Going Up in a Ball of Plasma or
the alt.books.david-weber FAQ
Archivist: Cynthia Gonsalves (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last Revision Date: 10 December 2001 (version 1.5)
Last Revision by: Daniel Bernstein (Deputy Mad Archivist)
Note: This document is primarily housed at:
Mirrors are available at:
courtesy of Joe Buckley.
courtesy of Randy and Anne Kaelber.
There is a non-US mirror site available with the generous assistance
of Mike Richards. The URL is: http://www.z9m9z.demon.co.uk/weberfaq.htm.
Hi there and welcome to alt.books.david-weber!
Table of Contents
1) Introduction (history, partial
cast of characters, general guidelines)
2) Books, series, and other published
3) When, oh when, is the next book
4) Is David doing book
5) In what order should I read his
books (by series)?
6) Basic Netiquette or How
to Save the Weapons for the Fictional Enemy
7) The Thread that Cannot/Will Not
Die: Casting the Honor Harrington Movie
8) Spoiler Protection
9) Other Authors
10) Other DW Resources on the Net/Web
11) Miscellaneous Stuff
12) The Filks
13) The Great ABD-W Typo Hunt
14) Frogs and Buzzards and Tortoises,
15) ABDW Acronyms
16) Thanks/Acknowledgements for
1) Introduction (history, partial
cast of characters, general guidelines)
I'm willing to court graser fire, missile pods and
other flamage and release a FAQ for the new recruits. Please feel free
to email me with suggestions and corrections at the address given at the
beginning of this article.
Through the benevolence of the Usenet Deities, abd-w
was formed in June of 1997 (June 12th to be exact, and the person who initiated
the ng creation was David Ball) so that Weber fans wouldn't have to wade
through the masses of postings in rec.arts.sf.written looking for tidbits.
Of course, that hasn't stopped many of us from lurking and posting in rasfw,
but now we have a place in cyberspace to call our own. It seems that abd-w
is actually fairly high traffic for a group in the alt.books hierarchy,
we are a chatty bunch, even when there's no new stuff out. Right now, it
happens to be one of the busiest groups on my watch list!
Also, abd-w has been blessed with the presence of the
Master of Honor's Universe himself (aka Big Wizard Dave, Himself, MWW,
HWKABSM (see ABDW acronyms), etc.) when he's not working on his next anxiously
awaited release. Other members of Dave's family or friends have been known
to post as well, and are sometimes privy to and allowed to give out tantalizing
little news releases (news releases that aren't allowed are a form of snerking
(see section 14 for a link to the ROMANCE web page, which explains the
1.2) Other Important People
Family and friends of David Weber who play in our
New recruits may wonder who Navbuoy was:
Mike Weber-yes, they're related. Mike's four years older than David
and doesn't let his younger brother the author forget it.
Sue Phillips-David's sister-in-law.
David Weber delurked briefly just after the release
of Echoes of Honor to tell us all that his good friend Richard Maxwell,
who used the screen name Navbuoy and was a prolific contributor to abd-w,
had been killed in a skydiving accident on September 17th, 1998.
Richard had recently won an official red shirt when
his namesake character was killed off in Echoes of Honor; David told us
that Richard was laughing his butt off in the spring when he saw the manuscript.
He also cheerfully bore the brunt of all the lawyer jokes thrown at him
for being our resident legal eagle and gave us the background on how he
earned the nickname of the Man Who Dropped the Spanner in real life.
Richard also had done some postings on Baen's Bar,
but abd-w was his major hangout. Navbuoy's posts were universally considered
worth reading for their wit and skill. His contributions to our portion
of fandom are sorely missed by all of us in the newsgroup as well as by
the denizens of Aegys' discussion board.
To absent friends, Richard! And his Ranger comrades
remind us that Rangers always lead the way....
2) Books, series, and other published
1.3) General Guidelines
Discussion of the Weber books, especially when a book
comes out, can come at a fast and furious pace and often features attention
to minutiae. Some of us have found typos to nitpick, and as a reward, it
has been suggested that the nitpickers get the proverbial red shirt (remember
the anonymous Classic Trek person who inspires the phrase, "He's dead,
Jim") and become part of the casualty list of the inevitable death ride
or shootout in the next book (a practice also known as Tuckerization in
fannish lore). There's a section later on in the FAQ that has the most
egregious typos found to date. Happy hunting, hope you look good in red!
Note to the newsgroup: A recent inquiry about the
implications of posting fanfiction and story ideas in the group brought
up some serious issues that needed to be addressed promptly. David Weber
himself was kind enough to delurk at the behest of some of us and gave
me a prompt response to the ramifications of fanfiction and story idea
postings on his work. Since this comes from the author himself, I believe
that David's wishes ought to be respected and that we should not post fanfiction
and story ideas to abd-w. Failure to abide by these guidelines could make
it more difficult for David to continue with the stories we all enjoy so
much and we would no longer have the pleasure of his company when his schedule
permits. Let it be written, let it be so. Ken Nixon suggests that "In case
someone didn't read the FAQ, and DID post fanfic, I suggest that you recommend
that EVERYONE IGNORE IT! It will make it much easier for DW to ignore it
if there aren't 10 million complaint posts from others....." Probably a
good guideline to work from, we haven't had a real problem yet, but it's
better to be safe.
David's message follows:
For general information (ie, YOU decide what to
do with the info, Oh Archivist), fanfic poses all sorts of problems for
an author, and not just of the "how dare you publish in MY universe" sort
of hurt feelings.
As Mike pointed out in his post, it leads to a situation
in which an author can be accused of "ripping off" someone else's idea,
which can both impugn his/her honesty and even lead to ugly courtroom scenes
as some non-pro attempts to sue because his or her original idea was "stolen"
by a pro. (This has actually happened.) It would also be possible for a
pro actually TO rip off an idea, perhaps without even realizing that he
or she has done so. (I have never seen any actual documentation of such
an event, but I HAVE seen a couple of stories, by authors who shall remain
nameless, in which I personally suspect that that is precisely what happened.)
Even more importantly, the publication (even in
electronic form) of fiction based on a writer's work, without the specific,
documented permission of said writer (on a case-by-case basis) can void
the writer's copyright. This has actually happened, and does not represent
mere paranoid fantasy on my part. Nor am I the only writer concerned about
it. Misty Lackey, for example, has a legal contract form drawn up which
anyone publishing fanfic in her universe(s) is required to sign and return
to her before they may use any of her material. (I have a copy of it thumbtacked
to my wall for use as a model if I ever decide to go that way.) Anyone
who publishes WITHOUT said signed contract is in violation of her copyright
and she will, if it comes to her attention, take legal action against them.
(Mind, I suspect many authors in such a position might take some pains
to avoid having the unapproved fanfic come to his/her attention if he/she
believes the fans' intentions were pure, but there is a limit to how many
times someone can look the other way and still convince a judge, at need,
that his/her ignorance was genuine.)
I deeply regret that this should be the case, as
fanfic is often at least as imaginative and enjoyable as anything the writer
who created the character/universe/whatever is likely to turn out. It is
also rather flattering to an author to know that other people want to come
over and play at his house, as it were. Unfortunately, the situation has
become such that a writer cannot allow the free use of his universe without
risking the loss of his own rights to it, and so I must regretfully ask
that no fanfic appear on this group. Should that happen, I would have only
two choices: (a) to take legal action (which I would hate to do and would
endeavor to make as painless as possible for all concerned), or (b) leave
the group and not return, as the only way I could avoid taking legal action
NOW and still be in a position to defend my copyright down the road at
need would be to avoid learning that the fiction was being published, electronically
or otherwise. Since I would like to lurk and keep an eye on what's happening
whenever projects (and things like weddings and house buying expeditions)
allow me the time, I would very much appreciate it if it didn't happen
Again, my sincere regrets at having to take this
position. I checked with my attorney when the matter first came up for
me a couple of years ago, however, and he confirms what Baen, Misty, Roger
Zelazny, Fred Saberhagen, and several other pros had all told me on previous
occasions. With that much experienced opinion on one side of the question,
I see no choice but to believe they know what they're talking about.
David Weber's published books to date (all are available
through amazon.com or bug your local bookstore). Hardback editions are
specially flagged, all dates are for US/Canadian releases only.
3) When, oh when, is the next book
2.1. Book info
2.1.1. Honor Harrington
220.127.116.11. On Basilisk Station (Baen, 04/1993, ISBN 0-671-72163-1, special
paperback reprint 10/1998, ISBN 0-671-57772-7(out of print as of 09/1999),
hardback release 02/1999, ISBN 0-671-57793-X)
18.104.22.168. Honor of the Queen (Baen, 06/1993, ISBN 0-671-72172-0)
22.214.171.124. The Short Victorious War (Baen, 04/1994, ISBN 0-671-87596-5)
126.96.36.199. Field of Dishonor (Baen, 10/1994, ISBN 0-671-87624-4, hardback
special edition 10/1999, ISBN 0-671-57820-0)
188.8.131.52. Flag in Exile (Baen, 09/1995, ISBN 0-671-87681-3)
184.108.40.206. Honor Among Enemies (Baen, hardback 06/1996, ISBN 0-671-87723-2,
paperback 06/1997, ISBN 0-671-87783-6)
220.127.116.11. In Enemy Hands (Baen, hardback 08/1997, ISBN 0-671-87793-3,
paperback 10/1998, ISBN 0-671-57770-0)
18.104.22.168. More Than Honor (anthology with David Drake and S. M. Stirling,
Baen, 01/1998, ISBN 0-671-87857-3)
22.214.171.124. Echoes of Honor (Baen, hardback 10/1998, ISBN 0-671-87892-1,
paperback 10/1999, ISBN 0-671-57833-2)
126.96.36.199. Worlds of Honor (anthology with Linda Evans, Jane Lindskold,
and Roland Green, Baen, hardback 02/1999, ISBN 0-671-57786-7)
188.8.131.52. Ashes of Victory (Baen, 03/2000 hardback, ISBN 0-671-57854-5,
03/2001 paperback, 0-671-31977-9)
184.108.40.206. Changer of Worlds (anthology with Eric Flint, 03/2001 hardback,
ISBN 0-671-31975-2, 02/2002 paperback, 0-7434-3520-6)
2.1.2. Dahak/Fifth Imperium
220.127.116.11. Mutineer's Moon (Baen, 10/1994 reissue, ISBN 0-671-72085-6)
18.104.22.168. The Armageddon Inheritance (Baen, 10/1994, ISBN 0-671-72197-6)
22.214.171.124. Heirs of Empire (Baen, 03/1996, ISBN 0-671-87707-0)
2.1.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
126.96.36.199. Oath of Swords (Baen, 02/1995, ISBN 0-671-87642-2)
188.8.131.52. The War God's Own (Baen, 05/1998 hardback, ISBN 0-671-87873-5,
02/1999 paperback, ISBN 0-671-57792-1)
2.1.4. Path of the Fury (Baen, 12/1992, ISBN 0-671-72147-X)
2.1.5. Starfire (books written with Steve White)
184.108.40.206. Crusade (Baen, 03/1992 reprint, ISBN 0-671-72111-9)
220.127.116.11. Insurrection (Baen, 03/1993, ISBN 0-671-72024-4)
18.104.22.168. In Death Ground (Baen, 05/1997, ISBN 0-671-87779-8)
22.214.171.124. The Shiva Option (Baen, 02/2002 hardback, ISBN 0-671-31848-9)
2.1.6. The Apocalypse Troll (Baen, 01/1999 hardback, ISBN 0-671-57782-4,
01/2000 paperback, 0-671-57845-6)
2.1.7. The March Series (books written with John Ringo)
126.96.36.199. March Upcountry (Baen, 05/2001 hardback, ISBN 0-671-31985-X,
05/2002 paperback, 0-7434-3538-9)
188.8.131.52. March to the Sea (Baen, 08/2001 hardback, ISBN 0-671-31826-8,
08/2002 paperback, ISBN not yet known)
2.1.8. The Excalibur Alternative (Baen, 01/2002 hardback, ISBN 0-671-31860-8)
2.1.9. The Warmasters (anthology with David Drake and Eric Flint, Baen,
02/2002 hardback, ISBN 0-7434-3534-6)
2.1.10. Other Short Stories
184.108.40.206. "Miles to Go" in Bolos anthology #3, The Triumphant (Pocket,
09/1995, ISBN 0-671-87683-X)
220.127.116.11. "The Traitor" and "A Time to Kill" in Bolos anthology #4,
Last Stand (Baen, 03/1997, ISBN 0-671-87760-7)
18.104.22.168. "The Captain from Kirkbean" in Alternate Generals, (Baen,
edited by Martin Greenberg, Roland Green, and Harry Turtledove, 08/1998,
22.214.171.124. "A Certain Talent" in The Williamson Effect, (Tor, edited
by Roger Zelazny, 1996, ISBN 0-312-85748-9, out of print as of 09/1999)
2.2. Subject header tags (got any better suggestions, let me know!)
It's not always convenient to write out the entire
title when referring to a book. These are the abbreviations that have been
picked up by the members of the group. It has been suggested that both
the series number and title abreviation be used for easier remembering,
although where it's not ambiguous, the title alone is usually used.
2.2.1. Honor Harrington
126.96.36.199. HH1/OBS for On Basilisk Station
188.8.131.52. HH2/HotQ for Honor of the Queen
184.108.40.206. HH3/SVW for The Short Victorious War
220.127.116.11. HH4/FoD for Field of Dishonor
18.104.22.168. HH5/FiE for Flag in Exile
22.214.171.124. HH6/HAE for Honor Among Enemies
126.96.36.199. HH7/IEH for In Enemy Hands
188.8.131.52. HH/MTH for the anthology More than Honor
184.108.40.206. HH8/EoH for Echoes of Honor
220.127.116.11. HH/WoH for the anthology Worlds of Honor
18.104.22.168. HH9/AoV for Ashes of Victory
22.214.171.124. HH/Changer or CoW for Changer of Worldsfs
126.96.36.199. D/MM for Mutineer's Moon
188.8.131.52. D/AI for The Armageddon Inheritance
184.108.40.206. D/HoE for Heirs of Empire
2.2.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
220.127.116.11. O1/OoS for Oath of Swords
18.104.22.168. O2/WGO for The War God's Own
2.2.4. Path of the Fury
22.214.171.124. PotF or Fury-it's short, sweet, and to the point
126.96.36.199. S/C for Crusade
188.8.131.52. S/I for Insurrection
184.108.40.206. S/IDG for In Death Ground
220.127.116.11. S/TSO for The Shiva Option
2.2.6. The Apocalypse Troll
18.104.22.168. AT or Troll for The Apocalypse Troll
2.2.7. The March Series
22.214.171.124. M/MU for March Upcountry
126.96.36.199. M/MttS for March to the Sea
2.2.8. The Excalibur Alternative
188.8.131.52. TEA. Thirsty, anyone?
4) Is David doing book tours?
3.1 All of the early HH books are being re-released in hardback. Rumour
(based on the December issue of Locus) has it that the next one
is The Short Victorious War, due in June 2002.
3.2. The next HH book, tentatively titled War of Honor, is rumoured
to be coming out about July 2002.
3.3. David has said that the next book on his schedule will be in Norfressa
with Bahzell -- but he hasn't yet started writing it, so he may get sidetracked.
Let's hope he doesn't...
5) In what order should I read
his books (by series)?
4.1. The book tours happen when David isn't writing. David's doing
a lot of that now, so don't expect much.
4.2. David was the Guest of Honor (apt title, yes?) at CopperCon in
Scottsdale, AZ in September of 1999.
6) Basic Netiquette or How
to Save the Weapons for the Fictional Enemy
5.1. Honor Harrington
5.1.1. Order of publication seems to be the best way to do this. This
series really does need to be read in order, because there are *tons* of
references to past events in the later books.
5.1.2. The anthology More Than Honor should probably be read after
In Enemy Hands, the 7th novel. Even though there are no stories featuring
Honor herself, one of the stories (S.M. Stirling's) would be a spoiler
for parts of In Enemy Hands and the subject of Weber's novella was first
alluded to in Field of Dishonor.
5.1.3. The second anthology Worlds of Honor is less spoilerish for
the books, but perhaps waiting until after Field of Dishonor would be best.
5.1.4. I wouldn't read the Changer of Worlds anthology until after
Ashes of Victory. One of the stories David wrote there is a story that's
skipped over in AoV, and gives away significant events in that book.
5.2. Dahak/Fifth Imperium
5.2.1. I suggest reading them in order of publication, Mutineer's Moon,
The Armageddon Inheritance, then Heirs of Empire.
5.3. Path of the Fury
5.3.1. There is just one book to date in this universe.
5.4. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
5.4.1. Oath of Swords, then The War God's Own.
5.5.1. Dan Cannata the Offog suggested that following the chronology
in this universe instead of publication order is the way to go....makes
sense to me, so here goes: Crusade, In Death Ground, The Shiva Option,
and then Insurrection.
5.6. The March Series
5.6.1. March Upcountry, then March to the Sea.
7) The Thread that Cannot/Will
Not Die: Casting the Honor Harrington Movie
6.1. Navbuoy was a master at wittily disagreeing with people's points
without resorting to personal attacks; we can do well to honor Richard's
memory by emulating his style.
6.2. Kate Collins recommends visiting alt.callahans and reading their
FAQ on flamewars.
6.3. Flame War Prevention aka Do Not Feed The Trolls 101
6.3.1. Basic Definition
184.108.40.206. Flame wars are nasty, brutish things. They clog up the incoming
message spool and distort the meaningful signal to noise ratio beyond recognition.
Old friends get frustrated and leave, possible new friends get scared away
and never come back.
220.127.116.11. They are not to be confused with spirited, yet polite, arguments.
If we couldn't debate various aspects of the Mad Wizard's works or even
have fun with off-topic discussions, what good would the newsgroup be?
6.3.2 What characterizes a flame war?
18.104.22.168. Most of the time, they are abetted by a troll, who is a person
who absolutely delights in escalating responses to real or imagined slights
and insists that he or she absolutely, positively, has to get the last
word in edgewise.
22.214.171.124. Often, the use of profanity reaches critical mass, and even
people who aren't usually bothered by those words observe that things have
gone too far.
126.96.36.199. In heated arguments, one participant forcefully objects to
another participant's arguments and opinions. In flame wars, the insults
are directed at a person, rather than at a person's opinions (thanks to
the Wombat Woman for this definition).
6.3.3. So, how do you put out a smoldering or worse yet, rapidly burning
188.8.131.52. Watch your language in your postings. Some groups tolerate
a certain level of profanity, but abd-w since its inception has been a
newsgroup where George Carlin's seven words and other related invective
have not been put in play very often.
184.108.40.206. Unless you modify the header in your message with something
like "X-no-archive = yes", your posting gets archived by DejaNews and/or
related search engines. Do you *really* want all of cyberspace who's curious
enough to search out read your profile to note you as a person to be avoided
because your messages are so filled with nastiness? Should electrons be
diverted to enshrine your incoherent screeds?
220.127.116.11. If you're the recipient of flamage, you've got a much harder
job than the troll who is wasting bandwidth in the attack. You've got to
*not* respond. Bite your lip. Sit on your hands. Close your newsreader,
turn off your computer, and walk away if you have to. Trolls thrive on
the quickly dashed off response filled with emotion. They aren't susceptible
to elegantly reasoned out appeals to amend their bad behavior.
18.104.22.168.1. Think of this as a high-tech adaptation of the Amish practice
of shunning. You ignore the offender until one of two events occur. Either
the troll moves on to more flammable newsgroups, or somewhat less likely
(but a ethically superior event), notices that its bad behavior has cost
it the companionship of its former comrades. If by some happy chance, the
recovered troll goes back to posting interesting and enjoyable messages,
welcome it back by responding in a similar fashion. It knows it crossed
the line, and it has paid the price.
22.214.171.124. I've noticed several instances in my time online where newcomers
to groups do something that violates the group's norms, get *plonked* by
the regulars, but sit back and figure out where they messed up. They amend
their styles and become welcome members of the group.
126.96.36.199. As for the unrepentant trolls, no big loss if they leave.
Really. They may or may not get a clue, but you don't have to invest any
psychic, spiritual, mental, or electrical energy on them. Only time will
tell for them.
188.8.131.52. Killfiles (if your newsreader supports them) and marking the
offending thread "to be ignored" are good things. Use these features. If
you don't smell the smoke, you won't get upset and fan the flames higher.
6.3.4. If you find yourself on the sidelines watching, you've got to
follow the guidelines in 5.3.3 too. If you want to support the person or
persons attacked, a brief email off the group, especially if you respect
how the person is not making matters worse, will probably encourage them
and help them persevere. Publicly taking sides against the troll ends up
feeding its sense of "me against a cold cruel world" and things get worse.
6.3.5. Don't think that we are advocating mindless conformity and sycophancy
here, because we're not. We've had truly free- wheeling discussions, and
people have been quite passionate in defense of their views. The goal should
be always to avoid personal attacks and accept the fact that not every
person in the group is in complete alignment with your world view. We're
all brought together here because we enjoy the Mad Wizard's works, and
while we're on this common ground, we're all welcome to pitch our tents
and stay a while.
6.4. Wombat Flinging
6.4.1. In a past flame war, Wombat Woman flung herself into the fray
as a warning to the group that things were going too far. Her commentary
about this series of events is as follows:
184.108.40.206. I admit to a bit of concern about wombat FLINGing. This is
something that apparently started in jest while I was off the NG for a
couple of weeks. My return and resulting discovery of the thread coincided
with the recent flame war, and so the wombat was flung. Now what? While
I don't have an objection to playing referee, I'd rather not become a NG
nazi--or a self-righteous troll.
220.127.116.11. In the most recent situation, I did not FLING myself into
the fray until two separate and non-flaming NG members suggested it. I
limited myself to a single posting in which I attempted to define non-acceptable
behaviour. I attempted to inject a little bit of humor in hopes of dampening
18.104.22.168. *If* I ever resort to FLINGing again, I will again wait until
other NG members suggest it. I will only post once. I will attempt to use
humor to defuse the situation. My purpose in posting will be to let the
troll(s) know that such behaviour is not accepted on abd-w and to remind
other NG members Not To Feed the Trolls.
6.4.2. If someone on the ng mentions flinging the wombat, this is where
we came up with this tactic. Flamewar DEFCON protocols are as follows:
22.214.171.124. Five is peacetime
126.96.36.199. Four is be alert
188.8.131.52. Three is be worried
184.108.40.206. Two is wombat lock and load
220.127.116.11. One is Wombat Attack Inbound
6.4.3. Wombat Woman is honorary captain of the FLINGers, but any member
of the ng should be able to take up marsupials in defense of the collective
8) Spoiler Protection
7.1. Every newsgroup has its version of the endless thread, ours seems
to be casting of the Honor movie/miniseries.
7.2. There is a website set up for voting on the casting call at http://www.nimitz.net/honor_harrington/.
Thanks to Randy and Anne Kaelber for putting this all together.
7.3. There's a new runner-up to this category -- the gun thread. Several
threads seem to degenerate into either arguments about carrying guns or
comparisons between the weight of metal different people carry. This may
be part of what makes us such an unusually civil newsgroup.
9) Other Authors
8.1. Not all of us in the newsgroup are able to get (and devour) David's
latest works promptly (e.g. if you live in small towns or outside of the
North American book distribution system). Others wait until the hardback
books get released in paperback before they can join in the discussions.
8.2. Many of us participate in other newsgroups and mailing lists where
spoiler protection is invoked. With Baen's practice of posting a substantial
number of sample chapters online well before release of the books, the
possibility of inflicting spoilage on people who want to devour the book
all at once upon release or are waiting for paperback release has now gotten
too high. If you want to share spoilerish commentary with the newsgroup,
it would be appreciated if you to note that clearly in the subject header
with a [spoiler] tag and include 25 blank lines and a control-L before
any of your comments or quotes of other people's postings.
8.2.1. Someone recently quoted some material found on a web site without
clearly noting spoilage content and many of us were not happy with the
result. Con reports seem to be especially suspect.
8.2.2. And of course, all the spoiler tags and blank lines are useless
if your subject heading is a blatant spoiler! Discretion is the better
part of valor.
10) Other DW Resources on the
9.1. Who is Lois McMaster Bujold, and why are so many folks in a newsgroup
dedicated to David Weber talking about her?
9.1.1. Lois McMaster Bujold is another of Baen Books' top authors and
a Hugo and Nebula winner for installments of her Miles Vorkosigan saga.
There seems to be a fairly large overlap between Bujold fandom and Weberphiles,
so even though Bujold discussions are technically off-topic, the newsgroup
consensus seems to be tolerating them with the addition of a [bujold] tag
in the subject line to allow folks to filter or killfile those discussions.
Further Bujold fannish information can be found at http://www.dendarii.com.
9.2. Who is John Ringo?
9.2.1. John Ringo is an a.b.d-w/Baen's Bar mustang. He's been a regular
contributor both in our newsgroup and on Baen's Bar for quite a while.
Then he published his own first book, A Hymn Before Battle, with Baen in
August 2000. He has, as of this writing, four books published, including
two co-authored with David, and more on the way. John also remains an active
participant in a.b.d-w. John's novels are considered on-topic in abdw.
You can find more information about John on his web page at http://www.johnringo.com/.
11) Miscellaneous Stuff
10.1. Scott Deering's Unofficial David Weber Fan Club Page
was one of the very first fan sites, but seems to be rather out of date.
10.2. The Baen Books Website has sample chapters and a discussion board
for addicts of Baen products (large Weberphile contingent) and a separate
board for virtual mercenaries to play in at http://www.baen.com/.
They also have a free library online of several published books, including
a number by David Weber at http://www.baen.com/library.
10.3. Mike Weber's webpage is chock full of stuff that the Family Weber
is up to. Go to http://weberworld.virtualave.net/
for the website
10.4. Cool Renderings of Ships (Check them out! The artists are part
of the newsgroup.)
10.5. Aegys's Hall of Honor (http://www1.jump.net/~fearless/)is
another good starting point for fans of the Honor Harrington books and
contains portions of the Royal Manticoran Encyclopaedia. This site is a
great addition and very helpful to fans of the series. There's also a discussion
board that is rather busy with Weberphiles. The chat board URL is http://disc.server.com/Indices/4096.html.
Many of these folks do online chat on Thursday evenings (6 PM Central US
time). Aegys also set up the Honor Harrington webring with a listing of
current sites at: http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=honor_h;list.
10.6. Ed Hogg has created a website for the People's Republic of Haven
that counteracts the propaganda put forth by the Manticoran Alliance. For
another side to the story, see: http://www.equus.demon.co.uk/peeprep/index.html.
10.7. Joe Buckley hosts Dahak's Orbit, which usually carries chapters
of upcoming books, among other interesting info (such as this FAQ), at
12) The Filks
13) The Great ABD-W Typo Hunt
11.1. Other odd topics of conversation have included: the relative
merits of the cover art for the Honor books, one fun thread that started
out wondering what would happen if Weber characters crossed over into the
Star Trek universe, then it cascaded to encompass other universes and inspire
a filksong, and comments about other books, TV shows, and movies that newsgroup
members enjoy. Note: spoiler protection probably ought to be added to these
discussions out of courtesy. "Babylon 5" spoilers, especially, are liable
to result in your introduction to a certain gang of bat-wielding Narns.
You don't want that to happen, trust me!
11.2. Here's a question that needed an answer: "I see a lot of references
to E. E. "Doc" Smith and the Lensman universe in the newsgroup....what's
the connection to David Weber?" Mike Richards wrote a very good capsule
11.2.1. Who is E.E. "Doc" Smith?
18.104.22.168. Edward Elmer Smith, Ph. D., was a writer of SF novels from
the late twenties until his death in the mid sixties. He was perhaps the
first author to write recognisable "Space Opera" novels, with his Skylark
and Lensman series ("Triplanetary", "First Lensman", "Galactic Patrol",
"Grey Lensman", "Second Stage Lensman", "Children of the Lens" and "Masters
of the Vortex"). The latter books in particular featured not-implausible
science (based on what was believed at the time it was written), a meticulously
detailed plot spread over several self contained stories, characters changing
and developing, space battles on a galactic scale and truly awesome weaponry.
It was a source of inspiration for the "Green Lantern" comics, and was
also one of the first SF series to portray any strong female characters,
with Clarissa MacDougal (the "Red Lensman") and her daughters fully the
equal of anyone they met.
22.214.171.124. Now, fifty years on, the books look dated (particularly some
of the science), but the stories remain popular. They were among the SF
works that David (and Mike) Weber grew up with, and favourable comparisons
have been drawn in the newsgroup.
126.96.36.199. Most of Smith's work went out of print in the early eighties,
but the Lensman series has just been reissued ("Ripping" in the UK, "Old
Earth Books" of Baltimore, Maryland in the US) and the other books can
often be found in second-hand bookstores. The anime version bears little
relation to the stories other than some names.
188.8.131.52. A "Lensman FAQ" is posted occasionally on rec.arts.sf.written
by Gharlane of Eddore.
14) Frogs and Buzzards and Tortoises,
13.0. Note from the Deputy Mad Archivist: This section has not been
updated with this version of the FAQ. We've had several new books published,
and plenty of new typos found, since the last version of this FAQ was created.
However, all of these are stored away somewhere in the secret depths of
the Mad Archivist's computer, which is currently inaccessible since Cap'n
Cynthia's ISP has just gone under at this point.
13.1. Joe Buckley calls them Weberisms in his recent compilation of
the spoils of the Typo Hunt [Archivist's Note: This is not to be considered
a blanket indictment of the quality of work the proofreaders are doing
(Kate Verleger gave a most impassioned defense of that most thankless job)
but when a writer like TOWiDW creates such detailed universes, Deity alone
knows that there are plenty of opportunities for gremlins to do their will
and have discrepancies show up in the final product.] The top offenders
so far are:
13.1.1. Honor Harrington Series
184.108.40.206. When Honor is knighted at the end of Honor of the Queen,
Sir Anthony Langtry says his authority to do so is as Her Majesty's Ambassador
to Haven, not Grayson. Whoops! (attribution is unclear, John Moreno and
Splifford had this discussion on both abd-w and rasfw recently, but this
could also have been brought up in the infancy of the newsgroup)
220.127.116.11. Sir Lucien Cortez, head of the RMN BuPers, gets called Lucius
several times. (Jeanne Hedge posted about this one)
18.104.22.168. Another contribution by Jeanne Hedge... In HAE, at the Steilman-Wanderman
Captain's Masts (pgs 442-446 of the US hardcover edition): Steilman's charges
include violation of Article 35 (assaulting a fellow crewman). Wanderman
is charged with violating Article 36 (fighting with a fellow crewman, with
aggravated circumstances). Yet when Captain Harrington passes punishment
on Wanderman, she says it is for violation of Article 35, with aggravated
22.214.171.124. The first paperback printing of Flag in Exile gives the Gregorian
equivalent date of 3919, the second printing is corrected to 4019 and is
consistent with the time line in More than Honor. (I caught that one in
126.96.36.199. Joe Buckley recently found this in his re-reading of the
saga: "One I spotted the other day was during the scene when McKeon, Harrington,
and her Guard are in _Prince Adrian's_ lift after Honor's arrival aboard
and McKeon was discussing the 'burn-before-reading' secret multi-stage
missiles and mentions that he worked on the first field trials of the FTL
coms when he was with _Madrigal_. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but he's
only had _Troubadour_ and _Prince Adrian_. He may well have worked *with*
_Madrigal_ before he showed up in Yeltsin in the same short squadron as
her, but it was when he was CO of _Troubadour_. (In Enemy Hands)
188.8.131.52. In Enemy Hands also provided additional fuel for Joe's musings:
"Then we have a section that several rereadings has failed to illuminate:
About the time when _Prince Adrian_ is about to translate out of hyper,
we get a discourse on the relative lack of sophistication of the _Prince
Consort_ class ships' accomodations. I have yet to sort out what he means
when he jumps from discussing _Prince Consorts_ to _Crown Princes_ to _Star
Knights_. The _Prince Consorts_ and the _Star Knights_ are easy enough
to see, but where do the _Crown Princes_ fit into that discourse? Unless
the _Crown Princes_ were supposed to have had the squadron flag accomodations
before the _Star Knights_ rolled out.
184.108.40.206. And Joe found the following in the prologue to Echoes of
Honor: Something that stuck out at me when I first read the prologue to
_Echoes of Honor_ was during Boardman's mention the _Sirius_. Well, correct
me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure *someone* will!), but in _On Basilisk Station_,
she was designated PMSS _Sirius_." Joe suggests "If you want some more
fun with _tHotQ_, reread the section where the Grayson/Manticore task force
gets spanked. Particularly where it discusses the engagement envelope for
_MSN Principality_/_PNS Breslau_. ( Re: closest approach of Graysons to
_Breslau_ being one hundred million kilometers.)
220.127.116.11. Jack Tingle found a rather serious timeline problem: "As
an exercise, I put together a simple timeline from the HH books. Frankly,
it doesn't hold water. There's a 0.52% error in the long term time line,
and all of the events in "TSVW" had to have taken no more than 2 days.
That's the time between HH assuming command of the Nike and the final battle
as reported in Lord Young's court martial. (RE: Honor assumed command of
_Nike_ on 6/21/282 and White Haven stated at the courts' opening that the
events in question took place on or about 6/23/282.)
18.104.22.168. Navbuoy noticed the following discrepancy: Honor got an elevation
in rank from Knight Companion to Knight Commander between THotQ and tSVW.
22.214.171.124. Brom O'Berin has the following inquiry about the Manticore
wormhole termini... OBS paperback version pg 52 describes the Manticore
wormhole as having 'no less than six additional termini' ... plus 'the
survey readings suggested there should be at least one more undiscovered
terminus' ... and the diagram at the front of OBS shows and names six (Basilisk,
Republic of Haven, Phoenix, Solarian League, Mazapan and Anderman Empire)
termini ...However the MTH appendix (Universe of HH) ... in (4)(B) on the
Manticore Junction - pg 350 - has the junction connected to _five_ additional
termini (names all but Mazapan) plus possibility of one, maybe more undiscovered
termini ...Which one is canon ... or blooper, etc.
126.96.36.199.1. Joe Buckley replies: "I'd imagine that _MTH_ was in error,
since Book 1 (_OBS_) mentioned the six and named them, as well as all of
the subsequent Junction Maps showed all six. (Unless, of course, this is
a further example of letting the treecat out of the bag early like his
FTL-comm pulse rate fiasco.) Just my two bits.
188.8.131.52. Brom O'Berin also had the following question about the number
of Honor's hyper-capable commands: "How about where Honor in uniform is
described as having _six_ gold stars ... representing 6 hyper-capable commands.
Unless I have Alzheimer's, shouldn't that be five ... for 'Hawkwing' (DD),
'Fearless' (CL), 'Fearless' (CA), 'Nike' (BC), and 'Wayfarer' (AMC)?
184.108.40.206. An unknown contributor found the following discrepancy between
On Basilisk Station and the technical appendix in More than Honor (thanks
to Joe Buckley for finding it for me): "Well, IIRC, the Honorverse forts
are *not* driveless. They can maneuver slightly. I seem to recall a mention
of their being able to pull about 100g's (perhaps in OBS?), but that was
negated by the acceleration tables supplied in MtH."
220.127.116.11. Scott Powers caught the following, and Navbuoy confirmed
that this is a major typo in the series: In "On Basilisk Station" the forts
are described this way: "The smallest fortress out there massed close to
sixteen million tons, twice as a superdreadnaught" (Chap. 5, pg. 55). Later
in that same chapter, is this: "the 'forts' in the outer ring had to be
able to move to fill in the gaps and mass upon an attacker. Their maximum
acceleration rates were low, well under a hundred gravities, but their
initial position had been very carefully planned. Their acceleration would
be enough to intercept attacking forces headed in-system, and their engines
were sufficiently powerful to generate impeller wedges and sidewalls to
protect them." (pg. 57) In "More Than Honor", at the back of the book,
in the section titled "The Universe of Honor Harrington" 8,500,000 tons
is the limit of a warships size, with maximum acceleration dropping rapidly.
An SD has an acceleration of 420 gees, a ship of 9,547,500 tons would have
an acceleration of 1 g. (Pg.309-310) By this, we can assumethat the 16,000,000
ton forts would have an acceleration of effectively ZERO gees. Either I
missed something, or DW did.
18.104.22.168. Casey Lazo says, "My favorite is in Honor Among Enemies
(I think): the one with the reference to the *Sky* Kingdom (of Manticore).
IIRC, it appeared in both the hardcover and paperback releases.
22.214.171.124. Casey also found the following in the online version of
Chapter 14 of Echoes of Honor: "[Honor] stepped closer, moving slightly
to one side to get the sunset out ofher *eyes*..." ?!? Unless she's developed
a third eye, that ought to have been in the singular, ne?
126.96.36.199. On page 6 of Field of Dishonor, TZ found: "The heaviest
Manticoran units were 6 battlecruisers, 3 of them already circled by the
flashing yellow bands of combat damage, and 6 superdreadnoughts led the
Peeps charging up their wakes." However, Admiral Chin's heaviest unit was
a dreadnought and not a superdreadnought.
188.8.131.52. Thomas Ambuehler points out a German typo in Honor Among
Enemies: "When the Andermani Admiral Rabenstrange challenges the Q-ship,
he firstly uses German, and he says "Gutten Morgen, Kapitain!" This really
struck me like a bolt. It should be "Guten Morgen, Kapitän!" But that
is only because he used my mother tongue." That just goes to show that
typo hunting is an international and multilingual pastime!
184.108.40.206. Here's a typo that Miguel Velez had to remind me about after
an eleven-month lapse (my bad): In IEH, there's a line about Haven being
over 1800 light-years from Earth which justifies not recalling the Foreign
Secretary and making him take a six month trip back home. However, Miguel
noted that the appendix of MTH states that Haven is 667 LY from Earth (155
LY more than Manticore). David confirmed that it is a typo, but that the
six month transit time is about right. DW elaborated further: "Assume
the distance is 620 LY; to make the trip in 6 months, you'd have to average
around 1,240 times the speed of light which is just about right for a "fast"
merchant ship. Given that merchies don't go above the Delta bands, where
the maximum attainable effective velocity is about 1,100 cee (don't have
the tech manual in front of me), even at 6 months, you'd have to assume
a merchie in the Epsilon bands (max effective V = about 1,400 cee) to get
a 6 months turn around. Now, if they put him on a courier boat and ran
him home clear up in the Zeta bands (which they wouldn't normally do with
an important diplomat), they could cover 620 LY in about 3.5 months, which
is still a pretty long time. Assuming your 667 LY figure is right (and
it probably is) a merchant ship in the Epsilon bands should take about
5.6 months--still close to the 6 month transit figure. A courier boat would
take about 3.7 months for the same trip. Yes, I suppose you can go ahead
and post it with Cynthia. As I said, I'm not sure how it got in there in
the first place. Sigh."
13.1.2. Dahak/Fifth Imperium
220.127.116.11. Just to show you that we're not just picking on the Honorverse
for typos, Jason found the following in Mutineer's Moon: "In the October
'94 edition, p156, when Colin is getting ready for the fighter strike.
Sentence reads "He hung his gray gun on his suit webbing" As that's the
only mention of gun color that I've come across, I presume it's supposed
to read "grav gun"."
18.104.22.168. Joe Buckley found this as well: "Another little glitch that
I always trip over is in "Heirs of Empire", just after _Isreal_ (spelling?)
is unceremoniously ejected from _Imperial Terra_ and the kids are doing
their systems checks: Harriet refers to her brother Sean during her part
of the brief as *Colin*.
22.214.171.124. And another goodie caught by Joe's eagle eyes: "When Gen.
Hatcher is discussing recent developments of the Siege with (I believe)
Horus and the Achuultani use of Iapetus as a bludgeon, he mentions that
the current orbital position of Saturn puts it 1.5 *trillion* kilometers
13.1.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
126.96.36.199. Daniel Bernstein found this in Oath of Swords: On page 192,
when Bahzell and Brandark are counting their money, it says "...and Bahzell
sat back to let Brandark count it." At the bottom of the same page, though,
we have "Bahzell finished counting..."
15) ABDW Acronyms (send me
ones I've missed!)
14.1. Kate Verleger, our Judge Advocate General, and resident chief
of amphibian artillery has described the tradition of lobbing frogs at
punsters. Other abd-w denizens have adapted this tradition recently to
include other members of the animal kingdom such as buzzards and tortoises.
Look out Below! We've got a whole group of folks (ROMANCE) who are the
chief flingers of animalia and their preferred target are snerkers who
publicly gloat about privileged information online. Check out http://members.aol.com/gwynedd/beatrice/index.html#top
for the history, including a contribution by the Mad Wizard Weber himself.
14.1.1. As requested, here is a short history of the role of Frogs
in mechanized warfare. (edit it as you see fit: I decided I'd better err
on the side of caution and be as complete as possible).
14.1.2. The tradition of Frogs in Warfare is a long and honorable one,
whose origins date back approximately twenty years to Bryn Mawr College,
outside of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania.
14.1.3. At this college is a dormitory called Denbigh Hall, and in
this dorm is a common room called a back smoker. The point of back smokers,
originally, was to provide students a place in the back of the dorm where
they could smoke in peace and not disturb anyone, and, not so coincidentally,
burn down the building (again).
14.1.4. As time progressed, a particular sort of people tended to collect
in the back smoker: among the more illustrious Denbigh Back Smoker (DBS)
alumnae is the author Caroline Stevermer (Bryn Mawr '77), and to whose
denizens her novel, _A College of Magics_, is dedicated. As the people
collected in the DBS, so did the books they tended to read
14.1.5. The inhabitants of the DBS developed two means of communicating
with one another: face to face conversation, and a sort of bound bulletin
board, called the DBS Diary. In the Diary, the Mawrtyrs would write anonymously,
under pseudonyms, or under their own names, messages to one another or
the group at large.
188.8.131.52. For example, "May 5, 1995: Calamity is happy to announce
the birth of a Senior Thesis (52 pages text, 6 pages endnotes, 5 pages
bibliography), at approximately 3 am this morning, "A Spectrum of Characters:
Religion, Love and Responsibility in _The Brothers Karamazov_". Viewing
upon request, IBM WP 5.1 or paper only."
184.108.40.206. Alternatively, "Cheat session for Spring Ball Erd Liv Rm
12 pm Sat. --Amy L."
14.1.6. In approximately 1980, someone left to the DBS as a May Day
Gift (gifts are traditionally given by upperclasswomen to younger students
on the morning of the College's celebration of May Day), a stuffed green
frog. The frog was of convenient size, approximately 8x8x8, slightly understuffed,
and was a fading green.
220.127.116.11. No one knows the first time that it was thrown in outrage
at a particularly bad pun, however the idea quickly caught on and spread
to the other major backsmoker on campus in Erdman Hall. Further, when one
was with one's fellow denizens but away from the DBS (thus without the
frog), and a particularly bad pun was uttered, one could say to the offender
"Frog!" and the frog would have been considered thrown.
18.104.22.168. This extended to the diary: when a pun was posted to the
diary, the first responder to the pun would be likely to write as his/her
post "frog," "thwap" (the sound the frog makes when impacting a target),
or draw a frog into the diary, and the frog would be considered duly thrown.
Bad jokes were equally considered worthy of frogging.
22.214.171.124. I adapted this practice to the 'net to express my responses
to the epidemic of viral punning online.
14.1.7. Frogging 101
126.96.36.199. Frog: noun. 1. any of numerous tailless, chiefly aquatic
amphibians of the order Salienta, and especially of the family Ranidae,
having a smooth, moist skin, webbed feet, and long hind legs adapted for
jumping. 2. A projectile punning mechanism, with a selector switch for
automatic / semiautomatic. Users are advised to chamber the frog before
firing. (The projectile gives a satisfactory "thwap" sound as described
by manufacturer's spec that way). Available in a variety of projectile
sizes, from amazonian tree, through green Clemens, up to and including
Denbigh Stuffed (recommended only for
targets at least 6 feet from user).
188.8.131.52. No incantation required prior to depressing trigger (see
"sending messages"), though specifying size of projectile would be an amusing
14.1.8. PLEASE! Practice good research habits! If you're going to start
frogging on an ng without an active Bryn Mawr Alum on it (who ought to
be able to explain the tradition), CITE YOUR SOURCE for the tradition.
14.1.9. The appropriate citation if you're relaying the tradition on
to someone else--in person or on the net--is: Denbigh Back Smoker, Denbigh
Hall, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA,c. 1980.
14.1.10. That's really all there is to it, with one caveat: Remember
to tell your frogs to look before they leap--they've got better odds of
hitting their targets that way.
14.1.11. May the Frogs be with you, Kate Verleger, Igor--sorry, that's
Graduate Assistant, Department of Economics, Indiana University; Ars Bacheloris,
Russian, Bryn Mawr College, 1995; Fearless Leader, Doublestar Science Fiction
and Fantasy Club, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, 1993-1995.
184.108.40.206.1.  This is how Homer got shelved next to McCaffrey.
220.127.116.11.2.  It is interesting to note that the DBS Diary, likewise
the Erdman Back Smoker Diary (also of Bryn Mawr), both behave in a -very-
similar fashion to a ng today. Even anonymously, flaming other writers
was severely sanctioned, threads of conversation developed and were quickly
lost as you had to flip through page upon page of "posts" to find out what
"happened" since the last time you wrote, and the more stressed out the
posters were (such as during finals or midterm exams), the more they wrote.
18.104.22.168.3.  Period methods of lobbing frogs are available: by
hand, long bow, recurve, javelin, and crossbow, for period use.
14.2. Jack Tingle also notes another use of the FROG acronym that would
be of interest to a fair number of the group (the technology and tactics
mavens) which is not related to Kate's tradition: "WRT FROG, note also
NATO designation for light Soviet-made, land-based, ballistic artillery
rocket; "Free Rocket Over Ground", which the US semi-copied as the MLRS.
14.2.1. This weapon class dates back to the Congreve rockets used by
the British in the Napoleonic wars. They were eventually superseded by
large guns in European warfare, but Russian and later Soviet doctrine never
gave up on them. Naval equivalents were also never abandoned, since rocket
bombardment of land emplacements from barges were often useful during the
ramp-up to amphibious assults (or even amphibian assaults).
14.2.2. One of the more famous Soviet relatives of the FROG was the
light, infantry-carried Katyushka bombardment rocket, used by the Viet
Cong in the war in Indochina."
14.3. The members of ROMANCE have expanded this to include a wide variety
of amphibians, even going so far as to borrow a concept from Terry Pratchett
and use eagle-launched TORTOISEs (see _Small Gods_ by Terry Pratchett).
16) Thanks/Acknowledgements for
15.1. TOWiDW = The One Who is David Weber
15.2. HWKABSM = He Who Knows All But Suggests Most (David Weber)
15.3. MWW = (the) Mad Wizard Weber
15.4. SWMBOiG = She Who Must Be Obeyed in Greenville (Sharon Weber)
16.1. My thanks to "AmyCat" <amy_c@efn.SPAM-SUCKS.org> ["You know
what to delete if you want to e-mail me!" <g>] for proofreading and
being my beta reader on the original version and to all the past and current
members of the newsgroup for keeping me honest and nudging me to do the
16.2. Contributions to future versions of the FAQ are gratefully solicited
in advance. I will advise the RMN Bureau of Personnel that all FAQ contributors
should be considered candidates for the RMN Medal of Gallantry and my own
personal order, the Mad Archivist's Thanks.
16.3. Past recipients of the Mad Archivist's Thanks are (in no particular
order): Ken Nixon, Kate Verleger, David Bell, Mike Richards, Carmold, Captain
Button, Dan Cannata, Brom O'Berin, Joe Buckley, Jeanne Hedge, Scott Powers,
Casey Lazo, Navbuoy, John Moreno, Splifford, Jason at concentric.net, Jack
Tingle, TZ, Miguel Velez, and Wombat Woman.
16.4. Recipients of the Deputy Mad Archivist's Thanks are: Marten Kemp,
Robert Woodward, Michael Dolbear.
16.5. Recipients of the Cashew Cluster to the Mad Archivist's Thanks
are: Daniel Bernstein, Linda Fox.
16.6. And of course, profuse thanks go to David Weber himself, who
provides us all with a reason to get together in the virtual world.