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Midshipman's Hope (Seafort Saga #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,981 ratings  ·  104 reviews
A hideous accident kills the senior officer of UNS Hibernia, leaving a terrified young officer to take 300 colonists and crew aboard a damaged ship, on a 17-month gauntlet to reach Hope Nation. With no chance of rescue, Nicholas Seafort must save lives and take them, in the name of duty.
Paperback, 391 pages
Published November 11th 1996 by Orbit (first published November 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,987)
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***Dave Hill
Sep 09, 2013 ***Dave Hill rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: military SF lovers, Napoleonic navy fans, discipline fetishists
Recommended to ***Dave by: Practically everyone
Shelves: text
This is one of those books that's been recommended to me from a number of locations, and often arises as part of the "People who liked [insert military SF / space opera I've been reading] also love this!" recommendations here and there.

Unlike a lot of those kind of recommendations ... this was not a book I enjoyed, either as an reading experience or as a literary engagement.

It is, in fact, a military SF tale, and one that clearly draws on 18th Century British Naval tradition as its social and di
Anthony Ryan
The 'Hornblower in space' trope has been a popular one in military SF for quite a while now, but Feintuch's entry into the genre takes some beating for its sheer narrative pull. A series of disasters sees newly commissioned Midshipman Nicholas Seafort appointed the youngest captain in the history of the United Nations Naval Service, going on to do battle with corrupt fellow officers, mutinous crewmen and, ultimately, giant squid-like aliens. Hokey it may be, but it's also a huge amount of fun an ...more
Alan Smith
Putting two separate genres together and coming up with a concept that's more than the sum of its parts is often a pretty good way to come up with a great story, as the late David Feintuch proved in this series. Essentially it's a mixture of Napoleonic naval tales (in the "Hornblower" tradition) with space-opera.

Feintuch's universe is a far future that is ruled by fundamentalist old-testament Christianity, yet the universe is criss-crossed by faster-than-light spaceships, run by the navy yet li
Jeff Miller
One of those books I picked up because it was one of Amazon's daily deals. The plot sounded interesting enough and right up my alley.

I usually like the metaphor of the Navy in Space considering my Navy career. This isn't quite a Horatio Hornblower in space, but has elements of that. This is not a slow buildup of a Navy career that takes books to develop to where the character gets into command position. Things develop fast in an emergency situation where what is left of the crew has to step up.

Not bad at all. The inaugural edition of a unashamed Horatio Hornblower rip off, Midshipman's Hope even feels more like it was written two hundred years ago than two hundred years in the future--despite the first contact subplot.

While the back story history doesn't bare close scrutiny,the 17-year-old protagonist acts like a seventeen year old--unlike Honor Harrington who acted as if she were thirty. He has good instincts but he's a bubbling pot of emotions, mostly self directed.

His sexual relat
Mary JL
Mar 30, 2009 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any fan of sf espcially military sf
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found it on myown
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This is the first book in the Seafort series, of which there are only seven.

Nicholas Seafort is an insense young midshipman who must take command when an accident kills all the senior officers of his ship. Since Nick Seafort has an intense sense of duty, he pushes himself to the limit, and does what he feels he must do to save his ship.

There are some interesting moral dilemmas here--such as a mutiny--and the character of Nick Seafort is very clearly drawn. A bit more grim than some sf sagas but
Three and a half stars. I read this on the recommendation of a friend and I am glad I did. This was one of many versions of "Hornblower in Space" which is a very common theme that seems to only be superseded by "Aubrey and Maturin in Space". This was good, but I've seen it done so much better in other places. Instead of being and Officer and a Gentleman which even a Midshipman knows, Seafort is Sniveler and a Juvenile. The navy is a strong arm of a tyrannical government, but seems woefully under ...more
Christoffer Keisu
Space soap-opera. Self-loathing main character that gets on your nerves. The first book however is a good introduction to navy life as well as the political society of David Feintuch's universe. Don't expect much nerd-love on spaceships, space and science. My main gripe is with the main character, who while being a typical smart protagonist (not smart in everything though thankfully) is also extremely self-loathing and has the confidence of a 14-year old. I thought the main character would learn ...more
David Feintuch: Midshipman's Hope – Seafort Saga #1

Without a doubt this is Hornblower in space, with all the self-doubt and stiffness that characterised CS Forester's somewhat wooden hero. Stuffed full of Victorian Values which seem to lean towards spare-the-rod-and-spoil-the-child, and focuses heavily on 'hazing' – apparently an American tradition of tormenting cadets in various nasty and pointless ways to toughen them up – all of which I found actively distasteful. It's not that I object to an
Nicholas Scott
My favorite science fiction series ever. Any time I go anywhere on vacation I bring my copies of the science fiction guild editions with me and reread them. Nicholas Seafort is my all time favorite fictional character. He is what I strive to be, his character, his will, his desire to do right above all else, is so wonderfully compelling and heartbreaking. I am just completely enamoured with his struggle. The entire series is spectacular, amazingly so and through it all Seafort, through the deft ...more
Katrin von Martin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stars burn hot and silent in the deepest gulf. It is their nature, and they do it with constant and unflinching duty. Of such stuff is Nicholas Seafort.

While marred by a few awkward plot complications and some general stiffness, "Midshipman's Hope" is a fast-paced, enjoyable read. Our protagonist gets few breaks as threats, both internal and external, mount with increasing complexity.

This is both a coming-of-age story and an exploration of the core of leadership.
Mar 04, 2012 Dan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: signal
The theme is space exploration, but what this series is about is discipline and punishment. The main character climbs in rank through the Space Navy, and his subordinates keep misbehaving and bullying and generally having severe behavioral issues, so he devises elaborate punishments to keep them in line. If you think you would like reading about that, you will probably like the series. It was not to my taste.
Joe Palmer
May 29, 2009 Joe Palmer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone, especially sci-fi or military fans
Excellent character development all around, particularly with the main character, Nick Seafort. Feintuch does an excellent job in portraying the humanity of each character when forced into difficult situations. A very engaging story with a number of ethical dilemmas throughout.
Greg Seebregts
I first read Midshipman's Hope when I found a copy in our local library and since I'm a sci-fi fanatic I thought I'd check it out. Now, even though I am crazy about Science Fiction I was a little bit wary because;

1. It was a new author for me to read

2. I'd never heard of the book

3. I don't normally read Space Opera Science Fiction (which is what the book was billed as on the front cover).

Surprisingly the book was so good that I renewed it 3 times!

I found very little to dislike. I would, howeve
Like the stars say, it was O.K. I'm not crazy about the Seafort character, the violent mood shifts and inflexible rigidity prevent me from accepting him as a functional, much less successful, human being.
Good grief, this book was depressing! Whine, woe is me, whine some more, repeat until you want to chunk the book out the window of a moving car.
Johan Pajupuu
P. damn fucking good read it in one sitting it's 4 AM and a
KD McQuain
I read this in my mid twenties and male comming of age stories really resonated with me. following the main charactor, Nicholas Seafort, ovr come challanges and take on responsibilities that he didn't feel prepared for reminded me of myself getting out of college. I have read the rest of the series, the whole series a few times actually, and have enjoyed all the books. As with most series that go on for 4-5-6-7 books the story tends to drag towards the end. But I woudl still recoment the series ...more
a terrific naval space fleet novel.
Hank Henley
Okay, so I'm a complete sucker for this sub-sub-genre of science fiction wherein a young person joins the crew of a spaceship and we follow their career over time.

This reminded me a lot of Nathan Lowell's solar clipper trader tales. Lowell's "share" tales are set on trading vessels traversing deep space while Feintuch's ship is a larger military/passenger/cargo ship.

The plot of Midshipman's Hope is fairly simple. (warning, there's a spoiler in the next sentence, but the event described happens v
The book is very readable, but the author had to really hammer the future society to fit into the Napoleonic society settings of Hornblower series.

The crewing of the ship, the lack of education of most of people on Earth, the arming of the ship all raised red flags while reading. It seems the author wanted a society very close to Napoleonic Wars England, but didn't spend a lot of time, if any, seeing what that would do to his future society.

He had a good idea on getting the spacemen to start sai
I don't read much military science fiction, but this book caught me and kept my attention. A near-future world where Earth has pretty much gone Bladerunner and those who can afford it are escaping to the stars. The world is centrally governed by the U.N., and military ships are the only ones allowed to transport goods and passengers through interstellar space. The discipline on these spaceships is rigid military discipline more reminiscent of Patrick O'Brien than Star Trek, and a state religion ...more
Julia Reed
I stumbled across this book on accident, and decided to read it as a whim. I really like Napoleonic War-era naval novels, which is a surprisingly well-populated, if somewhat narrow literary niche. There are two basic series that make up this genre: C.S. Forester's Hornblower novels (amazing) and Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin novels (not for me, but other people seem to like them. But beyond that, there is a whole world of Napoleonic War Naval Novel Inspired Fiction (NWNNI), and a lot of it is ...more
Julie Ramsey
Midshipmen Hope
Author: David Feintuch

The navy of the future takes kids when their

young, because traveling in space can make

you get cancer. So they take young and it

builds a resistance to cancer. Midshipman

Seafort is just another crew members on board,

but things start going wrongs. Mr. Seafort has

some big choices thrown at him. This navy is like

the old sailing ships where the captain is all

powerful like a God. He could hang somebody or

have them shot for disobedience.

The book takes you throu
Charles JunkChuck
I had high expectations for the last book I read, and was let wife brought this home from a library fundraiser used book sale--I'd never heard of this series or it's author, and had no expectations. Perhaps that's the key. I loved it.

Feintuch is riding the Horatio Hornblower train here, and this book immediately reminded me of another book that ran on the same tracks, David Weber's On Basilisk Station, the initial Honor Harrington novel, back when Weber wrote taut, character-rich page
Midshipman's Hope and the Seafort Saga is a Horatio Hornblower type adventure set in the age of fusion drive, when humanity has established colonies in the stars, colonies which provide Earth with vital resources. The fusion drive system takes the starships into a hyperspacial realm which makes travel possible over the course of months and years. It has one drawback. It causes cancer based on exposure. However, exposure to the drive as a child or young person normally provides resistance allowin ...more
Iowa City Public Library
"Lord God, today is October 9, 2194, on the U.N.S. Hibernia. We ask you to bless us, to bless our voyage, and to bring health and well-being to all aboard."

Nick Seaforth is 17 years old and a minor officer on a jinxed space vessel. He becomes captain of the ship as all senior officers are either killed in a tragic accident or die of illness. Throughout the voyage, he has to deal with passenger disapproval, piracy, mutiny, deadly aliens, dangerous subordinates, and a computer glitch that threaten
Joaquin Garza
No debería ser sorpresa saber que esta novela es una especie de Aubrey/Maturin o Hornblower trasplantada al espacio, con todos los elementos de la Marina Real de la época napoleónica llevados unos cuatro siglos al futuro. Se ha construido un sub-género completo de la ciencia ficción en este esquema (las novelas de Honor Harrington de Weber y las del Teniente Leary, de Drake)

Habiendo dicho esto, Seafort's Hope (Seafort Guardiamarina) me pareció un Bildungsroman competente, quizá un poco pulpy, pe
Julie Davis
This was lent to me by the same friend who turned me onto Diana Wynne Jones. I have a fondness for military science fiction, even though I am not widely read in it.

This book takes the conceit that spacefaring ships would be set up following the model of Napoleonic times (cabin boy of about 12, midshipmen of 14-18, the captain's word is literally law, etc.) and sets us following the journey of Nicholas Seafort. 17 years old and not particularly good at a lot of the things that he should be, such
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David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Awa ...more
More about David Feintuch...

Other Books in the Series

Seafort Saga (7 books)
  • Challenger's Hope (Seafort Saga, #2)
  • Prisoner's Hope (Seafort Saga, #3)
  • Fisherman's Hope (Seafort Saga, #4)
  • Voices of Hope (Seafort Saga, #5)
  • Patriarch's Hope (Seafort Saga, #6)
  • Children of Hope (Seafort Saga, #7)
Challenger's Hope (Seafort Saga, #2) Prisoner's Hope (Seafort Saga, #3) Fisherman's Hope (Seafort Saga, #4) Voices of Hope (Seafort Saga, #5) Patriarch's Hope (Seafort Saga, #6)

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