Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

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madd0ct0r
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Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-06-22 06:28am

Anyone else here been a follower of Schlock Mercenary?

It is hands down, my favorite depiction of hard sci-fi, since it does so without being pofaced or milwank. For the uninitiated, it's a webcomic, updating daily for decades now. So it's a steady stream of gags, snark and comebacks, set in a pretty well realised universe.

Science is fairly rigorous, although artificial gravity and terraports are core to the setting, energy demands are explained, met and sometimes cheated by devious engineering. It's also the source of the seventy maxims of maximally effective mercenaries, which I consider a useful guide to business management.
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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-22 07:46am

I KNOW, RIGHT!?

Personally, I consider Schlock Mercenary to be soft SF in that it relies on several technologies that really, REALLY lean hard on physics as we know it, like easy antimatter containment and casual gravity manipulation up to and beyond the "compress matter into neutronium" level.

I guess it depends on whether your definition of "hard SF" is...

1) SF that uses only future technologies that we can reasonably foresee for most applications, except maybe one or two specialty things like an FTL jump drive to enable hard SF ships to travel between the stars, or...

2) SF where the setting and its technology are designed with a realistic science/technology outlook, where they are treated the way technology is treated, rather than being viewed and discussed in more of a magical way.

They key hallmark of how Schlock passes (2), at least in my assessment, is that instead of having a zillion different 'soft' technologies, they have a relatively limited number of things with a wide variety of applications. Sort of like how in real life, most of the technology we have that would amaze someone from past generations is the result of a handful of very specific 'killer app' inventions like "electricity" or "the microchip." In Schlock Mercenary the killer apps are "nanites with high processing power and capability" and "very sophisticated/powerful gravity manipulation."
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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-06-23 08:30pm

I have my Annotated Copy of the Maxims, thank you :)

Been reading since Petey was a spaceship.
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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Q99 » 2018-06-24 02:12am

It is so much better than most MilSif. It even has good politics once things get going- stuff like 'how do goverments react to immortality tech?'.

As for hard or not, it follows the classic definition of hard, but not the 'diamond hard' of 'foreseeable real stuff only'.

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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Reaver225 » 2018-06-25 05:13am

Schlock Mercenary is one of the higher end webcomics that consistently come out daily - for ten years in a row, barring the time the server farm it was housed on blew up and it took several more hours to migrate to a new place.

One particularly fun thing in its ground combat is often the troops on both sides are carrying around sources of power that do indeed compress matter into neutronium, and the results of this is if you shoot the enemy too hard in the power source, everything in the room will die (unless it's a room bigger than a football pitch). Meaning there's a reason that overwhelming force multipliers aren't always used to simply end the enemy.

I particularly like the extra world materials such as the RPG books and The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries which has impressively useful life lessons in it.

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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Q99 » 2018-06-25 07:17am

Reaver225 wrote:
2018-06-25 05:13am
Schlock Mercenary is one of the higher end webcomics that consistently come out daily - for ten years in a row, barring the time the server farm it was housed on blew up and it took several more hours to migrate to a new place.

One particularly fun thing in its ground combat is often the troops on both sides are carrying around sources of power that do indeed compress matter into neutronium, and the results of this is if you shoot the enemy too hard in the power source, everything in the room will die (unless it's a room bigger than a football pitch). Meaning there's a reason that overwhelming force multipliers aren't always used to simply end the enemy.

I particularly like the extra world materials such as the RPG books and The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries which has impressively useful life lessons in it.
Though carrying annie plants that big isn't common for infantry, fortunately- more a combat robot and vehicle thing.

There is a notable difference between neutronium 'evaporating' and being set to detonate, after all!

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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-06-28 10:10am

LadyTevar wrote:
2018-06-23 08:30pm
I have my Annotated Copy of the Maxims, thank you :)

Been reading since Petey was a spaceship.
Were the annotations worth it? I deliberately bought a clean copy, and ended up using it as a birthday present.
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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-06-28 09:26pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-06-28 10:10am
LadyTevar wrote:
2018-06-23 08:30pm
I have my Annotated Copy of the Maxims, thank you :)

Been reading since Petey was a spaceship.
Were the annotations worth it? I deliberately bought a clean copy, and ended up using it as a birthday present.
They're fuckin' hilarious. According to the Annotations, the book was given to General Tagon (the father) when he was a boot Lt. He wrote commentary on the maxims as he advanced in rank. Then he gave it to Capn Tagon (his son). Capn Tagon adds more commentary, including a few places he agrees with his dad. Next it went to the ex-cop who joined them, forget her name. Not Foxworthy. Either way, she added her own commentary to the Tagons, with her own experiences on the echos. Then Schlock gets hold of it and a green marker......
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"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Marko Dash » 2018-06-29 09:51am

i check in on it every once in a while. i started around the diamond beetle bit, but began to lose interest around the start of Massively Parallel.
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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by Q99 » 2018-06-30 11:38am

MP is about when the book sized arcs became the norm.

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Re: Capn Tagon is the best space fighting monkey in the galaxy

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-06-30 12:24pm

Reaver225 wrote:
2018-06-25 05:13am

I particularly like the extra world materials such as the RPG books and The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries which has impressively useful life lessons in it.
Such as "there is no overkill. There is only 'open fire,' and 'I need to reload.'"
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