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Showing posts by: David Weber click to see David Weber's profile
Jan 8 2014 5:00pm

Like a Mighty Army (Excerpt)

David Weber

David Weber Like a Mighty Army Safehold Series

Check out Like a Mighty Army, the latest in David Weber’s Safehold series, coming February 18th from Tor Books!

For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new—no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.

Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybvernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.

And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination.

The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…

[Read an Excerpt]

Sep 26 2011 10:00am

A Beautiful Friendship (Excerpt)

David Weber

From David Weber, author of the Honor Harrington books, comes the first YA novel is his new Stephanie Harrington series, A Beautiful Friendship (out on October 4 from Baen Books).

Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home —- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.

The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened . . . as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.

[Read more]

Nov 1 2010 6:05pm

Out of the Dark (Excerpt)

David Weber


Planet KU-197-20

Year 73,764 of the Hegemony


“Garsul, are you watching this?”

Survey Team Leader Garsul grimaced. Just what, exactly, did Hartyr think he was doing? Of all the stupid, unnecessary, infuriating—

The team leader made himself stop and draw a deep breath. He also made himself admit the truth, which was that as effortlessly irritating as Hartyr could be any time he tried, there was no excuse for allowing his own temper to flare this way. And it wouldn’t have been happening if he hadn’t been watching . . . and if both his stomachs hadn’t been hovering on the edge of acute nausea. Then there were his elevated strokain levels, not to mention the instinctual fight-or-flight reflexes (mostly flight in his species case, in point of fact) quivering down his synapses.

[“Yes, Hartyr, I’m watching. . .”]

Aug 19 2009 10:41am

Creating The Matrix, Part I

All right, this is at least partly Pablo’s fault. He sent me an e-mail, a while back, saying that he thought people might be interested in how I do my research and where I get my background for the novels. He was looking specifically at the military and especially naval aspects of them, I think, but I got to thinking about his question in my copious free time.

(Oh, about that “free time.” If you've noticed that it’s been a while between posts for me, that’s because I’ve been looking at terminal deadline pressure. For reasons with which I won’t bore you (but which include having a collaborator who suddenly requires emergency bypass surgery) we were running just a little late on a book with a November release date. If you consult your calendars, you will observe that it is currently August, and we have only just turned in the completed manuscript. I leave it to you to visualize just how calm and laid back my life has been while we worked on this particular little problem. :-) It's had a sort of concertina effect on my life in general for the last, oh, month or so.)

But I digress.

[More David Weber Research and Background to follow]

Aug 5 2009 11:47am

Capability, Credibility, and the Problem of Mistakes

People tend to think of me primarily in terms of the Honor Harrington novels and the “Honorverse” generally. Given how successful the books have been, I’m certainly not going to complain about that. [G] That doesn’t mean everyone uniformly loves my work, however. In fact, as shocking as I know you may find it, there are actually people who don’t like Honor. And—even more incredible, I realize—don’t really care all that much for my writing, either.

Fortunately, I’m a fairly resilient soul and, as important as my work is to me, I have so far managed to avoid falling afoul of the literary Copenhagen Syndrome and merging my own sense of identity and self worth with Lady Harrington’s. Much as I love Honor (and I do), I remain aware that she is a fictional character and that not everyone likes the same sorts of fictional characters. So I don’t really take it personally when someone simply doesn’t find one of my characters, or one of my books, or even all of my books, for that matter, to his taste.

I’d have to say that of all of the criticisms I’ve received about Honor and the Honorverse, though, the one which generally strikes me as having the greatest validity is Honor’s omnicompetence. She so damned good at everything she does. Well, there was that little self image problem she had. Or her failure to press charges for attempted rape against Mr. Midshipman North Hollow. And there was that inability to challenge personal, as opposed to professional, attacks upon her. Or the time she physically assaulted a senior diplomat. Then there was that murderous temper of hers which (among other things) would have led her to commit a war crime—did lead her to commit one, actually—if one of her (junior) subordinates hadn’t physically restrained her. And there were—

[Click here for more about Character Credibility from David Weber!]

Jul 30 2009 9:33am

By Heresies Distressed (Excerpt)

David Weber

The following is the first chapter of David Weber’s latest New York Times bestselling novel in the Safehold series, By Heresies Distressed. Weber’s Safehold series, which includes Off Armaggeddon Reef and By Schism Rent Asunder, has proven just as much of a hit as his ever-popular Honor Harrington series; a masterful combination of political intrigue, epic naval military drama, and ecclesiastical maneuverings, all against a backdrop of a classic space opera.

Jul 22 2009 5:44pm

That Ticking Sound

A while back, my friend Jane Lindskold put up a post here that discussed the difference between coincidence and contrivance and their roles in real life and in fiction. I thought when I first read it that it was a really good discussion of the two, although her observations didn’t really come as a surprise to me, since Jane and I have known each other for—what? Better than fifteen years?—and we’ve had quite a few discussions about the writer’s craft over that time. I got to thinking about some of the things she’d said, though, and it reminded me of another conversation I had with Jim Baen about the difference between two different but related terms: realistic and credible.

[More Character-Building from David Weber after the fold...]

Jul 20 2009 6:40am

On July 20th, David Weber

On July 20, 1969, I was 16 years old, and I had a lot of things on my mind. I was a chicken farmer for the Future Farmers of America at the time, and I remember I was having problems with possums going after my brood house. Then there was Douglas Southall Freeman’s biography of Robert E. Lee, which I was reading at the time. And I was also reading one of “Doc” Smith’s novels that day. I don’t remember exactly which one, but it was one of the Skylark books, not the Galactic Patrol.

And then there was this minor little expedition, something called . . . “Apollo 11,” I think. [G]

Actually, in a lot of ways, I was less excited on the 20th than I’d been when I watched the televised launch (in black and white, of course) on the 14th. It hadn’t really percolated through my brain that I was going to see real, live TV from the surface of the Moon, and boy, oh, boy, had that Saturn V launch been exciting! And then, there it was—late at night, sitting up, watching, and there was Neil Armstrong actually standing on the surface of the Moon.

I knew I was seeing something special, something that was never again going to happen for the very first time, but I was sixteen. I had no notion of how I would look back at that day from 40 years down the road. And I think that those of us who saw it then, that night, live, sometimes fail to realize how much more stupendous those grainy, poor quality black-and-white images were for us than for the (literally) two generations who have seen them since as archive footage. In some ways, it’s like the opening sequence from the original Star Wars movie. When we sat in the theater and watched that huge starship rumbling by overhead, moving out into the screen for what seemed like forever, and then realized it was the little ship, we were seeing something moviegoers had never seen before. Now it’s old hat, and people who first saw it on the little screen are never going to be as impressed by it as we were when we saw it on the big screen for the very first time.

I think it’s like that for people who don’t remember 1969 first-hand. It’s that sense of “old hat.” Of “been there, done that.” Space shuttles, space stations, communications satellites, GPS—they’re all part of our everyday, taken-for-granted world in 2009, not part of an incredible odyssey. We’ve lost that sense of wonder, of reaching out for something totally new, of being committed to and witnesses of one of the human race’s unique and enormous accomplishments, and in its place, I think, we’ve turned inward. These days, we’re thinking small, with a sort of what I can only think of as guiltiness as we look back at the “hubris” of that commitment to grand scale achievement.

I want that hubris back. I want us to be accomplishing unique and enormous things again, with the confidence that we can accomplish them. I want manned spaceflight, not just back to the Moon, but beyond that. And I want my daughters and my son to have their own July 20, 1969, to remember.

Apollo 11 didn’t give us wings; it only showed us how far the wings we had would take us.


David Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He is perhaps best known for the Honor Harrington series, consisting of eleven books, with over three million copies in print. His most recent novel, By Heresies Distressed, is available now from Tor Books.

Jul 10 2009 10:54am

About Those Details

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no great mystery about writing successfully. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone can do it, any more than everyone can master any craft. It does mean, though, that if your talent and your inclinations lie in that direction, you can learn to do it. And, hopefully, you’ll recognize that you can always learn to do it better. Personally, I consider myself a storyteller who happens to use the written word as the medium in which I tell them. As such, I also consider myself a writer, a craftsman, rather than an “author” or an artist. Some writers are both, and craft can certainly approach and become art, but my focus is on the tale well told, rather than worrying about whether or not it’s “literature,” and that’s the way I approach my craft.

One of the things that’s always struck me when I talk to people about writing is how many of them worry about the wrong parts being “hard.” The biggest fallacy of all, in a lot of ways, is the notion that coming up with the “idea” for a story is the really hard part. Don’t get me wrong, because coming up with the concept for a story—or, at least, working your way from the original concept to a workable basis for a story—can be difficult. But, as they say, the devil is in the details.

[More thoughts on storytelling and world-building.]