. and other people enjoy.

    There are plenty of books that I like but other people dislike.

    So what? People’s tastes vary and there is no way to “prove” which is better.

    I often say (when there is disagreement in taste) “YMMV”. IE Your Mileage May Vary.

    I’m not arrogant enough to claim that “my tastes are obviously superior” and I’m not arrogant enough to claim that “my views of the future are obviously correct”.

    If I don’t like what the authors are doing in their books, I just don’t read those books.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “The above quote is why many people (including me) don’t like your posts.”

      I’m fine with this.

      “There is no way to prove what societies 600 years (or even 50 years) in the future will be like.”

      True. Yet we can assume one thing with certainty – they won’t be copies of the here and now. These societies of the future will be different, and there would be reasons (cause and effect, remember?) for that.

      “But you imagine that You Know The Future and everything you don’t like in a fictional portrayal of the Future is “Obviously Wrong”.”

      I don’t know the future. I can make an educated deduction and produce some arguments, while certain portrayals of the “future” could be wrong though.

      “You have decided that your “tastes in reading” are superior to anybody else’s “tastes in reading”.”

      Where I did that? That’s serious accusation here, so I can expect some kind of answer. So – where did I claim that my, and I quote you, “tastes in reading” are *superior* to anybody else’s “tastes in reading”

      “So what? People’s tastes vary and there is no way to “prove” which is better.”

      Taste is one matter and there could be no 100% agreement among the people, that’s true. But are you denying the existence, e.g., of the “High” and “Low” culture?

      “I’m not arrogant enough to claim that “my tastes are obviously superior” and I’m not arrogant enough to claim that “my views of the future are obviously correct”.”

      Again, I have to ask you to provide quotes from my comments when I claim such things. Everyone here is free to go and provide their own arguments why, in their opinion, the future might indeed be like that as portrayed. But I will respond to them as well.

      “If I don’t like what the authors are doing in their books, I just don’t read those books.”

      But, surely, nothing prevents you from saying what you like and what you don’t like in said books, so that authors (might!) benefit from such feedback?

      • Drak Bibliophile says:

        There was been thousands of people “using logic to predict the future” and extremely few of them have succeeded in predicting “what the future was like”.

        The authors of SF aren’t in the business of “predicting the future” but are in the business of writing books that plenty of people will buy and enjoy reading.

        Yes, any of us can express an opinion of the authors’ works and may express that opinion to the authors. But intelligent people know that the authors aren’t going to “rewrite” their books “just because one person thinks that the author made a mistake”.

        Most authors have “beta readers” who are people that the authors trust to make valid criticisms of their work. This site is not set up to “help the authors make their work better”. The snippets are made to influence the readers’ choice of “what books should they purchase”.

        IMO people who read these snippets largely don’t enjoy nit-pickers especially those who can’t find anything good in the snippets.

        Lyttenburgh, IMO you have shown in your posts a Superior Attitude toward people who respond to your nit-picking.

        As for “Low and High Culture”, there has always existed Snobs who decide what “High Culture Is”.

        I don’t care about “Low and High Culture”.

        I just care about “do I enjoy it?”

        I also don’t care if somebody else didn’t enjoy it as long as that somebody doesn’t make an ass of himself by telling me that I’m wrong to enjoy it.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “There was been thousands of people “using logic to predict the future” and extremely few of them have succeeded in predicting “what the future was like”.”

          Good thing that I’m not one of them ;) I’m only saying that predicting such things (especially by blindly extrapolating the current trends) is a sheer folly.

          Or should I refer you to “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” (1904) by Gilbert K. Chesterton?

          “The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called “Keep to-morrow dark,” and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) “Cheat the Prophet.” The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.

          “But in the beginning of the twentieth century the game of Cheat the Prophet was made far more difficult than it had ever been before. The reason was, that there were so many prophets and so many prophecies, that it was difficult to elude all their ingenuities…

          “…[T]he way the prophets of the twentieth century went to work was this. They took something or other that was certainly going on in their time, and then said that it would go on more and more until something extraordinary happened. And very often they added that in some odd place that extraordinary thing had happened, and that it showed the signs of the times.

          …All these clever men were prophesying with every variety of ingenuity what would happen soon, and they all did it in the same way, by taking something they saw “going strong,” as the saying is, and carrying it as far as ever their imagination could stretch. This, they said, was the true and simple way of anticipating the future.

          …Then the wise men grew like wild things, and swayed hither and thither, crying, “What can it be? What can it be? What will London be like a century hence? Is there anything we have not thought of? Houses upside down – more hygienic, perhaps? Men walking on hands – make feet flexible, don’t you know? Moon… motor-cars… no heads…” And so they swayed and wondered until they died and were buried nicely.”

          “But intelligent people know that the authors aren’t going to “rewrite” their books “just because one person thinks that the author made a mistake”.”

          1) What if there is more than one?

          2) What if there is, indeed, just one person, noticing how parochial, cheesy and incredulous the series have become, or at least only one who dares to say that? What does it say about the rest?

          “The snippets are made to influence the readers’ choice of “what books should they purchase””

          Splendid.

          “IMO people who read these snippets largely don’t enjoy nit-pickers especially those who can’t find anything good in the snippets.”

          Are you speaking on behalf of all those people? Can you support your claim? If not – you are just usurping the right of others to speak on their behalf. This ties nicely with:

          “Lyttenburgh, IMO you have shown in your posts a Superior Attitude toward people who respond to your nit-picking.”

          Drak Bibliophile, it was you who made the following claim, which I quote: “You have decided that your “tastes in reading” are superior to anybody else’s “tastes in reading”. I’m still waiting for you to support such grave accusation of yours with some substantial proof. Instead you double down on issuing a torrent of new accusation against me – equally unsupported. Either prove your claim, or desist in your slander.

          “As for “Low and High Culture”, there has always existed Snobs who decide what “High Culture Is””

          I see you admit that the High Culture exist. The question is – who decides what constitutes it? Can you answer this? Can you say that 1637: The Volga Rules is an apt example of the High Culture?

          “I also don’t care if somebody else didn’t enjoy it as long as that somebody doesn’t make an ass of himself by telling me that I’m wrong to enjoy it.”

          Drak Bibliophile, can you explain why you enjoy this or that book?

    • Jeff Ehlers says:

      Hear hear, Drak.

      I just got done rereading the Bobiverse books, and Lyttenburgh reminds me of one of the characters in the third book. No matter what the subject matter is, he must be right, anyone who disagrees with him must be wrong, and the only thing that matters is proving it (and thus ‘winning’) no matter how he ends up looking as a result.

      The irony is that, for all that he complains about the stuff he thinks the author should have done differently, he still reads the snippets, and most likely the completed books as well. Meaning, he gets something out of them despite his complaints. Something to keep in mind when reading his latest posts on a given snippet, for sure.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Meaning, he gets something out of them despite his complaints”

        Why, yes, I do! I get the urge to find out the truth, instead of the incredulous pastiche presented before me by this or that author. This snippets provide the impulse, but it is me who does the work and research. What I don’t understand – why there are not as many others like me? What, are you content with being fed just about anything, without processing and thinking it over?

  4. gahrie says:

    Why did these three men write this book?

    Was it a doctoral thesis on the future? An attempt at a scholarly tome?

    Or was it an attempt to explore certain ideas and entertain the people reading it? The market for this book is modern western societies formed by Western Civilization…not the ancient Mayans or even the modern Chinese. Of course it will have cultural references from Western Civilization…it’s what the projected readership will know and understand.

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