[FAQ] alt.books.david-weber

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Cynthia Gonsalves

Apr 17, 2004, 7:28:21 AM4/17/04
Archive-name: sf/david-weber
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 10 December 2001
Version: 1.5
URL: <http://www.warriorgoddess.org/weberfaq.html>
Copyright: (c) 1999, 2000, 2001 Cynthia Gonsalves/Daniel Bernstein
Maintainer: Cynthia Gonsalves <cynth...@attbi.com>

Going Up in a Ball of Plasma or
the alt.books.david-weber FAQ

Last Revision by: Daniel Bernstein (Deputy Mad Archivist)

Mirrors are available at:
http://weberfaq.thefifthimperium.com/ courtesy of Joe Buckley.
http://www.nimitz.net/weberfaq.html courtesy of Randy and Anne

There is a non-US mirror site available with the generous
assistance of Mike Richards. The URL is:

Hi there and welcome to alt.books.david-weber!

Table of Contents
1) Introduction (history, partial cast of characters, general
2) Books, series, and other published miscellany
3) When, oh when, is the next book coming out?
4) Is David doing book tours?
5) In what order should I read his books (by series)?
6) Basic Netiquette or How to Save the Weapons for the Fictional
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, oh my!
15) ABDW Acronyms
16) Thanks/Acknowledgements for FAQ help

1) Introduction (history, partial cast of characters, general

* 1.1) History
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 concept)).

1.2) Other Important People
Family and friends of David Weber who play in our
cybersandbox include:

o Mike Weber-yes, they're related. Mike's four years
older than David and doesn't let his younger brother
the author forget it.
o Sue Phillips-David's sister-in-law.

New recruits may wonder who Navbuoy was:

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....

* 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!

* 1.4) Fanfic
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 here.

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.

Take Care,

2) Books, series, and other published miscellany
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.

* 2.1. Book info
o 2.1.1. Honor Harrington
+ 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)
+ Honor of the Queen (Baen, 06/1993, ISBN
+ The Short Victorious War (Baen, 04/1994,
ISBN 0-671-87596-5)
+ Field of Dishonor (Baen, 10/1994, ISBN
0-671-87624-4, hardback special edition 10/1999,
ISBN 0-671-57820-0)
+ Flag in Exile (Baen, 09/1995, ISBN
+ Honor Among Enemies (Baen, hardback
06/1996, ISBN 0-671-87723-2, paperback 06/1997,
ISBN 0-671-87783-6)
+ In Enemy Hands (Baen, hardback 08/1997,
ISBN 0-671-87793-3, paperback 10/1998, ISBN
+ More Than Honor (anthology with David
Drake and S. M. Stirling, Baen, 01/1998, ISBN
+ Echoes of Honor (Baen, hardback 10/1998,
ISBN 0-671-87892-1, paperback 10/1999, ISBN
+ Worlds of Honor (anthology with Linda
Evans, Jane Lindskold, and Roland Green, Baen,
hardback 02/1999, ISBN 0-671-57786-7)
+ Ashes of Victory (Baen, 03/2000
hardback, ISBN 0-671-57854-5, 03/2001 paperback,
+ Changer of Worlds (anthology with Eric
Flint, 03/2001 hardback, ISBN 0-671-31975-2,
02/2002 paperback, 0-7434-3520-6)
o 2.1.2. Dahak/Fifth Imperium
+ Mutineer's Moon (Baen, 10/1994 reissue,
ISBN 0-671-72085-6)
+ The Armageddon Inheritance (Baen,
10/1994, ISBN 0-671-72197-6)
+ Heirs of Empire (Baen, 03/1996, ISBN
o 2.1.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
+ Oath of Swords (Baen, 02/1995, ISBN
+ The War God's Own (Baen, 05/1998
hardback, ISBN 0-671-87873-5, 02/1999 paperback,
ISBN 0-671-57792-1)
o 2.1.4. Path of the Fury (Baen, 12/1992, ISBN
o 2.1.5. Starfire (books written with Steve White)
+ Crusade (Baen, 03/1992 reprint, ISBN
+ Insurrection (Baen, 03/1993, ISBN
+ In Death Ground (Baen, 05/1997, ISBN
+ The Shiva Option (Baen, 02/2002 hardback,
ISBN 0-671-31848-9)
o 2.1.6. The Apocalypse Troll (Baen, 01/1999 hardback,
ISBN 0-671-57782-4, 01/2000 paperback, 0-671-57845-6)
o 2.1.7. The March Series (books written with John Ringo)
+ March Upcountry (Baen, 05/2001 hardback,
ISBN 0-671-31985-X, 05/2002 paperback,
+ March to the Sea (Baen, 08/2001 hardback,
ISBN 0-671-31826-8, 08/2002 paperback, ISBN not
yet known)
o 2.1.8. The Excalibur Alternative (Baen, 01/2002
hardback, ISBN 0-671-31860-8)
o 2.1.9. The Warmasters (anthology with David Drake and
Eric Flint, Baen, 02/2002 hardback, ISBN 0-7434-3534-6)
o 2.1.10. Other Short Stories
+ "Miles to Go" in Bolos anthology #3, The
Triumphant (Pocket, 09/1995, ISBN 0-671-87683-X)
+ "The Traitor" and "A Time to Kill" in
Bolos anthology #4, Last Stand (Baen, 03/1997,
ISBN 0-671-87760-7)
+ "The Captain from Kirkbean" in Alternate
Generals, (Baen, edited by Martin Greenberg,
Roland Green, and Harry Turtledove, 08/1998, ISBN
+ "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
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.
o 2.2.1. Honor Harrington
+ HH1/OBS for On Basilisk Station
+ HH2/HotQ for Honor of the Queen
+ HH3/SVW for The Short Victorious War
+ HH4/FoD for Field of Dishonor
+ HH5/FiE for Flag in Exile
+ HH6/HAE for Honor Among Enemies
+ HH7/IEH for In Enemy Hands
+ HH/MTH for the anthology More than Honor
+ HH8/EoH for Echoes of Honor
+ HH/WoH for the anthology Worlds of Honor
+ HH9/AoV for Ashes of Victory
+ HH/Changer or CoW for Changer of
o 2.2.2. Dahak
+ D/MM for Mutineer's Moon
+ D/AI for The Armageddon Inheritance
+ D/HoE for Heirs of Empire
o 2.2.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
+ O1/OoS for Oath of Swords
+ O2/WGO for The War God's Own
o 2.2.4. Path of the Fury
+ PotF or Fury-it's short, sweet, and to
the point
o 2.2.5. Starfire
+ S/C for Crusade
+ S/I for Insurrection
+ S/IDG for In Death Ground
+ S/TSO for The Shiva Option
o 2.2.6. The Apocalypse Troll
+ AT or Troll for The Apocalypse Troll
o 2.2.7. The March Series
+ M/MU for March Upcountry
+ M/MttS for March to the Sea
o 2.2.8. The Excalibur Alternative
+ TEA. Thirsty, anyone?

3) When, oh when, is the next book coming out?

* 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

4) Is David doing book tours?

* 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.

5) In what order should I read his books (by series)?

* 5.1. Honor Harrington
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o 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
o 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
o 5.3.1. There is just one book to date in this universe.
* 5.4. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
o 5.4.1. Oath of Swords, then The War God's Own.
* 5.5. Starfire
o 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
o 5.6.1. March Upcountry, then March to the Sea.

6) Basic Netiquette or How to Save the Weapons for the Fictional

* 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
* 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
o 6.3.1. Basic Definition
+ 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.
+ 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?
o 6.3.2 What characterizes a flame war?
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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).
o 6.3.3. So, how do you put out a smoldering or worse
yet, rapidly burning flame war?
+ 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
+ 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?
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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.
o 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.
o 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
o 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:
+ 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
+ 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
the flame.
+ *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.
o 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:
+ Five is peacetime
+ Four is be alert
+ Three is be worried
+ Two is wombat lock and load
+ One is Wombat Attack Inbound
o 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 peace.

7) The Thread that Cannot/Will Not Die: Casting the Honor
Harrington Movie

* 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.

8) Spoiler Protection

* 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
* 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.
o 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.
o 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.

9) Other Authors

* 9.1. Who is Lois McMaster Bujold, and why are so many folks
in a newsgroup dedicated to David Weber talking about her?
o 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?
o 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/.

10) Other DW Resources on the Net/Web

* 10.1. Scott Deering's Unofficial David Weber Fan Club Page
http://www.movie-trailers.com/weber/ 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
* 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.)
o 10.4.1. http://www.ibfs.demon.co.uk/nojay/nike/
o 10.4.2.
o 10.4.3. Some drawings of missiles are at:
and at

* 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:
* 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 http://dahak.ne.mediaone.net/.

11) Miscellaneous Stuff

* 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 summary, enjoy!
o 11.2.1. Who is E.E. "Doc" Smith?
+ 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.
+ 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
+ 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.
+ A "Lensman FAQ" is posted occasionally
on rec.arts.sf.written by Gharlane of Eddore.

12) The Filks

* 12.1. Mike Richards' Ladies Night on Argo can be found at:
http://www.z9m9z.demon.co.uk/filk/ladies.txt, and all of
his space-related filks are at
There's a filk there about Path of the Fury as well and
the libretto to his generic do-it-yourself space opera at
* 12.2. The Gilbert and Sullivan filks from the newsgroup
filking challenge are at
* 12.3. There are also some terrific filks posted on Aegys'
discussion board, and Jonathan Cresswell has compiled them
on his own website at
http://www.netrover.com/~jcresswl/filkpg/filkpage.html. He's
got the most extensive collection of filks.

13) The Great ABD-W Typo Hunt

* 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:
o 13.1.1. Honor Harrington Series
+ 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)
+ Sir Lucien Cortez, head of the RMN
BuPers, gets called Lucius several times. (Jeanne
Hedge posted about this one)
+ 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 circumstances.
+ 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 late 1997)
+ 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)
+ 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.
+ 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.)
+ 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.)
+ Navbuoy noticed the following
discrepancy: Honor got an elevation in rank from
Knight Companion to Knight Commander between THotQ
and tSVW.
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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)?
+ 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."
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ 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?
+ 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.
+ 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, Kapit”n!" But that is
only because he used my mother tongue." That just
goes to show that typo hunting is an international
and multilingual pastime!
+ 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."
o 13.1.2. Dahak/Fifth Imperium
+ 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"."
+ 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*.
+ 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 from
o 13.1.3. The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand
+ 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

14) Frogs and Buzzards and Tortoises, oh my!

* 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.
o 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).
o 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.
o 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).
o 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[0]
o 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.
+ 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."
+ Alternatively, "Cheat session for Spring
Ball Erd Liv Rm 12 pm Sat. --Amy L."[1]
o 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.
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ I adapted this practice to the 'net to
express my responses to the epidemic of viral
punning online.
o 14.1.7. Frogging 101
+ Definition
+ 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. [2]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).
+ No incantation required prior to
depressing trigger (see "sending messages"),
though specifying size of projectile would be an
amusing read.
o 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
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
+ Notes:
+ [0] This is how Homer got
shelved next to McCaffrey.
+ [1] 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.
+ [2] Period methods of lobbing
frogs are available: by hand, long bow,
recurve, javelin, and crossbow, for period
* 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
o 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
o 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
* 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).

15) ABDW Acronyms (send me ones I've missed!)

* 15.1. TOWiDW = The One Who is David Weber
* 15.2. HWKABSM = He Who Knows All But Suggests Most (David
* 15.3. MWW = (the) Mad Wizard Weber
* 15.4. SWMBOiG = She Who Must Be Obeyed in Greenville (Sharon

16) Thanks/Acknowledgements for FAQ help

* 16.1. My thanks to "AmyCat" <am...@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
* 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.

"These terrorists aren't out for a new kind of coexistence with
us. They are out for our non-existence."
- Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, 5 Oct 2001

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