David Weber

David Weber's biographical details can be found here.

David Weber is best known, of course, for his Honor Harrington books set in their own universe. They are set approximately two thousand years from now.

As well as standard hyperspace travel, (See here for a definition for Hyperspace) there are also wormholes, (See here for a definition for Wormhole) that act as short-circuits in hyperspace between two normal space locations. The instantaneous nature of such junctions means that solar systems containing them are highly prized localities.

Once such star nation is the Star Kingdom of Manticore, sitting on a terminus that reaches into at least six other systems including the incredibly wealthy Beowulf system that is part of the Solarian League - the most powerful human polity ever.

In theory!

For much of the series Manticore is more-or-less a single system polity - the more being the Basilisk system at the far end of one of those wormhole jumps. This strategic positioning has allowed Manticore to develop a high tech, high standard society and the ability to develop a navy that can defend its interests.

But along with such things comes the envy of those powers that were not so lucky for whatever reason. The People's Republic of Haven for one. Once as strong as Manticore economically, it opted to split the results of it's wealth building industries amongst the population, even those unwilling or unable to work. The result a few decades later is a moribund economy that can only survive by preying on those nations surrounding it. This is a process once started that can not be easily halted - the Masses must have their Basic Living Stipend or else! And 'or else' could be very nasty for those currently at the top of the pile. However, all the easy targets have gone, swallowed up by the Havenite Navy. All that are left are the dregs that no one, not even Haven, would want to attack.

And Manticore. A powerful Manticore sitting behind a screen of warships technologically the equal even of the Solarian League. However, the People's Navy has become the master of the sneak attack and it is by this method that they hope to deal with the Manticoran Navy.

The books cover the career of Honor Harrington, RMN, from command of one of the Navy's coveted frigates all the way up the command chain. The background initially covered the Havenite attempts to militarily overpower the forces of the Manticoran Alliance but as the series continues, a deeper, darker, secret is revealed...

There are currently various paperback and hardback offerings in the series plus a number of short story collections.

In order of publication and internal series chronology they are

On Basilisk Station - Honor's first deep space command.

The Honor of the Queen - Honor commands a joint Military/Diplomatic mission.

The Short Victorious War - The People's Republic of Haven think that Manticore will be an easy target

Field of Dishonor - Honor's enemies at home manage to hurt her worse than the Peeps had on the battlefield.

Flag in Exile - Honor is exiled to Grayson...

Honor Amongst Enemies - Honor is back in Manticoran uniform with command of a Q-ship fleet

In Enemy Hands - The Peeps manage to take Honor prisoner.

Echoes of Honor - Honor's peoples had thought she was dead, but there was still a war to be fought.

Ashes of Victory - The Manticorans found themselves with an overwhelming victory against the Peeps, but there are other enemies.

War of Honor - Manticore and the Republic of Haven try to manoeuvre for best advantage in the peace negotiations.

Set approximately as the same time as 'War of Honor' is Crown of Slaves. This book takes a look at Manticoran society and that of some of her allies. Co-authored with Eric Flint

At All Costs - The war's restarted and things don't look too rosy for the Manticoran Alliance

Another non-Honor book set in the same universe, is The Shadow of Saganami. This follows the adventures of a group of midshipmen and women as they undertake their first active service cruise. It is set roughly at the same time as 'At All Costs - mention is made of events in this book in the other.

Storm from the Shadows - This story overlaps 'At All Costs' and continues the story arc started in 'The Shadow of Saganami'.

Co-authored with Eric Flint, Torch of Freedom continues the story of Torch, the planet of freed genetic slaves introduced in 'Crown of Slaves' and forms a loosely coupled series to the main set of books

Mission of Honor - this novel continues the main story arc with Honor and the main forces of Manticore and its allied powers as they face up to what appear to be their main enemies...

A Rising Thunder - The fighting between Haven and Manticore may be over but the real war's only just begun!

In Shadow of Freedom, Mike Henke has just handed the Solarian League its biggest defeat in its history and the oppressed worlds of the Rim are beginning to wok out that their overlords may not be as unbeatable as they'd appeared...

Cauldron of Ghosts continues the story of Anton and Victor as they investigate Mesa's involvement with the murky politics that underly the rest of the Honorverse.

Leading up to the events in 'Cauldron of Ghosts', 'Shadow of Victory' covers a number of Verge planets as they plot sessesion from the 'benevolent' overlordship of the Office of Frontier Security and the Manticoran 10th Fleet as it aids the security of the newly absorbed Talbott Quadrant.

Outside the normal Honor Harrington arc is A Beautiful Friendship which tells the tale of Honor's ancestress, Stephanie, the first human to meet a treecat. This is the start of a new young adult series taking us back to the early days of colonisation of Sphinx.

Also included in this arc is Fire Season, continuing Stephanie's story as knowledge of the treecats spreads throughout the galaxy

If there is anything that 'mars' these books (imho of course :-)) it is the final huge battle that usually bring them to a climax. This is a 'limitation' of the genre of course - Space Opera is supposed to have lots of big bangs but Honor and her world has taken on a depth that is unusual within the sub genre.

I can heartily recommend any of these books to anyone who is looking for both Big Bangs and a decent examination of the political situation (for Science Fiction anyway!). The characters aren't bad either!


The above books can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

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