How David Weber orders a pizza

Okay, we need a sequel. That pizza had to be delivered, right? The interaction of pizza delivery guy and the customer still has to take place.

We are waiting.

No, I think you hit the sweet spot. You want to keep a parody close enough to the original that it remains a parody of the original. You don’t want to go so far that your parody loses its connection to what’s being parodied. And you got it perfect.

And it has to involve them being vaporized in a nuclear explosion. It just isn’t Weber unless at some point a nuke or some facsimile explodes.

In Ovens Baked

Chapter 2

Pizza Delivery Person Third Class Alonzo Gomez smoothly turned his control wheel counterclockwise, with the skill of a man who’d practiced this maneuver for years. In the sealed chamber in front of his feet, a gear at the end of the wheel’s shaft pushed the rack-and-pinion assembly to one side, changing the angle of the vehicle’s front wheels. Now, driven onward relentlessly by the vehicle’s momentum, the tires bit into the road surface obliquely, forcing the vehicle’s nose to port and carrying the enture vehicle with them on its new course. Alonzo and his vehicle thereby rounded the corner, taking them off of Elm street and onto 5th Avenue.

His vehicle wasn’t the latest model to roll out of the shipyards, but it had a character all its own to which Alonzo had become attached. The sleek, panel-sided boxy hull was an HHR model, assembled at the Chevrolet shipyards and commissioned into service four years ago. Unlike similar vehicles of that model type, Alonzo’s lacked side viewports in its rear half, both as a place to display Pizza Barn’s logo and as a means of hiding its cargo from prying eyes. Its engine could deliver a theroetical maximum torque of 203 meter-Newtons to its tires, resilting in a max power of 115,000 Watts. Given the vehicle’s empty mass of 1431 kg, its fuel load of 40 kg of petroleum distillate, Alonzo’s own mass of 91 kg, and the 4 kg of pizza he was carrying as cargo, this engine power was enough for a max accel of 1.4 gravities, but the coefficient of friction between the vehicle’s drive tires and the asphalt road surface limited him to a top practical accel of 0.8 gravities.

Not that he intended to use his max accel for this trip. He wasn’t chasing down street pirates, or plotting an intercept vector for a war vehicle. He was simply delivering two pizzas to a Customer, and that was all. Or at least, he kept telling himself that that was all. There was something about this particular Customer that had piqued his attention. He’d attempted to order thin crust while the project was still classified. Sure, he hadn’t actually used the code name that Pizza Barn had been hiding their thin crust R&D operation under, and it was possible that he didn’t actually know that Pizza Barn did not – yet – have a thin crust pizza offering. But Alonzo knew better than to let his guard down in a situation like this. If the Customer did turn out to be a spy, or worse, a blackmailer, Alonzo would need to bring all of his diplomatic skills to bear.

His choice to take 5th Avenue, instead of the 4th Avenue cross street the Customer had given him, had been partly spawned by this wariness. If the Customer were expecting him to approach from 4th Avenue, he might have positioned sentries along that road who could alert him to Alonzo’s presence long before he arrived at 12715 Harboraz Street. The decision was only partly spawned by Alonzo’s wariness, though. The other reason he’d taken 5th Avenue was that his course-mapping software had chosen it as the optimal route, and Alonzo knew from previous experience that his Global Positioning unit would start arguing with him whenever he began taking a route it didn’t recommend.

120 meters later, he pressed the central pedal on his floorboard and the vehicle slowed smootly to a zero-zero intercept with the pavement. A signpost stuck out of the concrete outside, in front of and slightly to the right of his vehicle. It bore a large red octagon, with the word “STOP” emblazoned upon its center in white sans-serif lettering. The sign was a way of establishing right-of-way rules at this intersection of two streets. The vehicles going his direction, and going the opposite direction on the same street, would both see these “stop signs”, and would thus be required by law to stop before proceeding. Vehicles following the street that crossed this one, on the other hand, would not see any “stop signs.” They would be allowed to continue across the intersection without changing their velocity. If neither street had displayed any “stop signs”, then vehicles following either street could legally cross the intersection at constant speed, resulting in disaster should two vehicles from each street be converging on the intersection at the same time. With the stop signs, the vehicles following the stop-signed street would be required to stop and wait for any such “cross traffic”, thus ensuring that both they and the crossing vehicles would emerge from the intersection safely.

Alonzo pressed the rightmost pedal on his floorboard while turning his control wheel clockwise, and his vehicle’s drive wheels applied a gentle acceleration of 0.2g while his front wheels pulled the vehicle to starboard around this latest corner and onto Harboraz Street.

Half way to the next intersection, he reached the 12715 address. Now he had to moor his vehicle. He couldn’t just leave it out in the middle of the street. The street was only about 4 or 5 vehicle-widths across, and if he simply left his vehicle where it was, other vehicles that wanted to use Harboraz Street would have to dodge around him as they passed. Fortunately, the side edges of most streets, including this one, were legally set aside for the purpose of allowing unpiloted vehicles to be moored there. The practice was so common, in fact, that a street had to display signs if vehicles were not allowed to be moored there.

Unfortunately, he was on the wrong side of the street. The mail delivery service imposed strict rules as to how street addresses had to be assigned. Even-numbered addresses always had to go on one side of any street, and odd-numbered addresses had to go on the other. Traffic rules, on the other hand – which had evolved independently of streeet-numbering rules – specified that all vehicles had to travel on the right-hand side of the street. This rule permitted vehicles to travel in opposite directions down the same street simultaneously. However, in this case, it presented a conundrum: Alonzo’s vehicle was on one side of the street, but the 12715 address his Customer used was on the other. Worse, mooring regulations required a vehicle moored along one side of the street to be facing in the same direction as they would otherwise have to be travelling, with the edge of the street – the “curb”, as it was known – to be on the vehicle’s right side. He would have to turn his vehicle 180 degrees around before he could moor it.

Worse, Alonzo knew, from his long experience with this particular vehicle, that the minimum radius it could turn around in was about 7 meters. The street was too narrow for a 7-meter-radius turn to fit within its boundaries. He would have to perform an advanced and somewhat dangerous maneuver known as the three-point turn.
two page description of a 3-point turn followed by parallel parking omitted
Alonzo tucked the temperature stasis chamber containing the two pizzas under his arm. Then, focusing on the door at the end of the long walkway, he screwed his courage to the sticking place and marched forward. With each step, the door grew larger and more ominous. He wanted to run. He wanted to throw his pizzas into the bushes and flee. But he knew, in his heart of hearts, that delivering these pizzas to his Customer was his responsibility, no matter what the consequences. At last, he arrived at the door. He positioned his finger above the stud next to the door that would announce his presence when pressed. This is it, he thought. Once he pressed that stud, there would be no going back.

With great determination, he brought his finger down on the button.

From deep within the house before him, a chime sounded, a chime as cheerful as this moment wasn’t. He thought he heard a dog bark. The domesticated dog, bred over thousands of years from the gray wolf, had become popular in the last two centuries as a pet. There were now nearly as many varieties of dog as there were varieties of people, but one behavioral trait all these different dog varieties had in common was the urge to alert their owners of potential trespassers by a loud vocal noise known as a “bark.” Few dogs were savvy enough to distinguish between a genuine intruder and a friendly visitor without their owner’s direct intervention, and so most would literally bark at anything. But, Alonzo reassured himself, he had only thought he’d heard a dog bark. It was probably just his imagination.

The clicking of the door’s latch made Alonzo hold his breath for just a split-second involuntarily. Then, the wooden panel swung inward on its hinges, finally revealing the person of his Customer. The man facing him was as tall as he was broad, as imposing as his mien was – at least ourwardly – jovial. His receding hairline and graying goatee indicated a man who had been born too early to receive the first generation of Prolong treatment. His eyeglasses spoke of a man who opted, for reasons of his own, not to get corrective optic surgery or to wear contact lenses. Around his neck dangled a small cross on a silver chain, a cross whose bottom leg was longer than the other three. It was the near-universal symbol worn by those who espoused fellowship in one of the many varieties of Christian churches. Alonzo wondered, briefly, if the man belonged to the same Anabaptist church as himself, if not the same congregation; but their current professional relationship as Customer and Pizza Delivery Person would not permit him to ask.

“Ah,” the Customer said with a practiced air of calm, “You must be from Pizza Barn.”

“That’s right, sir,” Alonzo replied, following the courtesies that his job demanded. He glanced at the yellow slip of paper attached to his thermal stasis unit. That piece of paper had previously been directly underneath the sheet on which Jason had written down this man’s pizza order. A chemical coating on the yellow paper had created dark marks on its surface wherever Jason’s ink pen had pressed, leaving an exact duplicate impression of the order precisely as Jason had written it. Alonzo read the order to the Customer for verification: “One medium mushroom, and one medium pepperoni?”

“Precisely right,” the Customer replied.

Then a nuclear weapon detonated in midair above them, vaporizing the city.


So the 2 page long treatise on three-point-turns and parallel parking is going to be on the disk with the supplementary materials, spec-sheets, and past books, right?


I don’t know if I will be able to win my latest ongoing argument about thrust forces and impeller bands if I don’t have access to all the relevant materials!

I thought it would be fun to see if Mr. Weber himself had possibly noticed this thread, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that by now someone probably brought it to his attention.

Grats, tracer! And as a fan of the Safehold books, I have to say: well done!


The U.S.S. Enterprise would win in the fight against the Manticoran dreadnought, because Federation starships can fight while moving faster-than-light in normal space.

I mean, duh.


From , one of the threads shown by that Google search:

“That is a fraud! I can tell because there is no math error in it.”


Hah; “That is a fraud! I can tell because there is no math error in it.”

EDIT: And ninjaed!

Oooo, the “warp strafing” debate!

Your snippet of Weberalia makes for excruciating reading. I could not read the whole thing, and had to skim some. Of course, that was the point, and reminded me of the last time I struggled through one of the formerly great author’s novels.

Your “Pizza” piece was an heroic, and, I think, an exasperated plea to DW. If only someone would tie him to a chair and narrate this to him, or, worse yet, some of his own latter-day work; maybe one of his conferences wherein characters discuss a previous conference.

Nice piece of writing that I fear Weber will never see. I’m sure he’s gotten the same message before, and it won’t derail his train to hyperverbosityville.

Needs more husky contralto.

Apparently, both of those URLs are now defunct.

A reliable copy of page in question can be found here:

It’s worth reading if you haven’t seen it before.

That’s not even close to your masterpiece! Maybe you were inspired by it, but you managed to take it to a whole new level. My hat goes off to you!!

Can’t be Weber, where’s the 10,000 missiles launching to initiate the pizza starting its delivery?!

10,000? Pfft! You’re not even to the “mid-series” point. By the later part, that goes up by at least one order of magnitude…

Depends. Do those missiles have Apollo FTL-controller platforms interspersed within their formations? Don’t need as many missiles if each one’s got greater accuracy.

I can’t wait to see someone do Turtledove ordering takeout.

(It’d be like a plastinated anatomical model—scientifically accurate, yet entirely drained of blood. :D)

I registered just to post how much I loved this.

I recently read the Starfire books, and now I’m reading the Honor Harrington books. I like the HH books, but I’m on “War Of Honor” (AKA “Bore Of Honor”) and it’s slow going, so this post hit home.

Thanks for the laugh!

Speaking of the Starfire books, there’s a burning question I’ve had since I picked up The Shiva Option:

Which version of the Starfire rules should I use when reading through that book?

I mean, at the time “ISW 4: Arachnids” was published (which both In Death Ground and The Shiva Option were based on), the 3rd Edition rules were in force. 3rd Edition Revised hadn’t even been published yet.

But by the time The Shiva Option hit the bookstands, the 4th Edition rules – and I think even the FIFTH Edition rules – were out.

Which rule set did Weber write the book under? I like to follow along with the novel in one hand and the game system in the other – you know, so I can get that “Hey, look, that would really work!” feeling when the author’s machinations match the game mechanics.