Discussion:
[tor dot com] Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
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James Nicoll
2020-05-26 17:45:05 UTC
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Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
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Peter Trei
2020-05-26 20:34:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?

Pt
J. Clarke
2020-05-26 21:01:47 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 May 2020 13:34:53 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
Where are the bloody _Lensmen_, or more precisely their associates,
the Marines?
Post by Peter Trei
Pt
Robert Carnegie
2020-05-27 10:30:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 26 May 2020 13:34:53 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
Where are the bloody _Lensmen_, or more precisely their associates,
the Marines?
I think they had battle axes but I don’t remember swords?
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 12:08:10 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 27 May 2020 03:30:56 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 26 May 2020 13:34:53 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
Where are the bloody _Lensmen_, or more precisely their associates,
the Marines?
I think they had battle axes but I don’t remember swords?
Nahh, swords were too wimpy for those guys.

Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-26 21:49:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
It has been so long since I read that book that I have to ask:

They used swords in _Dune_?
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Moriarty
2020-05-26 23:02:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
They used swords in _Dune_?
Knives, to be precise.

-Moriarty
Peter Trei
2020-05-26 23:22:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
They used swords in _Dune_?
Yes, though more often knives, including crysknives.

https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Blades

Pt
Steve Coltrin
2020-05-26 23:41:41 UTC
Permalink
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 00:07:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
Except on Arrakis which presents quite severe disincentives to the use
of the personal defensive systems.
Peter Trei
2020-05-27 00:37:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I've only ever read the first two books, and it was a very long time ago...

My first thought on learning of this interaction was that it was a Chekhov's gun. Anyone with a
shield generator and a lasgun had the materials to make a nuclear-sized explosive. As far as
I'm aware, it never happened.

Regular atomics were very restricted in the Dune universe, but this seemed a good substitute.

Pt
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 01:56:57 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 May 2020 17:37:27 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I've only ever read the first two books, and it was a very long time ago...
My first thought on learning of this interaction was that it was a Chekhov's gun. Anyone with a
shield generator and a lasgun had the materials to make a nuclear-sized explosive. As far as
I'm aware, it never happened.
Regular atomics were very restricted in the Dune universe, but this seemed a good substitute.
The problem is that it's not _reliably_ nuclear sized. It can be, but
it may also be very small scale. If the gunner and the target are
both human both will reliably die but that's the only thing reliable
about it.

At one point somebody leaves a shield going in a place where no shield
would be expected as a trap for people who are indiscriminately using
lasguns.
Peter Trei
2020-05-27 02:58:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 26 May 2020 17:37:27 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I've only ever read the first two books, and it was a very long time ago...
My first thought on learning of this interaction was that it was a Chekhov's gun. Anyone with a
shield generator and a lasgun had the materials to make a nuclear-sized explosive. As far as
I'm aware, it never happened.
Regular atomics were very restricted in the Dune universe, but this seemed a good substitute.
The problem is that it's not _reliably_ nuclear sized. It can be, but
it may also be very small scale. If the gunner and the target are
both human both will reliably die but that's the only thing reliable
about it.
At one point somebody leaves a shield going in a place where no shield
would be expected as a trap for people who are indiscriminately using
lasguns.
I learned about Duncan doing this on a Reddit forum. Seems to me the effect would be weaponized
In a heart beat, to make non-atomic atomic bombs.

Pt
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 04:06:35 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 26 May 2020 19:58:26 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 26 May 2020 17:37:27 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I've only ever read the first two books, and it was a very long time ago...
My first thought on learning of this interaction was that it was a Chekhov's gun. Anyone with a
shield generator and a lasgun had the materials to make a nuclear-sized explosive. As far as
I'm aware, it never happened.
Regular atomics were very restricted in the Dune universe, but this seemed a good substitute.
The problem is that it's not _reliably_ nuclear sized. It can be, but
it may also be very small scale. If the gunner and the target are
both human both will reliably die but that's the only thing reliable
about it.
At one point somebody leaves a shield going in a place where no shield
would be expected as a trap for people who are indiscriminately using
lasguns.
I learned about Duncan doing this on a Reddit forum. Seems to me the effect would be weaponized
In a heart beat, to make non-atomic atomic bombs.
Instead of learning about the content of a novel on Reddit forums, why
don't you try reading it instead?

"A lasgun-shield explosion was a dangerous variable, could be more
powerful than atomics, could kill only the gunner and his shielded
target".

Jessica the Bene Gesserit witch is thinking this. This is in the Dune
universe in which there is a drug that reliably imparts prescience
sufficiently accurate and long-ranged to permit it to be used in the
navigation of starships. But even there that drug does not permit
sufficient prescience to allow the prediction of a lasgun-shield
interaction.

It doesn't make "non-atomic atomic bombs". It makes an unpredictable
explosion that can be tiny or immense. It only has utility as an
explosive if you don't really _care_ how big the explosion is, you're
OK if it doesn't break a window but equally OK if it wipes out an
entire city. The Fremen set up shields when they're abandoning a
place--if it kills one Sardaukar it will discourage the others from
shooting. If it wipes the place out and kills everybody in it, that's
a big win. And if it never gets hit by a lasgun and Shai hulud eats
the place, well that works too.

And I know you're going to propose some scenario where you set of some
huge number of them in the hope that one of them is a big one.
Consider you'll likely get enough not quite tiny ones to break all
your setups before you get a big one--"lasguns were notoriously cranky
of maintenance".
Thomas Koenig
2020-05-27 11:16:26 UTC
Permalink
[F'up]
Post by Steve Coltrin
begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I always found that part dodgy. If you have a personal energy
shield that keeps fast objects from going in, why wouldn't everybody
use that, plus medieval knight-type armor? If you make that out
of any sort of advanced material, you'd be pretty much invulnerable
on a battlefield.
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 00:06:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
They used swords in _Dune_?
Knives actually. The Fremen ones were made from sandworm teeth.
David Johnston
2020-05-27 01:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Where's Dune?
They used swords in _Dune_?
Dune had these wonky forcefields that would explode like a nuke if you
shot them so they had to hack at each other old school.
Lynn McGuire
2020-05-26 21:06:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
I only have read the very good "Star Guard" out of the list.

As usual, I have more to add to the list:

1. "Ranks of Bronze (Ranks of Bronze Series Book 1)" by David Drake,
Roman legions in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APAE24U

2. "The Excalibur Alternative" by David Weber, Roman legions and English
bowmen in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APA4HCM/

Lynn
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-05-26 21:50:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
I only have read the very good "Star Guard" out of the list.
1. "Ranks of Bronze (Ranks of Bronze Series Book 1)" by David Drake,
Roman legions in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APAE24U
2. "The Excalibur Alternative" by David Weber, Roman legions and English
bowmen in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APA4HCM/
There's always Anderson's _The High Crusade._
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Lynn McGuire
2020-05-26 22:06:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
I only have read the very good "Star Guard" out of the list.
1. "Ranks of Bronze (Ranks of Bronze Series Book 1)" by David Drake,
Roman legions in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APAE24U
2. "The Excalibur Alternative" by David Weber, Roman legions and English
bowmen in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APA4HCM/
There's always Anderson's _The High Crusade._
J. Clarke
2020-05-27 00:08:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
I only have read the very good "Star Guard" out of the list.
1. "Ranks of Bronze (Ranks of Bronze Series Book 1)" by David Drake,
Roman legions in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APAE24U
2. "The Excalibur Alternative" by David Weber, Roman legions and English
bowmen in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APA4HCM/
There's always Anderson's _The High Crusade._
And "The Man Who Counts".
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-05-27 05:49:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
I only have read the very good "Star Guard" out of the list.
1. "Ranks of Bronze (Ranks of Bronze Series Book 1)" by David Drake,
Roman legions in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APAE24U
2. "The Excalibur Alternative" by David Weber, Roman legions and English
bowmen in space ships !
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APA4HCM/
Lynn
_Empire Of The Atom_ & _The Rebel of Rhada_.
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
m***@sky.com
2020-05-27 04:02:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Five SF Stories That Mix Swords and Starships
https://www.tor.com/2020/05/26/five-sf-stories-that-mix-swords-and-starships/
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
R M Meluch's "Tour of the Merrimack" series. The Roman Empire never went away, it just went it to hiding - now it has resurfaced as a Space Empire, and we get swordfights in starships.
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