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You may have noticed that this book has two authors’ names on the cover: David Weber and Timothy Zahn. There really ought to be a third name on it, however, and that name is Thomas Pope.

When David decided to invite Tim to do an Honorverse series set in the early days of the Star Kingdom and dealing with the actual birth of the Royal Manticoran Navy, he wanted the books to do more than merely cover a time period which hadn’t been fully explored in the Honor Harrington novels. He wanted them to have a different feel, as well, and he’d always really, really liked Tim’s writing. The fact that Tim had done several short fiction pieces for the anthologies—including one which happened to be set in exactly the right time period—was icing on the cake. So after due consultation with Toni Weisskopff, the invitation was issued.

But, wait, you say! Did we not say that there should be three names on the cover? Indeed we did, because Tom Pope and BuNine have been assisting David in the expansion, indexing, and enrichment of (and other really neat labors of love for) the Honorverse for a long time now. In point of fact, it wouldn’t be especially unfair to say that by this time, Tom knows at least as much about the nuts and bolts of the Honorverse as David does, since David spends lengthy periods of time discussing them with Tom on the phone and having the occasional “Ohhhhhh, shiny!” moments along the way. So, especially since we were going to be dealing with the necessity of filling in David’s existing notes about the Star Kingdom’s early history, and the far cruder technology available at the time the RMN was created, it made perfectly good sense to him to bring Tom on board, as well. He’s been the main keeper of the technology, plot analyst, concept suggester, continuity analyst, copy editor, and proofreader throughout the project, and in the process, his contribution is as much a part of this book’s DNA as anything Tim or David might have contributed.

The only reason his name didn’t appear on the cover of this first book was a marketing concern. Because there have been so many multi-author anthologies in the Honorverse, we felt some concern lest the appearance of three authors on the cover might have led people to assume that this was another anthology, and not a complete novel intended as the first of a series of complete novels. Some people don’t read anthologies, and we were afraid they might pass this book by if that was what they thought it was. Since we happen to think it’s a pretty darn good book, we would have considered that a tragedy. Of course, the crass commercialism of missed sales would never have entered our thinking, you understand.

However, when it comes to the second and any subsequent Travis Long novels, you will see all three authors listed on their covers. Hopefully by the time Book Two comes out, this first one will have thoroughly clued them in to the fact that they are looking at novels, not anthologies.

And that’s enough about why there are only two names on the cover. If we keep on gabbing away at you’ll never get the book read. So shoo! Go read!

We hope you have as good a time reading it as the three of us had writing it.

David Weber

Timothy Zahn

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