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On Basilisk Station

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On Basilisk Station
Name: On Basilisk Station
Author: David Weber
Publisher: Baen Books
Publication Date: 1993
Chapters: 32 + prologue
ISBN: 067157793X
Series: Main Series
Next: The Honor of the Queen

On Basilisk Station is the first book of David Weber's series of novels and short stories chronicling the adventures of Honor Harrington. It was first published in 1993.

Timeframe: 1900 PD – 1901 PD

Cover Summary Edit

Having made an Admiral look foolish, after succeeding in making a way out idea work once, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and there set up for ruin by a superior who hates her.
Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating performance during Fleet exercises and for their posting to an out-of-the-way picket station.
The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.
Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is Up to Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser, with an armament that doesn't work, to police the entire star system.
But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They've made her mad.
David Mattingly was unhappy with honor's face on this cover and did this revision:

Plot Edit

Commander Honor Harrington, freshly graduated from the Royal Manticoran Navy's Advanced Tactical Course, assumes command of the light cruiser HMS Fearless as it is completing an extensive weapons refit.

A successful young officer with a promising career in the service of her Queen, Honor's delight at her new command soon turns to dismay as she realizes Fearless has been nearly stripped of her normal weapons and turned into a tactical testbed for the new grav lance technology. After initial success in the opening rounds of fleet war games, Fearless suffers defeat after defeat as opposing officers correctly determine the safest way to deal with the light cruiser's refitted weapons is to deny her the chance to use them.

Banished to Basilisk Station by officers eager to sweep their so-called "secret weapon" under the carpet, Honor is even more dismayed to learn the commanding officer of the other RMN ship assigned to the system picket is an old Academy nemesis: Captain Lord Pavel Young has learned of Honor's assignment, and has set her up for failure to discharge her duty. Taking his heavy cruiser Warlock off to Manticore for a "desperately needed" refit, Young leaves Honor and Fearless as the sole RMN unit responsible for the Basilisk System's security. When the widely contradictory picket requirements cause Fearless to stumble in its duty, it will be Honor, not Young, who takes the bullet for the failure.

Grimly buckling down, Honor kicks and drags her crew after her as they address themselves to the tasks set for them. With hard work and clever use of resources, Honor soon has revitalized the RMN's presence at Basilisk and amazed the other Manticoran personnel assigned to the system. Having grown used to the backwater dumping ground circumstances of Basilisk, the Junction and planetary mission staff are delighted to realize they now have a competent and dedicated officer to partner with. Even though shorthanded and lacking full resources to properly address all the requirements of their duty at Basilisk, Fearless and her crew rise to the circumstances.

By her staunt enforcement of the anti-smuggling laws, Honor makes an enemy of Klaus Hauptman, head of the powerful Hauptman Cartel. However, when Hauptman threatens Honor and her family, her first officer, Alistair McKeon, comes to her defense, pointing out the Cartel's indirect involvement in illegal activities on Medusa, and threatening to drag Hauptman before a court for collusion in treason. The business magnate leaves in shame, while Honor and her XO finally begin to connect.

Soon, the People's Republic of Haven, which has been slowly strangling on its own economic policies for over half a century, has set its eyes on the Star Kingdom. The plan Haven has evolved begins with a swift strike to take Basilisk; whipping the low-tech native aliens into a killing frenzy that would sweep across the planet Medusa in a haze of blood is to provide the interstellar pretext Haven desires to swoop in and take control of the system before Manticore can respond. This would provide the means to invade of Manticore through the two wormhole termini Haven would then possess: Trevor's Star and Basilisk.

But through the proper attention to duty, Honor and the Manticoran planetary personnel stumble over pieces of the plan. Assembling the fragments of information into a coherent whole, Honor deduces Haven's intentions and is left with no choice but to act firmly or stand aside while Haven moves into launch position for an invasion. Honor leads Fearless and her crew into a desperate engagement against the Havenite Q-ship PMSS Sirius. Overmatched in everything but courage, Fearless is pounded into scrap during the chase, and suffers terrible casualties among her officers and crew.

Despite this, Fearless succeeds in its desperate mission; they manage to lure the Q-ship within range of their secret weapon and destroy it. Manticore reinforces the system in time to greet the "visiting" Havenite task force, which leaves after a suitable interval to inform Haven of the failure. After extensive repairs just to get the mauled light cruiser underway, Honor Harrington returns to the Star Kingdom to a hero's welcome. Promoted to Captain, she is given command of HMS Fearless (CA-286), a newly constructed Star Knight-class heavy cruiser hastily redesignated to replace the aging, gutted, and scheduled to be scrapped CL-56 which had given so much on Basilisk Station.

Finally, Andrew Yerensky of the Weapons Development Board approaches Honor, asking her to give them her combat evaluation of the grav lance in person. Honor eagerly agrees, obviously looking forward to giving the Board hell about the whole concept.

Background Edit

David Mattingly's reworked Honor Harrington for the OBS Cover

David Mattingly's redone Honor Harrington

Unhappy with the original result, David Mattingly reworked the cover art of the book years later, giving Honor Harrington a more mature and slightly more oriental look.

A 20th anniversary special edition of On Basilisk Station was released on April 2, 2013. Directly through Baen Books, it is also available personally signed by David Weber.

A comic adaptation of On Basilisk Station was released in 2014, starting with a first issue of the same name.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

Emily Alexander | Hamish Alexander | William Alexander | Arless | Ronald Bergren | Ariella Blanding | Braun | Mercedes Brigham | Bullard | Wallace Canning | Rafael Cardones | Cindy | Johan Coglin | Raoul Courvosier | Lucien Cortez | Sebastian D'Orville | Danforth | Lucy Danvers | Elaine Dumarest | Hayne Duvalier | Angela Earnhardt | Ellen | Walter Frankel | Frankowski | George Fremont | Gagarin | Gheerinatu | Gowan | Grimaldi | Gustav XI | Hadley | Horace Harkness | Sidney Harris | Alfred Harrington | Honor Harrington | Hartley | Heinrich Hauptman | Klaus Hauptman | Jeff Hayabashi | Sonja Hemphill | Hightower | Sharon Hillyard | Matt Howard | Howell | Barney Isvarian | Jamal | Edward Janacek | Michael Janvier | Jayne | Jeffries | Jenkins | Liam Kilgore | Killian | Ruth Kleinmuller | Sharon Koenig | Kohl | William Levine| George Lewis| Lovejoy| Lowell | Allen Manning | Sally MacBride | MacDougal | James MacGuiness | Frances Malcolm | Marisa | Mathison | Estelle Matsuko | Alistair McKeon | Merker | Fritz Montoya | Isaac Newton | Nimitz | Tadeuz O'Brian | Panowski| Nikos Papadapolous | Parker | Amos Parnell | Porter | Shigematsu Radhakrishnan | Rath | Regiano | Michael Reynaud| Illona Rierson| Christopher Rodgers| Dominica Santos| Scott| Stag| Stevens | Stimson | Maxwell Stromboli | Lois Suchon | Duke Allen Sumervale | Denver Summervale | Prescott Tremaine | Truman | Henrietta Turner | Henrietta Turner | Andreas Venizelos | Sheridan Wallace | Carol Warner | Craig Warner | Frederick Warner | Keith Warner | Robert Warner | Sandra Warner | Adrienne Warshawski | James Webster| Samuel Webster| Bryan Westerfeldt| Queen Adrienne| Queen Elizabeth III| King Roger I | Wolversham | Hiro Yammata | Andrew Yerensky | Pavel Young | Yountz

StarshipsEdit

HMS Courageous | HMS Fearless (CL-56) | HMS Fearless (CA-286) | HMS Hawkwing | HMS Implacable | HMS King Roger | HMS Manticore | HMS Osprey | HMS Star Knight | HMS Troubadour | HMS Warlock | Jason | LAC-113 | PMSS Astra | PMSS Sirius | PMSS Trumbull | RMMS Mondragon

StationsEdit

PlanetsEdit

NationsEdit

OtherEdit

Biology

bekhnor | buffalo (Beowulf) | celery | Dolphin | Gremlin | hemlock | hemlock (Manticore) | Kodiak Maximus | neotiger | Potato | praying mantis | shemak moss | tilik moss | treecat | tree-hopper

People's Republic of Haven

Chief of Naval Operations (PRH) | Dolist | DuQuesne Plan | Haven Information Ministry | |Haven System | Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven | Military cabinet (PRH) | Naval Intelligence (RHN) | Nouveau Paris | Operation Odysseus | People's Merchant Service | People's Republic of Haven Navy | Plebeians | Secretary of the Economy | Secretary for Foreign Affairs | Secretary of War | Ministry of Trade

Star Kingdom of Manticore

Barony of High Ridge | Centrist Party | Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench | Christy and Sons | Conservative Association | Cromarty Government | Crown Loyalist Party | Duchy of Cromarty | Duchy of High Sligo |Duchy of New Texas | Earldom of North Hollow | Earldom of White Haven Hauptmann Cartel | Jason Bay | Knight of the Order of King Roger | Landing | Lord of Exchequer | Manticoran dollar | Manticore Colony, LTD | Manticore Colony Trust | Manticore Cross | Manticore Division | Manticore System | Minister for Medusan Affairs | Monarch's Thanks Medal | Native Protection Agency | Earldom of New Kiev | New Men Party | Prime Minister | Progressive Party | Queen's Bench | Royal Customs Service | Resident Commissioner for Planetary Affairs | Royal Manticoran Marine Corps | San Giorgio | San Giorgio City Police

Royal Manticoran Navy

Advanced Tactical Course | Advanced Tactical Course building | Admiral of the Green | Admiral of the Red | Admiralty Court | Bassingford Medical Center | Bureau of Personnel | Bureau of Ships | Commandant | Commanding Officer's Course | Courageous class | Fifth Space Lord | fire control station | First Lord of Admiralty | First Space Lord | Fleet "E" Award | Fleet Logistics | Fourth Form Tactics | freshman | General Staff | Gryphon Division | Home Fleet (Manticore) | jeune ecole | List of Honor | Lords of Admiralty | midshipman | Office of Naval Intelligence |Royal Manticoran Navy | Saganami Island Academy | Ship Types | tactical repeater display | Third Space Lord | War Cabinet | war games | Weapons Development Board | White Command Beret

Technology

Beta node | capsule | Combat Information Center | Counter-grav tubeway | forceblade | hyper-capable | Hyper Log | hyperspace | Impeller band | Impeller drive | Impeller wedge | Inertial compensator | intrasystem | Intercom screens | gravity generator| Q-ship | power room | Prolong Treatment | sidewall | Warshawski sail | Yard mech

Wormholes

Basilisk Terminus | Beowulf Terminus | Erewhon Terminus | Erewhon Wormhole Junction | Manticore Terminus | Manticore Wormhole Junction | Trevor's Star Terminus | Wormhole junction | Wormhole terminus

Other

A.L. | First Battle of Basilisk | cocoa | coffee | Dauguaar | Earth Time Standard | Erewhon System | gross system product | Kingdom of England | Madcat Mountains | Sandalwood System | Sentience scale | Sheldon System | Sir | Sol System | Star Types | space stations | Trevor's Star System | Zurich

External links Edit


Main Honor Harrington series
HH1 On Basilisk Station HH8 Echoes of Honor
HH2 The Honor of the Queen HH9 Ashes of Victory
HH3 The Short Victorious War HH10 War of Honor
HH4 Field of Dishonor HH11 At All Costs
HH5 Flag in Exile HH12 Mission of Honor
HH6 Honor Among Enemies HH13 A Rising Thunder
HH7 In Enemy Hands HH14 Shadow of Freedom
Spin off Series
Crown of Slaves Saganami Island
CS1 Crown of Slaves SI1 The Shadow of Saganami
CS2 Torch of Freedom SI2 Storm from the Shadows
CS3 Cauldron of Ghosts
Star Kingdom Manticore Ascendant
SK1 A Beautiful Friendship MA1 A Call to Duty
SK2 Fire Season
SK3 Treecat Wars
Anthologies
HHA1 More Than Honor HHA4 The Service of the Sword
HHA2 Worlds of Honor HHA5 In Fire Forged
HHA3 Changer of Worlds HHA6 Beginnings
Tales of Honor Comic Series
TOH1 Tales of Honor #1 TOH2 Tales of Honor #2


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