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Worlds Of Weber Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
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About the Author
David Weber is the science fiction phenomenon of the decade. His popular Honor Harrington novels are New York Times best sellers and can't come out fast enough for his devoted readers. He has also begun a top-selling epic SF Adventure series in collaboration with John Ringo, with four novels so far: March Upcountry, March to the sea, March to the Stars and We Few. His Wind Rider's Oath, another New York Times best sellers, continues his popular fantasy adventure series.
Top customer reviews
It is just a re-packaging of various stories from older anthologies, many of which are still availabble new, such as the Worlds series,
Content would rate 4 or 5 stars if all new material, as regurgitated I think only worth 2
However, as he makes clear in the introduction, all of them have been published before, so check carefully before buying this that you don't already have everything in it.
The stories in this book are
1) A Certain Talent
("Legion of Space" universe, first published in The Williamson Effect)
2) In the Navy
("1632/Ring of Fire" universe, first published in "Ring of Fire")
3) The Captain from Kirkbeam
(First published in "Alternate Generals")
4) St George and the Dragon
(First published in "Foreign Legions")
5) Sword Brother
(Bahzell Bahnakson, Published in revised 2007 edition of "Oath Of Swords")
6) A Beautiful Friendship
(Honorverse, first published in "More Than Honor")
7) Ms Midshipwoman Harrington
(Honorverse, first published in "Changer Of Worlds (Worlds of Honor)")
8) Miles to go
("Bolo" universe, first published in "Bolos: The Triumphant 3 (Bolos, Book 3)")
9) The Traitor
("Bolo" universe, first published in "Last Stand: Bolos 4")
With one exception these stories were written for anthologies, mostly put together by other SF writers such as David Drake.
The exception is "Sword Brother" in which the wizard Wencit of Ruum accidentally summons an armoured fighting vehicle from our world, and its' crew, when trying to help Bahzell out of a nasty situation. This was written for a revised edition of "Oath of Swords" issued in 2007: my copy of that book is rather older, so I bought this collection mainly for "Sword Brother" and I don't regret the purchase.
Of the other stories in the collection, "In the Navy" is set between "1632 (Ring of Fire)" and "1633 (Ring of Fire)" and describes the start of the process of building a modern navy during the thirty years war: it also describes how former UN navy captain John Simpson moved from being one of the bad guys in the first book in the series, to one of the heroes of "1633" and "1634: the Baltic War."
"A beautiful friendship" describes how Stephanie Harrington, a young girl from an earlier generation of Honor Harrington's family, became the first human to be "adopted" by a Sphinx treecat. An extended version of this story, set about 500 years before the birth of Honor Harrington, is due to be published as a novel with the same name later this year, and it is planned that this will be the start of a series featuring Stephanie Harrington and aimed at young adults.
If you don't already have the stories in this book, I can very strongly recommend it. Just check carefully before buying that this is the case!
This contains nine of his stories, all of varying length. Two come from the Honor series and the others are set in different realms entirely.
As the introduction at the start from the writer makes clear all of these have appeared in other volumes and anthologies before. This is just a new collection bringing them all together.
'A certain talent' runs for twenty five pages and is the story of a gentleman thief forced into a rather tricky assignment. A lot of the main action takes place offstage in the middle of the story but it's an entertaining little piece and just the right length.
'In the navy' comes from an anthology about a town transported back in time to the middle ages, and focuses on one character trying to set up a navy in their new world. This doesn't stand too well on it's own and is probably best suited to those who are into military history. It runs for roughly eighty pages.
'The Captain from Kirkbeam' features John Paul Jones as a naval captain, in a piece of alternate history as he's on the opposite side here to the one he was on in real life. Also good by virtue of not being too long, a mere twenty five pages approx, but you probably need to know the history of the time to get the most from it.
'Sir george and the dragon' is just over one hundred pages and the story of medieval knights forced to work for an alien race as warriors of conquest. A very good idea with some strong characters and settings this was expanded into a novel called 'the excalibur alternative.' This shorter version is fine although there's a lot of exposition late on in order to set up the finale when is then over rather suddenly.
'Sword brother' runs for one hundred and eighty pages and sees american soldiers from the present day brought into another realm by a wizard to help a warrior on a quest. The lead soldier is a great character with some strong motivation but he ends up playing second fiddle to the fantasy characters who aren't quite as interesting.
'A beautiful friendship' runs for roughly one hundred and ten pages and is an honorverse story, as an ancestor of hers and a treecat become the first of their two species to bond. A superb and very touching tale but this appeared in an earlier honorverse anthology so it's nothing new.
The same goes for the next story 'Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington', a tale of Honor's early years on a spaceship.
'Miles to go' runs for roughly one hundred and seventy pages and comes from an anthology about sentient super weapons called bolos. This one sees a bolo and a human meet and bond and then have to fight to protect their new home. Great character moments give way to not quite so interesting battle scenes but it has it's moments, particularly in a very memorable end.
This is followed by 'the enemy' another bolo story as one of them battles a hostile in a cross planet chase. Another story running no more than twenty five pages it has a good twist in the plot which leads to a memorable ending.
So if you're looking for anything new Honor Harrington wise then this collection isn't for you but if you want to try works by the writer that you may not be familiar with then it has it's good points. It also contains a sample chapter from new Honorverse novel Torch Of Freedom (Honorverse)
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The stories are "A Certain Talent" (aka "The Williamson Effect")
"In the Navy"
"The Captian from Kirkbean"
"Sir george and the Dragon"
"A beautiful Friendship"
"Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington"
"Miles to Go" (aka "Bolos 3: The Triumphant")
"The Traitor" (Aka "Bolos 4: The Last Stand")
So as you can see it is a wide showing of his talent.
If you are a Weber fan it is a great book to get to hand out to people to "sample" him. If you are a new reader it is a nice jumping off point for diving into his works. If you are an experienced reader, you may wish to consider if you already have these works on your shelf. Of all these, the only one I haven't read was Sir George and the Dragon.
He gets points taken off for not producing much original work this time, but it is still a well presented book.
Aside from the duplication problem, I did enjoy the new stories and the familiar ones were also enjoyable.
Starting seventh read.
I think this means I like them!
Also gave three sets to friends!
Good characters, fast action!