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On Basilisk Station

(Honor Harrington #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  40,714 ratings  ·  1,934 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 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 i…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)

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Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 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 didn't real
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Years and years and years ago, in a mental galaxy far, far away, a boy saw a ton of Star-Trek Military Mary Sue Hard-SF novels on the shelves of his local bookstore and collectively went...

Eh? No.

So boy read everything else. And everything else. And everything else.

Enter GoodReads.

Boy asks himself if he's been entirely fair to said Mil-SF titles so summarily dismissed. Is frankly amazed that it's been generally highly received and it's still getting written. To high praise.

Boy wonders. And pon
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
I found this one thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable, although maybe a little on the long side. It starts slowly but gathers speed and by the end it is unputdownable!

I liked Honor Harrington and found it made for comfortable reading to have a reliable main character for once. I felt I could trust that she would do the right thing and also never fall apart and flood the place in tears. She just soldiered on through thick and thin and, being totally brilliant and super talented, she performed mi
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
“The translation into or out of any given band of hyper-space was a complex energy transfer that cost the translating vessel most of its original velocity—as much as ninety-two percent of it, in the case of the alpha band. The energy loss dropped slightly with each "higher" hyper band, but its presence remained a constant, and for over five standard centuries, all hyper ships had relied on reaction drives.”

I am not sure what that stuff above means, I suspect it is pseudoscience (is hyperspace a
Sep 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 you've spent a
Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 13, 2008 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.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is David Weber's first (of a series) effort with Honor Harrington in a futuristic military yarn. It is a winner.

Weber has given a lot of thought to his universe and we benefit from his careful crafting of the background, the technology and the characterization. Weber's universe is primarily humanoid. All the major players have their origins in Old Earth. Some left for reasons of pollution and over-population. Others left for religious reasons. That was a long time ago.

Manticore is a high t
Jun 10, 2017 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
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2019 review Reading with the Evolution of SF group here:

It's been 5 years since I last read this & I didn't mind the data dumps nearly as much even in audio format. It's a big universe, so complex. The tech is well crafted to its purpose, but that also makes it complex. For instance, the way impeller bands & sidewalls work on ships leads to a lot of interesting tactics that are very reminiscent of the Horatio Hornblower series which dealt with sailing ship
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
Well this was my first dip into the "Honorverse" and I really enjoyed it. Some reviews have complained about the technobabble and the lack of characterisation, I personally did not think that at all. I quickly warmed to the characters (and not just Nimitz) and found them all individuals. As to the "technobabble, and over complicated political situation " complaints, again, I found no such thing. Sci-fi can be technical, it just depends if you are into that or not. Personally I found it intrinsic ...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
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
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 both on land & ...more
Nick Borrelli
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Felt really dated and somewhat clunky to me.
Honor Harrington—a very obviously virtuous name for a woman who is going to be all about her own personal integrity. I liked Honor as a character because Weber depicts her as a strong, decisive leader. Mind you, he throws in a few stereotypes as well—she’s “not good at math,” she has striking good looks but thinks she’s lumpy and unattractive, and she’s single, so she has to have a cat (because we single women are always just steps away from being crazy cat ladies). Nevertheless, if anyone can m ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
First of all I don't read science fiction.
When I was younger it was pretty much all I read but that was 30 years ago.
So I'm not this books target audience and the 4 Star rating with more than 16,000 5 Star ratings is pretty much all you need to know about what sci/fi readers think of the book.

But I'm not a sci/fi reader and there are a few things I didn't like.

One of the challenges for genres like science fiction and high fantasy is the info-dump. In most books you can just say a 'police car
Jun 02, 2011 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
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.
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a military SF novel about a competent woman captain, who wins against incredible odds.

The story starts with (evil) People republic of Haven, which faces the problem of high budget expenditures on social safety (dole) and military (space fleet) or/and low incomes due to the low productivity of their planets. Instead of dealing with it internally, they decide to expand and capture some rich systems instead. A very Roman Empire way of solving the problem, but without inflow of slaves. Their
Oct 13, 2014 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
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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

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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