July 13th, 2012, 12:31 PM
Campbell's Lost Fleet: Idiocracy or Idiot Plot?
Okay, on recent recommendations in another thread I started reading Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series, starting with Dauntless. Minor spoilers of the first 20 or so pages.
The main character Captain "Black Jack" Geary, was lost, floating around in a cryo pod for 100-years while a space war raged on. He is found, woken up, and something of a legend has grown up around him. Turns out, he's now the galaxy's best tactician... because everyone else grew incredibly stupid and careless during the intervening century.
Best early example, the enemy fleet has them cornered and wants to negotiate, explicitly saying "send all, and we mean ALL, your flag officers over to our flagship to negotiate terms of surrender." And they buy it. The complete morons send over every single flag officer and guess what happens... they're all executed on the spot, which is somehow a complete and total surprise, until someone remembers that the enemy is a soulless, bloodthirsty, ruthless as hell, nightmare of an opponent. But they only remember that after the fact.
Which puts Geary in charge of the entire fleet. In the first 20 or so pages of the novel. I'm really torn here. I can't quite decide if this is the plot to Idiocracy, or an Idiot Plot.
July 13th, 2012, 02:02 PM
Live Long & Suffer
July 13th, 2012, 03:06 PM
I read the first one of the series, Dauntless, and I would probably describe it as average. It's a fast read - not too long and not very complex, but if you try to pay too much attention to it you'll probably get irritated and throw it aside. As a distraction it's not that bad (I've read much worse), but certainly not the type of book to bury yourself in.
I may look at the rest of the series if I see them in a second-hand shop, but I'm not interested enough to pay for new (either in paper or digital form).
In terms of the original question, I'm not sure it's either of them when discussing individuals, as a number of the characters are capable of basic tactics once instructed. However, if you stretch it to cover institutional idiocy within the military organisation, then I would say Idiocracy (from the descriptions in the links given - I'd never heard of it before I read that Wikipedia article) is a closer fit, in that someone who does understand something has dropped into a situation where nobody else understands it, and promptly takes a position of superiority.
Last edited by Vandervecken; July 13th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.