- Taschenbuch: 480 Seiten
- Verlag: Baen; Auflage: Reprint (1. Februar 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0743435206
- ISBN-13: 978-0743435208
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,6 x 2,8 x 17,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 280.502 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Changer of Worlds (Worlds of Honor) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Februar 2002
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
David Weber is a science fiction phenomenon. His popular Honor Harrington space-opera adventures (most recently, "At All Costs") are "New York Times" bestsellers and can't come out fast enough for his devoted readers.
David Weber is a science fiction phenomenon. His popular Honor Harrington and Honorverse novels including "Mission of Honor", "At All Costs", and "Torch of Freedom" are "New York Times" bestsellers and can't come out fast enough for his devoted readers. He is also the author of the Safehold series, including "Off Armageddon Reef", "By Schism Rent Asunder", "By Heresies Distressed" and "A Mighty Fortress". His other top-selling science fiction novels include "Out of the Dark", the Dahak books and the Multiverse books, written with Linda Evans. He has also created an epic SF adventure series in collaboration with John Ringo, including "We Few". His novels have regularly been Main Selections of the Science Fiction Book Club. Weber has a bachelor s degree from Warren Wilson College, and attended graduate school in history at Appalachian State University. He lives in South Carolina.
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MS. MIDSHIPWOMAN HARRINGTON is a little piece detailing some of Honor's early exploits against Silesian pirates and Manticoran bigots. Solidly written, it will no doubt provide a base for future short stories or novels set before Basilisk Station.
CHANGER OF WORLDS is the first Harrington story told from the point of view of the 'cats. In it we learn Nimitz and Samantha's real names as they visit Nimitz's clan prior to the birth of their 'kittens. This story verifies some of the theories floated in previous novels as to why treecats decided to settle en masse on Grayson.
Like some of the other reviewers, I enjoyed NIGHTFALL as a stand-alone story. It describes in much greater detail Esther McQueen's aborted coup attempt. While I was glad to learn more about the incident, however, I feel that this should rightfully have been told as part of a novel format. Perhaps if it had been switched for some of the endless backstory in ASHES OF HONOR, I would feel better about both books.
Finally, Eric Flint's FROM THE HIGHLANDS is a nearly uncredited gem of a story. (You won't find his name anywhere on the cover.) We get to learn what happened to Anton Zilwicki after the death of his Navy-hero wife; it turns out he became a spy and went to Earth. When his daughter is kidnapped, several convergent story lines spring into action, leading to political disillusionment, True Romance, rioting in the streets, an assassination or two, and a general warm fuzzy feeling. I would be delighted if Flint wrote more in this vein, especially if he returned to characters like idealistic SS officer Victor Cachat. This could also be a chance for a lot of Weber fans to check out more of Flint's body of work. I know I will.
To sum up, the three Weber stories are fine appendages to his books. For the most part, they detail events already described in general. While they stand up fairly well as individual stories, they don't really compare to Flint's tale.
First, while i think the cover's better than the one on "Worlds of Honor", it's still not right -- those legs belong on a tree-antelope, not a tree-cat.
"But what's *in* it?", right?
This is another anthology, featuring three stories by Dave and one by Eric Flint.
The first story is "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington". ((For a couple of reasons - ease of speaking being a major one, tradition another -- i think i'd have said "misdhipman", but it's Dave's call -- his world, his ranks.))
The story of Honor's "Snotty" cruise, it fills in the background on remarks she makes during "Among Enemies" about having been on pirate-chasing missions in Silesia.
As usual, with Honor onboard, what ought to have been a relatively routine cruise with a bit of action and not much danger turns into something else. ((I mean, finding out you'll be serving with Honor Harrington is like being a cop in a small town finding out that Jessica Fletcher is visiting...)) And Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington finds that she must rise to the occasion when disaster strikes. This story is a little more open and clear about the political maneuvering between the "working" Navy and the "timeserving" Navy (my terms) in which Honor's career is already inevitably enmeshed, long before she knows it or of it.
Also it has a Villain. I'll be writing a longer review for my new website, wherein i'll go into my thoughts on Villains vs. Bad Guys in Dave's stories. (By my reckoning, Rob Pierre is a Bad Guy -- Pavel Young is a Villain. Wossname who was behind the Dome failure is a Bad Guy [though with villainous tendencies] -- his dupe who Honor kills is a Villain.)
Second story is "Changer of Worlds", which has been available for more than a year on my family website by David's kind permission; it's the story of Laughs Brightly, bondmated to Cloud Dancer, who returns to his clan bringing Golden Voice, his new mate.
We know these people a bit better under other names, suffice to say. (Hint -- one of them is also known as "Nimitz")
(Skipping the Eric Flint story for right now, we get to Dave's third, "Nightfall".)
"Nightfall" is one of those stories that eventually has to be told in some form, if only as footnotes in some other work, i guess, but which i'd as soon not read. Despite the fact that there's a rather nasty little slice of spacewar let loose planetside in a major city, it's pretty much a static story of coup and countercoup and political maneuver.
We aready know the fates, if not descriptions of the actual events, of a number of characters from other books. "Nightfall" is the actual events. I found it uninvolving and unneeded.
Now, back to Eric Flint's "From the Highlands", which is, i think, the best piece of pure storytelling more or less for its own sake in the book. All of the other three stories are there to plug holes in the canon, and read more or less like that.
"Highlands", while it chronicles events that may well be as important in the future history of Manticore and Haven as the other three, just reads like a story Flint wanted to tell; in which we look at the ways Gryphon's Highlanders are like Scotland's.
Involving conflicting and complex loyalties personal, patriotic and political, it revolves around the kidnapping of a fourteen-year-old girl whose father, a Gryphon Highlander, is an Intelligence Analyst attached to Manticore's Embassy in the Solarian League's capital city, Chicago.
Not just any fourteen-year-old girl; we've seen her before, when she was four or so, asking her weeping father if Mama had made them all safe from the bad Peeps. And she is everything her mother's daughter should be -- she's already working on escape from her kidnappers when first we meet her.
Before the story is over, we will be involved with Helen's father, with her martial arts instructor, with Havenite and Manticoran Ambassadors and their respective Security Chiefs, a young Peep SS Intelligence Field Officer who faces a personal crisis of identity (he actually believes in the ideals of the Revolution), a dissipated Peep Marine Colonel who is rather more, various genetically-engineered "super-soldiers" and revolutionary former slaves and an expatriate, far-leftist Manticoran noblewoman, one of only three people kicked out of the House of Lords by vote of their peers.
Stir thoroughly, apply igniter and stand well back till the flames die down.
I give the book three stars overall; just the first three stories would have gotten four, just the Weber stories alone about three stars.
Good solid reading till the next novel, but it goes by awfully dismayingly and disappointingly quickly, which is one of the problems of a fast pace.
I especially enjoyed the riveting "From the Highlands" by Eric Flint that provides quite a different angle on the aggressive, covert machinations of a highly developed underground where a Manticoran aristocrat exiled to Terra supports a network of revolutionists who are involved in the power struggle between the Peeps vs the Manties on Chicago's embattled turf. Weber's story "Nightfall" recounts the treachery and tyranny of Oscar Saint Just before he finally makes the call to blow up and bring down the Octagon upon the heads of both colleagues and his arch enemy Esther McQueen. It offered another point of view in those final moments that preceeded Saint Just's own demise in "Ashes of Victory".
The other two stories were tantalizing tidbits of before and after Honor had "arrived" to the here and now in David's ongoing saga. I love his consciousness toward animals, especially when he develops his theme of highly evolved sentience in Honor's treecats and their nestmates on Sphinx. It now is impossible to consider one's own cats as merely, well, cats. As Samantha might say to Nimitz: "Little do they know".
Congratulations on your newly wed status and the joys of a honeymoon, David, however your fans are waiting! Thanks for the appetizers in "Changer of Worlds", now, where is the main dish?
Again, I complain that the treecats are getting too cute. I'm sorry, David, but they just aren't plausible to me. Not because of size, or a great many other easy objections, covered with a certain amount of neatness in the "teach them to sign" part of Ashes of Victory. I just can't quite believe in them as written. Annoying, by the bye, because I really want to believe in the treecat sentience. Sigh. Their society doesn't feel workable, as it is shown. Granted, oral history can be remarkably accurate up to 500 years back, and sometimes, in traditional societies without literacy, there are feats of memorization that astound us urban, literate types. I am objecting here to feel - it's all too damn pat.
So anyway, onward.
I really loved Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington, even if I did nearly type in Hornblower. I liked the portrait of an incompetent and cruel superior, who needed to be worked around by the command. I'm glad they did. Honor gets to be a hero - we knew she had been from early in her career - and handle having command fall on her head in a bad situation in a beautiful bit of space combat. I loved that - the whole battle sequence was so well written I was literally holding my breath until spots began dancing before my eyes. Very, very good stuff!
Nightfall answered my objection in Ashes of Victory that Weber shouldn't kill off major characters off-stage. I enjoyed it, though I admit that knowing the ending kind of took the edge of tension off it. I rooted for Esther McQueen. I did think Weber offed Rob S. Pierre a little to fast and casual, but it was well written and I wish the sequence could have made it into Ashes. Although given the length of that book, perhaps that was a good editorial decision on Weber's part.
Does it sound like I've been holding off on commenting on Eric Flint's contribution? I'm afraid I have been.
Now, to be absolutely fair: Flint's "about the author" description describes him as an unregenerate Trotskyist. Having spent my college career on the Soviets, and exploring the really interesting splitting of semi-Marxist sects in America, I have developed some very strong opinions, and they aren't flattering to the ideology and its true believers.
It makes me uneasy to comment on From the Highlands because it was better written than many of Flint's other efforts, and he didn't editorialize quite so badly. Oh, yeah, he did editorialize and lecture the reader, mostly about politics and who should believe what. I liked the plot, I liked the writing (and I'm thrilled that Flint managed to restrain his verbal tics, this time out) and the action sequences. The combat was good.
Now, my objections crystalized in the moment where Flint has the State Sec officer heroically standing as a true defender of the Revolution, hard as steel. ARGH! To reach a truly disgusting level of brutality, bring on the knights of the revolution. Anybody remember Felix Dzerzhinski besides me? Anybody remember what Trotsky did to restore discipline in the Red Army in 1920? The defenders of the revolution will cut your throat quite impersonally. Isn't that nice, to know that you were just of the wrong class, or in the wrong place?
That style of politics, the Gryphon Highlanders one and all haters of their aristocracy, and willing to contemplate blood feud. The renegade noblewoman (oh, please, can we please lose the notion that this is somehow a great thing?) who views her class through that particular lens (let's not forget that the notion of a class traitor, once introduced, however positively, leads inexorably to the negative and justifies a lot of bad stuff)and the Solly masses being kept down, dumb, and ignorantly happy...ARGH! again.
Look, it's not that it wasn't fun. But the century just past has made me wary as can be of ideology (I almost misspelled that on purpose but decided it would be too cute), and the notion that all a messianic movement needs is pure enough hearts willing to defend it. Flint managed to make a mess of my enjoyment of the story with this, and I wanted to cry. I wanted to just enjoy the story, and I got this.
So much for my opinions. I'd give this a four if Flint had managed to restrain his politics.
Fellow Honor fans, I recommend this - Honor's universe keeps getting bigger and better.
This books has four great short stories set in the Honor Harrington universe. I loved this book. I am waiting in eager anticipation for the sequel to Ashes of Victory, but this book is much more than filler in between novels. This collection adds depth to the Honor Harrington universe. The first story shows Honor early in her career, before the war started and before she was in a leadership position. The last story expands on an incident from the latest novel (Ashes of Victory) and shows the enemy from their own point of view. You get to see Honor and her universe from her Treecat's point of view in the second story. The third story by Eric Flint has characters who know of Honor only through news headlines but have her heart and drive.
Honor is the main character in only 1 of the stories, but don't let that deter you. Laughs Brightly, Golden Voice, Helen, Anton, Kevin Usher and Esther McQueen were introduced before but now we get to see them in depth and detail. Cathy, Victor, Virginia, Bachfisch, Shelton, and Branch Leaper are new to us and their relationships add spark and more diversity to the universe Honor inhabits. (and possibly foreshadow upcoming events in the next novel?)
Write, David, write! Write, Eric, write! (I hope you add another story in the next collection!) These characters show and make us want more of their drive for Honor!