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On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington #1)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  32,934 Ratings  ·  1,510 Reviews
Honor in Trouble:

• Having made him look a 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
Audio CD, 13 Disks, 15.25 hrs.
Published May 15th 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published April 1992)
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Simon Forsyth In On Basilisk Station she is, "almost twenty-four years old—over forty Terran standard years". 24 Manticoran years are ~41.5 standard years, so she…moreIn On Basilisk Station she is, "almost twenty-four years old—over forty Terran standard years". 24 Manticoran years are ~41.5 standard years, so she is at least at least 40 and no more than 41. This is stated to be 1900 P.D.

Starting around Mission of Honor, dates started showing up in chapter headings (so they're easy to find). Mission of Honor takes place from late 1921 to early 1922, so she would be between 61 and 63 then.(less)
Tom Batterson Have you tried the "Lost Fleet" series by Jack Campbell?
The first series (6 or books) is excellent. When he went ahead and wrote a second series and a…more
Have you tried the "Lost Fleet" series by Jack Campbell?
The first series (6 or books) is excellent. When he went ahead and wrote a second series and a spin off it lost its luster and began repeating the same themes.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 25, 2011 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military sci-fi fans

broken finger review #3:

first of all, people, i wanted to call this the 'one-handed review series,' as i'm typing entirely with one hand (at one point, my prior rate was over 100 words a minute, so maybe you can feel my pain), but i know you people and that is just asking for trouble.

that said, this is david weber's first entry into a series about captain picard honor harrington, a kick-ass woman in the royal navy that has the ice-queen routine down pat. except for her empathetic cat--i said, st
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
Dec 25, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 02, 2008 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Sep 08, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 13, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  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 Gleeman in 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
Jun 10, 2017 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good:
There is a cat. Also, the setting is interesting and very detailed. Very, very detailed. The end is exciting – an extended action sequence that is gripping, evocative and again, very detailed.

The Bad:
Far too much exposition. There is just so much explaining going on. Characters stop and think for pages at a time just to allow the author to tell us something new, or remind us of something we’ve been told before and maybe hadn’t thought to jot down. The characters are cardboard cutouts of
May 07, 2015 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, humour
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)
Mar 01, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
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
Jun 02, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  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
May 01, 2012 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 13, 2014 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
Mr. Matt
Dec 16, 2013 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lilia Ford
Interesting read. I enjoyed the first 3/4's of this, especially the scenes of Honor et al putting things to rights on Basilisk Station. I wish that there had been more of that, and more effort to develop the personalities and relationships among the crew. This is "hard sci-fi," which I don't usually read and this book helped me remember why. I was horrible at the one required "physics for poets" class I took in college, and the book contained pages and pages of exposition about the physics of sp ...more
DNF at 20%.

Hated the writing. Too many info dumps (sometimes ended with exclamation points) between scenes. Lots of snortworthy sentences. Show and don't tell, please.

The main character is totally a Mary Sue. Stop telling me she is the top of her class and has 'unique elegant feature, but not pretty of course, but still looks young and attractive'. And what's with the cat obsession? I did not need be informed in every single time Honor stroke her cat's various body parts.

Honor's hand froze three
Ed [Redacted]
May 01, 2012 Ed [Redacted] rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

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
May 17, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
Great charactor interaction, written by someone who understands people skills, man mangement & chain of command in a military setting, it works for sure. Plenty of geek techy stuff as well for yous nerds out there, to the point of glaze forming at times :) i did have to skip a few paras ere n there when the quantom mechanics & warp fueled reactor thinymajigs was a tad full-on but thats jus me & only a minor quibble. There's politics, skullduggery, "other lifeforms", battle scenes bot ...more
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
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.
The first time I read On Basilisk Station, I actually gave it five stars despite the flaws — it just caught me up that much. And it’s proven to have the same grip on my sister, who has been ravenously tearing through the series, reading and rereading it for the sake of Honor and her treecat. This time, I wouldn’t go as far as giving it five stars, but it’s definitely still very enjoyable, for all that I was even more aware of the flaws.

First, the flaws: the didactic, digressive sections like the
Andrew Obrigewitsch
Mar 27, 2013 Andrew Obrigewitsch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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. If 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 anyth
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
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Horatio Hornblower in space. On the whole I think I prefer Mr. Hornblower, but a good read.
Lubinka Dimitrova
Since this book managed to keep a person who abhors space operas reading, I suppose it's not that bad, probably even very good for people who enjoy this kind of books. I'm actually tempted to read the next installment.
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  • Deserter (Kris Longknife, #2)
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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 14 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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