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Beginnings: Worlds of Honor 6
Edited by David Weber
Cover Artist: David Mattingly
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781451639032
Date: 02 July 2013 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

All stories have a beginning. The universe that Honor Harrington exploded into also has its own start. This collection brings together the tales of five separate, but important beginnings. Each story fills in an adventure that has been mentioned in the main line Honor Harrington series.

"By the Book", by Charles E. Gannon, is a pre-Solarian League tale. There is great dysfunction among the nations of Earth. Her colonies are neglected and abused. Lee Strong follows the rules to the letter. When he discovers a plot to collapse the World economy, he must decide which way to move forward.

"Call to Arms", by Timothy Zahn, is an early Manticore story. It tells the tale of the Axlerod corporation's attempt to seize the Manitcorian Wormhole junction. The battle comes down to the actions of a low ranked officer with a harebrained idea. As the seconds tick down, one shot is all that remains.

"Beauty and the Beast", by David Weber, isn't a fairy tale, it is the story of how Honor Harrington's parents meet on Beowolf. Their first adventure together is one Allison barely survives and that, only due to the demons that reside in Alfred and are released to save someone he barely knows. It is also the start of escalating action between Beowolf and Mesa.

"Best Laid Plans", by David Weber, last only until the first shots are fired. Honor Harrington was going to join the navy. She wasn't going to do anything to risk that. Laughs Brightly liked to do things his way, and his way often involved a prank. He was happy the way he was, although humans were interesting, he was not going to bond. This is the story of how Honor Harrington met Nimitz, Laughs Brightly.

"Obligated Service", by Joelle Presby, is the story of a woman with a chance for a new life. Claire Lecroix was sent to Saganami Island from Burdette Steading on Grayson. She wasn't expected to graduate or take service. But she was from a small family led by a spoiled youth, her only hope to avoid abject poverty was to be trained so that she could gain steady work outside of the Navy.

This collection along with the recent release, House of Steel: The Honorverse Companion really fills in the back story behind the Honorverse. These are the stories that fans have wanted to see for years. My favorite story was the one that told how Alfred and Allison met. I have a weird connection to the first story. There were several Tuckerizations. I personally know a few of them. There were definite personality quirks that came out that fit the story and the people that were Tuckerized.

Short story collections are not for everyone, but this is a great one. This collection should not be missed by fans of the Honorverse. Each story fills in another blank spot in the history of the Galaxy. Filling in the back story is something that Baen does well. The amount of stories that are authorized by the authors is amazing. These extras provide entertainment for fans while they await the next entry into the mainline series.

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