Latest blog post: An unforseen hiatus. (2023-01-02)
"But primitives should be shooting bows sand arrows, not interceptor missiles."
They definitely had a far more peaceful ascent to the stars than humanity. Bows and arrows in an age of mass radio traffic? Seems illogical, unless for some reason they completely skipped over the era, or it was so far in the past that they have simply forgotten, lost in the cracks of the taught history.
But having caught up, I'm real impressed by what I've seen, and will be sticking with this. I look forward to more.
What actually is the Alliance's bright line for primitive vs non-primitive? I mean, we're in the space age. I think the original Prime Directive in Star Trek specified FTL capability, but honestly that always seemed pretty stupid to me. Or maybe not so much stupid as cynical, like they only call you civilized if you can come and threaten them.
Starfaring civilizations that do have such directives or standing guidelines, vary. The Deathworlders had the line at FTL, then shifted to knowledge and understanding of calculus. Others draw the line at advanced communication systems, or seemingly arbitrary points in time.
But drawing the line at vaguely "can strike at us" isn't a bad one either, if you want a measure of if they are roughly on par with your civilization. It could perhaps be argued as practical.
It's actually very blurred and case by case. Laymarans were contacted when they looked like medieval savages for example (But they actually were in indefinite post-apocalypse state, so it's complicated). The cut-off after which no questions asked is the interplanetary andor interstellar manned flight phase.
Probably a memory. Reentry is a bit simpler along an equatorial trajectory, since that way the planet's rotation is along the same axis as the ship's movement. Meanwhile, all else being equal, the pilot would align the ship so that the planet is below the ship's horizon, for both practical and instinctive reasons. So, someone aboard the ship would most likely remember seeing the planet with either the eastern or western limb at the top.
...Then again, page 52 shows the ship going east to west and so that line of reasoning would have the planet lying on its other side, so take what I say with a grain of salt.