Out of the Dark by David Weber. Read online, or download in DRM-free EPUB format. Editorial Reviews. balsodoctforri.ga Review. site Exclusive: A Q&A with Author David Weber Out of the Dark - Kindle edition by David Weber. Download it. Location: Springfield, Illinois. Device: Kindle PW2, Lenovo A, Motorola Z2 Play, 1st Gen Kindle Fire. Out of the Dark - David Weber.
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The survey group observed the Battle of Agincourt between the English and French, and were horrified of humanity's ferocity and cruelty—being that war and violence rarely happened among the Hegemony.
By the s, the Hegemony has reviewed the survey on Earth and is instantly repulsed. Seeing the humans as similar to the carnivorous, wolf-like Shongairi, a species recently and reluctantly admitted to their alliance, the pacifist Hegemony decides to send the Shongairi to take control of humanity while they are still a manageable threat.
This is considered the "lesser of two evils", preventing a second Shongair Empire. An implicit intent is that, if the human race can't be properly subjugated, they be eliminated. The Shongairi are the most violent species in the Hegemony, and have veiled plans to seize control of the of the others.
Toward this end, they see value in the human race as slave soldiers and decide to conquer Earth and make humans their subjects.
Once their expedition reaches Earth, they are surprised at humanity's advancement in only six hundred years, at six times the galactic norm. Fleet Commander Thikair orders his fleet to continue the conquest, despite Hegemony prohibitions against assaulting planets of a certain technological level. By hacking into human military computer systems and laying a series of kinetic strikes on nearly every military installation, naval fleet, and major city on the planet with kinetic energy weapons , the initial attack wipes out half of the human population.
Expecting this attack to have crippled the humans, the Shongairi land their forces, concentrating on Europe and North America. They expect humans to surrender immediately, since the Shongairi and other alien races have a natural " submission mechanism ". However, the surviving remnants of humanity begin a massive guerrilla war against the Shongairi, who have never before fought an advanced race. For every successful human attack, the Shongairi retaliate with an orbital strike on the attackers or any nearby survivors to inflict submission.
The conflict lasts over two months, during which nearly half the expedition's landing forces are killed; leading Shongairi xenoanthropologist Shairez discovers the reason the humans do not submit: they lacked the "submission mechanism", and their mindset such as morality and altruism evolved differently from any other known Hegemony species. Attempting to subjugate them would be the height of folly, as humanity—completely unable to forgive the Shongairi for what they had done to Earth—would either fight to the very end or rebel against them every few generations.
As a result, Thikair decides to carry out the Hegemony's covert desire to exterminate the humans by developing a bioweapon specifically designed to target human biology.
Efforts to create the bioweapon require the capturing of human test subjects. For example, I knew that Hamish and Honor were going to wind up together. Originally, I planned on their not marrying and on Emily realizing what was going on and essentially covering for them. Eventually Emily would die, and Honor would marry Hamish.
Well, two things happened. One is I discovered that I like Emily even more than I expected to. The other one was that watching these characters interact and having structured the societies of Manticore and Grayson the way that I have [certain things] became inevitable.
But I didn't plan it that way.
If I know the character is going to be a central, important character, I try to get the physical image of the character in my mind. I try to get the main personality traits, the ones that are the main motivators in this character's life, in place. Not in a lot of detail. I just know this is how this person thinks. Then I throw the character into a scene. Sometimes the scene determines what this character is going to have to be. Then I just let that person be whatever that person has to be.
I knew what the basic mindset of a Grayson armsman was and I knew that he was going to be personally dedicated to Honor. I can't remember if I ever told people in the books but Andrew's brother was an officer in the Protector's palace security.
He was killed in an assassination attempt that Honor foiled. Andrew volunteered for the Protector's guard because Honor completed the task Andrew's brother had been unable to complete in protecting the Protector and his family. Andrew joined her guard originally to repay that debt.
Then, of course, probably, I think, I suspect that if Andrew had not been a Grayson armsman and if he had been a Prolong recipient, then his relationship with Honor might have been much closer to her relationship with Hamish. It was unthinkable for him to initiate something like that, though.
He just could not have done it. And it was equally unthinkable for her to do it because of her position of authority and because she was a Prolong recipient and he wasn't. That was one reason Honor made him her son's armsman. In many ways, Hamish was a surrogate father and a surrogate husband. All of that was going on in the back of my brain, but I never formulated it specifically for the reader. And in some ways I hadn't realized it for myself until I looked at the scene and said, "That's why he did it!
I write the book to find out how the book comes out. That's what let's me maintain the production level that I maintain. For a long time I knew people would be angry at me for killing Andrew in Mission of Honor. It was a given.
I was surprised by how many people said — as I'd hoped they would — that he died the way he would've wanted to die. For want of a better term, his was a good death.
But I wrote the scene four or five times and tried not killing him and the book didn't work. It took me a while to figure out why that was. Then it hit me.
Honor had lost practically her entire family on Sphinx, but aside from an occasional name you hadn't actually met them. You knew Andrew. So when Honor lost him, you understood her pain, and, therefore, by extension, you understood the pain of the loss of all those people you'd never met. That's why Andrew had to die.
What it came down to, for me, was, "I can't kill Andrew. I gotta kill Andrew. Why do I have to kill Andrew? If you are going to write about violence, if you're going to write military fiction — whether science fiction, present day, or historical — you have to play fair with the reader. Most Americans, despite this rap we've got as a violent society—most Americans actually have very little personal experience with violence.
The images and the attitudes we have are formed by what we see on TV and in the movies. We see occasional real violence on TV but most of what we see is Hollywood's interpretation of it.
And it's not accurate. It desensitizes us. In On Killing , Dave Grossman is onto something when he talks about desensitization of people who are exposed again and again to this casual violence.
Grossman's thesis, like any thesis, can be over-stretched but I think it is fundamentally correct. One of the responsibilities you have when you are going to write violence is not to glamorize the combat.
I have an immense respect for the military. My personal philosophy is that until human beings turn into something we will no longer recognize, a military organization is going to be necessary.
If there's not something to make people stop, someone is going to keep right on pushing. That's the bottom line. As though violence is hard-wired into us? Into our societies? The problem is that it doesn't take a lot of Osama bin Ladens to create a large amount of chaos in the world. People can differ with the best way to deal with that sort of situation, but ultimately any solution which isn't based on the use of force is operating on credit.
You have to have the capability to cover your debt with military force. Even if you never use it. The other guy has to know it's there. Otherwise, it's like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, saying, "What are you going to do to us? Absent of some means of compelling Ahmadinejad not to develop nuclear weapons, he's going to develop them.
That's just the way that it is. And that's why the military is always going to be necessary. Military service is a high calling. War can evoke the absolute best in human beings, such as the willingness to sacrifice anything for a cause you believe in, but it is always a nasty, horrible business at the sharp end.
I try to make that clear in the books. Some people operate on the theory that you can't possibly write it as bad as it really is I think you lose the argument when you do that, because it leads to desensitization.
It just goes on and on and on and the reader eventually turns it off. I prefer more of what I think of as the Alfred Hitchcock approach. If you look at the shower scene in Psycho , you never see a blow land. You know exactly what happened but you never see a single blow land. I prefer to do it that way and then every so often hit the reader square between the eyes with a vignette that is stark and shows what happens when you hit a human body with a high velocity projectile.
One of my main hobby areas is firearms and I was a deer hunter for many years, so I know what happens when a high velocity projectile hits a living body and it is not what Hollywood normally portrays. Looking back over 20 years of novels, are there any scenes in which you got it wrong, got the violence wrong.
Scenes in which you glamorized combat or were too soft or went too far?