Manticore News Bureau

“All the News That’s Fit to Transmit!”


In space, no one will miss your cool symbol. (Courtesy of Dave Cleric)


For the Sword, the Keys, and the Internet

2014.03.05 CE / 345.18.23 AL (MNB) – TRMN is constantly growing, but despite all the new chapters popping up, chances are that you may live in a place where there’s no ship to join. Thankfully, in the 1st Century Ante Diaspora, there is the Grayson Space Navy. Despite its obvious attraction in the Honor Harrington series, the GSN functions as a home for all those spacers who are either geographically or time restricted to participate in a real-space chapter. The Graysons have also expanded to represent many of the European members, proving to be an essential branch of our association’s expansion.

To find out more about the appeal of the GSN, why not ask some? “I believed that few people would join as Grayson's and they should be represented,” said Captain Martyn Griffiths, GNS Albion (DD-42). “Their way of life reminded me of growing up in Wales in the 60's.” When asked to expound, he said that the Welsh, like the Graysons with baseball, were “hanging around between Church and Chapel and the[ir] second religion… Rugby.”

Naturally, the GSN appeals a lot to those who are too far away to meet. “Meetings just were not going to be able to happen for me,” explained Captain Chris Fells of the GNS Covington. “I would be working or they would be held too early for me and I would be asleep. This meant I needed to either find or create a Correspondence Chapter for me to belong to.” Griffiths understands that sentiment. “The ship cover[s] the whole of the UK with members scattered here and the up and down the country.” 

However, there are challenges that a RMN captain doesn’t have to face that a Grayson skipper does. As Fells organized his ship, he noticed that “the biggest challenge for correspondence chapters is the focus of TRMN overall on meeting chapters. Almost all of the documentation available has been geared towards them.” Once you hurdle that obstacle “the main challenge is to get people to correspond,” Griffiths explained. “There are not too many fans over here in the UK.  Activities are hard to organize.” The physical distance is not the only challenge. Much like many of our members, “a number of crew are unable to travel for what has become an annual meeting due to work or family commitments while a few are unwaged and are unable to afford it.” Fells agreed, explaining that “since we are virtual chapters and we do not get to cons, meetings, and the like very often in an organized presence, recruitment in the standard fashions is nigh impossible.”

What is the key to the Grayson’s success?

Despite the challenges, these chapters are quite active. “We are very heavy into roleplaying in the Honorverse aboard the Covington. Every crew member is expected to come up with a back story and is also required to take certain exams.” Fells announced.  Like many groups, Griffiths says that “activity [often involves] posting on FB either in ship group, which is for crew only, or in one of the other groups.” However, the GSN tries to reach out in real-life. “We heavily encourage participation with RMN meeting chapters and their events as much as possible for those of the crew in areas where other chapters are active.” Fells answered.  “We also help a multitude of charities and educational nonprofits in whatever ways we can. While we cannot do as concerted an effort as [RMN] chapters, we can help out in other small ways and every bit is needed.”  When possible, real-life meetings are encouraged. “The ship has held a birthday bash the last 2 years in Coventry as it's central and easy to get to in order to give crew a chance to meet and socialize.”

As a result, the expansion of the Graysons is incredible. In Britain, Griffiths explained “We have recently launched a new chapter GNS Mercy here and have plans for a third DD and the UK's first meeting chapter.”  In just over a month, Fells managed to get enough members together to create a CLAC. “Currently the GSN makes up about ten percent of the entire TRMN,” Chris discovered. “Considering the overall advantages of being in a correspondence chapter I… think this number [will be] over fifty percent!”

Sorry, dogs aren’t allowed on GSN ships. Treecats, however, are all over the navy.


Article Copyright © 2014, Bureau of Communications, The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.
MCPO Marcus Johnston, RMN – Acting Director, Manticore News Bureau. All pictures used with permission or used in a way that qualifies as fair use under US copyright law.