“why had nobody thought of that before?”

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING: This post addresses a scenario at the end of LINES OF DEPARTURE, so only read past the split if you’ve read the book or don’t care about seeing the ending given away.

16 thoughts on ““why had nobody thought of that before?”

  1. I’m one of the reviewers who noted this so thanks for taking the time to address this. My issue wasn’t so much the ramming of the freighter but that no one had tried kinetic weapons given they are typically such a staple of SciFi. No mass driver, rail gun, etc thought at all?

    Worrying about hitting the planet makes sense if you want it back but given the Lankys made the planets inhospitable in short order who cares if you accidently hit it instead of the lanky. After all humans were nuking the crap out of it which sounds like it made it a wasteland for both sides.

    Anyways don’t take this criticism too much heart, I loved the book overall and gave it four stars.

    • Like I said, the gears of a cash-strapped bureaucracy grind slowly. Rail guns take so much energy and have such technical limitations that you can’t just refit a bunch of ships with them, and new designs are expensive to develop and build. Stay tuned for Book #3 for more.

      • My only complaint is leaving the book on a partial Cliffhanger. I dug the freighter and understood the reason it hadn’t been used before. Its pretty clearly spelled out in the book, but it does cause a little cognative dissonance. As for the cliffhanger – its done its job, as I’ll be buying Angles of Attack as soon as 47 north lets me. (you should talk to them about Baen’s E-Arcs which are basically book crack. ‘Here, have my book mostly unproofed six or so months early, for twice the cost…’ …I still haven’t figured out how to say no to that.

  2. I purchased, read and enjoyed both books in the series, and await with baited breath the next iteration in the series. I’m also willing to cut the author / characters in the book some slack, in that they’ll use whatever weapons they have to hand and not use what they don’t have.

    I think the confusion here is we don’t see how fast things are moving in your universe. Per this online calculator and Google, Gordon was running at 1.8% speed of light. This is rather brisk indeed, but 160 hours at 1 G gets the same speed. Since we don’t know / aren’t shown how close the jump-in points are to the planets, we don’t know what a “normal” speed is for a ship. But clearly, any sustained acceleration in real space adds up.

    This leads to a couple of thoughts. First, anything launched from a ship at 1.8% C will be travelling at 1.8% C plus launch speed. One would think that somebody would start fitting missiles with concrete warheads and attacking orbiting Lanky ships by making high-speed fly-bys then launching missiles. Second, if the human spaceship (civilian or military) is traveling at these speeds, then grains of sand start hitting with the equivalent force of thousand-pound bombs. In order to survive nature, the human ship would need to be pretty well hardened.

    So I guess the real question is “what is normal transit speeds in real space?”

  3. Actually, the biggest thing I wondered was why they didn’t use rocks on the Lankies on the ground. Throw rocks to trip all the spaceborne mines, then throw bigger rocks to smash the Lanky terraformers.

  4. Enjoyed both books. Haven’t had this much fun reading sci-fi since I discovered Tom Kratman. Also proof the author is a man of taste and distinction : he owns Dachshunds!!!!!!!

  5. Really enjoyed Lines of Departure, but gagged when I read “dark side of the Moon”! The floors of some polar craters never see sunlight and are the coldest places in the solar system, but otherwise every point on the Moon experiences the same 14 days of sun followed by 14 days of night.

  6. I think you’ve hit your stride with this one, although if you’d walked into the room at the moment I realized you were going to make me wait for the resolution of a huge cliffhanger, I would have cheerfully throttled you. Please don’t keep me waiting too long, and all will be forgiven.

  7. Hey man. I love both novels and both shorts. Just finished the new one. What a story! Can’t wait for the next one. You’re my favorite new writer. (By the way, I discovered your books thru the Goodreads awards. That means I’ve read all 4 in the last couple months. I hope the new one comes soon!) 5 big stars.

  8. I think the fact that Commonwealth navy hierarchy are a bunch of useless twats more use to pushing around paper than fight a war, perfectly explains why they haven’t tried.
    I enjoyed both novels. But I hope they develop a plan that is a bit more detail than valiant but suicidal attempt to save Earth and the human solar system. An I hope we see a bit of the moral lesson that if they are going to win this war or at least survive it, Military and civilians, Chinese and Americans are all going to have to work together. I would love to see more of the politics side of the equation as well.