The Service of the Sword


Lady Dame Honor Harrington isn't alone. Her life touches others—and their lives touch hers—directly, or indirectly, whether as a naval officer, steadholder, or duchess.

In this collection, Jane Lindskold gives us the story of a prince on the brink of maturity and an extraordinary young Grayson woman named Judith—a victim of Masadan brutality, who confronts insurmountable odds in a desperate effort to lead her sisters to freedom— or—death among the stars.

Timothy Zahn weighs in with a story of the heavy cruiser HMS Fearless; a brilliant young tactical officer on temporarily detached duty; Solarian con men; secret weapons that aren't quite what they seem to be; naval spies, spooks, and dirty tricks; courage and honor; and a surprising glimpse into one of Admiral Sonja Hemphill's most crucial technological innovations.

John Ringo offers his unique blend of nonstop action and deliciously skewed humor in two offerings. The Peep planet of Prague and its brutally repressive StateSec regime will never be the same again after the unscheduled, unofficial, and thoroughly catastrophic visit by a pair of Manticoran Marines with a most peculiar taste in their holiday destinations. And then there's the question of what an explosively expanding navy does with the personnel who can't quite cut the mustard.

Eric Flint tells us the story of an idealistic young StateSec officer who finds himself in the right place at the right time following the fall of Oscar Saint-Just. Young Victor Cachat could influence the loyalty of an entire sector ... if he's only lucky enough to manage to stay alive long enough to try.

And finally, David Weber gives us the tale of the first Grayson midshipwoman on her "snotty cruise" at a time when internal tensions threaten the entire future of the Manticoran Alliance and people are about to rediscover the Fact that the Peeps are far from the only predators hiding in the stars.


David Weber is the brightest star in the new century's science fiction firmament. He is often compared to C.S. Forester (the celebrated creator of Captain Horatio Hornblower), is the recipient of critical praise worthy of Heinlein or Asimov, and has hordes of voracious fans clamoring for more and more Weber. Fortunately for them, Weber keeps steadily producing more and more books. His novels range from epic fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God's Own) to breathtaking space opera (Path of the Fury, Empire from the Ashes) to military science Action with in-depth characterization (the celebrated New York Times bestselling Honor Harrington series, War of Honor being the latest). Reviewers call Weber "irresistible . . . masterful" (Publishers Weekly), "highly entertaining" (Booklist), "outstanding . . . superb . . . Excellent" (Wilson Library Bulletin), "remarkable" (Kliatt), "the best" (Dragon), "worth shouting about" (Philadelphia Weekly Press), "great" (Locus), and "the best writer around today" (FosFax). Readers call Weber similar things, but mostly they call the Baen offices several times a week demanding more from their main man. Weber lives in South Carolina with his wife Sharon.

Illustration by David Mattingly
Cover design by Carol Russo Design

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, April 2003

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The service of the Sword / [edited] by David Weber.
p. cm. — (Worlds of Honor ; #4)
"A Baen Books original"—T.p. verso.
Contents: Promised land / Jane Lindskold — With one stone / Timothy Zahn — A ship called Francis / John Ringo & Victor Mitchell — Let's go to Prague / John Ringo —Fanatic / Eric Flint — In the service of the Sword / David Weber.
ISBN 0-7434-3599-0
1. Science fiction, American. 2. Harrington, Honor (Ficticious character)—Fiction. I. Weber, David, 1952–
PS648.S3S385 2003
813'.0876608—dc21 2002043997

Production by Windhaven Press, Auburn, NH
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-3599-4
ISBN-10: 0-7434-3599-0

Copyright © 2003 by David Weber.
"Promised Land" © 2003 by Jane Lindskold, "With One Stone" © 2003 by Timothy Zahn, "A Ship Named Francis" © 2003 by John Ringo and Victor Mitchell, "Let's Go to Prague" © 2003 by John Ringo, "Fanatic" © 2003 by Eric Flint, "The Service of the Sword" © 2003 by David Weber.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Electronic version by WebWrights


Honor Harrington:

On Basilisk Station
The Honor of the Queen
The Short Victorious War
Field of Dishonor
Flag in Exile
Honor Among Enemies
In Enemy Hands
Echoes of Honor
Ashes of Victory
War of Honor

edited by David Weber:

More than Honor
Worlds of Honor
Changer of Worlds
The Service of the Sword

Empire From the Ashes (omnibus)
Mutineers' Moon
The Armageddon Inheritance
Heirs of Empire

Path of the Fury

The Apocalypse Troll

The Excalibur Alternative

Oath of Swords
The War God's Own

with Steve White:

In Death Ground
The Shiva Option

with John Ringo:

March Upcountry
March to the Sea
March to the Stars

with Eric Flint: