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Weber/Baen Swag!
Weber/Baen Swag!

Upon her graduation from the Royal Matincoran Naval Academy, Honor Harrington is given command of the HMS Fearless. In her first combat simulation, Honor demonstrates exceptional tactical prowess in leading the Fearless and its crew to a most unlikely victory, earning her the ire of rivals who make it a point to deal her a series of defeats so devastating that her humiliated Admiral banishes Honor and her ship to Basilisk Station, a distant outpost on the edge of Manticoran-controlled space. There, she is reunited with Captain Lord Pavel Young, a petty and opportunistic rival who once tried to assault her back at the academy. Seeing an opportunity for revenge, Young immediately hands her command of Basilisk Station and takes his ship back to Manticore for a refit, leaving her holding the proverbial bag. And, in this case, the bag includes: smugglers, a burgeoning native insurrection on the only habitable planet in the region, and the expansionist star nation of Haven.

Despite the bleak circumstances, Honor whips the station into shape, coming down on the black market trade with such force and winning such initial success that even the top brass back home take note, much to Young’s embarrassment. Through her strength of character and by-the-book adherence to military conduct, she whips Basilisk Station into shape, earning the respect of her crew and personnel. But the machinations of the Haven Empire and the increasingly volatile situation on the planet Medusa may prove to be her undoing…

To be honest, the idea of military SF has always intrigued me but, like space opera, I’ve yet to find a book series that has truly held much promise. Until now. On Basilisk Station offers up a compelling and meticulously detailed introduction to “The Honorverse” – its political complexities, its plausible technologies, and, chiefest of all, its engaging characters lead by the remarkable Honor Harrington. It’s the jumping off point to a series that is smartly written with echoes of classic literature and contemporary global events.

Author David Weber presents us with a universe possessed of a rich history and social structure, peopled with players – political, military, and adversarial – with varying, often intriguingly contradictory, agendas. His treatment of future tech offers a welcome middle-ground between the mindless blasters and fighters of most commercial science fiction and the near-unfathomable mechanics of much Hard SF. But where Weber truly excels is in his gripping account of the various space skirmishes, providing not only gobs of the requisite action and adventure, but authenticity through its exploration of the strategies and tactical decisions made in the heat of battle.

And, of course, special mention should be made of our protagonist, Honor Harrington, a self-effacing but tough-as-nails commander who, with the help of her telepathic treecat Nimitz, negotiates minefields on a personal and professional level. She isn’t perfect (like me, math is one of her few faults) and demonstrates a bit of a stubborn streak but, when the chips are down, she is the person you want leading you into battle.

I enjoyed this book although I will admit to occasionally getting lost in the details, particularly in those first one hundred pages. Overall, however, a lot of fun and terrific start to what looks to be a very promising series.

So, what did everyone else think? Start posting your thoughts and questions for David Weber. All participants will have a shot at winning one of two Baen tote bags containing ALL of the Honor Harrington books in addition to a Storm from the Shadows galley.

Check out a take from the finale scene of the series finale:

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Shawna
Shawna

Aw, dang. Kinda wish we’d gotten that link for the online book earlier. I don’t read all that fast. One of these days, Joe, I’m actually going to join in on one of these BOTMC discussions.

As far as the finale, the major question I had at the end was whether or not the Stargate program would finally be revealed. I thought it was definite, until they mentioned that the city was cloaked. Still, with it going into movies now and the new series taking place in something other than the here and now of Earth, it seems like it may soon be time for the secret to come out. It certainly needs to happen at some point. On the other hand, if/when that happens, that would pretty dramatically change the overall story, and I wonder if it wouldn’t necessarily then become more futuristic and less grounded. I don’t know.

Otherwise, the rest of my questions are pretty much “what’s gonna happen?” and I’m fairly sure I just have to wait and see.

Oh, wait, here’s one for the writer (though it’s probably already been asked): Why did you decide to (temporarily) kill Ronon, and will that event have any repercussions later (for Ronon and the others, or even just in terms of them having more knowledge of/experience with the life-giving ability of the wraith)?

Morjana

Aw…loved the hug. Thank you, Joe! smile

Belouchi
Belouchi

Dear joe,

Well buddy great 5 seasons of SGA and I’m impatiently looking forward for the SGA movie. I hope you guys deliver the same quality in story telling as you did in the series. A question please:

1. How many ZPMS are within our possesion? ( 3 in Atlantis, one in the Odyssey, Does that seem right)

2. Was the Zpm that was given to power the ancient chair of Antartica or might I say Area 51 destroyed along with the chair?

3. Are the ZPMs powering Atlantis nearly depleted?

Thanks buddy…. I would really love it if you get a chance to answer these questions.

tinypenny

I loved this book! I have read all of the Horatio Hornblower novels and found similarities between the series (but in a good way). I enjoy reading stories where the main character is a strong female and admits to having faults (no one is perfect). Thanks for recommending such a great story! I have a question for you, Joe…Are you planning on reading more of the series? I also have a few questions for David Weber…How were you able to keep the battles straight in your head? Did you have models or drawings so you could remember where each ship was during the events? How did you research the specifics of the ships?

Trish (aka whovian)

Hey Joe,

That is very cool swag! I wish I had had time to read the book. Good luck to all the BOTMC readers!

@DeniB: So I dunno what’s worse… your daughter’s unfortunate encounter with your pup or MY unfortunate encounter with my pup.

Here’s the story (I did tell this once before on here but hey… I feel it’s pertinent): Jeremy (my husband) and I had been away for over a week. Our LONGEST trip away ever. And at the time, Sebastian was home by himself. My mom had our daughter, Allie, and would bring her over during the day to spend time with Sebastian. Sebastian was never a *licker*. Never in his life. He loved to sniff ears. (it’s important to the story. just wait!) So we come home from our trip and our 120 pound bundle of fluffy white fur is so happy to see us. I bend down to let Sebastian sniff my ear and greet him. I say, “HIIIII!!!” All wide mouthed. And Sebastian picked THAT moment, his ONE and only, to be a licker. He frenched me so bad. Oh lord! He actually chocked me. I swear his tongue was down past my tonsils. It was DISGUSTING! I can still gag if I think about it too much. :X Soooo gross. So so gross.

*shudder*

Jeremy came into the living room to find me gagging and choking and spitting like mad. He thought Sebastian had bitten me or something. It must have been a good five minutes before I could even talk about it. And when I finally told Jeremy he laughed so hard that he cried. And he wouldn’t kiss me that night, either.

Nice.

I do wonder if your daughter was saved by dog vomit. Ha ha! Weirder things have happened. Thanks for sharing that story, though. I feel *tad* bit better knowing I’m not the only one to have a dog stick something DISGUSTING in her mouth. grin

@Das: You have all kitties, right? My dogs have ALWAYS gone for the rugs instead of the wood floor or tile. It’s like they aim for the rug at all costs. What’s that about?

Karen
Karen

Ok one more time, is SGA really canceled? I’m still in the denial part of grieving. It truly is a loss.

Wish I had more time to read some of these books, I enjoy reading your summaries, maybe one day after I graduate. I maybe on Social Security by then, but it’ll happen.

bridjess
bridjess

I only decided to read this book on Sunday, so I haven’t finished it yet (even though there was lots of warning) But so far I think its good. The details of the technology go a bit over my head sometimes, but I enjoy the character interaction.
The fact that the cat is telepathic and connects to only on human reminds me of The Wit in Robin Hobbs Farseer trilogy books. But it was an aspect I always enjoyed in those books and so far have in this.
Anywho, I’ll continue to read it.
I guess my only question for David Weber is – Have you read the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb and if so did you see any connection with the link between human and animal (cat in this case)? Thanks

gollysunshine
gollysunshine

I like that take. You should have printed and used that one. Put it on the DVD set and I’ll buy it.

AV eddy

Ahhhhhhhh….such a cute video! Feel the love!

eddy

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

On Basilisk Station was an instant favorite from the time I first read it. A character driven sci fi novel, it still packed more than enough “hard” sci fi to satisfy any craving for such material. More suprisingly at first, it offered up plausible political machinations and “galactic realities” to make it far more than a simple shoot up the bad guys in space novel. Among the things that I particularly enjoyed. Nimitz, of course, and the premise of treecats. Treecats are just…cool. The physics of the Honorverse also intrigue, with Impeller drives and Warshaski sails, as well as transit points. All of these are presented in lengthy but understandable detail, and the fact that the author bides by the rules of the game, so to speak, makes the book more enjoyable. Then there is the story itself. Presented with imposssible odds, Harrington comes through. Only to suffer repeated ignomious defeat through no fault of her own. Then the posting to Basilisk, and what will end up being only the first of a long string of coincidences that puts her into the thick of the fighting, political and military. Honor’s unrelenting efforts to do her duty and make the best of a poor situation are in the best traditions of naval fiction, such as the Hornblower series. In this book, more than any other, Honor resembles the Forester creation. The quiet self doubt, the willingness to sacrifice self interest for the greater good…. in later books I found myself looking at her more as Nelson than Hornblower(and I am aware Mr. Weber made this exact observation in one of the latest books in the series) I love the loathsome evil of Pavel Young, and the type of aristocracy he represents. No matter how good a political system is, there are always those who eat at its core, and Pavel, while not a central figure in this book, is one such. Finally(and I am cutting this far shorter than I might) I absolutely loved the final space battle. In the face of hopeless odds, not even sure the sacrifice of her own ship and crew are really even needed, Harrington refuses to second guess herself, and does what must be done. The sheer cost to the crews is depicted starkly, and horrifically. On the basis of this one book, I’ve not heisitated to pick up ANY Weber book that I’ve come across, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. As for questions for Mr. Weber. First, could you give us a quick rundown of which books you have scheduled for publication in the next year or so? And which of your series they are a part of? In the Honorverse, might we look forward to a direct military conflict between the Solarian League and Manticore at some point in the future? When you do joint books, are you approached about doing them, or do you seek out other authors? In such cases, how much of the collaboration… Read more »

Bailey
Bailey

Oh how I wish you’d left the Ronon hug in!

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Mr. M, two quick questions about the Enemy at the Gate. One, is the “wormhole drive” derived from the research done in Trinity and McKay and Mrs. Miller? Secondly, is the mention and use of this device in EatG at least in part to establish the existence of this technology in Stargate Universe? Thanks for providing the venue to ask, whether or not you actually elect to do so.

WillySkilly
WillySkilly

Any chance that if Atlantis gets a second movie it would be Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow? I personally thought it was a great idea, possibly the best time travel concept Stargate has come up with.

Dani
Dani

>To be honest, the idea of military SF has always intrigued me but, like space opera, I’ve yet to find a book series that has truly held much promise. Until now.

Joe — have you read either the Jack Campbell Lost Fleet series (http://tinyurl.com/86poer) or John Hemry’s JAG in space series (http://tinyurl.com/94rkjp)?

Both do a good job of landing in “the middle ground” as you called it above between realistic SF and a darn good story.

Thanks for all the work on SGA. I’ve loved the franchise from way back (the box of tissues that Jack tosses through the gate in SG-1), and am one of those casual fans who really appreciate all the hard work the team has put in over the years.

Trish (aka whovian)

Just saw the vid.

Yes, Ronon hug should have been in!

sorrykb
sorrykb

Hi. I’m hoping it’s not too late to ask question of Paul Mullie (and also Joe M) about “Enemy at the Gate”: Did you encounter any resistance from other writers or producers or others to the idea of bringing Atlantis back to Earth?
OK, one more question for Mr. Mullie: What made you finally decide to do a Q&A and subject yourself to the slings and arrows of internet fandom? Are you insane? smile

“Enemy at the Gate” was a great episode to end the series. Not that I wanted it to end, but it went out in style. And it was fun to see so many of the Atlantis and SG1 characters all together in one episode. (Even watching the opening credits was exciting, since I’d carefully avoided any advance fan or network spoilers for this episode.)

Naming the new ship the “General Hammond” was a very nice touch — a good tribute.

– KB

chevron7

Man, I love that take. I wish you’d used that one. That hug was sooo much better than the McKeller one and it was spontaneous. I also love Joe’s reaction after the cut – “Whatever”.

My question to David Weber –

How do you go about creating your own universe? Does it come bit by bit as you write the story or do you sit down and brainstorm it separately?

Cheers, Chev

Deni B.
Deni B.

@Trish (aka whovian): They both sound disgusting, but better you guys than me smile

Joe, the hug, yes, should have been left in! We’re such suckers for these characters.

wolfenm

Awww, that hug was sooo sweet! ^^ Thanks for sharing that, Joe!! <3

GenericWhiteGuy
GenericWhiteGuy

David Weber:
I’ve enjoyed all the books in the Honor Harrington series– thanks for the great entertainment.

In each successive book your space naval battles make use of ever more powerful weapons and tactics. I think you’ve written a logical progression from one advancement to the next, but has it made each book more difficult to contain yourself so you don’t reach a dead end?

An example would be Star Trek. They spent so much time advancing gee-whiz gadgets and ever more powerful weapons that they started to run out of new ideas that could top the old ones. They had to rely on the audience to forget one-off episode tech or have elaborate explanations why the transporter/ communicator/ holodeck/ randomly fluctuating tachyon emitter/ etc. tech didn’t work in this particular situation.

Second question: Do you have a plan for the overall plot of the Honor Harrington series? Is there an eventual end to the story you would like to reach?

Andrew Timson

The first time or two I tried to read On Basilisk Station, I also got caught in those early pages. (Especially the prologue.) I don’t know what it took before it clicked, but in time it did, and I’ve read every book since.(I must say, though, I think that I prefer the Shadow of Saganami spinoff series to the current mainline books; ever since War of Honor or so, the books have been more about politics and less about the people actually fighting the wars. Saganami is a return to that “older” focus, I feel, and I enjoy it.Two questions for Mr. Weber: 1) How far ahead of time are you plotting the overall arc of the series? I know that you also have the Crown of Slaves and Shadow of Saganami series to think of when you’re plotting the next mainline Honor book. But Honor’s definitely undergone changes over the years, and I’m wondering how much of that you had planned on from the get-go.2) Are there any plans for the anthologies to continue? I’m sure they must be a pain in the butt for you to coordinate, but they’ve been able to flesh out some interesting side stories. Admittedly, I don’t know what I would want to see in another (besides more stories from Timothy Zahn and John Ringo)… but even if I did, the lawyers probably wouldn’t want me sharing. smile

Andrew Timson

Ah, bugger. Sorry about the lack of paragraphs.

Special
Special

Question for Mr. Mullie, since it stumped Mr. Gero:

Do the writers ever discuss how the marginalization of Ronon and Teyla contributes to rather horrifying racial and sexual politics of this show?

tm
tm

i have a few questions for david weber is there any authors that inspired you to write? when you where a child did you read a lot of science fiction?

robyriker

(I’m obviously a newbie here… I’ll post my question for David Weber here, instead of elsewhere.)

On Basilisk Station was fantastic! For the last 100 or so pages, I couldn’t put the book down! I am definitely planning on reading the rest of the books in the series! What inspired you to write about a space navy? Did you do any research into naval tactics for the novel? Or naval procedures and protocols? Thanks!