BY HERESIES DISTRESSED â€“ snippet 16:
He paused and frowned for a moment, then shook his head.
“Actually, that’s not quite true,” he said. “It’s created problems with a lot of people, of course — I think we’ve probably got more ‘Temple Loyalists’ here in Chisholm than you have in Charis, for a lot of reasons — but for other people, it’s actually helped.” He looked back into Gyrard’s eyes once more. “Charisians aren’t the only ones who could see what was happening in Zion, you know.”
“Yes, I do know.” Gyrard nodded.
“Well, Sir, I won’t say that anyone here in Chisholm is doing handsprings of delight at the prospect of open warfare with Mother Church, but you might be surprised by how many of us already agreed with you ‘schismatic’ Charisians, at least in principle. And once Her Majesty decided to marry the Emperor, well –”
He broke off with another, much more eloquent shrug, and Gyrard nodded once more. Sharleyan’s nobles might have been — or, at least, wanted to be — more fractious then Cayleb’s, but the flag captain had come to the conclusion that she’d been even more beloved by Chisholm’s commoners than King Haarahld had been by their Charisian counterparts before his death. That was saying quite a lot, and that deep reservoir of trust and devotion had carried her people with her. It also helped to explain why Cayleb’s demonstration that she truly was his coruler, not simply his consort, had legitimized his own authority in their eyes as probably nothing else could possibly have accomplished.
“Tell me, Commander Ahzmynd,” Gyrard said, asking the question he’d had no intention of explicitly voicing when he came ashore for this meeting, “how do you think your fellow Chisholmians feel about Charisians now?”
“Now, Sir?” Ahzmynd chuckled. “They still think every single one of you is out to turn a fast mark, and, to be honest, I think many of us are more than a little uneasy about all these changes — all these new weapons and ways of doing things — you seem intent on introducing. Certainly when you first arrived, most people here in Cherayth were bracing themselves just a bit. They expected an onslaught of moneychangers, loan krakens, and political hangers-on out to make a profit out of Chisholm. I think that despite everything, there were people who believed the Emperor’s marriage proposal was really only a ploy designed to let Charis get its hands on everything worth having here in Chisholm.
“That much, at least, is changing. Or that’s the way it seems to me, at any rate. I could be wrong, of course.” He twitched his shoulders in another brief shrug. “From where I sit, though, I think that what the Emperor’s had to say so far, coupled with the fact that he’s made absolutely no political changes here in Cherayth, hasn’t brought in any of his own political favorites from home and handed them plum assignments, and the fact that he and Baron Green Mountain and the Queen Mother are obviously on such excellent terms, really has turned most of that suspicion around. The fact that your sailors and Marines have been spending so freely hasn’t hurt anything, either. I haven’t heard any of the dockside tavernkeepers complaining, at any rate! Mind you, I can think of quite a few lords and ladies who probably don’t like the new arrangement a bit, but that’s more than offset — I think, at least — by how much the common folk have been reassured. They’ve always regarded the Queen — the Empress, I mean — as one of their own, someone they can trust to look out for them. Now most of them seem willing to at least tentatively accept that the Emperor feels the same way she does. And I think we’ve at least reached a point where all but the most dyed-in-the-wool Temple Loyalists are willing to wait to hear his address to Parliament before they really decide what they think of him. If he says what I rather suspect he’s going to say, that trust in Her Majesty is going to attach itself to him –provisionally, at least — and they’ll decide they can trust him, too.”
“I certainly hope you’re right, Commander,” Gyrard said quietly. “And it’s true, you know. His Majesty does feel the same way Her Majesty does, although, to be honest, the battle lines between the common folk and the nobility are less sharply drawn in Charis.”
“Really?” Ahzmynd cocked his head to one side, lips pursed. “I’d heard that that was the case, Sir,” he continued after a moment. “From my perspective, it’s a bit difficult to really accept, though. It’s so different from the way things have been here in Chisholm for as long as anyone can remember.”
“Well, Commander,” Ahndrai Gyrahrd said, sitting back in his own chair with a smile as tight as anything Ahzmynd had produced, “we’ll just have to see what we can do about changing that, won’t we? The Emperor has a saying, ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ I’d say that’s probably one of the main reasons he and Her Majesty haven’t set out to make any political changes here in Cherayth. Baron Green Mountain and Queen Mother Alahnah are doing just fine. But if anyone thinks His Majesty is going to be any more tolerant than Her Majesty where great nobles with . . . delusions of grandeur, shall we say, are concerned, they’re sadly mistaken.”
“Really?” Ahzmynd repeated, then smiled back at his Charisian visitor. “Somehow, Sir, I can’t quite seem to find it in my heart to regret that. Odd, isn’t it?”
Must be the end of the chapter.
Angry Nobility + Temple Loyalits + Officers with “lots of free time” = coup/rebellion?
If it is a rebellion the saving grace might be the support of the commoners
Where have we seen this formula before? Oh that’s right, just about every Weber book.
Weber obviously has a thing for monarchs, and his common people always love them. Because gosh darn it, they do care so much about the common people in return! And they are so resolute and competent. It’s a lovefest.
But the aristocrats and the social elite (other than the monarch and few noble retainers) are always the bad guys who cause the trouble, because they only care about themselves.
#3 Mike: “Weber obviously has a thing for monarchs, and his common people always love them.” Like the loved England’s Charles I in 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War? No, more like they love Elizabeth II in England today.
I think it’s more that Weber has a thing for history, and bases a lot of what he writes on history.
Oops, typo: should be bh, not by
Weber has somewhat of a thing for monarchs whose powers have atrophied and need restoring like the rulers of Manticore and Greyson for instance. Any bets on the grand vicar making a comeback after the G4 meet their inevitable doom?
YOu know the problem with this series? lacking a worm’s eye point of view. Either from a navy/marine side, or a merchant/worker side. All the POV so far come from admirals, generals, captain of industry, vicar, king, queen, premier, whathaveyou…. In a way it’s quite an yawn.
1632 series is such a joy to read because of the variety: uptimer/downtimer, religious/anti-church, etc…
Plodding, plodding plodding.
Keep those chapters plodding.
Something, something, something,
Ow. JN, that was just horrid… but it was funny… :)
And it’s time for me to repeat: “Where’s Uncle Bertrahm??”
I’m getting obsessed here…sort of like that scene in “Magnificent Seven” where Harry keeps looking around for Chico.
1632 eries is Eric Flint’s cereation and his is the guiding hand in its continued evolution. Webber’s writing in the series is within the confines of the framework created by Eric. You can’t compare that series to this one for that reason.
Wow…Weber is doing it yet again: never has an author been so consistently able to bore me to tears while not allowing me to put down the book! Sure, you can pick apart his style or whatever, but man, that guy keeps me entertained like no other modern sci-fi author can! Just do what you do, Dave…
Alan: I’ve actually been wondering about what would happen if the current Grand Vicar Whatshisname died. The Group of Four would want another non-entity so they can keep power in their hands, but everybody else would want a real leader at a time like this.
I remember how different and interesting my first reading was of “On Basilisk Station” and all the Harrington books, until “Ashes of Victory.” After that one all Weber’s work (except for “Crown of Slaves” and that was Flint) has had more long, boring conversations than anything else. Weber’s “Setting the Stage” writing has become so excruciatingly dull to read and so undifferentiated, where each conversation is so much like the last one and so predictable, that I am on the verge of losing him from my reading list. Especially after “Storm From the Shadows.” The publisher’s editor is not doing his/her job.
The “setting the stage” conversations were building up all along, more in each book. It’s just that Ashes Of Victory was really nothing but! So maybe that’s why you noticed it there.
Weber has a tremendous ability to write lots and lots and lots of pages. He also has a real talent for plotting out these big sweeping space opera stories. But the combination of the scope of the story plus the ability to write so many pages per day works against him crafting them down to just the elegant essentials.
Some readers like this kind of thing, and they figure more is better. I’m more in the camp that reads Weber despite his long and boring and obvious infodumps, not because of them.
Weber probably makes as much or more money than any other SF writer alive today, so it’s working for him.
It would be nice if Cayleb’s address to Chisholm’s Parliament were to contain more than a few “Earth-Historical” quotes just in case there are more second-stringers like Zherneau out there who might interpret it as a signal to make ready.
George Lucas unfortunately is the SciFi mogul at the top. Since he hasn’t let go of the SW franchise’s copyright he’s been raking in on all the fanboy sales and fanfiction. He is shortly followed by Gene Rodenberry who unfortunately is not alive to spend his cash. I imagine that as far as pure writers without TV shows goes, David Weber is right up there with Ben Bova and that alien dude from 41 lightyears away whose posing as 15 authors and passing off historical records as SciFi. You know, that guy in accounting.
You’re forgetting Steven Speilburg as someone who decides on what gets made. As for the plodding comments made… I think getting the book in small snippets draws out these senes more then they would reading in the book. You get a more coherrent flow and can skim the parts that bore you. Rather like what I do when I want characterization detail and not more discussion on technology or different weapon systems. Different strokes for different folks. And it can depend upon what is attracting me to the story on what I read or skim.
The point here is that a desire to skim through a book is a bad sign in the first place. For my favorite books I’ll reread every word over and over again, just because they are so well-crafted.
For other books, I’ll ignore the missing craftsmanship of the writing, and look for only whatever it was that drew me to that book. For Weber, that’s plot.
I take this time to remind everyone that most of Weber’s works are political dramas that happen to be in space (and in this case medieval) settings. Inevitably, humanity will behave as we always have once we settle into a new area.
Steven Spielberg is a robot. The real one was assassinated by ninjas after Last Crusade to prevent another apocalypse. They’ve pretty much been postponing it since 65 A.D. until their Earth Management Schedule can fit it in. But you know what they say about procrastination…
you’re totally right. Weber has a thing for Constitutional Monarchs. He HATES absolute monarchs. For example, Hektor.