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Challenges of the Deeps discussion (possible Spoilers)
December 12, 2016
1:07 pm
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kehcalb
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Starting a thread for some post-COTD thoughts.

 

First off, loved it. Glad I bought the EARC rather than waiting. I keep dreaming of how awesome Ch 45 and 47 would be in live action with special effects. Might even be pretty good as anime.

Something that occurred to me as Vindatri told his story--it sounds like his species was lucky, too. And then maybe the luck swung the other way, since not all luck is "Good" luck.... Although if they truly do have the "Blessing of the Arena", I guess that would HAVE to be good. Blessings don't usually confer harm (to the bless-e)

On the first read-through, I thought the following statement in ch 45 by Vindatri "I am the First, Captain Austin. I am the reason the Blood of the Skies fear to let any of their people continue down the path beyond a single lifetime, and I am the nightmare the Faith have in their darkest dreams" meant that Vindatri was the first Shadeweaver ever. Duquesne seemed to agree in Ch 47. "The First? The first Shadeweaver?" thinks Duquesne. Although since Marc was just putting it together, he might be mistaken. For as I began to think about it, if Vindatri was the first, how did he obtain HIS power? In Ch 27 he states he has never heard of a self-awakening, and someone must have self-wakened to bootstrap the Faith and the Shadeweavers (unless a god-like being handed it down to them) but since he doesn't KNOW, he must not be the first (unless he was lying). For that matter, he mentions having his own teachers, who presumably would have had to have power too. So unless his teachers were of the Faith, and the Faith preceded the Shadeweavers, that doesn't make any sense. Also, several of Vindatri's lessons seemed to reference Faith and, especially, Shadeweaver activities in a way that sounded more like something that had come before him, not after him (as history to him, not as personal past). Additionally, he talks about the Canajara prophecy as being old when his species first emerged.

On the second read-through, I think Vindatri might have been saying he was the first RENEGADE shadeweaver, which seems to fit better.

Although the revelation at the end that Vindatri was just testing them to determine their ability to fend for themselves casts doubt on everything he claimed during the fight--perhaps that was just another aspect of the test? Although I would have to think that Vindatri didn't INTEND to lose contact with three of his (presumably) favorite limbs.

Another straw in the wind is, how did Vindatri KNOW that humanities' sphere was threatened? Prior to this, it appeared his resources were mostly limited to the vicinity of his home. Shouldn't he have know about humanity prior to Orphan and crew's arrival if he was also aware of the attack?

Oh, hah, while researching a bit in the book to support my earlier comments, I reread Wu's observation in ch 35 about the Two Mirrors. That seems to be foreshadowing the later conflict. At least on the desperation side. Also I see now that even Vindatri was, ahem, guiding Arianne's thoughts, she SEEMED to be able to avoid talking about some of Simon's more spectacular abilities. It isn't explicitly stated that she didn't, but that is the way her thoughts are going at the end of chapter 39. And although Vindatri is very interested in meeting Simon, that could still be from what she WAS willing to share. From some of Vindatri's comments after the fight in Ch 49, it sounds like if sharing some information or acting in some way was a Judgment Call, he could influence them, but it if is directly against their interests, he couldn't. Although when Orphan and Arianne are frozen, that's not really in their interests, so I don't know. But that might be a different mechanism from the mind-nudging Vindatri did.

As a by-the-way, think that chapter 45 did have a typo--toward the beginning, Arianne thinks "Wu called it a tap, anyway". But I don't actually see Wu call it a tap anywhere--rather, he states "This would be boring if you are down already from a little hit like that". Although I guess Arianne's brain might have translated that to Tap for her--heaven knows that I often mentally absorb words other than the ones actually written.

December 12, 2016
1:42 pm
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Ryk E. Spoor
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With respect to Vindatri's boasting, he was pretty explicit that a lot of what he said in that battle was not true. He was playing the part of the being that the three representatives of Humanity thought he was, and so boasting. No, he didn't WANT to be hurt... but he DID want to determine that the Humans (and possibly Orphan) were powerful enough to be ABLE to hurt him, because if they couldn't do so, they weren't even CLOSE to being powerful enough to be allies in the real struggle. 

The first Shadeweavers COULD have been self-Awakened (Ariane certainly assumed so during her apotheosis), but they could equally have been given their powers by the Arena or the Voidbuilders themselves, thus still being the first Shadeweavers but not self-Awakened.

 

As to how Vindatri knew about the threat, well, he hasn't said, but presumably he CAN look at things vast distances away if he knows to do so, and wants to take the effort, and after meeting humanity it wouldn't be unreasonable he'd at least do a couple auguries and, seeing how those came out, decide to take a direct look. We saw in GCA that the Shadeweavers CAN look across that void, and even STEP across it if they want.

December 13, 2016
2:30 am
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ZeroiaSD
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Vindatri really was rushing things, doing such a major test so soon... then again, with the 'Blessings of the Arena' in play (which he'd have some experience with) and them leaving, seems to have forced his hand.

 

I'm guessing his own faction's blessings played out *somewhat* differently. And, hm... was tied in with the origin of the Shadeweavers? And there'd been cycles of 'Blessed' showing up and dying before? Maybe there were other Arena-powered factions in the past different from the big two, and Vindatri's faction was just involved in re-introducing the powers....

December 13, 2016
7:06 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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ZeroiaSD said
Vindatri really was rushing things, doing such a major test so soon... then again, with the 'Blessings of the Arena' in play (which he'd have some experience with) and them leaving, seems to have forced his hand.

 

I'm guessing his own faction's blessings played out *somewhat* differently. And, hm... was tied in with the origin of the Shadeweavers? And there'd been cycles of 'Blessed' showing up and dying before? Maybe there were other Arena-powered factions in the past different from the big two, and Vindatri's faction was just involved in re-introducing the powers....  

Well, his claim to have been the "First" may well have been (in context, probably was) one of his lies. He's ancient, but other, later information makes it very unlikely he was the first Shadeweaver (though he may well have been the first of his species to be one).

December 13, 2016
2:24 pm
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kehcalb
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Been rereading the comments over on the Flint side of the house.

Couple of thoughts/questions

(1) Specifically for the author: Has the author gotten sick and tired yet of constantly explaining why new Hyperions can't be created and/or are a terrible idea to try to create? Seems like every other thread requires you to mention that again. You're prolly copying and pasting by now.

(2) Did we get any sign that Military ship transfers can't occur through the Arena Nexus prior to the Analytic mentioning the complications it brought? Was that something from SOI or maybe even when they first arrived? 

(3) I saw you mentioned that the Genasi already have a recruit that isn't of their species--did we see that already?

(4) Over in the snippets, the author clarified that Primary Beams would still require the focal assemblies (or whatever they were) to be replaced before each shot, and Orphan noted he had enough replacements to make 4 emplacements effective. However, I can't believe he was expecting to go into combat with hundreds or thousands of ships like at the end of the story. Does that mean the threat to single-handedly eliminate the Molothos fleet was something of a bluff? Or would there have been resupply needed?  I guess if your ship is invincible, you can take all the time you need, but I can't imagine those PB assemblies are cheap, and humanity must have already gone through a lot in the earlier part of the battle (not to mention the ones lost with the ships they were on)

December 13, 2016
2:40 pm
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Ryk E. Spoor
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kehcalb said
Been rereading the comments over on the Flint side of the house.

Couple of thoughts/questions

(1) Specifically for the author: Has the author gotten sick and tired yet of constantly explaining why new Hyperions can't be created and/or are a terrible idea to try to create? Seems like every other thread requires you to mention that again. You're prolly copying and pasting by now.

(2) Did we get any sign that Military ship transfers can't occur through the Arena Nexus prior to the Analytic mentioning the complications it brought? Was that something from SOI or maybe even when they first arrived? 

(3) I saw you mentioned that the Genasi already have a recruit that isn't of their species--did we see that already?

(4) Over in the snippets, the author clarified that Primary Beams would still require the focal assemblies (or whatever they were) to be replaced before each shot, and Orphan noted he had enough replacements to make 4 emplacements effective. However, I can't believe he was expecting to go into combat with hundreds or thousands of ships like at the end of the story. Does that mean the threat to single-handedly eliminate the Molothos fleet was something of a bluff? Or would there have been resupply needed?  I guess if your ship is invincible, you can take all the time you need, but I can't imagine those PB assemblies are cheap, and humanity must have already gone through a lot in the earlier part of the battle (not to mention the ones lost with the ships they were on)  

 

Heh. I figure a lot of people just don't think the Hyperion thing through, and it's not like the Arena has explicitly listed out how and why it's allowing the Hyperions to work at all. So it's not all that tedious (yet) to explain.

 

Yes, it's been mentioned: Chapter 30 of Spheres of Influence, the relevant section:

 

     "Just as well," DuQuesne said. "Means we can probably keep the gate to home hidden, at least for a while, and that way the Molothos can't just send a fleet there by jumping here first."

 

     "They could not do that in any event," Orphan said, bringing Zounin-Ginjou to a faster cruising speed. "While the Arena does not prevent wars, it will not permit Nexus Arena to be used as a staging ground or channel for warfleets or other operations associated with warfare."

 

     "Really?" Simon felt some relief. "That is indeed good to know."

 

     DuQuesne frowned. "And how does it know what you intend to do with a bunch of ships?"

 

     Orphan stood up from his console and gave an elaborate wing-shrug. "How? There are undoubtedly myriad ways, Doctor DuQuesne. Some more disturbing to contemplate than others, true, but whatever the means, the results are quite clear; the Arena has nothing against your fighting, or even having an all-out war, but you won't fight inside Nexus Arena (unless as part of a Challenge, of course), and you won't conduct warfare – of nearly any sort – anywhere within Nexus Arena's claimed space."

 

As to #3, of course we saw it: Tunuvun declared that Sun Wu Kung was now Genasi, regardless of anything else he might be, and the Arena didn't contradict him. 🙂

 

#4, true, it's likely he only has a few hundred assemblies for replacement, but (A) after the ship's wiped out 150 of yours and taken no damage, even the Molothos might start reconsidering whether this was a wise battle, and (B) even without the Primaries, if you are 100% defended you can truck to near-point-blank-range to any enemy and just cut loose with everything you've got that ISN'T a primary... which at that range is at least as destructive.

December 15, 2016
4:46 am
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ZeroiaSD
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Hm, that reminds me, I was somewhat surprised the Genasi didn't pitch in at the final battle. Granted, I guess not really having a fleet themselves all they could assist with is ground troops, which wasn't what was needed, so I can see why they wouldn't.

December 15, 2016
7:14 am
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ZeroiaSD said
Hm, that reminds me, I was somewhat surprised the Genasi didn't pitch in at the final battle. Granted, I guess not really having a fleet themselves all they could assist with is ground troops, which wasn't what was needed, so I can see why they wouldn't.  

 

And given that they don't have any ships yet, they wouldn't even have asked; the Genasi would've felt terribly guilty that they had little or nothing to contribute.

December 15, 2016
8:19 am
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ZeroiaSD
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Ryk E. Spoor said

 

And given that they don't have any ships yet, they wouldn't even have asked; the Genasi would've felt terribly guilty that they had little or nothing to contribute.  

 

Yea, just any gifts + any ones in private Genasai hands (pirates, maybe?) which, I'm guessing, would be of little use in a fleet battle but pretty vital to the young faction.

December 15, 2016
10:02 am
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Ryk E. Spoor
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ZeroiaSD said

 

Yea, just any gifts + any ones in private Genasai hands (pirates, maybe?) which, I'm guessing, would be of little use in a fleet battle but pretty vital to the young faction.  

 

And as what are now First Emergents in a well-known to be dangerous universe, their efforts REALLY have to be on setting up defenses on their now one and only Sphere, and -- uniquely for them -- exploring and adapting to the way the NORMAL space universe, and real-universe planets and such, work. To them, our normal-space universe will be as mindblowingly different as the Arena is to us.

December 15, 2016
10:08 am
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kehcalb
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Ryk E. Spoor said

Well, his claim to have been the "First" may well have been (in context, probably was) one of his lies. He's ancient, but other, later information makes it very unlikely he was the first Shadeweaver (though he may well have been the first of his species to be one).  

Man, that's actually a little frustrating. There were several very intriguing reveals from Vindatri during the battle, and we now have reason to doubt the veracity of most of them...

Oh well. Seems like maybe no-one really knows how the shadeweavers and faith and the whole Arena started, with the info being lost in the depths of history. Unless there is some way to access the Arena's own records some day. But I imagine that would the day all the secrets would be revealed, and that's not likely to come any day soon (if ever)

December 15, 2016
10:36 am
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kehcalb said

Man, that's actually a little frustrating. There were several very intriguing reveals from Vindatri during the battle, and we now have reason to doubt the veracity of most of them...

Oh well. Seems like maybe no-one really knows how the shadeweavers and faith and the whole Arena started, with the info being lost in the depths of history. Unless there is some way to access the Arena's own records some day. But I imagine that would the day all the secrets would be revealed, and that's not likely to come any day soon (if ever)  

 

Well, I hope to get there eventually. The big reveal would then set up the actual big conflict.

December 15, 2016
10:47 am
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Hmm. I guess that means the big reveal isn't going to result in parades and celebrations and "This was all fortold, and hey, you reached the end, it was all worth it" cake, hunh?

December 15, 2016
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kehcalb said
Hmm. I guess that means the big reveal isn't going to result in parades and celebrations and "This was all fortold, and hey, you reached the end, it was all worth it" cake, hunh?  

 

Welll.... sorta actually yes. Just that there's other... issues to take care of.

March 6, 2017
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kehcalb said
(4) Over in the snippets, the author clarified that Primary Beams would still require the focal assemblies (or whatever they were) to be replaced before each shot, and Orphan noted he had enough replacements to make 4 emplacements effective. However, I can't believe he was expecting to go into combat with hundreds or thousands of ships like at the end of the story. Does that mean the threat to single-handedly eliminate the Molothos fleet was something of a bluff? Or would there have been resupply needed?  I guess if your ship is invincible, you can take all the time you need, but I can't imagine those PB assemblies are cheap, and humanity must have already gone through a lot in the earlier part of the battle (not to mention the ones lost with the ships they were on)  

 

I was reading that under the assumption that Arianne would have been the one taking care of the Molothos, not Orphan.  🙂

March 6, 2017
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So, upon reread, I noticed something I'd missed before - specifically about Duquense and the big fight.  There is a reference to Arianne seeing polychromatic light flaring from his wrist.  Does this mean that Hyperion Duquense was inherently stable at the third level?  Or was this the Arena giving him a Lens to use his abilities?  I'm leaning towards the latter, because none of the amalgamation of characters (IF as he stated, he and Rich were Samms and Kinnison analogs as well), but I find my curiosity whetted, and hope the Author will sate it. 🙂

March 10, 2017
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Bo Lindbergh
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From the I-see-what-you-did-there department: that bit in chapter 21 about newly transferred stellar systems seemingly being reset to virgin conditions? Definitely a defense against future objections about fossil records clearly showing that humanity evolved right here on this planet....

March 12, 2017
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Bo Lindbergh said
From the I-see-what-you-did-there department: that bit in chapter 21 about newly transferred stellar systems seemingly being reset to virgin conditions? Definitely a defense against future objections about fossil records clearly showing that humanity evolved right here on this planet....  

Also a defense against the possibility that someone winning a Sphere from any given Faction would then gain pretty much complete knowledge ABOUT that faction. 

But yes, it implies that if the Arena or those controlling it WANTED to, they could rearrange the fossil record and pretty much anything else to show whatever they want. However, as I prefer not to repeat myself TOO much, I would likely want to avoid writing a SECOND series in which our own fossil records were shown to have been falsified by unknowable forces vastly beyond our ken.

March 12, 2017
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Vanye said
So, upon reread, I noticed something I'd missed before - specifically about Duquense and the big fight.  There is a reference to Arianne seeing polychromatic light flaring from his wrist.  Does this mean that Hyperion Duquense was inherently stable at the third level?  Or was this the Arena giving him a Lens to use his abilities?  I'm leaning towards the latter, because none of the amalgamation of characters (IF as he stated, he and Rich were Samms and Kinnison analogs as well), but I find my curiosity whetted, and hope the Author will sate it. 🙂  

Basically it is an implication that he HAS a Lens, but I don't want to go into detail ABOUT Lenses for various reasons.

March 12, 2017
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Vanye said

 

I was reading that under the assumption that Arianne would have been the one taking care of the Molothos, not Orphan.  🙂  

 

No, not really. When the Primaries ran out, they'd have to just go to regular guns and missiles, but if your ship is basically invulnerable, that's not a problem; you can sail up to point-blank range and shoot a broadside, then lather, rinse, repeat.

 

Would it be that simple? No, because Ariane would have to rest and recharge, but if the tactic works they can take their time about it. 

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