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More Than Honor    Editor David Weber order for
More Than Honor
by David Weber
Order:  USA  Can
Baen, 1998
* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Although it was not designated as such at the time, More Than Honor is the first in the Worlds of Honor series. In it, David Weber and two other SF writers contribute stories based in the Honor Harrington universe. It is certainly an interesting experiment, but has not proved entirely successful. The quality of the stories in all the books of the series has been decidedly uneven. Unfortunately this collection is also, despite the fact that the other writers - David Drake and S.M.Stirling - are along with Weber himself perhaps the most well known names in the military SF field.

The best story is the first one, by Weber. A Beautiful Friendship tells of first contact between the treecats and humans on Sphinx. Not only does it fill in a large gap in the history of the treecats, but it is action filled and exciting, with believable and attractive human and treecat characters. Also, it handles the treecats' mind speech well, without the excessive whimsy which tends to creep into some of the author's later attempts.

The second story, A Grand Tour by David Drake, is a disaster. It smells as if it had been pulled out of a moldy drawer of rejects, and a few names changed to excuse its appearance here. The plot is nonsensical and the characters are cardboard cutouts. I am astonished that he, and the book's editors, allowed its inclusion.

The final story, A Whiff of Grapeshot by S. M. Stirling, does fill in another major gap, this time in the history of the People's Republic of Haven. It describes how Citizen Admiral Esther McQueen takes command without orders when a revolt against the government has almost succeeded. By draconian measures, she saves the day at the cost of untold civilian lives in the City of New Paris. Stirling has accurately caught the flavour of Weber's People's Republic, with all its French Revolutionary fervor and cruelty.

Weber also provides, in The Universe of Honor Harrington, background notes on various aspects of her universe (technical, historical, and political) which the true afficionado will welcome. This is definitely a book for those who are already enthusiastic fans of Honor Harrington, though the first story could stand alone and be enjoyed by any SF reader.

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