Author Topic: Some plot elements just bug me....  (Read 2752 times)

Offline dspringer1

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Some plot elements just bug me....
« on: January 28, 2016, 01:34:57 AM »
I am a big Butcher fan and enjoyed the book in general, but frankly there were several events in the book that simply did not make a lot of sense to me.

1) The book made a big deal in the beginning to explain why the naval warships could not really damage the naval port in their surprise attack because it would take too much time and the naval defensive batteries would blow them apart.  However, later in the book a single armed merchantman totally destroyed the Landing port both quickly and easily.   Presumably this port also had defenses given its obviously vital importance?   Presumably the merchants weapons were not more powerful than that of the full warships that attacked the naval port?     

2)  The whole naval fleet is concentrated in a defensive formation around the Spire.   So how did an attack on Landing happen without any of these naval vessels noticing and intercepting the merchant ship.    The whole point of such a formation would be to protect the Spire and keep the fleet concentrated to respond to any attack on the Spire.  Landing was one of the most important hubbles in the Spire and one of the most exposed to attack.  The Spirach made precautions against an attack on Landing, but no naval precautions were made?  At least some ships should have been nearby and in a position to intercept the merchant ship/transport, especially as there was no Aurora attack in place to distract them.    And if all these ships would be completely unable to see what was happening when on full alert/at war/defensive focused formation/not distracted, then that is an argument that the spire is effectively unable to spot an attack/effectively defend itself.   Yes I know the merchant ship is fast, but it takes time to pick up speed and the naval ships would already be in motion/nearby.     

3) Grim identified the merchant ship as most likely the escape ship for the invading marines.  So why did he not take any action to prevent the enemy marines from making their escape?  More guards on the landing?   Some naval vessels on guard?   A few crewman on a weapon and ready to fire.   Grim did not even send a warning to the landing when he knew the enemy marines were starting their major attack.   

4) There was also this big discussion on the ship about electricity and why the Spire did not make such available to its people.  The counter-argument was that power crystals are in short supply.   But presumably a very huge power source is already in place to keep afloat the Spires themselves.   Multiple comments about etheric flow of energy passing through the conduits designed by the builders.  Why not use that energy to power electric devices.  I doubt all the people the spire can use enough energy to make up more than a tiny fraction of what is required to hold all that massive stone complex in the air.   And given the series implies the builders were space explorers (from earth), they would naturally be inclined toward a technological society anyway.  So why no power outlets?   Lighting and cooking fuel would be far more expensive/disruptive to bring from the surface than to tap in the core power for some electric lights and stoves. 

5) Why not stainless steel?   This one is a minor objection as presumably there is something about this planet that really rips into iron and maybe stainless steel is no solution.  So why not molded plastic or some alloy.   Presumably the builders would have the expertise to design a process that can do that.   If they left behind the knowledge to make power crystals, they could leave behind the knowledge to make special alloys or ceramics or plastics or crystals that can serve the same role as iron.     Of course, the back story may explain this.   There might be some very good reason why technology was extremely limited except for those elements essential for survival.   Power crystals are needed to leave the spire (a necessity as they are not a closed system), but plastic is not.   Copper clad weapons are particularly problematic as copper is a soft metal.  A single parry of another sword might break the copper clad coating and expose the iron to the air – a very bad thing.   

6) Why did nobody give a status update to the Spirarc on what they found?   they could easily have sent a messenger to let him know the target was almost certainly the landing and that the Marines were located nearby.   They would have needed to get his help to coordinate the guard forces to attack the marines, once they found them.   Again no communication at all. 


Not meaning to throw stones at a good story, but the above items cause me a mental itch that detracts from my enjoyment of the story.   It feels like the author really did not think things through and/or chose to ignore these concerns.  A few words or a small paragraph could have alleviated any one of the above "plot problems" without changing anything meaningful in the story at all.   

Anybody got some good theories as to why the above are not a real problem.   

Offline Second Aristh

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 03:07:47 AM »
I'm confused.  Spires are giant towers.  They don't float through the air. 

As far as sending messages go, there was real concern about traitors within the spire.  It was one of the reasons that the Spirearch didn't use official channels to help Habble Landing with the fires.
We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.--Winston Churchill     

Offline dspringer1

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 06:03:45 AM »
I believe spires float, which is why they use ships to get to the surface    The book specifically stated that most cargo comes in the bottom or the top ports, but Spire Albion had a middle.   If there is a bottom port, then the spire is not on the ground.   But it is possible I misread things.   But the impression was that there was no ground contact.   If they were on the ground, then at least some housing would extend that way rather than build up the spire.

Send a sealed letter by random messenger.   Almost no risk.   

Offline Shecky

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 12:55:36 PM »
Okay, addressing a few of these questions:

- Spires do not float. I don't understand the reasoning of "If there is a bottom port, then the spire is not on the ground." There is an entryway at ground level, but it's like having a shipping dock on the ground on a planet where the critters from the Alien movies are having a big Happy Fun Acid-blood Picnic: not conducive to stepping outside for a smoke.

- Habble Landing's port has two important aspects: 1) It took years and years of wearing down the spirestone wall of their habble (spirestone is tough) to put an opening in it. 2) The port structure was added on by the habble and is not made of spirestone. Habble Landing was born as a middleman in the trade between habbles, to provide much quicker shipping between upper and lower habbles (there are no lifts/elevators inside, so they essentially have rudimentary ships that are really little more than lift crystals with big platforms to raise and lower cargo, turning them into the equivalent to freefloating freight elevators); it's a purely commercial venture by one habble, which can easily be vulnerable to the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing sneak attack that happened in the book (if your firepower is all docked and is suddenly under fire while you're sitting there picking your teeth, say bye-bye à la Pearl Harbor). And the fleet defense was unwisely concentrated by the military leadership around the fleet's port at the top, not at Landing.

- Grimm is frankly understaffed and undergunned for full interdiction on top of everything else he and his crew are trying to do at that particular moment.

- Plastics are out of the question; they require petroleum-analog substances and therefore surface drilling in the places where such analogs are. Most ferrous metals are also out of the question for, well, reasons.

- Getting a message between habbles would involve either an on-foot messenger running up aaaaaaaaaaaaall the ramps between levels or a courier flying outside from Landing to the summit (which, if you don't have a dock, is kind of hard to start).

I truly don't intend to be snarky when I suggest re-reading the book; it will answer these questions even better than my bare-bones explanations can (and be far more entertaining :D ). And keep in mind that Jim, like most good series authors, saves the answers to some questions for a later, plot-boosting scene.
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Offline Second Aristh

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 03:32:07 PM »
I believe spires float, which is why they use ships to get to the surface    The book specifically stated that most cargo comes in the bottom or the top ports, but Spire Albion had a middle.   If there is a bottom port, then the spire is not on the ground.   But it is possible I misread things.   But the impression was that there was no ground contact.   If they were on the ground, then at least some housing would extend that way rather than build up the spire.

Send a sealed letter by random messenger.   Almost no risk.
No, the Spires are firmly rooted to the ground.  Take the Olympian group in the inn in Habble Landing.  They were angry that their rooms had been taken after they had to make a dangerous overland journey to Albion.
We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.--Winston Churchill     

Offline skybluemonk

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 09:18:47 PM »
Good reply Shecky. But... grins  .. I still have some issues. There are 3 entrances exits. Surface Habble Landing Habble  morning. Habble Landing did "create" itself but where is it in the series of 250 Habbles. Impression I got was at first surface or near re read and thought . But if all goods have to hauled up and down internally [a hell of a task  not to mention how no draught animals no vehicles described and we have a city to service here population jim suggests of Manhattan.] then makes sense its around Habble 125. Still think humans as lazy as we are would have demanded and created lifts internal we have lift crystals after all . Doesn't need many Habbles largely self sufficient vats water gardens etc but hauling say wood internally and heavy goods machinery need some internal transport system other than pure muscle power.[ Otherwise I have images of Egyptian Slaves hauling waggons up ramps by rope. [OOOOhhhh   have we invented the wheel!!!!!]
Suggest just not mentioned yet as been no particular need.

As for the attack. From memory the admiral of the Fleet [Wilson?] was embarrassed by the sneak attack  that dropped the marines. He ordered the fleet out to form a cordon around the spire so no attacker would get close. But they were already here and he reacted exactly as the Aurorians expected.

Mistshark was a neutral merchant under a Dolosian flag and already docked. Grimm suspected for his own reasons but no evidence and would the fleet believe him. Knowledge of Marines was not common knowledge and Spirearch kept it secret to flush out the traitor or traitors who could be in the Guard. So no Guard deployment. Just Grimm and his small crew who's orders were to protect and support Ferus and the others. He did what he could when he could. The marines blew up the landing  Mistshark caused chaos by destroying neighbouring ships thus assisting in the escape.  The fleet is miles away looking out not in so relatively easy for Random to dodge the cordon  until of course the Fleet knew it had been fooled again. Await with interest to see the political fallout in the fleet as a result.
Also the Spirearch has his resources witness the rallying of the Habble to putting out the fire etc. He simply was using Ferus et al as his trigger in a long wider game in which risks must be taken.

As for power sources  in the habbles we have lumins [crystals]  the spirestones themselves channel etheric energy  Jim hasn't said that i recollect  what fuel they use to cook for example but could be electricity from an "etheric"source we just don't have the detail. We know there are steam engines they need power to heat water  wood is expensive  no petroleum coal [surface problems] so my money is on electricity generated for public use and to power steam. We have Grimms electric tea pot as an example. Demand and supply!

There that will do for now. Will add though that Jim cant think of everything nor put it in one book and tell a bloody good story. Fact that we want to "understand" this world is down to his creative imagination in the first place. I'm happy for him to tell the story and i'll work out in my head how much shit a spire with the population of Manhattan generates and what one could do with it. When i work it out i'll drop a post for the few mad Aeronauts who give a shit!!!!!


Offline dspringer1

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2016, 08:13:35 PM »


Quote
- Spires do not float. I don't understand the reasoning of "If there is a bottom port, then the spire is not on the ground." There is an entryway at ground level, but it's like having a shipping dock on the ground on a planet where the critters from the Alien movies are having a big Happy Fun Acid-blood Picnic: not conducive to stepping outside for a smoke.

Quote
No, the Spires are firmly rooted to the ground.  Take the Olympian group in the inn in Habble Landing.  They were angry that their rooms had been taken after they had to make a dangerous overland journey to Albion.

Multiple items that imply, but in all honesty do not prove the Spire floats
•   I do not recall any mention of the Olympians traveling overland.  I remember a dangerous ship journey, but the phrase overland was not there.   After all, they arrived at Landing, not somewhere much lower in the Spire.  Nor was there any mention of all of groundside movement.   I totally get it that this is not proof that the spire is flying, but the lack of these comments leaves open that possibility. 
•   There are also MANY references to the surface as someplace very dangerous, very exotic.     
•   The Aurora marines took a highly risky hanger dive into air duct maneuver to get into the Spire.   If the Spire was on the ground, why not attack that way.   It is not like there were a ton of troops on the bottom to fight them off.   It was clear the only major concentration of troops was at the naval base on the top (marines) and the guard was scattered.   Not definitive as the attack approach was stealthy.   
•   There are massive channels of energy flowing through the spires through channels created by the builders.  This is specifically mentioned in the book.   That energy is really the point.  It is there, so why is it there if it is not being used.   Since there are no other obvious uses for that power, a flying Spire is not an outlandish explanation.   

Net, there is not clear evidence of Spires floating, but nothing completely rules it out either.   And there is a lot of energy designed to flow through the Spires that is doing something.  Which was my original point – why are they not using that energy. 




Quote
As for power sources  in the habbles we have lumins [crystals]  the spirestones themselves channel etheric energy  Jim hasn't said that i recollect  what fuel they use to cook for example but could be electricity from an "etheric"source we just don't have the detail. We know there are steam engines they need power to heat water  wood is expensive  no petroleum coal [surface problems] so my money is on electricity generated for public use and to power steam. We have Grimms electric tea pot as an example. Demand and supply!

There was a whole discussion about how the Spire does NOT make electricity available to hubble inhabitants.  And steam engines need heavy fuel, which is clearly expensive to haul.  It is true the lumin crystals could be what consumes that energy, but is just seems inadequate.   




Quote
As for the attack. From memory the admiral of the Fleet [Wilson?] was embarrassed by the sneak attack  that dropped the marines. He ordered the fleet out to form a cordon around the spire so no attacker would get close. But they were already here and he reacted exactly as the Aurorians expected.

Quote
- Habble Landing's port has two important aspects: 1) It took years and years of wearing down the spirestone wall of their habble (spirestone is tough) to put an opening in it. 2) The port structure was added on by the habble and is not made of spirestone. Habble Landing was born as a middleman in the trade between habbles, to provide much quicker shipping between upper and lower habbles (there are no lifts/elevators inside, so they essentially have rudimentary ships that are really little more than lift crystals with big platforms to raise and lower cargo, turning them into the equivalent to freefloating freight elevators); it's a purely commercial venture by one habble, which can easily be vulnerable to the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing sneak attack that happened in the book (if your firepower is all docked and is suddenly under fire while you're sitting there picking your teeth, say bye-bye à la Pearl Harbor). And the fleet defense was unwisely concentrated by the military leadership around the fleet's port at the top, not at Landing.

All this is saying is that the Spire made no effort to seriously defend their 2nd most important port, when they knew and expected an attack.   A port they knew was both very valuable and very vulnerable.    Even placing a few light ships nearby to spot any intruders would have been totally sufficient to block the merchant ship/raider from getting away and would have taken away only a trivial portion of their strength.   Having naval batteries that can deal with a warship is also a no-brainer.   The fact that they did none of this only makes sense if you assume their admiral acted like a complete idiot.   But The Admiral is specifically described as a master at defensive warfare.

This is not pearl harbor.  This is a German q-ship managing to sail into London harbor at the start of WWII and destroying half the city because the British did not bother to create any defenses or base a single warship there.   It is not as if the Spire was not expecting occasional wars. They build a powerful military and have a strong military tradition.   

All I am saying is that the port was far to easy to destroy and that did not make sense.   





Quote
Mistshark was a neutral merchant under a Dolosian flag and already docked. Grimm suspected for his own reasons but no evidence and would the fleet believe him. Knowledge of Marines was not common knowledge and Spirearch kept it secret to flush out the traitor or traitors who could be in the Guard. So no Guard deployment. Just Grimm and his small crew who's orders were to protect and support Ferus and the others. He did what he could when he could. The marines blew up the landing  Mistshark caused chaos by destroying neighbouring ships thus assisting in the escape.  The fleet is miles away looking out not in so relatively easy for Random to dodge the cordon  until of course the Fleet knew it had been fooled again. Await with interest to see the political fallout in the fleet as a result.
Quote
- Grimm is frankly understaffed and under gunned for full interdiction on top of everything else he and his crew are trying to do at that particular moment.

My point was not that Grim could have stopped the Marines, but my point was that there was a lot of things he could have done that would have made it harder on the Aurura marines using that merchant ship as an escape route.   Even manning one gun would have done it or letting the guards know to expect attack when he sent his forces into the tunnels to attack the marines.   He could have blasted marines as they tried to get onto the dock (with powerful naval guns) and really hurt them badly/block access to the landing.   He could have alerted the Landing Guards to expect attack (when he left to attack the Marines) or simply made sure his own ship was ready (ie - powered and shields).  Yet none of those things were done.   Grimm is clearly an experienced and very smart military commander and not taking any action on a very strong suspicion again makes little sense. 



Quote
- Plastics are out of the question; they require petroleum-analog substances and therefore surface drilling in the places where such analogs are. Most ferrous metals are also out of the question for, well, reasons.

Yet the hubble shave access to a lot of iron, a lot of copper, loads of raw materials for vat production of everything from vegetables or beef to crystals, all of theses raw materials have to come from somewhere.   Again, my point was that if iron was such a bad material to use, why did the builders not enable them to produce a better material.   Copper coating iron is a VERY POOR solution.  Think of all that iron armor.  At the end of any battle you have loads of damaged armor, tons of broken iron armor exposed to elements.   There is no way that armor can be repaired and recoated quickly.   A warship could seriously compromise its armor after just one battle and require weeks in the shop to completely replace its armor.  Impractical.   Normally I would not quibble on this, but Butcher spend a lot of time emphasizing repeatedly the fact that iron rusts extremely quickly (24 hours and a sword can be brittle).   If the author does that, he needs to spend the time thinking through the implications. 





Quote
- Getting a message between habbles would involve either an on-foot messenger running up aaaaaaaaaaaaall the ramps between levels or a courier flying outside from Landing to the summit (which, if you don't have a dock, is kind of hard to start).

Quote
Also the Spirearch has his resources witness the rallying of the Habble to putting out the fire etc. He simply was using Ferus et al as his trigger in a long wider game in which risks must be taken.


Yes, but there is a constant stream of barges moving back and forth between all three ports.  It would be easy enough to assign a crewman to hand deliver a message to the Spirearch.   We are talking a time period close to 8+ hours at least between when they first recognized the landing was likely the primary target and when the main attack occurred.  Maybe 20 hours.  A message could have been totally useful/appropriate even though it might have not actually effected the events that occurred in the book.   The whole point of being part of a larger organization is that make reports so your leaders can act to back you up/deal with the mess you find and/or move their resources to where they were needed.   With this information, the spirearch could have concentrated his forces and been more effective, send some naval forces down, or many other things that he could not do without some hard information.    The whole reason the team was sent down in the first place was to get information.





I like butcher as an author. The book is a fun read.  But it does feel that, given such an unusual world, the author did not spend enough time thinking things through in his world building. 

Offline Second Aristh

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2016, 08:49:50 PM »

Multiple items that imply, but in all honesty do not prove the Spire floats
•   I do not recall any mention of the Olympians traveling overland.  I remember a dangerous ship journey, but the phrase overland was not there.   After all, they arrived at Landing, not somewhere much lower in the Spire.  Nor was there any mention of all of groundside movement.   I totally get it that this is not proof that the spire is flying, but the lack of these comments leaves open that possibility. 
•   There are also MANY references to the surface as someplace very dangerous, very exotic.     
•   The Aurora marines took a highly risky hanger dive into air duct maneuver to get into the Spire.   If the Spire was on the ground, why not attack that way.   It is not like there were a ton of troops on the bottom to fight them off.   It was clear the only major concentration of troops was at the naval base on the top (marines) and the guard was scattered.   Not definitive as the attack approach was stealthy.   
•   There are massive channels of energy flowing through the spires through channels created by the builders.  This is specifically mentioned in the book.   That energy is really the point.  It is there, so why is it there if it is not being used.   Since there are no other obvious uses for that power, a flying Spire is not an outlandish explanation.   

Quote from: Aeronaut's Windlass Ch.36
... And I don't give a tenth-crown who you are.  That suite is reserved for my captains and myself, and we've just walked a mile on the surface to get to this bloody Spire, and nearly got shot up by your own bloody Fleet when we finally made it through.  I am in no mood for games."
Quote from: Aeronaut's Windlass Ch.69
"What is going to happen to the Aurorans?"
"They are prisoners of war," Albion said.  "I should imagine they will be set to work at the base of the Spire."
Grimm tightened his jaw.
"No, sir."
"No?"
"No, sir," Grimm said.  "I've seen that place.  You might as well tie a noose around their necks and stand them on blocks of ice, if ou want them to die a slow death.  It will be cleaner."
The Spires are not floating in the air. 

The fact that the surface is so dangerous is a major reason why Aurora did not try a ground invasion.  As far as the etheric energy flowing through the Spire, we don't know if non-etherealists even know it is there.  Even if they did, harnessing it effectively is another problem to overcome.  The airships don't use the etheric currents in the atmosphere to power their ships.
We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.--Winston Churchill     

Offline dspringer1

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2016, 11:35:56 PM »
I will concede that the spires are not floating.   I missed that comment about the prisoners working at the base of the spire.   :(

But it is clear that the spire was built to channel these ethotheic currents and that would not have been done without a reasons.   The power crystals can convert these currents to electricity.   This still means that the question "why did they not put electrical plus all over the spire" is a valid question.   Either "something" prevented them from doing so - or that energy is being used for something else and diverting it to electrical generation is not a good thing.   

Either answer could lead to some very interesting possibilities.   I withdraw this particular concern as satisfied and look forward to the author eventually making it clear :)

Offline dspringer1

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 11:37:41 PM »
Specifically I mean by the "we" the builders.   I recognize that adding power outlets now would be constrained by the ability of the inhabitants to build power crystals.   Maybe the builders suffered similar constraints, but I doubt the answer is that simple.   

Offline skybluemonk

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 11:58:11 PM »
Good Debate.
nothing says whether  they are floating or not specifically!
But text suggests, as pointed out above, it is on the surface.
It is also guarded. Pike says he was almost shot up after walking a mile across the surface with his injured crew. Indigenous wildlife get in through vents etc. Nothing described as flying but crawling climbing things we know of this suggests contact with the ground or only flying or things that jump high.

By the way what was Pike and his crew up to?  Did he crash a mile out from the spire?  That's damned close. Why did he crash? He's a regular has his own suite.  Is Jim leaving another of his plot threads waving in the air?. Is this a "car crash" we will get back to in Book 6?

I look but cant find reference in the book to a conversation that says electricity is not supplied to the habbles. Would appreciate someone [Please pointing it out to me.  How habbles function intrigues me. They need power.
As for defense. The spirearch makes clear he cannot trust the Guard till the traitorare flushed. Also they are police he gives the numbers and points out they are stretched thin over 236 habitted habbles. He has to let things play out without any obvious response from himself other than the sending of a small secret force.
The Fleets defensive strategy I've explained is down to Wilson. As to his genius Bayard and Grimm may have been ironic! There are clearly lots of problems within the fleet. If Jim is modelling the British Admiralty over its history then there's internal battles over Aristocratic Command structures mostly by baffoons buying their positions versus professional seaman earning command [Rook]. In any event he Wilson was thinking invasion not guerrilla warfare.
500  highly trained Marines vs 96 Grimms Crew [minus casualties as the book progresses]. Plus the Silkweavers [1000?] Grimm is outnumbered and has to be reactive following the marines  not taking them on one on one. He is ordered to protect Ferus group that's important  he cant defend the landing and do that with the resources he has. He also has no idea what the marines will do next.
  By the time he gets to the Monastery they are attacking the Habble itself on the way to the landing.
Predator is barely functional and only manages to get up to battle ready by the skin of her teeth and survive the destruction of the landing. [Also thanks to Ransoms empathetic nostalgia...  big mistake by her but revealing another side to her than pure mercenary] If he made an Alamo of Predator with no shroud, Mistshark would have blown her to hell and back nostalgia or no.
Never mind some approx 350 to 400 trained Marines heavily armed with explosives playing in a tinderbox of wood. Turns out he makes the right calls to save the group and eventually reveal [and in some way yet to be explained in full] deadened the impact of the reason behind the whole Aurorean attack which was acquiring the Index.
Also haven't specifically timed everything but main events in whole book is over a couple of days i"d say. There's no time to particularly put the Spire on a war footing never mind that for his own reasons the Spirearch has kept the information suppressed. So who knew ... a handful of people in the spire and the fleet outside it.
Any defensive cannon on the landing would have been targetted and blown up by the marines and remember its all wood not even spirestone so ridiculously vulnerable from an internal attack.
sorry but it is pearl harbor'ish'. in and out quick have a plan stick to it no invasion  just the damage which in this case was a plus to the real objective the Index.  Look at the fall of Singapore or the Maginot line for "almost" parallels of defenses pointing the wrong way.

As for Iron rot... love it It applies to both sides seriously handicaps armed warfare sets limits makes for interesting world building. I suggest Jim has thought through the implications and is having fun with the problem he has set himself.





« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 12:07:45 AM by skybluemonk »

Offline Shecky

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 04:14:07 AM »
Good reply Shecky. But... grins  .. I still have some issues. There are 3 entrances exits. Surface Habble Landing Habble  morning. Habble Landing did "create" itself but where is it in the series of 250 Habbles. Impression I got was at first surface or near re read and thought . But if all goods have to hauled up and down internally [a hell of a task  not to mention how no draught animals no vehicles described and we have a city to service here population jim suggests of Manhattan.] then makes sense its around Habble 125. Still think humans as lazy as we are would have demanded and created lifts internal we have lift crystals after all . Doesn't need many Habbles largely self sufficient vats water gardens etc but hauling say wood internally and heavy goods machinery need some internal transport system other than pure muscle power.[ Otherwise I have images of Egyptian Slaves hauling waggons up ramps by rope. [OOOOhhhh   have we invented the wheel!!!!!]
Suggest just not mentioned yet as been no particular need.

Yes, Landing decided, because they were roughly halfway between top and bottom, they would be the perfect middlemen. But please remember that it took a LONG time for them to knock out just one hole in the spirestone to create an opening to the outside; imagine, then, the time, resources and manpower it would require to knock holes in each habble in order to run a vertical lift. And while they were working on that, that established trade route (assuming you'd put it in the ramps between habbles, or should they cut the holes where people are living or working?) would be at least partially blocked, restricting all movement significantly at the very least. Finally, the intermediate step of having lift-style platforms that could be guided up the ramps: crystals of any size or power are prohibitively expensive and relatively rare (the two go together), so, again, it would be easier to use existing merchant ships on the outside.

As for the attack. From memory the admiral of the Fleet [Wilson?] was embarrassed by the sneak attack  that dropped the marines. He ordered the fleet out to form a cordon around the spire so no attacker would get close. But they were already here and he reacted exactly as the Aurorians expected.

Mistshark was a neutral merchant under a Dolosian flag and already docked. Grimm suspected for his own reasons but no evidence and would the fleet believe him. Knowledge of Marines was not common knowledge and Spirearch kept it secret to flush out the traitor or traitors who could be in the Guard. So no Guard deployment. Just Grimm and his small crew who's orders were to protect and support Ferus and the others. He did what he could when he could. The marines blew up the landing  Mistshark caused chaos by destroying neighbouring ships thus assisting in the escape.  The fleet is miles away looking out not in so relatively easy for Random to dodge the cordon  until of course the Fleet knew it had been fooled again. Await with interest to see the political fallout in the fleet as a result.
Also the Spirearch has his resources witness the rallying of the Habble to putting out the fire etc. He simply was using Ferus et al as his trigger in a long wider game in which risks must be taken.

It's fairly obvious that the brass's reaction was short-sighted: guard the targets of military importance to the Spire's own military (i.e., the Navy's yards, the most easily accessible entry—meaning the topmost). The purely commercial port simply wasn't a priority, and it was even less a priority given the intelligently executed, unforeseen method of sneak attack. Ransom was a "known non-hostile," remember.

As for power sources  in the habbles we have lumins [crystals]  the spirestones themselves channel etheric energy  Jim hasn't said that i recollect  what fuel they use to cook for example but could be electricity from an "etheric"source we just don't have the detail. We know there are steam engines they need power to heat water  wood is expensive  no petroleum coal [surface problems] so my money is on electricity generated for public use and to power steam. We have Grimms electric tea pot as an example. Demand and supply!

There's obviously infrastructure in place for such things, but when you've always done everything a certain way, and your society is based on that assumption, there's not going to be much innovation. And if the Spire wanted to divert the power that's already in use, how are they going to rewire the whole Spire (see earlier point about spirestone being less than easily manipulated)?
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Offline skybluemonk

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2016, 07:54:29 AM »
so Shecky lets say we have a pianos to deliver to say  habble 39 and Habble 92 via merchantman from another spire Cant be delivered directly to the specific habble. Both lets say get dropped off at the base entrance the ground.. Assume ground floor is ground and up the ramp we have floor/Habble 1 etc etc.  The first piano would need to man hauled up 39 ramps to reach the right habble. Wouldn't make sense to man haul the  other  piano up  92 ramps. Instead would go up the outside in a windlass to Habble Landing which is 125th floor  and then down 33 to Habble 92.  Similar strategy would apply to the moving between Habbles 125 and 250. Mind you heavy goods easier to manipulate using gravity  i.e going down  than going up.
We have Habbles that are sizeable populations the whole spire is big population there would be lots of traffic between spires unless each habble is self contained and travel is restricted. Such a limitation of freedoms doesn't sound right for Albion. The ramps have to be big [wide] cant be staircase sized as in skyscrapers.
If they ran along opposite outside walls [one up one down the gradient at 2 miles by 50[something feet... grins we haven't decided how thick the floors] would be small. I'd have  carts like mining wagons on rails gravity powered ie the goods going down "pulling" up the goods going up. I'd settle for another power source like steam but how is the steam "heated" as wood coal oil etc seem improbable. Would in my description just need one trade goods ramp could be 3 others for foot traffic.
Doesn't need  holes cutting nor clogging up other traffic.  What I see as a problem would have been the motivation for the middle habbles to desperately need an outside opening which was incredibly hard to do but really really worth it. Would not solve the problem of internal haulage but make it a damn sight easier. So similarly they would have put effort and time into designing an efficient  trade goods transportation on the inside that was more than physical man handling. There is one. Humans being humans its odds on bet, I'm just suggesting what it could be. Travel up and down the outside isn't a problem.

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Quote from: skybluemonk on Yesterday at 02:18:47 PM
As for power sources  in the habbles we have lumins [crystals]  the spirestones themselves channel etheric energy  Jim hasn't said that i recollect  what fuel they use to cook for example but could be electricity from an "etheric"source we just don't have the detail. We know there are steam engines they need power to heat water  wood is expensive  no petroleum coal [surface problems] so my money is on electricity generated for public use and to power steam. We have Grimms electric tea pot as an example. Demand and supply!

Quote
There's obviously infrastructure in place for such things, but when you've always done everything a certain way, and your society is based on that assumption, there's not going to be much innovation. And if the Spire wanted to divert the power that's already in use, how are they going to rewire the whole Spire (see earlier point about spirestone being less than easily manipulated)?

Ok cant argue with there is an infrastructure in place providing power for domestic use etc but we don't know what it is. But that's  like saying oh its magic. Not berating Jim for not saying what it is but we have a steampunk world where Jim has set some limitations by sequestering the surface. Power sources are limited to etheric steam and electricity and etheric has itself its limitations. Seems from description from Folly  etheric fields flow through spirestone.  spirestone is the wire . Seems to me it generates a field and she needed a nexus in that field which she could tap into. If that is the case then it should be possible for such nexus to provide power perhaps the Builders provided for this in each habble. Again just looking for plausible ways of making the Spire work using breadcrumbs supplied by Jim.
Agree social structure would tend towards stagnation and little innovation. Each Spire is under siege from the surface from its fellow city/state spires. All priority goes into what they perceive will keep them safe.  Now a great plot line would be  the Coke Revolution " I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony"   Grins


Offline skybluemonk

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 08:00:31 AM »
whoops and forgot Ramps are just special forms of windlass one floor deep if you think about it but see the problem with  overall number of crystals, maybe lift crystals quicker and easier to grow. Need 250. hmmmmmmm

Offline Shecky

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Re: Some plot elements just bug me....
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2016, 02:11:54 PM »
whoops and forgot Ramps are just special forms of windlass one floor deep if you think about it but see the problem with  overall number of crystals, maybe lift crystals quicker and easier to grow. Need 250. hmmmmmmm

Sorry, what?
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Quote from: Stanton Infeld
Well, if you couldn't do that with your bulls***, Leonard, I suspect the lad's impervious.