"I'm a storyteller. I enjoy telling stories; it's as simple as that."
David Mark Weber (born October 24, 1952) is a best-selling author of science fiction and fantasy.
Known for showing his work in Infodumps, even when using creative libertiesnote . Has a thing for Asian female protagonists. Due to injured hands, he dictates (into a computer) Door Stoppers of ever-increasing length.
He's also a naval historian, and boy does it show.
He has several major series including:<!—index—>
- Honor Harrington, his most popular series, detailing the career of a starship commander. Earlier stories fall into Recycled IN SPACE! Horatio Hornblower. Space Is an Ocean is a major trope of the series, with the FTL and Reactionless Drive technology designed to produce some navalish battles. Thirteen mainline books, and two spin off series and counting. The historical analogies are never played completely straight, and the correspondences change as the series goes on. For example, the equivalent of Napoleon does not come to power, because the bad-guy's secret police win an Enemy Civil War.
- The War Gods: Fantasy novel set in an original world created by David Weber for gaming purposes. Uses the 5 Races of Man with the equivalent Orcs as the 5th race. Notable as being set After the End of a Magitek empire. Has 4 novels and a novella, with another novel and novella to tie up the current generation eventually. A 7 book series is coming out with book one being currently edited, and per Word of God its the work he's really wanted to do for years. There's more random Word of God as its his private Tabletop Game.
- Empire from the Ashes (or the Dahak series): The Moon is a Planet Spaceship from a long dead human empire across hundreds of worlds. The moon has active countermeasures to appear perfectly harmless. Modern humans are the descendants of the loyal crew from the mutiny which stranded them. The rebels are the Ancient Conspiracy controlling our history.
- Starfire: Weber was one of the designers of the tabletop space combat game Starfire before he was an author. His first novel was essentially a compilation of some backstory for the game that that he and Steve White came up with over email. He has since co-authored three other books in the same universe.
- Safehold: Set on a Lost Colony that was deliberately lost to hide it from the aliens who destroyed the rest of the human race, and who seem to be able to detect any large-scale use of high technology. The plan was originally to rebuild humanity and develop a way to defeat the aliens while hiding from them, but the project is hijacked by individuals who brainwash the colonists and found a new religion with themselves as gods and designed to permanently lock the world in Medieval Stasis. 800 years later the plan is starting to show cracks, and the original pro-technology faction's last-ditch effort wakes up: an android containing the personality of a young female military commander, and equipped with a very few useful gadgets...
- Hell's Gate: War between two parallel Earths that have been exploring portals between parallel worlds. Until they meet all the worlds have been uninhabited. One side has magic, the other psychic talents. Word of God states a technological faction will be forthcoming.
- Bolo: David Weber is one of the most prolific writers of Bolo stories since the death of the original author, Keith Laumer. Bolos are large sentient tanks with weapons in the Megatonne per second level of firing. Notable due to the large level of Humans Are Bastards in the stories with the Bolos often being the most sympathetic characters.
- The Empire of Man: Co-written with John Ringo. Royal Brat Prince Roger, third in line to the throne of the Empire of Man, is targeted for assasination. It doesn't fail by much, and he's stranded- along with the Marine battalion responsible for keeping his sorry ass alive- on Marduk. Marduk being a Death World with distressingly unfriendly natives, it gets worse from there. On the upside, Roger belatedly gets better in a big way.
- 1632: Co-written with Eric Flint, the creator of the series. In the year 2000, a coal-mining town from West Virginia gets hurled across space and time to Germany in the 1630s, bringing a third of a millennium's worth of scientific knowledge and an iron-clad belief in the equality of all human beings to the church- and aristocrat-dominated 17th century.
- Out of the Dark: Genre-bending new series. Aliens invade the Earth, kill 3 billion, and fight the rest as pockets of resistance. The great leader of human forces rises...
- The Apocalypse Troll
- In Fury Born
Some tropes common to David Weber's works are:
- Absolute Xenophobe: All over the place. He seems to think they make excellent villains, and is probably not wrong.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Mesans (Honorverse), the Church of God Awaiting (Safehold), the Mutineers (Empire from the Ashes)
- Apocalypse How: Planetary-level class 3, 4, and 5 happen in the backstories.
- Large-scale assassination attempts (enough to classify as minor military actions) in the Empire from the Ashes, War Gods, and Safehold series.
- Author Appeal: It's quite a bit more subtle than the polygamy thing or the eternal youth thing in his books (plus the giant penis-shaped starships), but David Weber's thing for petite frequently-pregnant women is worthy of comment. While most of the pregnancies occur offscreen, Katherine Mayhew and Allison Harrington in Honor Harrington have eight to eleven pregnancies and eight live births between the two of them. There's never any discussion of the difficulties this would have on a woman of small size, just comments about how beautiful/elegant they are and how impressive it is that they're into natural pregnancy (given that his wife appears to be significantly smaller than him, and they have three children, this may be a personal fondness)...
- He also seems to have an odd need for Hold Your Hippogriffs expressions, replacing perfectly serviceable cliches with their IN SPACE equivalents for no good reason. This is exclusive to Weber's work on the series; on the novels written or co-written by others, no "hippogriffs" are usually in sight.
- So far almost every star nationnote in the Honorverse firmly supports and uses the death penalty where it comes up, while more specifically, the method of execution is hanging. No character or government, not even from the quarters you'd expect, is shown to question or oppose it.
- His support of laissez-faire capitalism vs. socialism is also quite obvious.
- In both the Honorverse and Safehold series, baseball has spread to the stars and pages of prose are dedicated to the sport.
- In "Out Of The Dark", his interest in firearms and military technology is on such display that in many scenes the weaponry receives more characterization than the actual people, at least when dealing with the humans.
- Author Catchphrase: Some examples that crop up in several of his series, though often in variations:
- "Let's be about it" is mainly used in Honor Harrington, but also crops up in The War Gods and Safehold
- "One tries" in Safehold, but also in In Fury Born and Honor Harrington.
- "...With contemptuous ease..."
- "I'm not saying X, I'm saying Y".
- "...Never-to-be-sufficiently-damned..." crops up quite a bit.
- People never hold their hand (or hands) "palm up". It's always "palm uppermost".
- "...Such as it was, and what there was of it...", with variations of tense and singular/plural, appears in over half his books.
- Anything that's really difficult or grueling has a tendency to be a "copperplated bitch". Even in Safehold, though at first only Merlin used it. After Charis actually started sheathing their ships in copper (and people who saw Merlin frequently started using the phrase) it has cropped up once or twice from people who aren't in the "inner circle".
- Characters tend to close their mouths "with an almost audible click" instead of simply doing so abruptly.
- "Unmitigated bastard" (or unmitigated similar-epithet) also crops up fairly regularly.
- "I didn't think X. I knew." Usually about the certain death Honor's flying into, and they're usually wrong.
- Author Filibuster: The plot of his books will be periodically interspersed by InfoDumps explaining how the in-universe technology, society, magic, or otherwise works.
- Bond Creature: It's common for protagonists to have telepathic sidekicks, with Nimitz, Walsharno, and Tisiphone being clear examples. Owl is a technological example.
- Character Filibuster: Characters often go into (usually wholly mental) digressions on the evils of socialism, education policies which seek to "validate" students rather than actually teach, and many other topics, depending on the plot.
- Fanwork Ban: The number one rule of writing Weber fanfic is to not post it on his official forum. The number two rule of writing Weber fanfic is to politely not tell him it exists. (Basically: "Don't do it where he can see it, because lawyers.")
- The Good King: To the extent that one can make judgments about an author's politics from his works, Weber is a not-so-closeted monarchist, describing people as biased against monarchy and toward republics in his works, no matter how tyrannical or in name only that republic is. That said, it's important to note that he's a constitutional monarchist - all of his protagonist royals preside over or strive for some form of representative government. They have real but limited powers, or wield their theoretically absolute power in an enlightened, limited way.
- Happily Married: Weber likes to put his characters through many, many types of hell — but this does not usually include an unhappy marriage. Perfectly Arranged Marriages are all over the Safehold series, and in Honor Harrington, those characters who do settle down with someone long-term tend to be very happy.note Even the Big Bad of a series (see: Albrecht Detweiler) can be happily married, in this case with his wife Evelina. Exceptions occur, of course, but they are far more rare than a happy pairing.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Some of the first books in the series have heroic characters using language that might be considered questionable thirty years later.
- Honor Harrington (In The Honor of the Queen): "Maybe by the time I come back, you'll have made enough progress with these people that my mere presence won't queer the deal for you."
- Info Dump: Frequently used, particularly in the Honorverse, though bonus points occur in On Basilisk Station, his first book in that series, where a battle is interrupted midway for a long, multi-page explanation of how the space ships work.
- Mole in Charge: Giancola (Honorverse), Kahlvyn Ahrmahk (Safehold), Lawrence Jefferson (Empire from the Ashes), The Voice of Lillinara (War Gods), Subrahmanyan Treadwell (Fury)
- Omnicidal Maniac: The Gbaba (Safehold), the Achuultani (Empire from the Ashes), the Troll and the Rish (The Apocalypse Troll)
- Reactionless Drive: Impeller drives in the Honorverse, pulled-along-by-a-black hole in In Fury Born.
- Semper Fi: Marines serve as the primary ground combat force in all his books, except In Fury Born, which has the Cadre, which are marines but more awesome.
- Space Amish: Or at least wannabe Space Amish. The planets of Grayson, Pardal, and Safehold.
- Said Bookism: Especially in the Dahak and Honor Harrington series'. Both series began in the early nineties during an era when excessive said bookisms were more the thing to do, due to editors preference. As said bookisms went out of vogue, Weber got a little better about them in more recent works.
- Technically a Smile: Often in the Honor Harrington books and sometimes in the Safehold books.
- We Will All Be History Buffs in the Future: In Apocalypse Troll, the time-traveling fighter jock just happens to be a history buff, able to spout encyclopedic explanations of events leading up to her time of origin. This extends to technical explanations of future machinery that had already become antiquated by her time.