Wednesday, September 12, 2007

techno-babble

I know there are those of you who think this sort of dialog is just yummy - you know who you are and so do I - when I was in high school, you were the guys with slide rules sticking out of your pockets!

(from "The Short Victorious War" page 90)
"Am I right in assuming a complete replacement here?"
"I'm afraid so, Ma'am. Oh, I could try a weld, but we're talking a bead a good twenty meters long just across the outer face. This stuff's not supposed to break in the first place, and according to The Book, patching should only be considered as a last resort. The fracture cuts right through two of the central load-bearing brackets and the number hydrogen feed channel, too, I'm afraid."

And so on, for another two pages before Admiral Harrington is assured her ship will be " back up as quickly as possible."

Now, I admit I have a weakness for geeks and their techno-babble -- my father was one, my brother is one, my husband is one, and (of course) our son is one. But I'm not! I have a limit to my tolerance for descriptions and details of engineering, after which my eyes glaze over, my ears start receiving nothing but static, and my brain starts filtering for a change of subject.

I'm reading book three of Weber's 'Honor' series, though, because his space battle descriptions leave me breathless on the edge of my seat, and he's made me care deeply about Honor and her treecat.

5 comments:

Jaye Patrick said...

Ah... She's Captain Harrington in this book, P.; her Admiralness doesn't come along until a wee bit later.

But I have to say, I loved the geek stuff; it's the later political stuff that made my eyes glaze over.

Oh, and FYI? The next book will have you in tears. It's terrific!

Jaye Patrick said...

I forgot to mention: David Weber's other books are pretty amazing too.

Pandababy said...

Well, I forgave Weber for every single geeky line on page 157 -- because he gave Honor a worthy man who loves her (even if it did take him until the middle of the third book to do so!)

I guess Weber put in "something for everyone" -- I rather liked "the political stuff" -- it was deliciously ironic - nearly black humor, by the end of Book Three.

heather said...

the technobabble can be fun...up to a point. but i confess, after years of watching star trek, i mostly like having a repository of meaningless words on file so i can use them at an odd moment, just to be silly. ;-)

btw re: TBR shelf. hadn't heard of that tolkien book. sounds interesting!

Pandababy said...

I hadn't heard of it either - my husband picked it up last year, forgot to read it, lost it on his bookshelves until last week. You know we have too many books when we lose one before we can read it! But I'm not one to complain - I did the same thing with "Lady of the Light", which I found last week and put back on my TBR shelf.

(from the back cover) "A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published... a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before the The Hobbit....published last and posthumously...This second edition features a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien describing his intentions for the book..." edited by his son Christopher Tolkien.