…maybe a little too on the nose with channeling Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey, there’s some truly problematic stuff with the native Medusans that goes all but uncommented upon, there’s some reactionary politics that may just be de rigeur for 20th century military sci-fi (I don’t know… would be happy to be educated), and the characterizations are almost beside the point, I guess.

On the plus side, the world-building is starting out pretty meticulous in a satisfying way (except for Manticoran dates, which is there for good in-universe reasons, but Weber seems to be using it to be the one ongoing reminder that this the distant future and not exactly England in Space), there’s a nice hyper-competence problem-solving ship’s crew vibe that will feel familiar to Star Trek fans, and the descriptions of actual shipboard action are very engrossing. Stylistically, there’s nothing to write home about, but it’s clear prose and allowing for the aforementioned weak characterizations, there’s nothing egregious either.

I am cautiously optimistic going forward, and if you had the budget (or could get an animated series greenlit), it seems to me that the universe and Honor herself could be spruced up and modernized into a really compelling space opera franchise that would be well-paced for TV.

  • ebc
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    2 months ago

    I’ve read all of them, and I really enjoyed them. It’s true that it’s basically “Royal Navy in space”, and it might be a little cheezy, but it’s a pretty relaxing read.

    The space combat stuff gets much better in the later books, Weber managed to build satisfying mechanics for it. There’s some good political intrigue too. The one thing that pulled me “out” of the books a couple times were some character names, some of them are pretty ridiculous (Queen Elizabeth III for example).

    • SkybreakerEngineer@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      The space combat gets way better, but everything else gets worse. Lots of stuff coming out of nowhere to keep the drama going and make the main character seem special.

  • Dagwood222@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    [off topic]

    I’m gonna hijack to put in a plug for “The Guns Above” by Robin Bennis.

    It’s airships in the Napoleonic Era with great engineering details and battle scenes. I don’t know why they stopped at two books, but the first one is a lot of fun.

    • wjrii@lemmy.worldOP
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      2 months ago

      Napoleonic high tech (for the day) warfare seems close enough to the topic for me. I cannot stress how committed “On Basilisk Station” is to translating jargon-heavy Royal Navy historical fiction into space.

      • Dagwood222@lemm.ee
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        2 months ago

        Let me put it this way…

        At one point, I was imagining the author giggling madly at 3 am as she calculated how much rattan you’d need to support a cannon on an airship’s gundeck.

        Enjoy

  • rhacer@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    I have read through book 10 twice. I have listened through book 10 once (currently half way through).

    While I love Horatio Hornblower, I love Honor more.

    I do not read science fiction. It’s just not my thing, but when War of Honor was published, Baen published it with a CD of all the prior books bound into the cover. I thought this was a cool thing to do and wanted to support it, so bought the book with no intention of actually reading it.

    Well that plan didn’t work out.

    You’ll discover as you get deeper into the series that even Honor knows she’s literarily related to Hornblower.

    • wjrii@lemmy.worldOP
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      2 months ago

      Yeah, there’s no two ways about it, book 1 is Royal Navy in Space, and the Peeps are almost a drop-in replacement for (little-r) republican France. We’re not dealing with hard sci-fi here, but I did think the infodump 2/3 through that described how it got to be “Royal” was less silly than I expected, if (again) a bit on the nose.

      I didn’t sense a ton of deep ideas forthcoming, but once I settled into letting the book be what it wanted to be, I enjoyed it well enough. Good airport/beach reading, and as I mentioned, you make Honor and the crew just a bit more compelling, and I think you’ve got a “brand” that could do really well in movies or TV. Master and Commander was a solid film that might have found a bigger audience if it were set on a star-cruiser.

    • wjrii@lemmy.worldOP
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      2 months ago

      I got a few chapters into Master and Commander, I want to say right about the time they first headed out on the Sophie, but can’t for the life of me remember why I stopped. I don’t recall disliking it, and I liked the movie, which I gather to be kid of “impressions of the sort of stuff that happens in the books.” Maybe I’ll pick it back up.

      • Clay_pidgin@sh.itjust.works
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        2 months ago

        The movie has bits of the first, I want to say, three books, but it does capture the vibe extremely well.

        The audio books are great too. I’m a fan of the Patrick Tull narration, but Simon Vance has his supporters too!