Discussion:
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
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Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-21 20:06:28 UTC
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065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber

I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much. I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
come up with:

There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so. For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers". Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup. In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before. There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.

Some plot elements seem to have been introduced simply for padding
or shock value. For instance, the whole 'kidnapping of the love
interest' subplot falls completely limp, and whole 'empress is
controlled by rape' scenario seems unnecessary and implausible.

The space battles are overwhelmed by Weber's infodumps. There are
literally whole pages you can skip. It's important that Weber know
the ins and outs of what all the ships and missles are capable of,
but _we_ don't have to know every last detail. Some explanation
like "he'll be there because that's the only place he can be
effective" is all we really need to know.

Finally, (and firstly) the book begins with a faux historical
write-up on Roger that gives away way too much. That starts the
book on a false note, and reminds us that no matter what happens
for the next couple of hundred pages that a) Roger makes it to the
throne and b) He's dead now anyway.
Robert Woodward
2020-03-22 05:20:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much. I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so. For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers". Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup. In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before. There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
‹-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-22 05:24:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much. I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so. For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers". Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup. In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before. There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"

I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Gary R. Schmidt
2020-03-22 09:56:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much. I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so. For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers". Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup. In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before. There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?

And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to the
first book(s).

And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.

Cheers,
Gary B-)

1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
--
Waiting for a new signature to suggest itself...
Magewolf
2020-03-22 18:02:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much.  I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so.  For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers".  Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup.  In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before.  There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to the
first book(s).
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
    Cheers,
        Gary    B-)
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
The first two books were good fun. The third not quite as much but
still pretty good. And then the fourth took off to rape land.

Really the first books seemed to be setting up Roger maturing and then
having to go back to a world that thought he was(and wanted him to be)
an idiot.
Gary R. Schmidt
2020-03-24 02:33:05 UTC
Permalink
[SNIP]
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to
the first book(s).
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
     Cheers,
         Gary    B-)
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
The first two books were good fun.  The third not quite as much but
still pretty good.  And then the fourth took off to rape land.
Really the first books seemed to be setting up Roger maturing and then
having to go back to a world that thought he was(and wanted him to be)
an idiot.
Yep, it started out pretty well, not anything beyond what you could
expect from Weber and/or Ringo, and the, "What will happen when Roger
gets back?" was what dragged me along, but boy it went downhill fast.

Cheers,
Gary B-)
--
Waiting for a new signature to suggest itself...
h***@gmail.com
2020-03-24 02:48:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Magewolf
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much.  I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so.  For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers".  Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup.  In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before.  There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to the
first book(s).
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
    Cheers,
        Gary    B-)
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
The first two books were good fun. The third not quite as much but
still pretty good. And then the fourth took off to rape land.
Yeah, well Ringo has a couple of different series where the hero (definitely in one, arguable in the Ghost books - I haven't read them after the first which I got in a bundle) is tempted by rape but won't give in to the idea.
So it's obviously an idea he's fine with writing about
Scott Lurndal
2020-03-24 16:54:52 UTC
Permalink
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became=
=20
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod=
=20
all Weber?
=20
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to th=
e=20
first book(s).
=20
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of=
=20
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*=
=20
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
=20
=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0Cheers,
=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 Gary=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 B-)
=20
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
=20
=20
The first two books were good fun. The third not quite as much but=20
still pretty good. And then the fourth took off to rape land.
=20
Yeah, well Ringo has a couple of different series where the hero (definitel=
y in one, arguable in the Ghost books - I haven't read them after the first=
which I got in a bundle) is tempted by rape but won't give in to the idea.
So it's obviously an idea he's fine with writing about
His "Cally's War", for example, starts with a rape scene.
Magewolf
2020-03-24 18:21:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Magewolf
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much.  I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so.  For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers".  Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup.  In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before.  There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to the
first book(s).
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
    Cheers,
        Gary    B-)
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
The first two books were good fun. The third not quite as much but
still pretty good. And then the fourth took off to rape land.
Yeah, well Ringo has a couple of different series where the hero (definitely in one, arguable in the Ghost books - I haven't read them after the first which I got in a bundle) is tempted by rape but won't give in to the idea.
So it's obviously an idea he's fine with writing about
It wasn't just that it had rape in it but that it felt so out of place
and implausible. It just seemed to be there to have rape and sexual
mind control in the story.

And even without the rape the last book took the story in a very boring
direction.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-24 18:32:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Magewolf
And even without the rape the last book took the story in a very boring
direction.
IMHO, you don't start your book with retrospective text from some future
"Encyclopedia Galactica" knockoff both verifying both that a) Roger became
Emperor and b) He's dead, so why do you care about any of this?
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Wolffan
2020-03-24 11:09:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
065 We Few (March Upcountry) by David Weber
I enjoyed the first two books of this series quite a bit, and this
one not so much. I'm trying to figure out why, and here's what I
There's a whiff of "retcon", in which things we thought to be true
turn out to be so. For instance, the first two books gave the
impression that Mardukans were almost completely unknown in the
Empire, but this book makes the point that a good number travel and
work as "enforcers". Likewise, the second book gave the impression
that the Empress had been overthrown in a secret coup. In this
book, apparently everyone above the grade of frycook knows this has
happened, including government personages who really should care.
Finally, Roger is made to exhibit unstablity and tyranical impulses
never hinted at before. There is some handwaving to justify it by
"what he's been through", but it doesn't ring true.
Did you miss a book? This was the 4th in the series (and it was the 3rd
book they heard about the coup - since Roger and company were the
official villains in the story, they knew it was fake).
"Math is hard!"
I don't think I missed reading any, but very possibly I construed events
into fewer books than there actually were when harking back for the
backstory to this review.
I though t the main problem was that after the first book they became
mainly Ringo - who can't even do one-dimensional characters - and sod
all Weber?
And, as you pointed out, Ringo is writing in a different universe to the
first book(s).
And what "empire" would allow the furphy that allowed the takeover of
the ship in the first place - you'd take the goddamned drouds[1] *out*
of the heads of everybody before you let them back in from leave.
Cheers,
Gary B-)
1 - I know, spoilers, sort of.
The first two books were good fun. The third not quite as much but
still pretty good. And then the fourth took off to rape land.
That’s Ringo. There’s a reason why I stopped reading his books.
Really the first books seemed to be setting up Roger maturing and then
having to go back to a world that thought he was(and wanted him to be)
an idiot.
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