H. Paul Honsinger's "Man of War" Series discussion

To Honor You Call Us (Man of War, #1)
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Favorite Character

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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
Other than Max and Bram, who is your favorite character? Who do you want to see more of in Book III and later volumes. Whose back story do you want to learn about?


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Mariann Miller | 11 comments Forest Commander Chrrlgrf (where did you come up with that name?) is my favorite alien. Lots of meat, er,possibilities there. Hope we meet him again in the next book.


message 3: by David (last edited May 17, 2014 04:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Land | 7 comments This is kind of stream of consciousness, sorry

Well there is Admiral Hornmeyer and of course Vaughn Brown. They both might have an interesting history and backstory relationships with Max. De Costa also comes to mind... I'm at a loss for his name, but the mother goose might be an interesting character from which build a history....

I like the crusty Admiral, and his cryptic comments to Max, obviously he has a reason for those things he says, it might be because he knows of Maxe's history, might even have helped him get back to "normal" after being on that Karg ship. Also Bram's coffee coniseur associate with the attractive daughter... Another thought perhaps, there could be a NCO who knows Max, might have been his mother goose at one time who comes back in Maxes life as a body guard, cum strong reliable conduit to the crew - someone he trust implicitly, but is more of teacher-father figure? kinda depends on if Max is going to stay on the destroyer, or move up to something like a fast cruiser (Al la Bismark) if the is to move up, he will need a cadre of close associates along with Bram.

I also agree with the previous comment on the Forrest Commander, how does Max know so much about the VAAACH? When and where did Max meet him.....just some initial babbling.


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
Mariann wrote: "Forest Commander Chrrlgrf (where did you come up with that name?) is my favorite alien. Lots of meat, er,possibilities there. Hope we meet him again in the next book."

Be assured that Chrrlgrf will be a continuing character in future installments. I got the name from a sound that my Mastiff makes when takes the first bite of her dinner.


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
David wrote: "This is kind of stream of consciousness, sorry

Well there is Admiral Hornmeyer and of course Vaughn Brown. They both might have an interesting history and backstory relationships with Max. De ..."


There is a back story between Max and the Vaaach that will come out in Book III to some extent and more in future installments. After all, if you give a character's back story all at once, the reviewers beat you to death about "boring exposition dumps" and all that. Can't have that, can we?


David Land | 7 comments H. Paul wrote: "David wrote: "This is kind of stream of consciousness, sorry

Well there is Admiral Hornmeyer and of course Vaughn Brown. They both might have an interesting history and backstory relationships ..."


I suspected as much - I still like the crusty Admiral Hornmeyer, Halsey anyone?....


message 7: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments Actually, I meant to put my comment in the "favorite alien" blog but goofed. Admiral Hornmeyer is wonderful. Especially liked Mac's comment about the Admiral being born with all of his decisions already made. Made him seem so clear to my view. I like how even minor characters are distinct. Fun books for sure...


message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe | 1 comments I have to agree with Forest Commander Chrrlgrf. Thus, I am delighted to hear about the background behind Max's knowledges of Vaaach? I do like his insults which can be hilarious. Likewise with Admiral Hornmeyer and his orders. My other favorite is the intel officer Bhattacharyya.


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
I love how so many of you guys are talking about the "minor" characters. I tried to make all of these people, even the bit players colorful people who are recognizable "military types"--people you might encounter on a modern fast attack submarine or destroyer or on a major naval base.

Someone mentioned Admiral Halsey when they talked about Admiral Hornmeyer. He was definitely one of the people I had in mind when I created the character. Another major inspiration (probably more significant than Halsey) was General Curtis LeMay. Some of the Hornmeyer's comments are "borrowed" from things that LeMay said habitually ("everyone has personnel problems, that sounds like a personal problem to me"). There are also liberal doses of George Patton. That's his "style." In Book III, you will see some of his tactical/strategic methods, which draw somewhat from Stonewall Jackson, as well as from Patton (who took more than one page from Jackson's book), Hannibal, and (of course) lots of stuff from my own fevered tactical imagination. Of all my characters, I have the most fun writing Hornmeyer and Chrrlgrf (who share more than a few similarities).


message 10: by David (last edited Jun 02, 2014 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Land | 7 comments "Of all my characters, I have the most fun writing Hornmeyer and Chrrlgrf (who share more than a few similarities)." One might also find a dash or maybe more of HPH in those two as well....... :-) Although not sure that Forrest Commander Chrrlgf would like Gumbo or Crayfish....


message 11: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments Oh, I think Chrrgrf would love crayfish and gumbo. They would give him a different aspect of the pink monkey things and he sounds like research and knowledge are important to him. Well, he hasn't killed the Cumberland yet anyway. I think he will actively keep an eye on the Swamp Fox and crayfish and gumbo are definitely part of the picture. It would take a lot of the stuff to give a decent bite though.


David Land | 7 comments Chrrgrf and gumbo? I'm betting the Forrest Commander would like his food simple and fresh, but who knows aren't we all Cajun under the skin? I've met a few warrior leaders in my day and few of them are epicureans, to be good at their trade they act as if they consider food as fuel, they are so focused on how to be better at what they do. I recall one German General and other commanders in history (Alexander?) ate the same stuff as their troops when they are in the field... But with ailean species and cultures, who knows... You may be right


message 13: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments Yeah, David, I think you are probably right. Maybe if the crayfish were at the top of a tree------
I like the midshipmen too, squeaky voices and all. Park is definitely going places. I mourned all the lost guys at the gate but especially Mother Goose.


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Mariann Miller | 11 comments Yeah. Gilbert, the guy always getting Mac's coffee and keeping track of who is next for the head, is a hoot, too. All these little things are what makes the people so real to me.


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Mariann Miller | 11 comments One thing my son, who used to be a Navy guy, pointed out (he loves the books) is that there are no "superiors" and "inferiors". The terminology used is "superiors" and "subordinates". An officer gives orders to his/her subordinates and they give info to their superiors. Thought about it awhile and agree it just sounds better. What say you guys?


David Land | 7 comments Well, I was a officer in the Air Force, and I can only speak for myself. I never thought in terns of superiors and inferiors or subordinates. With the rank system in the military one holds rank by what is called positional power, a Lieutenant is the ranking "superior" , but if he has any sense, the listens and takes advice from his first Sargent - that's because the NCO usually has more practical knowledge. The officer does most of the administrative stuff, but delegates some of his "official" power but the NCO has his by right of experience as well as position. Anyway the officer and NCO don't think of the lower ranks as subordinates as much as just "their men".


message 17: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments I agree wholeheartedly. That is why we both noted the superior/inferior usage. Grated somehow. Not really a criticism, more of a comment for discussion. Noticed it a few times in book 2. Don't recall it in #1.


message 18: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments I think it is not the word but the innuendo attached to the word. Subordinate just means under in rank, but inferior implies "less than" or something. Still thinking about it.


message 19: by David (last edited Jun 07, 2014 07:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Land | 7 comments Anyone in the military who thinks in terms of others in his command as "inferiors" is headed for big trouble. I know I surely had no inferiors on my watch, that thinking is left over from the medieval age when there was nobility, free men, and serfs.... The inferior might apply to one's education, but once you are in the military every body has training and after a few years in the enlisted ranks the playing field is more or less leveled. Those who want to lead and have authority generally rise in rank according to their ability, both in the officer ranks and enlisted... as in any human endeavor, some folks rise faster because they have better people skills and connections, but on the whole, the truly able and exceptional people elevate themselves, by surviving and accomplishing their mission.


message 20: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments That is my point. That is why I don't like the use of the word.


Declan Jones | 3 comments I miss the junior enlisted characters that went away during the reboot /rerelease (being junior enlisted myself) I thought it added a new depth to the workings and environment of the Cumberland. I also like the chiefs bull sessions from the first book. So I guess you could say I like all the "non-characters" (I know that they are more than that) but as Max grows I feel that he should develop a cadre of trusted subordinates EM, NCO and commissioned... Call'em Swamp Fox Forceh haha


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
Mariann, You're not supposed to like the word "inferior." Duflot uses it deliberately as an insult to Max and it is supposed to be a contrast to the way people of higher and lower ranks talk about each other in other parts of the books. I think I use the term "superior officer" a few times, but that's different from referring to someone as an "inferior."


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
Declan, as Book 3 stands right now, Max makes a point of including Chief Wendt (the COB) in the Kitchen Cabinet meetings. I couldn't help the things that went away during the revision--the publisher/editors thought that the action/ship's business ratio needed to be beefed up, particularly in Book I.


message 24: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments Mr. Gunslinger, Thanks for clearing that up. Usually I pick up on the nuances (insult) but think I had a gut reaction myself to the word and missed how it was used. Hmmm interesting. Anyway, anticipating #3 mightily.


message 25: by Mariann (new)

Mariann Miller | 11 comments Mr. Honsinger, the stupid corrector bit me again.


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H. Honsinger (hpaulhonsinger) | 11 comments Mod
Gunslinger. Hornsinger. Nunsinger. Hunsinger. Hopsinger. Horsinger. Monsinger. Momsinger. I've seen it all. No worries. Autocorrect can be fun. I have a friend whose last name is Maniscalco whose name autocorrect constantly tries to change to "maniacal." I always thought it rather fit him, but he might have a different idea. Maybe it's the same with "Gunslinger." Hey, that reminds me, it's been weeks since I've been to the shooting range!!!


Rebecca Armstrong (beckiema) | 2 comments I love Forest Commander Chrrlgrf he seems to know of max who seems to have spent time with some vaaach hunters of the vermin which going from you fighter vaaach reaction (can't remember the name) are probably at least culturally important. I could be imagining it but I'm looking forward to anything with the vaaach in. It's nice to have aliens with honor and treat other species with honor


message 28: by Iain (new)

Iain | 1 comments Forest Commander Chrrlgrf reminds me of 'Speaker to Animals' from the Ringworld/Known Space series by Larry Niven. In fact, the Vaaach themselves are very, very Kzin like in ways, with a dose of Star Trek Voyager Hirogen thrown in for added depth. I was most curious to read how this super-predator was set up to keep his claws sheathed for future encounters. Very well done within the internal logic of the narrative.


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