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In the not so distant future, the invention of gravity drive engines allows humans to leave Earth easily and cheaply. This quick, chaotic expansion causes the devastating FFBB war and ends in a shift in power away from Earth. After the war, many thought they had won their freedom, but soon find that they had just traded their governments for new corporate masters. Now, with a new invention, things are about to change once again. This new power could reestablish Earth's dominance, give the corporations ultimate power, or free all of humanity, forever.
Captain Atticus Elliot has no idea what he's gotten himself and his crew into, but they soon find they hold the key to humanity's future in their hands, if only they can survive.
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More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Ringship Discretion. Oct 30, Anjie Kendall rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi. Firefly with some romance for good measure. Great space tale. Jan 07, Daniel Browning rated it really liked it.
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Full disclosure: The author is a friend of mine, but I do try not to let that color my review. I was going to read the first few chapters of Ringship Discretion, but I got hooked and stayed up half the night to finish it. It was a little hard to get into at first, probably because I'm used to reading multi-million-copy best-sellers, which have armies of editors and full-time lifelong professional writers. This book is not quite up to the same caliber, but the distinction was lost on m Full disclosure: The author is a friend of mine, but I do try not to let that color my review.
This book is not quite up to the same caliber, but the distinction was lost on me as soon as the action really heated up and the characters came alive and I started to really get to know them. The best and most unique element of this story is the way that real science "hard" sci-fi is utilized as central elements of the plot and action, including space ship deceleration, communication, space weapons, depressurization, and much more.
This is not a book that insults your intelligence with constant hand-wavey explanations and disregard for all the laws of physics.
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Instead, it bases as much as possible on real science, but without getting into long and boring explanations. And therefore, it rewards you if you know the background science already. That makes it even easier to suspend disbelief and the story all the more absorbing. He was now fairly engaged in the brave struggle against consumption, which could have but one end. So precarious already was his health that a change of residence was determined on, and in December, , he went to San Antonio, Texas, in search of a permanent home there, leaving his wife and children meanwhile at Macon.
But the climate did not prove favorable and he returned in April, During these five years a sense of holy obligation, based on the conviction that special talents had been given him, and that the time might be short, rested upon Lanier, until it was impossible to resist it longer. He felt himself called to something other than a country attorney's practice. It was the compulsion of waiting utterance, not yet enfranchised. From Texas he wrote to his wife:. All day my soul hath been cutting swiftly into the great space of the subtle, unspeakable deep, driven by wind after wind of heavenly melody.
The very inner spirit and essence of all wind-songs, bird-songs, passion-songs, folk-songs, country-songs, sex-songs, soul-songs and body-songs hath blown upon me in quick gusts like the breath of passion, and sailed me into a sea of vast dreams, whereof each wave is at once a vision and a melody. Now fully determined to give himself to music and literature so long as he could keep death at bay, he sought a land of books. Taking his flute and his pen for sword and staff, he turned his face northward.
After visiting New York he made his home in Baltimore, December, , under engagement as first flute for the Peabody Symphony Concerts. With his settlement in Baltimore begins a story of as brave and sad a struggle as the history of genius records. His father would have had him return to Macon, and settle down with him in business and share his income, but that would have been the suicide of every duty and ambition. So he wrote from Baltimore to his father, November 29, After doing so I feel sure that Macon is not the place for me. If you could taste the delicious crystalline air, and the champagne breeze that I've just been rushing about in, I am equally sure that in point of climate you would agree with me that my chance for life is ten times as great here as in Macon.
Then, as to business, why should I, nay, how can I, settle myself down to be a third-rate struggling lawyer for the balance of my little life, as long as there is a certainty almost absolute that I can do some other thing so much better?
Several persons, from whose judgment in such matters there can be no appeal, have told me, for instance, that I am the greatest flute-player in the world; and several others, of equally authoritative judgment, have given me an almost equal encouragement to work with my pen. Of course I protest against the necessity which makes me write such things about myself. I only do so because I so appreciate the love and tenderness which prompt you to desire me with you that I will make the fullest explanation possible of my course, out of reciprocal honor and respect for the motives which lead you to think differently from me.
Does it not seem to you as to me, that I begin to have the right to enroll myself among the devotees of these two sublime arts, after having followed them so long and so humbly, and through so much bitterness? What could his father do but yield? And what could he do during the following years of his son's fight for standing-room on the planet but help?
But for that help, generously given by his father and brother, as their ability allowed, at the critical times of utter prostration, the end would not have been long delayed. For the little that was necessary to give his household a humble support it was not easy for the most strenuous young author to win by his pen in the intervals between his hemorrhages.
He asked for very little, only the supply of absolute necessities, what it would be easy for a well man to earn, but what it was very hard for a man to earn scarce able to leave his bed, dependent on the chance income had from poems and articles in magazines that would take them, or from courses of lectures in schools. Often for months together he could do no work. He was driven to Texas, to Florida, to Pennsylvania, to North Carolina, to try to recover health from pine breaths and clover blossoms.
Supported by the implicit faith of one heart, which fully believed in his genius, and was willing to wait if he could only find his opportunity, his courage never failed.
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He still kept before himself first his ideal and his mission, and he longed to live that he might accomplish them. Lanier's was an unknown name, and he would write only in obedience to his own sense of art, and he did not fit his wares to the taste of those who buy verse. It was to comfort his wife, in this period of greatest uncertainty whether he had not erred in launching in the sea of literature, that he wrote again a letter of frankest confession: "I will make to thee a little confession of faith, telling thee, my dearer self, in words, what I do not say to my not-so-dear-self except in more modest feeling.
This—dimly felt while I was doubtful of my own vocation and powers—is clear as the sun to me now that I know , through the fiercest tests of life, that I am in soul, and shall be in life and utterance, a great poet. Richard Wagner is sixty years old and over, and one-half of the most cultivated artists of the most cultivated art-land, quoad music, still think him an absurdity. Says Schumann in one of his letters: 'The publishers will not listen to me for a moment'; and dost thou not remember Schubert, and Richter, and John Keats, and a sweet host more? Of course I have my keen sorrows, momentarily more keen than I would like any one to know; but I thank God that in a knowledge of Him and of myself which cometh to me daily in fresh revelations, I have a steadfast firmament of blue, in which all clouds soon dissolve.
I have wanted to say this several times of late, but it is not easy to bring one's self to talk so of one's self, even to one's dearer self. Having now given sacredly to art what vital forces his will could command, he devoted himself, with an intense energy, to the study of English literature, making himself a master of Anglo-Saxon and early English texts, and pursuing the study down to our own times.
He read freely, also, and with a scholar's nice eagerness, in further fields of study, but all with a view to gathering the stores which a full man might draw from in the practice of poetic art; for he had that large compass which sees and seeks truths in various excursions, and no field of history, or philology, or philosophy, or science found him unsympathetic. The opportunity for these studies opened a new era in his development, while we begin to find a crystallization of that theory of formal verse which he adopted, and a growing power to master it.
But from this time the struggle against his fatal disease was conscious and constant. In May, , he visited Florida under an engagement to write a book for distribution by a railroad company. Two months of the summer were spent with his family at Sunnyside, Ga. This poem, published in Lippincott's Magazine , was much copied, and made him known to many admirers. No one of these was of so much value to him as Bayard Taylor, at whose suggestion he was chosen to write the cantata for the opening of the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, and with whom he carried on a correspondence so long as Mr.
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Taylor lived. To Mr. Taylor he owed introductions of value to other writers, and for his sympathy and aid his letters prove that he felt very grateful. In his first letter to Mr. Taylor, written August 7, , he says:. Perhaps you know that, with us of the younger generation in the South since the war, pretty much the whole of life has been merely not dying. The selection of Mr. It was written by a musician to go with music under the new relations of poetry to music brought about by the great modern development of the orchestra, and was not to be judged without its orchestral accompaniment.
The criticism it received pained our poet, but did not at all affect his faith in his theories of art. To his father he wrote from New York, May 8, That principle is, that the artist shall put forth, humbly and lovingly, and without bitterness against opposition, the very best and highest that is within him, utterly regardless of contemporary criticism.
Since first coming to the North in September, , Mr. Lanier had been separated from his family.
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