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Series of novels by David Weber, the best space opera Mjb67 (actually scratch that - MilesVorkosigan? by Lois McMaster? Bujold is better --Mjb67) has read in years.  Read them now! They are JackAubrey (by Patrick O'Brien) InSpace.  But with less mental effort required :-)

The novels got very very bad towards the end, I thought - but if you've never heard of the french revolution and you don't mind killer space kittens, then yes - [Read Them] (You didn't link the free versions on the web?  Evil!) --Vitenka  (That link may be too general - try [direct link to table of contents for one of them])
What's wrong with his retelling of the French revolution InSpace?  Like Patrick O'Brien does, I suspect that all events are a fictionalised version of real events from original sources.  So the nations are unashamedly Britain (complete with England, Scotland and (Wales or Ireland, not sure)), France and Germany, the ships and weapons are SFified versions of dreadnaughts, battleships, aircraft carriers, etc., and the only original stuff is the characters.  And the killer space kittens are really cute.  Grayson is original I suspect, which is why it is the simplest and least believable of the nations.  Using the real world to make a universe that the readers can identify with makes them care more.  --Mjb67
Intrigued, although no time to start reading things now. Translating the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars to space is *difficult*; because of the relative unimportance of seapower in the revolutionary campaigns wrt anything set in space, where "seapower" is almost everything.

Oh, nothing wrong with such a retelling if you like that ort of thing - but it's neither accurate nor unpredictable.  Just thought I'd say what it was.  --Vitenka

It's done primarily through the use of jump nodes.  Sicne defending the entry point to a system is easier than attacking it, most of the war happens through economics and proxy, with occasional piracy raids (and a few big attack attempts) - also the aggressors melt down politically half way through.  The outside civilisations help there - lots of the war is based around trying to control strategic crossroads, mimicking the RL ivory coast.  There are a few BIG naval engagements - but for the most part, it's repelling corsairs and raiding parties.  The single naval engagement in the book linked above is between one ship, one pirate ship and a shuttle.  The fleets turn up later, glare at each other, and one slinks away without risking a shot.  --Vitenka

The ticking of the conference room's antique clock was deafening as the Hereditary President of the People's Republic of Haven stared at his military cabinet. The Secretary of the Economy looked away uncomfortably, but the Secretary of War and her uniformed subordinates were almost defiant.

Ow. That is painfully bad. Does the writing get any better, or does it stay at about the level of internet Star Trek fan-fiction?
Err, yeah - Umm... That is actually really bad... Umm, he's matured as a writer since then... or something --Mjb67

It's mostly better than that.  Though the writing never really becomes great - the subject material is its saving grace.  The space battles really are realistic.  Battles at close to relativistic speeds and engagements mostly decided on tactics at great range with single decisive engagements.  The innovation of having ships be practically invulnerable on two of their sides, hard to hurt on another two and vulnerable fore and aft makes it much more interesting, since the ships are happy with ignoring the galactic plane entirely.  The description of hyperspace (and hyperspace 'lanes') works rather well, and again makes for tactical situations.  The slow erosion of technical advantage and the discovery of obvious technologies (duhh... shall we make tow along pods that store extra missiles?) are realistic and worked into the overall story well.  --Vitenka
From a quick refresh, I do recall thinking "Hey, I can write better than this - how did this make it past the editors?" - but that's really a fairly minor fault from my point of view.  The politics are, IMHO utterly utterly dire and 'onor is a bit of a MarySue in that she would make a wonderful main character in a CRPG - she singlehandedly saves the galaxy over and over.  Average rate of impossible coincidence allowing her to win against all odds?  Two per book.  --Vitenka
Same as Hornblower, same as Jack Aubrey.  The situations are barely possible (in Jack Aubrey, you know that they actually happened exactly like that), the only problem is that they keep happening to her.  Although, (SPOILER) having her made a queen (Steader) of Grayson about 2 weeks after she arrived there was pretty bad.  (END SPOILER) But yeah, she's a MarySue.  Some of the cunning ideas they use to win battles against the odds have been thought up by my players in sessions of Star Wars RPG.  I didn't think the politics were dire, just simplistic.  You certainly wouldn't read these books as political SF like... I dunno... HopeNation??  BioOfASpaceTyrant?? Dune?
Yup - the only real rant is that it's all her her her.  There are practically no other characters in the books, and her and her damn space faring kitten just hog all the glory.  And since the politics is so peripheral and bad - why not just omit it?  --Vitenka
More recently Thomas and Shannon and a couple of other people have had some character development.  -- Senji

Note, the phrase "You damn spacefaring kittens!" is soon to become advertising fodder for a hollywood reremake of a classic.  --Vitenka

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