For ages I’ve been meaning to build a set of pages that explore one of the most developed sci-fi universes I’ve ever come across – the Honorverse. There are 14 books in the main series, plus numerous spin-offs and non-fiction material to flesh out the universe. I have only read the main series, though perhaps one day I’ll get around to the other books and complete my picture of the world the author, David Weber, has created.
The primary protagonist of the Honorverse is Honor Harrington, an officer in the Royal Navy of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. The books are set in what would be considered the 41st Century, though in-universe dating conventions refer to a ‘Post Diaspora’ era where a number of humans left earth following a devastating war. Under this dating convention, events occur in the early 20th Century PD, though further complicating matters is Manticore’s use of a different dating convention, AL (After Landing), marking the point – in Manticoran years – when the first shuttle landed on Manticore. The books tend to stick to PD for ease of use.
What drew me in to the books is the nature of humanity – these humans, despite being two thousand years ahead of us, are no better or worse than we are today. The machinations, politics and personal problems the characters experience are exactly the same as now, merely transplanted into space and the far future. Honor herself juggles her demons against powerful internal factions within her kingdom, whilst trying to forge a career for herself. War and conquest to stave off internal struggles at home is an all-too-familiar tale in human history and the People’s Republic of Haven embodies this problem, whilst offering some fascinating insights into opposition to oppression and tyranny.
As the books progress the quality of the saga dips and rises, as is to be expected in a widening universe that grows more and more complex, but overall I found myself rooting for Honor and her friends, willing them to have happy endings. I will warn you now that major spoilers exist throughout these pages, so don’t read if you want to experience the Honoverse for yourself.