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Weber, David

Entry updated 5 June 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1952-    ) US author of several sf series, usually set in Space Opera arenas, and frequently adhered to the typically contrarian storylines and implied Politics of Military SF. Two sequences stand out (for full details, including omnis, see Checklist below). The Starfire series is based on the Wargame Starfire (1979), in whose development he was involved and for which he wrote the supplement Starfire III: Empires (1982 TFG). His contributions, all in collaboration with Steve White, begin with Insurrection (1990), set in a Terran Federation at a point when the dictatorial Inner Planets have caused the freedom-loving freebooter residents of the outer regions to rebel (see Libertarian SF), and end in a galactic War that pitches Homo sapiens and allied races against the Arachnids (or "Bugs") who treat all other species as sources of protein.

Weber's second series, the main sequence of which has been written solo, features a female naval officer, Honor Harrington, an adroit and successful commander whose adventures have been likened to those of C S Forester's Captain Horatio Hornblower (see Hornblower in Space), though they are far more action-oriented, and the parallels between Honor's galaxy and Horatio's Napoleon-dominated Europe are not telling; she benefits, moreover, from the assistance of a Telepathic cat. But the combination of Space Opera scope and Military SF procedural intensity plays together here with considerable success, and the descriptions of War in space can be electrifying. The series begins with On Basilisk Station (1993), The Honor of the Queen (1993), The Short Victorious War (1994) and Field of Dishonor (1994), featuring a relatively straightforward exploration of Honor's career in various venues; by the period of Ashes of Victory (2000), she has been promoted (as was Horatio) to Admiral; late volumes, like A Beautiful Friendship (2011), which is Young Adult, tend to focus on ancillary members of her family, and are less gripping.

Weber's other series initiate or remix elements brought to full fruition in Honor Harrington. The Fifth Imperium sequence, beginning with Mutineers' Moon (1991) and ending with Heirs of Empire (1996), involves Time-Travel through which a crew of rebels, along with their sentient spaceship, are transported into Earth's distant past. The Bahzell Bahnakson sequence beginning with Oath of Swords (1995) is fantasy. The Empire of Man sequence, beginning with March Upcountry (2001) with John Ringo, is again set in a Galactic Empire, and features escalating Space Opera adventures of a Prince who must earn out his human inheritance. The Hell sequence, comprising Hell's Gate (2006) and Hell Hath No Fury (2007), both with Linda Evans, seemed truncated, though its premise – two empires in search of lebensraum invade Parallel-World Earths (see Imperialism), but run into each other – was of considerable interest; the series has more recently been resumed with a new collaborator in The Road to Hell (2016) with Joelle Presby. The Safehold sequence, beginning with Off Armageddon Reef (2007) and ending (to date) with Midst Toil and Tribulation (2012) intriguingly places the remnants of humanity – after a devastating war with much-superior Aliens – on the planet Safehold, where a society built strictly in terms of Medieval Futurism hides from the Technology-detecting probes of the enemy; centuries pass, societal shibboleths and paranoias (see Religion) dominate, and the sequence stands in late 2012 only at the beginnings of an industrial revolution: but the enemy is patient.

Various singletons percolate through Weber's extensive array of series, most of which derive their impact from relentless escalation, and are of less interest. Weber's very considerable success, over and above his narrative clarity and focus, lies in his skill at managing large universes in which actions count. [JC]

David Mark Weber

born Cleveland, Ohio: 24 October 1952




Fifth Imperium

Honor Harrington

Honor Harrington: Wages of Sin

Honor Harrington: Saganami Island

Honor Harrington: Star Kingdom

Honor Harrington: Manticore Ascendant

Bahzell Bahnakson

Empire of Man

  • March Upcountry (New York: Baen Books, 2001) with John Ringo [Empire of Man: hb/Patrick Turner]
  • March to the Sea (New York: Baen Books, 2001) with John Ringo [Empire of Man: hb/Patrick Turner]
    • Empire of Man (New York: Baen Books, 2014) with John Ringo [omni of the above two: Empire of Man: pb/Dave Seeley]
  • March to the Stars (New York: Baen Books, 2003) with John Ringo [Empire of Man: hb/Patrick Turner]
  • We Few (New York: Baen Books, 2005) with John Ringo [Empire of Man: hb/Kurt Miller]
    • Throne of Stars (New York: Baen Books, 2014) with John Ringo [omni of the above two: Empire of Man: pb/Dave Seeley]

Assiti Shards




Out of the Dark

Gordian Protocol

Ascent to Empire

individual titles

works as editor


Honor Harrington

individual titles


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