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On Basilisk Station by David Weber
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On Basilisk Station (original 1993; edition 1998)

by David Weber

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2,546None2,355 (3.99)118
Member:humouress
Title:On Basilisk Station
Authors:David Weber
Info:London : Earthlight, 2000, c1998.
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

On Basilisk Station by David Weber (1993)

1 (9) Baen (11) Book 1 (12) David Weber (11) ebook (92) fiction (161) goodreads (12) Harrington (10) honor (11) Honor Harrington (207) Honor Harrington Series (21) Honorverse (50) Kindle (19) military (95) military fiction (9) military sf (120) novel (12) own (17) paperback (29) read (41) science fiction (598) series (34) sf (113) sff (32) space (11) space opera (127) speculative fiction (11) to-read (42) unread (18) war (14)
  1. 60
    The Honor of the Queen by David Weber (theapparatus)
    theapparatus: Next book in the series
  2. 30
    Captain Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester (miniwark)
    miniwark: To compare with the original
  3. 20
    The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald (SunnySD)
  4. 10
    Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (ktoonen)
  5. 10
    With the Lightnings by David Drake (ktoonen)
  6. 10
    Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff (ktoonen)
  7. 00
    One Jump Ahead by Mark L. Van Name (ktoonen)
  8. 11
    The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell (Dragget)
  9. 00
    Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For starship captains cutting through political crap.
  10. 00
    Death's Door - Where Right and Glory Lead by William DeSouza (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: I loved this book - 1st in a series of great sci-fi reading.
  11. 00
    The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For arguably unusual persons in command.
  12. 11
    A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo (ElementalDragon)
  13. 11
    The Fuzzy Papers: Little Fuzzy & Fuzzy Sapiens by H. Beam Piper (DWWilkin)
    DWWilkin: Honor Harrington's first mission is protecting a world where native intelligence also resides
  14. 01
    Kris Longknife: Mutineer by Mike Shepherd (ktoonen)
  15. 01
    Dead Reckoning by Jared Cheney Craig Cheney Jeffery Cheney (ClassicallyMinded)
    ClassicallyMinded: Very fast-paced and exciting. Compelling characters and a well thought out story.
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» See also 118 mentions

English (62)  French (4)  Swedish (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Honor Harrington, newly-promoted Captain in the Queen’s Royal Manticoran Navy, has taken command of her first space cruiser, Fearless. Sadly, she and her crew have been deployed to Basilisk Station, a low-status drudge assignment that mostly involves checking cargoes for contraband. Morale aboard Fearless is low, but things are about to change. Unbeknownst to Manticore, The Republic of Haven, which hopes to better its economy by conquering resource-wealthy planets, plans to invade Manticore by way of the wormhole junction terminus at Basilisk Station. Can Honor and her crew uncover the plot and save Manticore?

David Weber’s On Basilisk Station is classic space opera loaded with lots of exposition about military tactics, weaponry, hyperspace, calculation of acceleration rates, etc., etc. This isn’t my favorite genre of science fiction, but I was hoping that a female protagonist might make it more fun.

Not really. At least, not in this case. Honor Harrington is admirable — she’s smart, proud, loyal, and completely reliable. She doesn’t back down in the face of opposition. She figures out all the stealthy plans of her enemies and she gets the job done. All the bad guys hate her and all the good guys love her (that’s how you can tell if they’re good guys or bad guys). In fact, Honor is so perfect that she’s downright dull. She’s the biggest Mary Sue in space. She hardly even flinches when she has to make the choice between her duty and the lives of her crew.

Honor’s courage and determination work out in the end only because she happens to correctly guess what the bad guys are up to. There’s no mystery for the reader, who knows Haven’s plans, but I was never convinced that Honor made the right judgments based on the facts she had. Her decisions were based on strings of guesses she made under the assumption that she understood the bad guys’ logic. For that reason, I couldn’t respect her cold-hearted commands, or her responses to their consequences.

Perhaps part of my problem was Allyson Johnson’s narration in the audio version (Brilliance Audio). Though she did a good job with most of the characters, her reading of the many expository portions of the text was dull (perhaps it was difficult to make this part interesting!). But my main complaint is that she used a high-pitched lilting voice for Honor. Weber’s text mentions that Honor is a soprano, but the cheery voice was probably unsuitable for the stressful scenes in which Honor has to make her harsh and deadly commands. Her seeming lack of grief, or even of any struggle at all, makes it hard to relate to Honor. It makes it hard to like her. But I think the narrator may have done a disservice to the text, and I’m willing to give Honor another chance (mainly because I already own the next few volumes in the series).

On Basilisk Station would have been a better book if Weber had spent less time explaining space-battle tactics and more time letting us get to know Honor Harrington. She feels cold and severe, but I don’t think this is really Weber’s intention. He just hasn’t let us in yet. I am hoping this improves in future installments and that Honor Harrington will start to feel more real. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Honor Harrington, newly-promoted Captain in the Queen’s Royal Manticoran Navy, has taken command of her first space cruiser, Fearless. Sadly, she and her crew have been deployed to Basilisk Station, a low-status drudge assignment that mostly involves checking cargoes for contraband. Morale aboard Fearless is low, but things are about to change. Unbeknownst to Manticore, The Republic of Haven, which hopes to better its economy by conquering resource-wealthy planets, plans to invade Manticore by way of the wormhole junction terminus at Basilisk Station. Can Honor and her crew uncover the plot and save Manticore?

David Weber’s On Basilisk Station is classic space opera loaded with lots of exposition about military tactics, weaponry, hyperspace, calculation of acceleration rates, etc., etc. This isn’t my favorite genre of science fiction, but I was ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/on-basilisk-station/> ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Really excellent characters...and lots of them! Military space opera at its best. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
I liked it, but it was rather disappointing. The plot/outcome wouldn't have been that predictable, but the author shows villain POVs several times, with them a few steps ahead of the heros, and it made everything that happened next pretty obvious. There's very little characterization/character development for anyone other than the main character, and all the deaths felt very meaningless; I certainly wasn't moved to any emotion whatsoever. I mean, I suppose there isn't much point in developing characters that are only going to be around for one book because they're going to die, but if you're going to try to talk about their deaths in a way that the reader should feel the punch, you have to make them a person first.

Furthermore, the physics blah-blah could have been dumped. Yes, I know there isn't enough hard sci-fi or authors that do their research, but there's a reason for that. People are usually interested in the humans (or sentient beings) in an book. The reasons fact-explaining gets dumped for human drama and development is because that's what people want to read about. If I wanted to hear about the physics behind possible space travel, I'd pick up a textbook, or at the very least, a pop-sci non-fiction book. Though don't get me wrong: that is not really my issue with the book. I'm all for some info-dumps and the author showing their research...provided they don't sacrifice building up the characters for it.

The author does strike a good balance of human stupidity, sleaziness, and corruption, versus decency.

I will probably read the rest of the series. It is good, it just makes me sad because the book could have been really good if the characters were made more real. ( )
  broccolima | Jan 26, 2014 |
This was a hard one to review. The first 250 pages were really hard to get through, but I knew from reading reviews that the book is fantastic and the ending would be great. I give this part of the book 1 star. The final 100 or so pages, however, would be rated 4 stars - it would be a full 5 if it wasn't for a handful of sections of droning, over-the-top detail which broke up otherwise unbeatable action sequences. So, overall, a solid 3 stars. I think that the rest of the books in the series might be more enjoyable since a lot of the explanations have already occurred in this book. ( )
  ScribbleKey | Jan 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Weberprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, AllysonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To C.S. Forester,
With thanks for hours of enjoyment,
years of inspiration,
and a lifetime of admiration.
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The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743435710, Mass Market Paperback)

On Basilisk Station (or "HH1" as it's known to the faithful) is the first installment in David Weber's cult hit Honor Harrington series, which has charmed the socks off schoolgirls and sailors alike. Honor--the heroine of this fast-paced, addictive space opera--is a polished, plucky bulldog of a naval officer, part Horatio Hornblower, part Miles Vorkosigan, part Captain Janeway, and with a razor-clawed telepathic cat thrown over her shoulder for good measure.

The series' kickoff puts a giddy Commander Harrington at the helm of her first serious starship, the HMS Fearless. But her excitement quickly fades--political maneuvering by top brass in the Manticoran navy has left her light cruiser outfitted with a half-baked experimental weapons system. Against all odds (just the way Honor likes it), she still manages a clever coup in tactical war games, a feat that earns her accolades--and enemies. The politicians she's offended banish her to a galactic backwater, Basilisk Station. But that outpost soon proves to be a powder keg, and it's up to Harrington and the Fearless crew to thwart the aggressive plans of the Haven Republic. A perfect mix of military SF and high adventure--if you enjoy your tour, re-up with HH2, The Honor of the Queen. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Having made him look the fool, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her. Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station. The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens. Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is Up To Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser and an armament that doesn't work to police the entire star system.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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