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On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  26,432 ratings  ·  1,200 reviews
Honor Harrington in trouble: 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 i ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 458 pages
Published July 26th 2005 by Baen Books (first published April 1st 1992)
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Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonRevelation Space by Alastair ReynoldsLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Excellent Space Opera
7th out of 312 books — 1,825 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Military Science Fiction
5th out of 582 books — 871 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I feel it necessary to admit a few things before starting this review proper.

1. I have watched the Horatio Hornblower movies that were shown on A&E (you know, back when A&E actually could be called Arts and Entertainment as opposed to Tattoo TV). I liked them. (Okay, I really liked LT. Bush {Paul McGann}, but who didn't? The only thing better was The Hanging Gale when all the McGann brothers were working together). I also saw the Peck movie.

2. I have only read one Hornblower novel. I did
First three Honor Harrington books, in which aforesaid officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy (the space kind) and her – I kid you not – empathically bonded feline animal companion have military adventures. In the first, Honor is sent to a backwater outpost where she stumbles on corruption and thwarts an invasion. In the second, Honor is sent to a backwater system where she battles sexism and thwarts an invasion. In the third, Honor is sent to the front line where she, uh, I’ve got nothing for thi ...more
The Flooze
According to some googling and some calculations (oooo, fractions), I made it through 54% of this book. A search using Amazon's Look Inside feature tells me I got to page 253.


And I still couldn't tell the characters apart.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. I knew who Honor was, and her exec, and...her cat. And maybe one or two others. Weber introduces us to a rather large cast, but he fails to give each personality an individual stamp. I couldn't even describe anyone physically, apart from Honor
Jul 19, 2014 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Scirnce fiction fans; fans of strong heroines
Recommended to Werner by: My Goodreads friend Roger (back in 2004, before Goodreads existed!)
This series opener is one that's been on my radar for a long time, and I'm delighted to have finally read it! Although I'm a science fiction fan, I'm not generally attracted to military SF, which of course this is. But that's mostly because my impression is that much of that sub-genre concentrates heavily on futuristic military hardware, to the neglect of the human element (and I think the human element is what good literature is all about). But that's not a problem here. To be sure, there's fut ...more
Kat  Hooper
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
Aug2011: Reread for the Beyond Reality group & I want to read the 2d book immediately, even though I only read it a few years ago. I love Honor. According to some other sources, she's Horatio Hornblower & Admiral Nelson, just set in a future civilization. (Weber does have a dedication to the former at the start of the book.) He succeeded in creating a wonderful heroine set in a very realistic future society with all the colonization & empire problems of old England.

I think that if yo
There are many faults with On Basilisk Station. I'm not going to deny that. The bit where a tense action scene was interrupted for eight pages of background on the ins and outs of space travel was a particularly egregious one, and David Weber is quite frankly, to judge on this, not that good a writer at all. I also understand people who think Honor is a bit of a "Mary Sue", a bit too perfect. I understand, but I don't agree -- at least not at this stage in the series, though I've read analyses w ...more
Oct 09, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey or Tamora Pierce
Shelves: sci-fi
Supposedly CS Forster set in space, this novel is more Mercedes Lackey. Honor Harrington is the new captain of an old warship. Within a few paragraphs of meeting her we're told she has a psychic connection with her alien cat, is beautiful and looks far younger than her age, graduated top of her class and is oh so much more sensible than any of her commanding officers. From then on, she's the bestest captain ever. All the good characters love and admire her, and all the bad characters hate her fo ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes military science fiction or space operas
This was my first David Weber novel and my introduction to Honor Harrington. And what a ride it was. The only time I had any thought of boredom was whenever the Marines were discussing and planning. Otherwise, I could hardly put the book down. And the climactic chase was heart pounding in intensity, tragedy and triumph.

I will definitely be reading more of this series.
David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
The first book of the Honor Harrington saga may be light on action, but there's still plenty of wonder and intrigue to be found On Basilisk Station!

When Honor Harrington became a Captain in the Royal Manticorian Navy, she never imagined her first assignment would turn out like this! A spoiled senior officer shifts the blame for her own failures onto Honor. As a result, Honor and her crew aboard the light cruiser Fearless have been banished to Basilisk Station, an unpopular dumping ground for s
Honor Harrington is a smart and feisty Commander in the Royal Manticoran Navy. She's just been given her first command, the lightship HMS Fearless. Unfortunately she is a bit too clever in simulated war games and upsets the wrong people and is banished to the backwaters of Basilisk Station. Her crew resent her, the senior officer on the station takes off as soon as she gets there, leaving her in command. She discovers that as well as a lot of unchecked smuggling, there is something else very str ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
If the rest of this novel had been as good as the last third I would probably have given it a 5 star rating. As it is...excellent book and as our friends in the UK might say, smashing climax in the books tie-up.

There were times in this book where my mind wandered off and I had to grab it and drag it back to the subject at hand. Oddly (or maybe not) enough the very thing(s) that caused me to gig the book a star in my rating are probably the same things that will(have) cause(ed) others to rat it a
I actually started this in February, but the first 10% was such hard going (and I was jet-lagged at the time) that I gave up, only trying again after my husband nagged me to do so, having recently inhaled the entire series himself. So for the new reader: take heart, the first 20% is a huge, slow infodump but then it really picks up! (Except for that random space travel history infodump in the building climax, which really should have just gone in the Appendix.)

So *despite* the infodumps, this wa
Jul 16, 2014 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi, military or space opera
Recommended to Katy by: Dmitry Sozaev
Book Info: Genre: Sci-Fi/Military Sci Fi/Space Opera
Reading Level: Adult
Diversity: multicultural, women as leaders
Tense, Person, POV: Past tense, third person, POV varies
Recommended for: fans of sci-fi, military or space opera
Trigger Warnings: violence, attempted and actual murder, historical mention of rape attempt, drug pushing, dueling
Offensive Wording: offensive wording used to label the Medusans; on character calls another “faggot” as an insult

My Thoughts: This is my 3rd time reading this e
3.5 stars. Smart, well-written, well plotted and engaging military science fiction story. The only reason it doesn't rate higher from me is that military SF is not my favorite sub-genre of science fiction. I more partial to world building and "unique" alien cultures and this book (as with most military SF) doesn't address those areas in any significant respect. Still a very good book and a fast read.
I've read this book a couple of times before beginning with a free version from Baen's site. I'm proof that a free book can bring in a great return. After reading this, I went on to buy it in paperback & a dozen more books in the series, including the later ones in hardback plus quite a few of Weber's other books. The "Action Heroine Fans" group
is reading this in February & it's been a while, so I downloaded this from my local library to listen to.
Ed [Redacted]

I am very torn regarding how I should rate this book. On the one hand I did quite enjoy the read. The battle scenes were very well done (if too few) and I do really like the character of Honor Harrington. It is important that you like Harrington because you will be spending a great deal of time in her head.

On the other hand let's be frank, this is not a very well written book. The characters, other than Harrington, are cardboard cut-outs and the plot is moved forward by page after page after pag
Mr. Matt
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. On Basilisk Station is the story of a newly commissioned British captain, Honor Harrington, of a small light Cruiser, the HMS Fearless. Honor and the Fearless are assigned to the worst possible duty in the navy - Basilisk Station - where the Fearless winds up uncovering a plot by the nefarious French. The expedition culminates in a long running stern chase between Fearless and a much stronger French warship.

I kid (but only a little). Insert Manticor
The 17th book just came out so I decided to give this series a shot, if there are 17 books it must be a good series. With reading mostly good reviews I started listening to the book as an audiobook with high expectations, I was quite disappointed. I listened to the first book and halfway through the second and quit.

Simply the writing was boring. I can't stand books that take whole paragraphs to talk about ones feelings, (the first mates jealousy of not being named captain, Honor's thoughts about
I do wish Goodreads allowed more granularity, because I'd peg this as a 3.5 rather than a 3.

Much more favorably impressed by this one than I expected to be. The story keeps its head out of the sand by revealing the intricate balance of economic, diplomatic, and personal factors behind all the space opera. Some of the antagonists are sketched competently and sympathetically; some of the characters on Honor Harrington's side are neither competent nor sympathetic.

The gender parity in this novel is
On Basilisk Station is what seems like a rarity in the world of science fiction: a novel with a female lead by a male author. I am sure there are other examples I am just failing to bring to mind, but I've yet to think of one. That alone, however, would not have gotten this book a 4 star rating.

I liked Honor and her crew. I can't always say that. I enjoyed the world that was created and the story was compelling and at some points terrifying. I was turned off by the author's habit of providing mu
Andrew Obrigewitsch
I decided to try this series out and found that it's not for me, unless it improves later on as some series do.

I listened to the audio book version of this book. And of you enjoy books where almost nothing happens for the first half then this book is for you, if you like books where the author gives 20 minute long info dumps then this book is for you. If you are like me and don't enjoy such things I recommend starting this book at the halfway point, you will only have missed a few pages where a
Sometimes friends keep recommending a book but for the weirdest of reasons you simply don't listen. I mean it might be the fact that I am a dog person and she has a cat on her shoulder in the cover. But once I started reading the book I enjoyed Honor as a great character and as the heroine in the story.
Honor Harrington is a Commander in the Royal Manticoran Navy assigned to H.M.S. Fearless as a new Captain. To her surprise her Light-Cruiser is being retrofitted with a set of test weapons that r
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Couldn't get past the psychic cat thing. Felt like fan fiction. Tried three different times but just was bad bad bad.
Gary Foss
Had to put this one down, so I'm not going to give it a rating. It's just not my cup of tea. Certain things were amusing: the "udpate" of idioms and such-like into a sci-fi setting. However, overall, I found the characters trite, superficial and downright juvenile. The dialogue is hamfisted and over-wrought. Around the fourth or fifth "Oh, perhaps you didn't know that my parents were doctors..." or "Oh, perhaps you didn't know that the major here used to be a marine" I decided I'd had enough. I' ...more
After I read the fun-dragon-fantasy of His Majesty's Dragon etc I tried to head to equally easy reading of sci-fi. I read my first David Weber only to be a little disappointed. A stilted read even for what I was expecting (a military/Navy sci-fi).

It was also pretty bad writing - when finally starting the climatic battle in the end of the book, Weber decides to take us into a little side-explanation of why one ship is racing to a gravity wave and the reason why. No. No. No. This type of setup is
I have no idea why I read this book. At the time I read it, I was not a person who read science fiction at all. I liked fantasy but Science Fiction? No.

Baen, the company that publishes this had (and still does) quite a revolutionary policy of putting the full texts of quite a few of their titles right on their website. You could go there and read them for free. Or download them as text and print them off. I think I read the first few chapters of this on their website and decided to buy it. That
Apr 18, 2007 Kaethe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: scifi/fantasy fans
I should actually give this book only 2 stars, but I'm a sucker for really quick reads in the sci-fi genre (also known as trashy books that aren't difficult to understand). This is a space navy/military book in the style of Elizabeth Moon's Familias/Herris Serrano books, but I liked Weber's book a lot less than Moon's. While there is a female heroine (which I like), I didn't think the story flowed very well, nor were the characters developed as fully, and the beginning was "patchy" while the war ...more
DNF. Borrrrrrring, sooooooooo boringgggggg.
Daniel Villines
On Basilisk Station is a skillfully constructed story. Weber takes his readers from start to finish creatively and efficiently. Chapter by chapter the story advances and another piece of the puzzle falls into place. Weber's story telling skills makes for good entertainment, consisting of non-stop action and strategy, which is why it's so disappointing to realize how terrible this book actually is.

Beyond the story, there are problems with the characters. They are predominately comprised of tin so
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David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name
More about David Weber...

Other Books in the Series

Honor Harrington (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington, #2)
  • The Short Victorious War (Honor Harrington, #3)
  • Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington, #4)
  • Flag in Exile (Honor Harrington, #5)
  • Honor Among Enemies (Honor Harrington, #6)
  • In Enemy Hands (Honor Harrington, #7)
  • Echoes of Honor (Honor Harrington, #8)
  • Ashes of Victory (Honor Harrington, #9)
  • War of Honor (Honor Harrington, #10)
  • At All Costs (Honor Harrington, #11)

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