Discussion:
Ship of Destiny - Frank Chadwick - Award worthy?
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m***@sky.com
2020-03-22 10:40:58 UTC
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First of all, this is a very good book. This follows "Chain of Command", set in what the author claims is a reasonable extrapolation of current technology, except for an (alien technology) FTL drive. Captain "Bow-On" Bitka, together with his ship and crew, end up deposited many light years from known space, and have to battle aliens, make their way home, and battle aliens again.

Baen Free Radio was very cagey about the details of this, because there are at least a couple of real surprises here, some bound up with the world-building, and I will follow their lead. Some ideas explicitly reject what you might expect of typical Baen Mil-Sf. The military, both regular and reservists, are flawed. Bitka is not a fan of "hard decisions" - he thinks these are excuses used by evil men. He gains by negotiating surrender, even on a temporary basis, when he could have destroyed opposition, and he is bemused when people expect him to torture his prisoners. For all that, his tactics are not Liddell Hart's indirect approach or even Julian Corbett's limited war. When push comes to shove, "Bow-On" Bitka does not shy away from a toe-to-toe battle, if he can find a way to make the odds in this work for him. In place of beserker rage or inherent courage, Bitka recommends a learned discipline, tactical breathing (which a web-search tells me is a real thing).

I say award-worthy because, as well as being a very good book, I can see traits which I would expect to appeal to award voters. It uses multiple perspectives and timelines unusually boldly, and this works. One of the viewpoints is that of Bitka's XO, Mitka Running-Deer. She hero-worshipped Bitka before she met him (on the basis of the exploits in the previous book) and hides this to remain professional. We see that, from Bitka's point of view, she is cold and stand-offish. When Chadwick changes viewpoint, he may jump forwards or backwards in time as well, and small pieces of information from a viewpoint ahead in time increase the suspense when you move back in time to find out exactly what happened, and how.

Thinking back on the book, I can see that Chadwick ticks all of the gender and ethnic diversity boxes. Mitka Running-Deer is neither the only strong woman nor the only ethnic minority in the book. Now that I ask the question of myself, I can't think of any openly gay characters, but I may have missed them. Reading the book yet again to search for them wouldn't be a tremendous sacrifice, but I think I prefer to read some more of Chadwick's previous books, since the only other one I have read is "Chain of Command" - which I
Titus G
2020-03-23 04:13:26 UTC
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First of all, this is a very good book. This follows "Chain of Command", snip
I think I prefer to read some more of Chadwick's previous books, since
the only other one I have read is "Chain of Command" - which I
Your message ended there for me and I don't know why.

Should Chain of Command be read first?
h***@gmail.com
2020-03-23 04:43:39 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
First of all, this is a very good book. This follows "Chain of Command", snip
I think I prefer to read some more of Chadwick's previous books, since
the only other one I have read is "Chain of Command" - which I
Your message ended there for me and I don't know why.
I think it's because he posted it then.
Post by m***@sky.com
Should Chain of Command be read first?
Robert Woodward
2020-03-23 05:00:39 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
First of all, this is a very good book. This follows "Chain of Command", snip
I think I prefer to read some more of Chadwick's previous books, since
the only other one I have read is "Chain of Command" - which I
Your message ended there for me and I don't know why.
Should Chain of Command be read first?
Yes, _Ship of Destiny_ is an immediate sequel of _Chain of Command_.
There are several references back to the events of _Chain of Command_.
Actually, the two earlier books in that universe should be read as well
(_How Dark the World Becomes_ and _Come the Revolution_) even though
those 2 have a different protagonist (and Bikta does not appear at all).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
m***@sky.com
2020-03-23 05:14:48 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
First of all, this is a very good book. This follows "Chain of Command", snip
I think I prefer to read some more of Chadwick's previous books, since
the only other one I have read is "Chain of Command" - which I
Your message ended there for me and I don't know why.
Should Chain of Command be read first?
... which I recommend (and have in fact recommended).

I like to write longer posts at leisure and paste them into the browser for Google groups, but this time I missed the last few characters of the post.

I would recommend reading Chain of Command first, partly for context and partly because it is also a good book, but I don't think it is essential. I am part way into "How Dark the World Becomes" and I don't regret reading that as a prequel, later. The main character is "How Dark the World Becomes" is a gangster with military experience and a heart of gold and the setting makes it almost dystopian. I'm not sure that I would have sought out more Chadwick if I had been expecting a four-book series of this, which would have been a shame.
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