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  #1  
Old 09-27-2010, 08:12 AM
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Default A new series by David Weber -- genius or sellout?

The library computer system just notified me of a hit on my automated search for anything new by David Weber:

Out of the dark / David Weber.

The summaries link has this tidbit:
Publisher Summary 1:
After an alien race called the Shongari virtually conquer Earth, Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky and the rest of the humans must forge an alliance with Earth's vampires, who, once the enemies of the humans, now are willing to make amends--to defend the home planet they have in common. By the best-selling author of A Mighty Fortress. 100,000 first printing.
The reason I wonder if it is a sell-out rather than genius is because I just finished a re-read of John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series which prominantly features Earth's fight for survival against a voracious, alien horde, bent on converting all terran life to posleen poop -- a very popular series published by a rival of TOR, the publisher of this series.

The inclusion of Vampires seems a bit too much like a blatant effort to convert my granddaughter to a military SF fan instead of just a Twilight fan (which ain't gonna work, cause I've already tried. )

I'm sure this is going to sell-out that first 100K print run just based on David Weber's popularity, but I'm going to have to reserve judgement until I've read it before I make any predictions about the long-term success of the intended series. I have a feeling that this a something dreamed up by a marketing weenie and "suggested" to an author with a contract to fill. (It's not like David Weber doesn't have enough series in-progress already. )
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:24 AM
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Vampires are a craze right now, that's a fact. I don't know much about David Weber, but maybe he wants to cash in on the vampire craze too?

A pretty interesting spin though. I havn't seen any series where they mix aliens and mythology like that. As long as it isn't anything like Twilight, it might be a good read
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mort View Post
Vampires are a craze right now, that's a fact. I don't know much about David Weber, but maybe he wants to cash in on the vampire craze too?

A pretty interesting spin though. I havn't seen any series where they mix aliens and mythology like that. As long as it isn't anything like Twilight, it might be a good read
I'm currently 34th of 34 holds on "one copy" listed as "coming soon" -- when I eventually get to read it I'll report back.

Mixing Vampires/mythological figures with Science Fiction -- even Military SF/Space Opera -- isn't all that uncommon. In fact the Legacy of the Aldenata Series I just re-read presumes that our legends of elves, gnomes/kobolds/elves, centaurs, etc, are remnants of memories of past contacts with the various alien races; specifically, the legends of the Bane Sidhe are credited as being deliberately preserved and perpetuated by an ancient conspiracy infecting the Catholic church and fraternal organizations like Freemasons.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:00 AM
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Wasn't that a John Ringo book?


What's really funny is that Ringo got his start writing with Weber.


I don't know if it's a sellout, after all, the guy can't be hurting for money. Maybe he did just have an idea (or got tired of sparkling vampires) and wanted to write his own take on them.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:36 AM
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It's "bean sídhe". Irish for "woman of the fairies" Harold and as a kid stories of her scared the bejeesus out of me! I have never come across that idea before. Must look it up.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gilshalos Sedai View Post
Wasn't that a John Ringo book?
Actually it is a complete collaborative series that is up to ten books or so; the latest is The Tuloriad by John Ringo and Tom Kratman (their third collaboration in the series.)

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Originally Posted by Daekyras View Post
It's "bean sídhe". Irish for "woman of the fairies" Harold ...
No, in the series it is Bane Sidhe, meaning "Killers of Elves." In that respect, the series has "history to legend to myth" in common with the WOT.

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I don't know if it's a sellout, after all, the guy can't be hurting for money. Maybe he did just have an idea (or got tired of sparkling vampires) and wanted to write his own take on them.
I don't know about his finances, but I get the impression he's not as happy with TOR as he was with Baen, although he's writing for both since Baen still has the Honorverse franchise. I don't know why he signed with TOR but his writing has taken some strange directions since he did -- directions that smell like "marketing genius" instead of "bestselling author" to me.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:43 PM
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Well... TOR is desperate for another WoT.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:07 PM
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Well... TOR is desperate for another WoT.


Yeah, I've noticed that.



TOR isn't the only publisher with a strong 'want' for the next blockbuster series, but it looks to me like they're the publisher with the most 'marketing' influence on the premise of new books/series.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 AM
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Yep. Now I just need to finish a novel and sell it to them.

I can't believe I missed the last Honor Harrington book though. Now I have to pay full price for the hardcover.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:08 PM
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Speaking of Weber, anyone have any thoughts on any of his other series?

I used to devour every Weber I could find, especially his Honorverse books, but these days I almost can't pick them up. I had really high hopes for the Safehold series after Off Armageddon Reef. (Though I did smirk about him recycling plots as well as characters.) But instead of stretching himself with the character of Nimue, he took the easy way out. Then the series bogged down into the standard Late-Weber morass that seems to affect all of his books these days...

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel the same way? Maybe there's only so much Weber you can read before his limited range sours you on all his new writing?
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:45 PM
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Speaking of Weber, anyone have any thoughts on any of his other series?
I'd like to see the world of Bahzell Bahnakson revisited. It's DW's only fantasy series and isn't a typical re-hash of 'the questing hero.'

I enjoy the Safehold series; I've read enough Science Fiction and Fantasy over the last 50 years or so that a little predictability in an author's style is no big deal. The enjoyment of the series for me is watching the premise play out to its inevitable conclusion.

I really don't see what your objection to the changes happening in the Honorverse are. DW's pretty up-front in the forwards that everything from At All Costs was originally planned as sequels following Honor's (planned) death in the Battle of Manticore. I like the broader view provided by three overlapping parallel series.

One big concern about this new series is that DW is a specialist in Naval tactics and the new series seems to be oriented to Infantry tactics and land warfare.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:42 PM
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I went and poked around a few bookstores over the weekend and while I couldn't actually find the book, I did see a few reviews in their databases. I'm thinking it's a sellout and not something that would match up with the kind of the end of the world books I like. Might be someone out there (if they're printing 100,000) but it's not going to be me.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:21 AM
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Thumbs down Finally, A Review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I'm thinking it's a sellout and not something that would match up with the kind of the end of the world books I like.
As it turns out, most of the book is something you'd like if you're into post apocalyptic fiction -- or you liked the movie Red Dawn.


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One big concern about this new series is that DW is a specialist in Naval tactics and the new series seems to be oriented to Infantry tactics and land warfare.
As it turns out, the battle scenes were some tf the best parts of the book, so that part of y intitial concerns was groundless. In part be cause DW doesn't put as much technical detail into the battles here as he does in other series, like Safehold and (especially) the Honorverse battles.

Spoiler:
The book starts out with a bunch of herbivourous aliens observing the Batttle of Agincourt. Apalled, they stamp the recording top secret and scurry back home to he Federation council to dump the problem in their lap-equivalents.

Resume some time in the near future --ca 2020 CE --as a fairly interesting Alien Invasion post-apocalyptic survival as the only carniverous member race of the Federation are sent to Colonize Earth and subjigate the "violent humans."

Surprise, surprise! The Canoid invaders were expecting very little progress beyond the Heavy knights and longbows of Agincourt and get a civilization very nearly high enough to join the Federation.

The first three-quarters of the book are an enjoyable read Until the people from a downed C-17 in Romania hook up with mysteriously effective romanian resistance fighters. From that point on, Everything takes a deus ex machina turn from moderately believeable clone of alien-invasion, post-apocalyptic, science fiction classics -- like Footfall by Niven and Pournelle -- to cheap, unrealistic fantasy.

Weber's depiction of Vampires suffers from Superman Syndrome; Vlad Drakulya and his minions -- now including the lost American troops from the crashed C-17 -- They're virtually invincible; even to the classic vampire-banes of legend.

Holy Water and Silver Crosses, no effect. Sunlight, only if you're freshly converted and not grown into your full strength.

Wooden Stake int he heart, apparently not 'cause Van Helsing tried that and Vlad just went into hiding for a hundred years or so 'til the aliens showed up.

Need to attack Alien ships in high orbit, no problem; you don't show up on alien sensors so you can just walk out a shuttle and grab onto the skin -- you're supernaturally strong and don't breath so take-off and wind resistance and/or vacuum aren't going to shake you off.


Bottom line, DW is a good enough writer that if you're not looking for believable vampires, it's worth reading. I wouldn't say it was worth buying. Borrow it from the library if you simply must read it, but you won't be missing much if you don't.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:43 AM
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But how about the vampires: do they sparkle?
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:48 AM
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But how about the vampires: do they sparkle?
Not noticeably.
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