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On Basilisk Station by David Weber

On Basilisk Station (original 1993; edition 1998)

by David Weber

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,782762,106 (3.98)141
Title:On Basilisk Station
Authors:David Weber
Info:London : Earthlight, 2000, c1998.
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

On Basilisk Station by David Weber (1993)

  1. 60
    The Honor of the Queen by David Weber (theapparatus)
    theapparatus: Next book in the series
  2. 40
    Captain Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester (miniwark)
    miniwark: To compare with the original
  3. 30
    Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (ktoonen)
  4. 20
    The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald (SunnySD)
  5. 20
    With the Lightnings by David Drake (ktoonen)
  6. 20
    Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff (ktoonen)
  7. 20
    The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For arguably unusual persons in command.
  8. 10
    Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For starship captains cutting through political crap.
  9. 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
  10. 00
    One Jump Ahead by Mark L. Van Name (ktoonen)
  11. 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.
  12. 12
    A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo (ElementalDragon)
  13. 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.
  14. 01
    The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell (Dragget)
    Dragget: There are some differences, but both of these are good military SF. Tarnished Knight focuses more on the rulers as main characters while On Basilisk Station is about a ship commander implementing her government's policies. Both, however, focus the main characters' problem-solving and follow them as they rise to various military and diplomatic challenges.… (more)
  15. 02
    Kris Longknife: Mutineer by Mike Shepherd (ktoonen, binarydude)

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» See also 141 mentions

English (70)  French (4)  Swedish (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Honor's hit bottom -- and there's nowhere to go but up. The best of the epic space battles to the death, Honor's an officer we'd all love to follow.

There's a part of me that feels like On Basilisk Station is the utter best out of the entire Honorverse series, and that may be because I adore when a good universe is set up and worked within. I love the Honorverse, the death rides, the fantastic crews...but On Basilisk Station has it all: Honor overcoming terrible odds, somehow making everything work out by the skin of her teeth. I think it's the purest of the bunch, and I LOVE it.

I'm plowing on with the series. Again. I'd kind of vowed to not re-read this for a while until I'd gotten a few more books off my to-read list, which has reached a length that would take me years to catch up with. But here I am, reading it again, because my father let a tidbit from one of the new books drop. Wish me luck.
( )
  lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
A military SF book with Weber at his best. A novelette and several short stories in "True Bolo" tradition with a wistful but appropriate ending. For the real Bolo buffs, there is an appendix that shows its evolution from a smart battle tank to a truly autonomous, with very humanistic characteristics, battle wagon on tracks. ( )
  jamespurcell | Sep 21, 2015 |
Flawed, but entertaining.

Honor Harrington, newly-promoted Captain in the Queen’s Royal Manticoran Navy, has taken command of her first space cruiser, Fearless, and she is elated. She's worked for this moment for years. Unfortunately, an enemy has seen to it that she and her ship is deployed to Basilisk Station and its planet, Medusa, a low-status assignment that basically entails acting as customs agents. Morale is low. Morale creeps lower when the higher ranking officer in the system, Admiral Young, takes his ship home for refitting, leaving Honor and her ship alone to police the entire system with their light cruiser that has been retrofitted and had armaments taken from it. The worst part is the neighboring system of Haven is planning on invading Manticore and taking over Medusa by way of the wormhole junction terminus at Basilisk Station. It's enough to make one pull one's hair out!

This is a pretty good sci fi novel. There are aliens, on Medusa, fights between spaceships, political goings on, battles between Marines and aliens, spies, plots, etc. Through it all, Honor keeps her cool and does everything perfectly. And that's one of my problems with the book. She's too perfect. One could not be any more perfect than she is. She knows the exact right things to say at the exact right times and the exact right things to do at the exact right times and she toys with the lives of her crew, which costs the lives of over 100 of her crew members, by playing guessing games with a Haven warship captain, assuming he'll do this and do that, which of course he does. And so she defeats him, at great cost to herself and her crew. She has a temper too, but only once does she display it and it's in private, after her parents have been threatened by the richest tyrant in the system. Another thing that bugged me about this novel was her exec. He resented Honor, but Weber beat this to freakin' death! They didn't develop the right relationship. There wasn't mutual trust. He wasn't working with her. What was wrong with him? Why didn't he meet her halfway? OMG. Over and over again. I wanted to kill the guy, or Honor, or both. And you knew he would come around and they would become best buds, which is exactly what happened halfway through the book. Duh! Weber, come on! And then there were the long, drawn out discussions of technical details, which I could have done without, and so could tons of other people if you go by the other reviews out there. One occurred during a tense action scene. An eight page discussion of FTL travel interrupted this action sequence at the most inopportune time and you just have to wonder what the hell the author was thinking when he wrote that. Oh well.

Even with all of my bitching, I enjoyed the book. There was a lot of mystery, a lot of intrigue, a lot of action, and it was nice to see a primary female SF protagonist who was in command because of her brains, not because she was hot. The inner monologue was sometimes overlong, but it was also good to see Honor step through her options as she thought through things. And of course, she saved Manticore from Haven and was rewarded for it, so that was a nice ending. This is the first book in a series and I'll probably read more. I have one other book in it, although it's not the next one. I'd like to read the next one next, so maybe I'll just go ahead and get that. If you like good, entertaining sci fi, I'd say I'd have to recommend this one. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 14, 2015 |
The first novel in David Weber's Honor Harrington series, On Basilisk Station, follows Commander Honor Harrington and Her Majesty’s light cruiser Fearless during their assignment to the Basilisk system. Though Basilisk Station and the planet of Medusa have become a dumping ground for misfits and rejects from her home star system of Manticore, Honor is determined to discharge her duty regardless of the circumstances.

The story follows Honor and her crew as they deal with the responsibilities of their assignment. When their duty leads them to discover events that would lead to an invasion of Medusa, they have no choice but to act.
I was impressed with the details presented in this novel, although doing so made the first hundred or so pages slow-going. The action picks up as Commander Harrington demonstrates her skill and courage, first improving the organization of the station post and then preparing for more serious action against what turns out to be an attempted invasion of the planet Medusa.

The obvious intelligence of Commander Harrington made her both plausible and likable as a heroine. She has a remarkable way of instilling confidence in her followers - leading by example. The long introduction provided a good foundation for the later action. There are political maneuverings, tactics, battle strategies, fight scenes, and chase scenes which by the last section of the novel could be described a spectacular. This is a bold space opera that delivers both setting and story in fine fashion. ( )
  jwhenderson | Feb 15, 2015 |
On Basilisk Station is a space opera type story about Honor Harrington, a military officer who’s given command of a star ship – the Fearless. Unfortunately, she’s then sent to Basilisk Station, the politically controversial spot in the back of nowhere. To quote from the back blurb:

“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 with an armament that doesn’t work to police the entire star system.”

The best thing about On Basilisk Station? Honor Harrington. She’s an admirable protagonist – smart, competent, and brave. However, the book she’s in isn’t nearly so good.

Besides Harrington, none of the characters were very developed. The vast majority lacked personalities or any sort of personal drive. There were also way too many of them, and I had trouble figuring out who everyone was. When characters started dying, I didn’t care because I barely knew who they were.

The book also jumped around too much and would have benefited from a tighter focus. We got the viewpoint of way too many characters, most of them indistinguishable.

The pacing was uneven. It picked up at the beginning and somewhere near the end, but slowed to a wrenching halt during the middle section. In part, this was due to the large number of infodumps and science fiction techno babble. It even interrupted the middle of the climax with an infodump on the mechanics of space travel, which was largely unnecessary.

As a result, On Basilisk Station was rather dull. I won’t be reading the sequel, and I would not recommend it.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
1 vote pwaites | Dec 30, 2014 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:36 -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)

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