Midshipman's Hope (Seafort Saga Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

David Feintuch’s acclaimed Seafort Saga begins as Nicholas Seafort sets off on an interstellar naval adventure he will never forget
In the year 2194, seventeen-year-old Nicholas Seafort is assigned to the Hibernia as a lowly midshipman. Destination: the thriving colony of Hope Nation. But when a rescue attempt goes devastatingly wrong, Seafort is thrust into a leadership role he never anticipated. The other officers resent him, but Seafort must handle more dangerous problems, ...
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Midshipman's Hope (Seafort Saga Series #1)

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Overview

David Feintuch’s acclaimed Seafort Saga begins as Nicholas Seafort sets off on an interstellar naval adventure he will never forget
In the year 2194, seventeen-year-old Nicholas Seafort is assigned to the Hibernia as a lowly midshipman. Destination: the thriving colony of Hope Nation. But when a rescue attempt goes devastatingly wrong, Seafort is thrust into a leadership role he never anticipated. The other officers resent him, but Seafort must handle more dangerous problems, from a corrupted navigation computer to a deadly epidemic. Even Hope Nation has a nasty surprise in store. Seafort might be the crew’s only hope . . . This page-turning science fiction in the vein of Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card—with a dash of Horatio Hornblower—marks the captivating debut adventure in Feintuch’s hugely popular Seafort Saga.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This first in a series depicting the career of interstellar naval officer Nick Seafort thrusts the inexperienced midshipman unexpectedly into a position of command, where the fate of an entire spaceship of colonists rests in his hands.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453295601
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 1/8/2013
  • Series: Seafort Saga , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 389
  • Sales rank: 146,666
  • File size: 827 KB

Meet the Author

David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. He later expanded into the fantasy genre with his Rodrigo of Caledon series, including The Still and The King
David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. He later expanded into the fantasy genre with his Rodrigo of Caledon series, including The Still and The King.     
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Read an Excerpt

Midshipman's Hope


By David Feintuch

Warner Aspect

ISBN: 0-446-60096-2


Chapter One

"Stand to!" I roared, but I was too late; even as Alexi and Sandy snapped to attention, Hibernia's two senior lieutenants strolled around the corridor bend.

We froze in stunned tableau: I, the senior midshipman, red with rage; a portly passenger, Mrs. Donhauser, jaw agape at the blob of shaving cream on her tunic; my two middies stiffened against the bulkhead, eyes locked front, towels and canisters still clutched in their hands; Lieutenants Cousins and Dagalow, dumbfounded that middies could be caught cavorting in the corridors of a U.N.N.S. starship, even one still moored at Ganymede Orbiting Station.

If only I'd come down from the bridge a few seconds sooner I'd have been in time, but I'd been helping Ms. Dagalow enter the last of our new stores into the puter's manifests.

Lieutenant Cousins was curt. "You too, Mr. Seafort. Against the bulkhead."

"Aye aye, sir." I stiffened to attention, eyes front, furious at my betrayal by a friend whose sense I'd thought I could trust.

Alexi Tamarov, the seating middy at my side, was sixteen and third in seniority. When I'd first reported aboard, he'd considered challenging me but hadn't, and we'd since become comrades. Now his antics with Sandy had gotten us all in hot water.

Across the gleaming corridor Ms. Dagalow's eye betrayed a glint of humor as she pried the canister of shaving cream from Sandy Wilsky's reluctant fingers. She passed it to Lieutenant Cousins. Once again, I wished she were the senior lieutenant; Mr. Cousins seemed to take undue pleasure in the ship's discipline he dispensed.

Lieutenant Cousins snapped, "Yours, middy? Are you old enough to use it?" From close observation during the five weeks since I'd joined Hibernia at Earthport Station. I knew that at fourteen Sandy had not yet made the acquaintance of a razor. That meant he had, um, borrowed it. From me, perhaps. At seventeen, I was known to shave, if rarely.

"No, sir." Sandy had no choice but to answer. "It's Mr. Holser's." I bit my lip. Lord God, that was all this fiasco needed: trouble with Midshipman Vax Holser. Vax, almost nineteen, resented me and didn't care if it showed, for he'd missed being first middy by only a few weeks. He was full-grown, shaved daily, and worked out with weights. His surly manner and ominous strength encouraged us all to give him a wide berth.

Lieutenant Cousins nodded to Mrs. Donhauser, whose outrage had subsided into wry amusement. "Madam, my sincere apologies. I assure you these children"-he spat out the word with venom-"will not trouble you again." His look of suppressed fury did not bode well.

"No harm done," Mrs. Donhauser said peaceably. "They were just playing-"

"Is that what you call it?" Mr. Cousins's grip tightened on the canister. "Officers in a Naval starship, chasing each other with shaving soap!"

Mrs. Donhauser was unfazed. "I won't tell you your duty, Lieutenant. But I will make it clear that I was not harmed and have no grievance, Good day." With that she turned on her heel toward the passenger cabins, presumably to change her tunic.

For a moment Lieutenant Cousins was speechless. Then he rounded on us. "You're the sorriest joeys I've ever seen! A seventeen-month cruise to Hope Nation, and I have to sail with you!"

I took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, sir. It's my responsibility."

"At least you know that much." Cousins's tone was acid. "Is this how you run your wardroom, Mr. Seafort?"

"No, sir," I wasn't sure it was the right response. Perhaps my amiable manner encouraged Sandy and Alexi to step out of line. Certainly they would never have done so under Vax Holser's tutelage.

"I expect stupidity from these young dolts, but it's your job to control them! What if the Captain had come along?"

Lord God forbid. If they'd squirted Captain Haag rather than Mrs. Donhauser, Alexi and Sandy would see the barrel, if not the brig. For good measure, the Captain might break me all the way down to ship's boy. Mr. Cousins was right. I could think of no way to placate him, so I said nothing.

It was a mistake. "Answer me, you insolent pup!"

To my surprise, Lieutenant Dagalow intervened. "Mr. Cousins, Nick was on watch. He couldn't have known-"

"It's his job to keep his juniors in line!"

I did, when I was present. What more could I do?

For some reason Ms. Dagalow persisted. "But they're young, we're moored to Ganymede Station, they were just letting off steam ..."

"Lisa, take your nose out of the puter long enough to remember the rest of your job. We have to teach them to act like adults!" From another officer it might have been a blistering rebuke, but Mr. Cousins's acid manner was well known to all, and she took no notice.

"They'll learn."

"When our shaving cream runs out?" Cousins glared at us with withering contempt before turning back to Ms. Dagalow. "Consider that by the end of the cruise at least some of them should be fit to be officers. I grant you, it's unlikely any of these fools will ever make lieutenant. But what if one of us is transferred out at Hope Nation? Do you want silly boys standing watch, fresh from shaving cream fights?"

"We've time to teach them. Nick will issue ample demerits." I certainly would. Each demerit would have to be worked off by two hours of hard calisthenics. They'd keep Alexi and Sandy out of trouble for a while.

Lieutenant Cousin's voice grew cold. "Will he?" A chill of foreboding crept down my rigid spine. "Nicky should never have been senior, we all know that." Even Lieutenant Dagalow frowned at the blatant undercutting of my authority, but Mr. Cousins was oblivious. "He'll wag his finger at them, as always." That wasn't fair; I'd kept wardroom matters from the attention of the other officers, as was expected. Except this once.

"Will you cane the two of them, then? After all, it's a wardroom affair."

"No, I'll let Nicky handle them." From the corner of my eye I saw Alexi's shoulders slump with relief. Then Mr. Cousins added sweetly, "But perhaps I can teach Mr. Seafort more diligence." He sauntered toward his cabin. "Come along, middy."

A half hour later I stood outside our wardroom, jaw aching from my failed effort not to cry out, eyes burning from the stinging pain and mortifying humiliation Mr. Cousins had inflicted across the hated barrel.

I slapped open the hatch. Inside the cramped compartment Sandy and Alexi, on their beds, dared say nothing. I crossed slowly to my bunk, stripped off my jacket and laid it on the chair. With care, I eased myself onto my bed.

After a time Alexi said quietly, "Mr. Seafort, I'm sorry. Truly." As was the custom, Alexi called me by my surname even within our wardroom. After all, I was senior middy. Only Vax Holser had the resources to ignore that tradition and get away with it.

I fought down a smoldering rage; it should have been Alexi who was caned, not I. "Thank you." My thighs smarted with exquisite agony. "You should have known better, both of you."

"I know, Mr. Seafort."

I closed my eyes, trying to will away the pain. At Academy, sometimes, it worked. "Who started it?"

"I did," they said in unison.

My fingers throttled the pillow. "Sandy, you first."

"We were in the head, washing up. Alexi splashed me. I splashed back." He glanced up, saw my face, gulped.

Skylarking, like cadets at Academy. "Go on."

"After he flicked me with a towel I grabbed the shaving cream. He chased me so I ran outside, and I was squirting him when Mrs. Donhauser came out of the lounge," I said nothing. After a moment he blurted, "Mr. Seafort, I'm sorry I got you into troub-"

"I'll make you sorrier!" I sat up, thought better of it, eased myself back on my bunk. "No officer would look into the middy's head to see how you behave. But running out into the corridor ... Mr. Cousins is right; you are dolts."

Alexi flushed; Sandy studied his fingernails.

Angry as I was, I wasn't surprised that they'd frolicked like the boys they were. What else could be expected, even on a starship? One had to go to space young to spend life as a sailor, else the risk of melanoma T was too great. Unfortunately, aboard such an immense and valuable vessel as Hibernia, there was no room for youngsters' folly.

I growled. "Four demerits apiece, for letting your foolishness get out of hand." Severe, but Mr. Cousins would have given much worse, and my buttocks stung like fire. "I'll write it as improper hygiene. Alexi, two extra for you."

"But I started it!" Sandy's protest was from the heart.

"You ran into the corridor, which should have ended it. Mr. Tamarov chose to follow, Alexi, how many does that give you?"

"Nine, Mr. Seafort." He was pale.

I growled, "Work them off fast, because I'm in no mood to overlook any offense." Ten would earn him a caning, like I'd just been given; Alexi would have to be vigilant while he worked down his demerits. "Start now; you have two hours before lunch."

"Aye aye, Mr. Seafort." They scrambled out of their bunks. In a moment they'd slipped on shoes and jackets and departed for the exercise room, leaving me the solitude I'd sought. I rolled onto my stomach and surrendered to my misery.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Midshipman's Hope by David Feintuch Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2009

    Tough love

    Excellent, clean, intelligent writing. Exciting, gripping, but it goes way beyond mere space opera, confronting issues of honor and the price of doing the right thing. Some of the best sci fi I have read in years (and I have been reading sci fi since the '70s). Even better, this book is the start of a series of equally good books.
    If you like hard-hitting, thinking-person's sci fi, Midshipman's Hope is a must. Just be aware that you will probably want to read the rest of the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    18th Century British Navy in Space

    Some have done this genre better, but it is a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    One of the best indeed

    I could not stop reading this book once I started. I finished it in two days! My personal record :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2001

    One of the best books I've read

    This book was very hard to put down by the middle of it. It is interesting, emotional, and is skillfully exciting when the author rates it necessary. David Feintuch seems to be an excellent author, and this Military/Science Fiction book is better than most! I am planning to read the rest of the saga soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2001

    Midshipman's hope

    This is the best book I have ever read. It is a must read. The story is unique and the characters seem very real. It is a truly great series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2000

    military sf worth buying

    well there are plenty of military science fictions around but this one is definitely the best of them. compared to (e.g.) falkenberg series it provides a reader with much more complicated story and far more detailed insight into main characters` mind. one last thing: you`ll not be reading this book once...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2000

    outstanding

    Without a dought the best series of books since the dragonriders of pern. i found i could hardly put it down the author is a marvel a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2000

    Reader's Hope

    Midshipman's Hope is a book that, once started, you can't put down till the end. Nick becomes a dear friend by the middle of the book, and I cry, laugh, and cheer with him everytime I sit down with the book... which is often. Few novels have the emotional impact as the Seafort novels. Only cautionary note: not for children.

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    Posted December 13, 2009

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