View Full Version : CNN Book review
2002-May-08, 01:50 PM
I read this book review (http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/books/05/07/review.excalibur/index.html) of David Weber's " The Excalibur Alternative" on CNN.com. Now, I haven't read the book, and I probably wont. What intrigued me isn't so much the reasons why the reviewer didn't like the book, but that this idea has been used before, in David Drake's "Ranks of Bronze."
Has it been used elsewhere?
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-05-08 09:51 ]</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-05-08 09:52 ]</font>
2002-May-08, 02:12 PM
I made a special point of attending a local science fiction convention because David Weber was the Guest of Honor. I was very disappointed because he spent virtually all of his Q&A session talking about the capabilities of the spaceships in the Honor Harrington books. This sounds like the same sort of syndrome.
Meanwhile, to answer the question, I'm not aware of the same idea being used, though there are plenty of time travel novels and stories in which individuals are recruited from various eras because they're the experts in those eras, then get trained as time-travel patrollers or whatever the story requires, then sent back to keep an eye on their own timeframe.
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-05-08 10:14 ]</font>
2002-May-08, 02:25 PM
I was thinking the pseudo-prime directive use of a "primitive" military force angle. I went through a David Drake phase in grad school a few years ago.... at one point, thought, I got a string of so-so novels and gave up on him. I think my favorite of his is Redliners, but that may just be because of where I was emotionally and situationally when I read it.
On 2002-05-08 09:50, Christopher Ferro wrote:
What intrigued me isn't so much the reasons why the reviewer didn't like the book, but that this idea has been used before, in David Drake's "Ranks of Bronze."
Has it been used elsewhere?
I was thinking the pseudo-prime directive use of a "primitive" military force angle.
Ranks of Bronze
An extra-terestrial civilization with requirements for iron-age armies buys an entire legion, using them to settle trade disputes where high-tech weaponry is forbidden.
From another review of Weber's book:
The book has the flavor of Poul Anderson's High Crusade and Jerry Pournelle's Janissaries.
A backwoods medieval England duchy is the subject of a hostile alien scouting party, the aliens soon find that the primitive English are not to be be taken lightly. The plucky English take the fight to the aliens' own subject planets...
On Earth, in the 1970's, a small band of CIA-hired mercenaries ... accept the deal offered to them by the Shalnakis ... growing a certain plant on a distant planet that they will colonize. ... But once they arrive ... make contact with the natives, humans deposited on the planet from previous civilizations.
Also, King David's Spaceship, by Pournelle, in which the Imperial Traders Association transports an expedition from one primitive world to an even more primitive planet because the Traders are forbidden to use advanced technology.
And Falkenberg's Legion, by Pournelle, about a military force for hire, not controlled by any state, fighting against superior military forces.
Of course, the Prime Directive is most associated with Star Trek.
<font color=000099>Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jim on 2002-05-08 14:44 ]</font>
2002-May-08, 06:56 PM
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-05-08 14:56 ]</font>
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