Opinions on David Weber

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,622
Location
Scottish Highlands
I've realized that my problem with the recent books (post Book 8 or so) has less to do with politics than with general bloat: boring conversations between meaningless characters discussing ad nausea events already know to the reader. As a result, you get maybe one event per 2-3 books and the rest is fluff (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating somewhat, but it just feels like that to me).
I've complained about that one before. Of late he seems to have had his characters talking about events rather than living them. This has also happened a lot in the Safehold books as well as the HH ones. It's particularly frustrating for me because I originally came to Weber for my very necessary periodic dose of serious action and for me he always provided it right from On Basilisk Station. But now I moving more towards authors like Jack Campbell.

I have read the first two books in the new Honorverse series with Timothy Zahn and enjoyed them both. The second book had material I am sure I had read before though although I cannot pin down in my mind where I read it before. Sometimes a sample shows up on Baen and that may have been it or possibly a short story from one of the collections now expanded into a more full story, just not sure. I enjoyed it either way but the question of where I had read it before kept niggling at me. They definitely are more action and less politics although not totally.
Which author do you honestly reckon is responsible for which bits, Timba? My suspicion with these joint efforts is that Weber might be providing guidance and his not insignificant marketing weight whilst the co-author is doing most of the actual writing. That might be a little cynical of me but...
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
Tinker... Well said. I am a person who always reads the forwards. I consider them near to mandatory reading. I think you have put your finger on a key feature of what appeals to me about Weber.

And I also agree with you and Timba about the growing bloat in the last books.

Having said all that I am still looking forward to the next H.H. book. ---- I'll check on the latest collaboration. I must have lost one somewhere along the way.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
1,268
My problem with Weber now is that, at least with HH, he's not really writing military SF any longer; it's more political SF which, whilst still good, I personally don't enjoy nearly as much.
I agree it is political SF. But I had the reverse problem. I was getting bored with the series after Flag in Exile. But then I read Mission of Honor and had to go back and catch up to understand what was going on. Maybe that is why I like Bujold better. War is basically dumb. People going off to kill and die as pawns of someone else's purposes.

One of the things I find curious about people discussing Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It is a story about fighting aliens but people discuss it as though it applies to humans fighting humans. What would the politics of aliens be in terms of their attitudes toward aliens? How could we know, so it is absurd to take whatever the writer creates and apply it to human conflicts.

psik
 

Timba

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
748
QUOTE/ Which author do you honestly reckon is responsible for which bits, Timba? My suspicion with these joint efforts is that Weber might be providing guidance and his not insignificant marketing weight whilst the co-author is doing most of the actual writing. That might be a little cynical of me but...[/QUOTE]

Clearly Zahn is the primary author but he has a feel for Weber's pacing and characters and blends in well. I think Zahn's own stuff reflects a lot of action, much of it is very good stuff.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,622
Location
Scottish Highlands
Yeah that's pretty much what I've thought and I have enjoyed the one or two shorts by Zahn I've read so I will be tackling them when I've cleared my current backlog!! :)
 

Timba

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
748
The story doesn't start with a bang and in fact it seems to be a large chunk of world building and introduction to the relationship between Honor and Nimitz and that the Manticoran Navy took that relationship seriously enough to allow her to command a ship with her tree-cat on board and actively in evidence. And even with the time taken to introduce us to Honor- we don't get to know her that well until page 16 where David starts this odd way of acquainting us with Honor through the eyes of people who are in most cases meeting her for the first time.

There's a lot of the first half of the novel feeding out backstory to begin to fill in the truth about Honor Harrington that the reader can then compare to the various characters impressions and preconceived notions. So yes in a way this reads very much like a star-trek type episode where someone is tasked to prove themselves amidst a mixed group of preconceived notions.

So I'd admit that David Weber takes his time building all of this to that moment of truth where the lines have to be drawn in the sand and Honor has to make a decision that risks the lives of everyone aboard and her success is contingent upon them being willing to follow her into battle. (And in a way it mirrors itself in that the reader has to also decide if they are going to follow David Weber's narrative on to the end.)

Much of what defines the character and even the bit of hero worship that the series eventually has starts here and is not complete without On Basilisk Station.

Is it the best of the series-It wouldn't be my choice as best; but I do know that it was the one I read first and the one that hooked me into continuing. It should be read to fully understand Honor Harrington, but It may not be necessary to read it as the first because they do get better-but arguably they sometimes get worse. And I still think that On Basilisk Station has the basic elements of David's writing style that continues to develop as each book gets larger and the plot gets thicker.

Nicely stated Tinkerdan, it is exactly the pacing element of Weber's books which I find so appealing. I do not mind what some call "the bloat" as it is a part of the pacing and I know that sooner or later he will bring us a righteous ass kicking. I also think his more recent books in the series not only have pacing within them with their own action conclusions but also series pacing leading us oh so slowly to a grand climax which may well be the end of the series.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
Timba, I would agree that Weber has a series end in mind. But once before he changed his mind and gave us more books, and I believe, and more importantly I believe that he believes, sold more books than he would have otherwise. Authors who make their living writing S.F. are far and few between. Even a lot of the so called "Big Names" in S.F. have a day job.
 

Timba

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
748
Timba, I would agree that Weber has a series end in mind. But once before he changed his mind and gave us more books, and I believe, and more importantly I believe that he believes, sold more books than he would have otherwise. Authors who make their living writing S.F. are far and few between. Even a lot of the so called "Big Names" in S.F. have a day job.
No argument Parson but he has the Safehold series to finish and just put out the first new book in his fantasy series, title is The Sword of the South, which definitely needs at least one and probably more books to wrap it up so it is not like he does not have material and I am pretty sure it sells. Besides I think it was Eric Flint who upset the killing off of HH so David was virtually forced to extend it. Would not bother me at all if he joined Flint for another book or two in the 1632 universe either. Plenty of room to write and make money.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
Safehold is going to have to take a massive jump in time, like a thousand years of something, or the series will run to 500 books.
 

Timba

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
748
Safehold is going to have to take a massive jump in time, like a thousand years of something, or the series will run to 500 books.
I take your point but think your timeline is a little long. If the clamps come off technology 300-500 should do given the knowledge base in the computer. Just look at our own real history on earth and where the last 300 years have taken us.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
I take your point but think your timeline is a little long. If the clamps come off technology 300-500 should do given the knowledge base in the computer. Just look at our own real history on earth and where the last 300 years have taken us.
Grump! I had forgotten the knowledge base that would be available if the technology was there to implement it. I agree 300 years would be a viable time line, but I don't want to read about all 300 years. Let's get back into space where Weber's S.F. deserves to be.
 

Vince W

Towel Champion
Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Messages
2,950
I came to Weber through Honor Harrington later than most people, I think. I had read David Feintuch's Seafort books and was looking for something similar and I'm glad I did. To be fair though, I haven't read anything other than Honor Harrington of his, so I can't say if I'd like anything else he's written.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
I had read David Feintuch's Seafort books and was looking for something similar and I'm glad I did.
I read all of these and they were good, but they did not suit me nearly as well as Honor Harrington. I agree that there is something about the situation of continual none respect for an honorable hard working man to let me like the series too much.
 

Beamer01

Active Member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
26
I am a big fan of both Weber and the Honorverse set of books. I can not quite say they are the best series out there, but I do always look for a new book in the set when they come out. I believe I have read all of his series and books, and have not disliked any of them. I have to admit I pay little attention to how well "written" a book is, being more interested in the story itself. But I have never had any complaints with Weber in that respect. If you want to read a book that is hard to follow, try Lord of Light by Zelazny (which I liked) or Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (which I hated).
 

Matthew21

New Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
1
I came to Weber after hearing about Honor Harrington for years, and not really paying attention to it. I got "Basilisk" and was torn. Some of it dragged, but other parts of it were very good. I am currently reading the follow-up. Frankly, when it comes to his writing I really rather prefer his "war god" series, with Bahzell Bahnakson, and I really enjoyed Sword of the South. He has called his new WG series his magnum opus, and I also tend to think he may be winding down Honor to a grand conclusion.
 

TitaniumTi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
820
Location
NSW, Australia
Grump! I had forgotten the knowledge base that would be available if the technology was there to implement it. I agree 300 years would be a viable time line, but I don't want to read about all 300 years. Let's get back into space where Weber's S.F. deserves to be.
You may not get your wish. On the Weber forum, runsforcelery (or Weber, I infer) says that the next Safehold book will be set 20 to 25 years after At the Sign of Triumph. The projected publication date is in the second half of 2018.

That doesn't bother me, but I do hope he reduces the excess wordage in the next book. The series started so well.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
8,308
Location
Iowa
Sigh! I haven't yet read "At the Sign of Triumph" which should say something about how bored I've become with the series; how insanely long the books have become; and how seldom the main characters have shown up in the books just previous. ..... Less righteously, I have a very hard time paying more than about $3.99 for any book now. Since I've joined Amazon Unlimited, I seldom pay specifically for any book at all. And Weber's books are a LOT MORE than $3.99.
 

Similar threads


Top