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1. Young Flandry: The Technic Civilization
2. Captain Flandry: Defender of the
3. Brainwave: His Enduring Masterpiece
4. Operation Luna
5. The High Crusade
6. Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last
7. Operation Chaos: A Novel
8. The Van Rijn Method: The Technic
9. Fragile and Distant Suns: A Poul
10. Genesis
11. Ensign Flandry, Volume 1: The
12. The Poul Anderson Sci Fi Collection
13. The Rise of the Terran Empire:
14. War of the Gods
15. David Falkayn: Star Trader: The
16. The Golden Slave
17. Time Patrol
18. Going For Infinity: A Literary
19. The Fleet of Stars
20. Tau Zero

1. Young Flandry: The Technic Civilization Saga
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 544 Pages (2009-12-29)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133271
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
It is the twilight of the Terran Empire. The warriors who made it great are long gone now, and the Traders of the Polesotechnic League who made it possible are the dimly-remembered stuff of legend. Alien enemies prowl its outer precincts, and Sector Governors conspire for the Throne of Man. On Terra herself, those who occupy the labyrinthine corridors of power busy themselves with trivialities and internal politics, as outside the final darkness gathers.

            In this scene of terminal disarray one man stands like a giant: Dominic Flandry, Agent of the Terran Empire. In three full-length novels, he will rise from young ensign to lieutenant commander as he outthinks rivals and thwarts adversaries, blazing a trail across the galaxy in defense of an Empire which barely appreciates him and against alien enemies who appreciate him all too well.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
This is one of two books that I ordered because I enjoy stories about the main character and respect the author. I was embarrassed to have my wife see the cover of this book and I would not have ordered it had I seen a picture the size of the cover. It is not something I would like having in my home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended with one caveat....
These are great stories by one of the grandmasters of SF. The only caveat I have is that I wish this was in hardcover. I would definitely buy this in hardcover. Are you listening Baen books?

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Anderson
Almost anything written by Poul Anderson is good and the Flandry series is very good. It has everything in it a series needs - action, adventure, flair, good writing, a trace of wit. I'm glad the series is being reprinted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dominic Flandry is the 31st Century James Bond
It is terrific that Poul Anderson's works are remaining in print.Mr. Anderson was one of the true greats of the "Golden Age of Science Fiction."His Technic Civilization future history series is a wonderful group of interrelated science fiction stories.These "Dominic Flandry" stories are part of this, along with the Nicholas Van Rijn and David Falkayn stories which are equally superb.

Dominic Flandry is a secret agent of the Terran Empire.The stories are set in Poul Anderson's "Technic Civilization" series which is a dazzling vision of the future of humanity.It is the 31st Century.Humankind has established itself in a sprawling interstellar empire across tens of thousands of settled worlds.But the governance of these worlds has fallen into decay, and the Long Night--the foreseeable period that will occur after the Empire government falls, is in sight.Dominic Flandry brilliantly does all that he can to postpone this evil day, but he knows in his heart that human civilization is in its Indian Summer, with the long Winter approaching.

The novels are characterized by a wonderful variety of human cultures and alien races.The reader will come to know and like the Merseians, Betelgeusians, Chereionites, and may other alien civilizations.Poul Anderson had a gift for conjuring up imaginative and realistic aliens and they are great fun in these stories.I became hooked on the Flandry series in the 1970s (my misspent college and military years) and trust me, these stories have as much zip now as they did then.

In these three stories we see Dominic Flandry recruited into the Terran Intelligence Service and in regular James Bond style he thwarts enemy plots to destroy the Empire.My favorite story in this trilogy is the first one.Earth is engaged in a brush-fire war against its major enemy, the Merseians, on the planet Starkad.The war at first seems to be a minor skirmish, but then Flandry learns a terrible secret that could destroy the Empire.More would be telling, but this is a great story, and it sets the stage for all of the future Flandry stories.This is space opera at its absolute best.Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars surprised
I didn't look at the cover closely when ordering, if you take this out in public you may want a book jacket. Surprising for a Baen book and as all the skin isn't reflected by the book's content.

If you haven't got the three books included in this one already in your collection in another book or two this is a nice way to get them, look carefully though or you'll just be getting duplicates. ... Read more

2. Captain Flandry: Defender of the Terran Empire (The Technic Civilization Saga)
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-02-02)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$6.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133336
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
No longer a brash, young ensign, Captain Dominic Flandry has risen in rank, but now appreciates fully that the Terran empire is old and tired, wanting to be left in peace. But the enemies it has made and the competing empire of Merseia will give it no peace. Too evenly matched for open warfare not to destroy them both, the opponents engage in subtle thrust and counter-thrust, feint and counter-feint, with Flandry in the thick of it. 

            Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will struggle gloriously and snatch victory from the alien jaws of defeat, Flandry is yet a tragic figure: a man who knows too much history, who knows that battle, scheme and even betray as he will, in the end it will mean nothing. For with the relentlessness of physical law the Empire is falling and the Long Night is approaching. If that darkness is not to fall in his own lifetime, if the things he cares about are to be saved, he must do what he can. And anyone, human or alien, who gets in his way will most definitely regret it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
When I received this book, I was embarrassed for my wife to see it because of the cover. Surely a better cover could have been created. The story was good but I would not recomment it to anyone because of the cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Flandry review
Again, great stories from one of the grandmasters of SF. Only complaint, would love this in hardcover. Put all of Poul Anderson's Technic Civilization stories in hardcover, I would buy them again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Captain Flandry
I am not particularly fond of Captain Flandry as a character.However, Davis's organization of Anderson's work is valuable and has provided new insights into how the "history" works, and why some of the stories were written.Recommended heartily to those who can put up with Flandry's arrogance.

5-0 out of 5 stars First-rate space opera with real intellectual content
Captain Dominic Flandry of the Terran Intelligence Corps is the 31st Century James Bond.These excellent stories are set in a fabulous background in which mankind has established the sprawling Terran Empire across 400 light years and containing four million stars and countless inhabited worlds.But the Empire is decadent, and alien barbarians as well as other interstellar empires such as the Merseians are plotting its downfall.Dominic Flandry is a larger-than-life player in this game of interstellar intrigue and these stories, in which Flandry fights to save an Empire that he knows is on borrowed time, are great fun.Like James Bond, Flandry enjoys wine, women, and song and recognizes that "true decadence requires work to be appreciated--it isn't lolling around on cushions eating drugged custard!"But he is also an intellectual hero with an appreciation of history who sadly acknowledges that the Empire is in its late decadent stage, vulnerable to alien conquest or revolution from within.

Author Poul Anderson had a splendid gift for imagining and creating plausible aliens who truly were alien.In these stories the reader will come to know and like the Merseians, the Betelgeusians, the Scothans, the Urduhu and many others.These aliens are truly alien, with their own non-human motivations and characteristics.In particular the squaring off between Flandry and Aycharaych, the ace intelligent operative of the Merseians, makes for terrific enjoyment.

Poul Anderson was one of the greats of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.It is terrific that his works are being republished so that new generations of readers can enjoy these superb stories.(I look forward to the day when more of his works are available on Kindle.)Space opera does not get better than this.Those who like well-written science fiction yarns should not pass this one up.Most readers will read and enjoy these stories many times, as I have.Highly recommended.RJB. ... Read more

3. Brainwave: His Enduring Masterpiece
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-10-25)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 1596872209
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A fascinating 'what if novel, Brainwave is an exploration into the ways human society is organized and the assumptions that are made about how life is valued. It is also a novel about equality and what happens when the hierarchical structures by which we arrange our daily lives disappear. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version: Horrible Formatting
I urge anyone contemplating buying this book for their Kindle to first download a sample just to make sure you can read it despite the awful formatting. Of all the books I have in my Kindle library this is the worst formatting job I've seen.

Every line in this book is left justified, there are no indents, and no spaces between paragraphs. What RosettaBooks has done to this book is a travesty. And what is completely baffling is the first half, Part I published in Space Science Fiction magazine in 1953, was converted by Guttenberg and is available for free AND IT LOOKS BETTER THAN THIS VERSION. Unbelievable. A group of volunteers did a better job formatting than this publisher.

The one-star rating for this book is only for the formatting. The story itself is good and deserves a publisher that is going to take the time to format it correctly. If you can find a print version of this book get that instead of the RosettaBooks version.

4-0 out of 5 stars What happens when intelligence of all living creatures suddenly increases?
In Brain Wave Poul Anderson examines what might happen if intelligence of all living creatures (with a brain) suddenly increases drastically. This happens because the Earth leaves an energy dampening field which was causing neurons to die off in all living creatures.

Brain Wave has a couple parallel stories. In one story we meet Archie Brock who is a simpleton working on a farm. Pre-change he is a bit mentally handicapped, however post-change he becomes a genius by pre-change standards (though by post-change standards he is still not very smart). In Archie's story we see how the increased intelligence affects animals. Archie faces some tough situations. It's hard to kill an animal for food when it shows signs of sentience, for instance.

In another thread we read about Dr. Peter Corinth who is a physics researcher. Peter has a wife named Sheila who is suffering because of the change. Sheila just wants to go back to the way things were prior.

Even though the plot of Brain Wave is a bit far-fetched I found it to be an interesting read. It may seem like increased intelligence is a good thing but this book shows how that might not be the case. Just because people (and animals) are much smarter, that doesn't mean their morals have changed, in fact it means that people and animals can become much more dangerous.

I recommend checking this book out! It's a very short but interesting read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Super-minds Awakening!
I've read this novel when I was a teenager in the mythical Argentinean sci-fi magazine "Mas Alla". It was published in the last two volumes edited. I've treasured my collection for more than 40 years. Time and again I reread the most outstanding novels and short stories kept there as in a time shell.

"Brain Wave" is one of the best novels written by prolific author Poul Anderson (IMHO).
The argument is great: suddenly all sentient beings start to change. Everybody is more intelligent each day. Cattle start to avoid slaughter. Horses refuse to be saddled. Brock, a moron peasant, start to have lucid insights and want to read.
The rest of humankind tries to cope with emotional disturbance, weird dreams, creativity shocks, religious surges and many more strange "symptoms".
Anderson analyzes this impossible situation and shows the reader a kaleidoscopic maddening universe. Little by little things began to fall in place and a new civilization emerges from chaos.
The follow up of the story is done by some key characters ranging from the retarded Brock, thru the ordinary housewife distressed by the new unsolicited abilities till her scientific husband and his neighbors.

The novel has an optimistic conclusion as was styled in the blessed `50s sci-fi.
Take a romp thru it, you won't be disappointed!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.

2-0 out of 5 stars No title
I expected more of this book; specifically bought it because it was referenced in one of Stephen King's novels.Live and learn.

4-0 out of 5 stars Linguistic and scientific advances in IQ advanced humans!
A `brain wave' sweeps across the path of earth's galactic orbit and changes the intellect of all life. The `brain wave' is described as being, "a gyromagnetic action within the atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy which has inhibited certain electromagnetic and electro-chemical processes." Once earth had passed out of this cone of influence, all the sudden the brains of earth life increased in efficiency as did electrical conductivity in metals. The novel follows the stores of two men: Archie Brock, the farmhand who isn't the sharpest pitchfork in the shed and Peter Corinth, the New York City physicist who is the bee's knees of intellectualism.

Within Archie's story, we find him reluctant to leave the farm after others there had already left to find more mental stimulation elsewhere. Archie then houses other sub-intellectual individuals (including an elephant and chimps) who help around the farm. Archie confronts his newly-found intelligence and leadership skills against the bucolic life in upstate New York.

Peter, on the other hand, stands witness to the monumental intellectual growth (and seething animal instinct) that humanity is experiencing during this blossoming of IQ. He and his peers add their discoveries to the plethora of new technologies and wares which propels humanity into an entirely new era. But can he maintain a relationship with his simpleton housewife amidst these a-changing times?

Poul takes an inventive look at how a more mature, intelligent humanity may hone their language into something more logical and context-rich. Poul tends to explore languages in his novels, but here he takes it to a whole new realm. Along with the linguistic discoveries, Poul takes us for a little side trip to look at space technologies, a brisk walk through weather control and even a glimpse of alien civilizations; he spans such a vast array of scientific curiosities.

One additional note: the cover itself lends to a time of reflection after finishing the novel. Did the cover artist just want a semi-lame cover for the novel? Or did the cover artist (Phil Kirkland) convey a deeper sense he probed within the novel? It's quite different, that's obvious, and garners some attention after completion of the novel. ... Read more

4. Operation Luna
by Poul Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2000-09-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$0.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812580273
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Poul Anderson, recently the winner of the Nebula's Grandmaster Award for lifetime achievement, returns to the world of his acclaimed novel Operation Chaos with the tale of one family's mission to the moon. Ginny Greylock and Steven Matuchek are partners an Earth quite unlike our own.For starters, Ginny is a licensed witch and Steve is an engineer and werewolf.Steve moonlights by working on a spacecraft in the Arizona desert, a project which soon discovers that there is life on the moon. Neither Steve nor the US government has any inkling as to the nature of the moonsprites, and everyone is anxious to make contact. But when the time comes to test the spacecraft, a host of bugs, snafus, and angry spirits conspire to prevent the launch. It's a recipe for perfect lunacy as Ginny and her clan struggle to figure out who, or what, is sabotaging the greatest magical and scientific achievement of the century.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, read after Operations Chaos
A friend recommended this book to me because I like werewolves. The book isn't solely all about werewolves but its a wonderful universe where science melds with magic. The setting is dynamic and as realistic feeling a science-fiction fantasy can get. The characters are unique with personalities and likable. I don't want to give away too much about the book itself and ruin it for future readers, so I'll just have to say I love this book and it's predecessor. They're definitely books I will read again and again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
An amusing, lightweight fantasy.Perhaps the slightly unbelievable part being that the two supernatural secret agents are basically married and boring suburbanites.Think Disney movie, when they were actually good, for the feel.

Magic is technology, otherwise things are as they were in that period of time.The husband and wife team must save the magical space program with some travel of their own.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring
Please, do yourself a favour and do not read this book.Most of the time it's extremly boring!The only reason I gave this book a 2 was because I liked the ending.

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT one of his better efforts!
Having not read "Operation Chaos," I can't say whether or not its sequel, "Operation Luna," is similar.It's not really necessary, however, to read "Chaos" before reading "Luna," since Anderson apparently decided to redo all his expository work.And my god, did he redo it!It took me two days to get through the first 150 pages, and I can normally finish a 700 page book in an afternoon.The book does get better after those first 150 pages, but I'm not sure it's worth plowing through that morass of banality.

"Operation Luna" is set in an alternate world, where magic was reawakened by an unexplained physics experiment in the early 20th century.People ride broomsticks and flying carpets; traditional deities, fairies, ghosts, and other magical creatures exist; the IRS uses the tax code as dread incantations; etc.The time period is not terribly clear; Steve says eleven years have passed since "Chaos," which was apparently set during this world's WWII, but the tone seems very modern.

As the story opens, Steve Matuchek, an engineer and werewolf, and his wife Ginny, a beautiful witch (must the women always be beautiful?), are working with NASA to send people to the moon.When NASA's program is sabotaged, they begin -- oh-so-slowly! -- to work on their own space program, and to discover who's behind the sabotage.There are complications with the IRS, the FBI, Steve and Ginny's children, a Chinese spy, and demons of various nationalities, which eventually come together in a climactic battle, after which the book abruptly ends, without ever quite resolving its issues.Also, the overarching theme of the story never becomes clear, though Anderson seems to think there is one.

Steve Matuchek is a lousy narrator; the book would have done much better in third person.Steve has three main functions: to tell us he can't describe things well, thus excusing Anderson's lack of descriptive ability; to be confused by magic, thus allowing Anderson to avoid showing a clear system of spells; and to wonder what his world would be like without magic, thus allowing Anderson to show differences between this world and ours, in one of the clunkiest expository techniques it has ever been my misfortune to read.

I know Anderson can write, and I enjoy his other books.But this one is too long for its own good, and the charm of some later scenes (particularly those with the enchanted sword Fotherwick-Botts and his/its smith, the dwarf Fjalar) is dampened by the tedium of the exposition and Steve's narration.Also, Steve tends to reveal plot twists before they occur, and, despite his loud claims of not being able to think clearly as a wolf, he narrates exactly the same way in wolf form as in human form!Yeesh.

I feel somewhat cheated by "Operation Luna."It could have been amazing, and it just wasn't.I give it one star for an interesting concept, and another for some good scenes, but I can't, in good conscience, do more than that.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lacks the sparkle of "Operation Chaos"
I loved Operation Chaos, and really looked forward to this book, but it didn't enthrall me the way the original book did.It just seems like things never take off, and I was never thrilled the way I was by the first book.The climactic "quest" (admittedly a poor choice of words, but I have none better) doesn't capture the imagination like the descent into Hell of the original, and climax seems short and unsatisfying.Not a bad book, and adequately readable, but it just isn't what it's predecessor was! ... Read more

5. The High Crusade
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 208 Pages (2010-09-07)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$7.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133778
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurs: a huge silver ship descends through the sky and lands in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in northeastern Lincolnshire. The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it is, are quite expert at taking over planets, and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable, they initiate standard world-conquering procedure. Ah, but this time it's no mere primitives the Wersgorix seek to enslave—they've launched their invasion against free Englishmen! In the end, only one alien is left alive—and Sir Roger's grand vision is born. He intends for the creature to fly the ship first to France to aid his King, then on to the Holy Land to vanquish the infidel. Unfortunately, he has not allowed for the treachery of the alien pilot, who instead takes the craft to his home planet, where, he thinks, these upstart barbarians will have no choice but to surrender. But that knavish alien little understands the indomitable will and clever resourcefulness of Englishmen, no matter how great the odds against them. . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read Classic
This is one of my collection of "must read" SF classics, along with Earthblood, Stranger in a Strange Land, etc. that I have been passing on to the next generation.A great read.I even got my wife (who is NOT a SF reader) to read it and she enjoyed it greatly.Highly recommended.A really fun, quirky adventure. My favorite Poul Anderson piece.Don't miss it!

4-0 out of 5 stars "God always favors the English"
I first started to read The High Crusade (book #63 of 83 that year) in October 2008 but I accidently left the book on the train into Chicago and it stands that it's the only book I ever lost. But the novel left such a unique impression on my mind that I decided to track down another copy and finish it... without losing it, again.

This being my twelfth Anderson novel, I have a pretty good feel for his writing style. The general prose and vocab is similar to his other works of Mirkheim, Horn of Time or Planet of No Return. It's not quite gripping, but when Anderson introduces, rather abruptly, the item of the medieval humans overtaking the starfaring aliens and their colonial planets does one's interest become sated. I've never read a silly Anderson novel before, but how the humans find themselves in situations are lip-bittingly inane, how the humans culturally chest thump is patently absurd and how they defeat advanced aliens with broadswords, cavalry and simple medieval military tactics.

Amongst the silliness, Anderson throws in some paragraphs and sentences which read more like poetry than pulp sci-fi. One example: `...she... stood there denouncing him in the enemy night. The larger moon... touched them like cold fire.' Then there is Anderson at his best when he stirs up some formal English: `His declensions are atrocious and what he does to irregular verbs may not be described in gentle company.'

From the gems I further uncovers after only reading half the novel in Chicago, I'm delighted to have finally finished the novel from cover to cover. The only other silly novel of Anderson's I can recall is Brain Wave, but High Crusade is on a whole new plateau on par with the likes of Sheckley. Not exactly a perfect novel, but a great 160 page romp.

1-0 out of 5 stars High Crusade - boggles the imagination
Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was a prolific writer of science fiction. His 34 novels can be categorized as primarily elaborate space-adventure tales. His talent was in creating likable characters and well thought out alien worlds. His stories of aliens, imaginary worlds and futuristic societies were plausible and, equally important entertaining. His novel "The High Crusade" is, in this reviewer's opinion, a good read for a young teens but adults will I fear not be entertaining.

The High Crusade, written early in Mr. Anderson's career- 1960 - is a "space-adventure" with an odd twist. We are confronted with another of the well-worn themes used by SF authors: the what-if story. An interstellar space ship lands in 1345 England full of blue skinned aliens. Sir Roger and his army of English knights and yeomen overpower the aliens and with the assistance of a captured blue-skin return to the alien's home planet. The English knights defeat the local military; out fox alien armies using 14th Century siege techniques and eventual become Masters of the Local Universe. How this could happen boggles the imagination.

In 1960 when I first read this book it was one of my favorite stories. In 2010 I decided to re-read it having obtained a new edition. Time has not been kind to this story. Anderson just glosses over any plot contradictions. Any concepts that may seem absurd are just not discussed. Young readers will probably love it but adults familiar with Anderson's excellent SF novels will be squirming to finish it.

I cannot recommend this book to anyone but the most confirmed fans of Poul Anderson. The plot was preposterous and lacked any credibility whatsoever. An alien race with Faster-Than-Light drive, a militaristic society with all the death toys needed to conquer other space faring races defeated by men on horses with swords and shields...you have been warned.

4-0 out of 5 stars A really good sci-fi adventure from the middle ages
This is a unique story and very well told.The beginning of the book stands in stark contrast to the beginning of Wells' "The War of the Worlds".In that book, the Englishmen are frightened of the extraterrestrials - but not in this one.The Knights are not the least bit intimidated by the Bad Guys and show them on the second page what the true meaning of "warlike" is.They then go adventuring across the stars and win a kingdom.Some years ago, I found a movie presentation of this book on DVD that had apparently been made in Great Britain...if you see it, do NOT waste your money on it.The movie is only superficially like the book and in fact ruins the tale.Bottom line: if you like high adventure in space, get a copy of this and enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Knights of the Spaceways
Has it really been half a century since this novel was published? The Baen 50th anniversary edition came out in 2010. Numerous reviewers have commented on the story line, which is sort of the reverse of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", where the less technologically advanced 15th Century hamlet of Ansby takes on an advanced alien dictatorship spanning worlds. The tale is told from the journal of Brother Parvus, and the language is what interested me. There are some stereotypes (no, they didn't think the earth was flat), but in a great many places the tone and language are spot on, which gives the book its light humor (" all demons know Latin"). The SF novel that comes to mind is Richard Purtill's The Parallel Man, which is told from the vantage point of a mediaeval prince. The High Crusade breaks down at one point in some of the alien's speech, which not only falls into current ('60s) slang, but also clashes with the style of Brother Parvus, the recorder.

That said, however, it's a light, intriguing read, with a sort of sub-plot which blossoms later in the book. The ending sets up a number of open-ended questions, namely regarding the creation of feudal systems on various planets, which would seem to lead to a sequel, or even a series. However, as has been oft' noted, the book is a one shot. Also as noted, it's clean and old-school heroic, so while teens and adolescents will enjoy it (but possibly miss some of the mediaeval references), adults can settle in and discover how inventive SF once was.

In the '60s, this book could ride the revived interest in things mediaeval engendered by Tolkien's Ring books. Fifty years later, the fifteenth century again looks like a good setting for an SF yarn. ... Read more

6. Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight of Terra (Technic Civilization Series)
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-12-07)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$8.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439134014
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            Captain Dominic Flandry has been knighted for his many services to the Terran Empire—an Empire which is old, jaded, and corrupt, as Flandry well knows. And while that “Sir” before his name may be an added attraction to comely ladies (not that he has ever lacked for the pleasant company of the same), he expects that it will also bring him less welcome attention from envious “colleagues” within the empire. What it is not likely to do is make him more of an object of interest to the Merseians, whose plots he has repeatedly foiled and who are much too aware of how much simpler their plans to replace the Empire would be if he were the late Sir Dominic Flandry.

            Flandry himself has come to understand that there may be no more point to all his victories than that a few trillion of his fellow creatures may live out their lives before the inevitable coming of the Long Night of galactic barbarism. At best, he may have postponed its coming and shortened its duration. But if that is the most he can achieve, so be it—he’ll keep on fighting, hoping that the barbarians too will pass, followed by a new round of civilization. ... Read more

7. Operation Chaos: A Novel
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 256 Pages (1999-11-08)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312872429
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This spring, Poul Anderson, winner of the Nebula Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement, published Operation Luna, the long-awaited sequel to Operation Chaos. Here, available as a beautifully repackaged trade paperback, is the science fantasy extravaganza that started it all. In a war waged against black magic, the fact that Steve is a werewolf and his wife is a highly skilled witch is not unusual. But their adventures prove very unusual, even for their world, when they are given the task of neutralizing an enemys ultimate weapon, the worlds most powerful demon. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read!
A friend recommended this book to me because I like werewolves. The book isn't solely all about werewolves but its a wonderful universe where science melds with magic. The setting is dynamic and as realistic feeling a science-fiction fantasy can get. The characters are unique with personalities and likable. I don't want to give away too much about the book itself and ruin it for future readers, so I'll just have to say I love this book and it's sequel. They're definitely books I will read again and again.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disjoint & Corny
If you read the copyright page of Anderson's "Operation Chaos," you'll find that this novel has parts from four separate short stories:"Operation Afreet," "Operation Salamander," "Operation Incubus," and "Operation Changeling."Unfortunately, the whole is NOT better than the sum of its parts.All Anderson appears to have done is to have stuck a bit of a soliloquy between the pieces in the hope that they'll flow together.Well, they don't.The book reads exactly like what it is:a collection of four short stories that have nothing to do with each other except for the fact that the two main characters are the same.As a matter of fact, by putting these stories in such close proximity, all the book does is accentuate the lack of consistency in the main characters' behavior over time.Now, if the stories were better written, it might have been possible to enjoy the book as merely a collection (assuming you like short stories).But, the characters are so stilted that the whole thing comes across as just plain corny.Thus, I'm rating this book as a Not So Good 2 stars out of 5:don't bother.

3-0 out of 5 stars An intriguing science-fantasy, but altogether unconvincing and plagued by uneven pacing. Not recommended
In a world where fantasy is as real as our own science, Steve is a werewolf and Ginny is a highly-skilled witch. Drawn together by need and love, this husband/wife team battle elementals and demons--but a darker threat may hide behind their enemies. A series of short stories drawn together in one volume, Operation Chaos has an unusual and promising take on science-fantasy, but it's altogether unconvincing and plagued by uneven pacing. As other reviews indicate, my response is not the majority opinion--but I found this novel unconvincing and more than a little frustrating, and I don't recommend it.

The first three-quarters of the book is the escapades of the husband/wife team's fantastic battles. This section starts out well--the scientific look at fantasy tropes is unusual and interesting, and the various battles are fast-paced and high energy. But it has a tongue-in-cheek humor which I detest and which makes the science-fantasy too comically cliché to be realistic; furthermore, the episodic format become repetitive and the overarching narrative of the couple's relationship is unconvincing. The final quarter of the book, by contrast, is a frenzied journey into hell--one which deviates wildly from the hitherto glib fantasy elements, one which is so fast-paced that it feels like it's been plucked from a different novel. As Operation Chaos is a gathering of short stories, the episodic style and uneven pacing make sense--but that explanation doesn't make these faults any more enjoyable to read.

Operation Chaos has its good points--the science-fantasy is promising, and hell in particular is artfully rendered and at once unique and convincing. But for a variety of reasons, the novel just didn't work for me: I found the humor grating, the love story and science-fantasy unconvincing, and I believe the uneven pacing degrades the quality of the book and makes for a weak resolution. Perhaps some of this is an issue of personal taste (in particular my sense of humor and my unease with the arbitrary fantasy elements), but still I don't recommend Operation Chaos. A different reader may enjoy it more, and the original short story format explains many of its problems, but in all I found this book more frustrating than enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars The social commentary is absolutely delicious!
Among the many short stories penned by award-winning author Poul Anderson (1926-2001) are a series of stories about Steven Matuchek (a werewolf), and Virginia Graylock (a witch), who inhabit an Earth where magic is studied and employed just like any other technology. In 1971, these four short stories were combined into one book - Operation Chaos.

In Operation Afreet (first published in 1956), Steven and Virginia meet during the great war against the Saracen Caliphate, when they are sent on a commando operation to stop the enemy's use of a powerful monster.

In Operation Salamander (1957), Steven and Virginia must team up to stop a rampaging fire creature, before it can burn down the whole town.

Operation Incubus (1959) pits newlyweds Steven and Virginia against a demon that is determined to put a stop to them...permanently.

And finally, in Operation Changeling (1969), when Steven and Virginia return home after foiling the machinations of an evil new political movement, they find Virginia's familiar nearly killed and their child exchanged for a simulacrum. It seems that a demon has stolen their daughter, and if they want it back they must be prepared to storm the gates of Hell itself!

Overall, I found these to be well-written and very entertaining stories. Indeed, the absolute crown jewel of the book is the final story. Written in the 1960s (which Mr. Anderson described as "that low dishonest decade"), the opposing "Johannine Church" is filled with "long-haired men and short-haired women, bathless bodies and raggedy clothes" carrying signs about peace, love and harmony, and bringing only chaos, hatred and violence. And worse, these simple souls on the frontlines don't even realize that they are foot soldiers for the forces of evil. The social commentary is absolutely delicious!

So, if you want to read some superior science fiction/fantasy written by one of the giants of the industry, then get this book. Indeed, I must say that this is one of the best works of fiction that I have read all year, and I hereby proclaim it my pick of the year!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
There are a few stories in this book that are self-contained.The basic premise is of supernatural secret agents.

Steve is a werewolf, his wife Virginia is a witch.She of course has a familiar, so some of the
family get along like literal cats and dogs.This goes from spy story to humour.

... Read more

8. The Van Rijn Method: The Technic Civilization Saga #1
by Poul Anderson
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2008-09-02)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$4.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416555692
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When the human race spread out among the stars, they took the profit motive with them, and none exemplified that fact better than Nicholas Van Rijn, interstellar trader and capitalist extraordinaire. He might look like Falstaff and talk in a steady stream of malapropisms, but anybody who might take him for a bumbling buffoon would quickly find themselves taken—to the cleaners! In Nick Van Rijn, Poul Anderson created one of the most memorable and popular characters in science fiction, and now, for the first time, all the stories of Van Rijn and the Polesotechnic League will be published in chronological order in three volumes. This first volume includes the classic novel, The Man Who Counts, in which Van Rijn and two associates are stranded on a planet inhabited by a winged race, two factions of which happen to be at war with each other. The planet has no food that is not poisonous to humans, and the three humans have only a small supply of food in their wrecked ship. Somehow the humans must get to another continent, where a human outpost is, before they starve, in spite of the planet’s inhabitants being too busy fighting a war to bother with the troubles of these three odd-looking wingless aliens. An impossible problem? Not for Nick Van Rijn.


Also included are more stories of Van Rijn flamboyant exploits, plus stories set elsewhere in the Polesotechnic universe. And, after the three volumes chronicling the Polesotechnic League’s rise and fall will come more volumes, telling of the rise of the Terran Empire and the adventures of Poul Anderson’s other legendary character, Captain Sir Dominic Flandry.


... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent Collection of "Technic Civilization" Stories (1st in Series)
This collection of stories by Poul Anderson is the 1st Book in a "Technic Civilization" Series.

The collection groups the stories in "chronological order of occurance" (not in the order they were published)... some of the original publish dates of the stories go back to the early 50's, and go through the late 70's - I tend to like the stories best that were published in the late-50's through mid-60's.

Some of the stories don't hold up so well to time, technically-speaking; but others hold up quite well.The main story in this book (really a book unto itself) is THE MAN WHO COUNTS(1958), a story of survival on a far-off non-metallic World, with three human aircraft crash survivors trying to get back to their base (before their food runs out... the native food is inedible), with the help of intelligent sea-faring indigenous beings that are in an ongoing war with another non-sea-faring faction.

One idiosyncrasy with the title of this book "The Van Rign Method" is that the odd, but likeable, Van Rign character doesn't show up for quite some time in the book (really shows up in only half the stories), and shows up quite a bit in the first stories in the next volume in the Series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Classics that can still entertain
If you enjoy stories involving worlds created by a talented author with a physics degree (and thus has the background to create believable worlds), then this book is worth a look.Comprised of ten short stories plus a novella, set on imaginative worlds where there is often a challenging problem to overcome, this first collection of Technic Civilization stories includes a range of characters, with several, including the novella, featuring Nicholas Van Rijn.The stories written later in the series show how Poul Anderson has improved his skills and the novella, written in 1958, provides an interesting baseline from which you can see how the author has developed over the decades.I enjoyed the later book in the series more than this one, which is why I've rated this down.Read the series in order and your enjoyment can only grow!

5-0 out of 5 stars Technic Civilization series is top-notch
Baen Books has thus far published five ominbus volumes of Poul Anderson's "Technic Civilization" tales, with two more planned to complete the series."Van Rijn's Method" is the first volume.Together, the seven volumes will cover thousands of years of future history.

I first read most of these stories decades ago, and it is an immense pleasure to find them all together in one collection.Poul Anderson was particularly noted for his "hard science fiction" (fiction with a goodly dose of real, physical science behind it) and this is particularly evident in the detail and care with which he crafted the numerous worlds upon which his characters found themselves.And the natives of those numerous worlds were never simply humans in bad make-up (as characterized the original "Star Trek" television series), but true aliens in physiology and psychology.While Anderson's stories had no shortage of intense action, at heart they were driven by ideas, and most usually heroes achieved victory by thinking rather than shooting.

In the Technic Civilization stories Anderson created some of the most popular, enduring characters in all of science fiction, including Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry -- and this collection of tales contains all the van Rijn and Flandry stories and books (as well as others having nothing directly to do with those flamboyant heroes).

If you already are familiar with Poul Anderson's Technic Civilization series, this multi-volume collection is your cup of tea.And if you are not familiar with it, you owe it to yourself to read them to become acquainted with some really classic science fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blessed be the collectors and reprinters
These stories are wonderful -- if you haven't read them before, stop reading this review and start reading the stories. You're in for a treat. This is volume one of a proposed six-volume collation of Poul Anderson's wonderful Technic stories, starting with the beginnings of human exploration of the solar system, and moving out into the heyday of the Commonwealth. The world building is superb, the stories fun, and the characters fascinating (and believable). Wonderful stuff, and now we can read them in internal chronological order. So much fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars The dazzling rise of Technic civilization and the Polesotechnic League
Poul Anderson was one of the Grand Masters of Science Fiction for many decades.It is terrific that his "Technic Civilization" series of novels and short stories is back in publication.This future history series postulates a dazzling future for mankind as humans spread across the galaxy encountering alien races and civilizations.Some of these have very alien motivations, while others have motivations, i.e. avarice and greed, that humans recognize all too well.This is all great fun.

Nicholas Van Rijn is president of Solar Spice & Liquors, an interstellar trading corporation that specializes in finding new civilizations and selling them, well, Solar spices and liquors.These stories are a part of Poul Anderson's vibrant Technic Civilization series during the period in which the Polesotechnic League ("League of Selling Skills") dominates.Mankind has invented cheap and practical interstellar travel.Humans and their alien friends and rivals take the profit motive to the stars, and this makes for a fascinating and optimistic vision of the future.

Van Rijn himself is an unforgettable character. Smart and tough, with the ability to understand both human and alien motivations, his trials and travails as an interstellar trader make for great fun.Van Rijn is directly the protagonist in only a few of these tales, but he is the archtypical interstellar capitalist, and his influence can be felt throughout.Highly recommended.RJB. ... Read more

9. Fragile and Distant Suns: A Poul Anderson Collection (Five Poul Anderson stories in one volume!)
by Poul Anderson
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-01-16)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B0034KZ1DY
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
NOTE: This edition has a linked "Table of Contents" and has been beautifully formatted (searchable and interlinked) to work on your Amazon e-book reader, Amazon Desktop Reader, and your ipod e-book reader.

A collection of science fiction stories written by acclaimed author Poul Anderson.

Poul Anderson is best known for sci-fi adventure stories in which larger-than-life characters succeed gleefully or fail heroically.

Anderson's also famous for writing 'Call Me Joe' (not included in this volume) which featured the premise of a paralyzed man whose mind is remotely controlling an alien body. This same theme also appears in James Cameron's 2009 movie "Avatar" – similar enough that some reviewers are calling for Anderson to receive some form of credit.

Included in this volume:
Story One: The Burning Bridge -- A fleet of humans are bound for a distant planet to colonize. The colonists have left because of political and social discrimination.

They are about at the midpoint of their journey and losing contact with earth. Most are in life suspension.

Unexpectedly, a message is received from Earth which details a change in the political situation ending a key discriminatory issue.

Do they continue to the unsettled planet and suffer the deprivation and dangers of a new environment? Or should they turn back, knowing Earth is decades away and each day they delay a decision puts them many hundreds of thousands of miles distant from it?

Story Two: Security -- In a world where Security is all-important, nothing can ever be secure. A mountain-climbing vacation may wind up in deep Space. Or loyalty may prove to be high treason. But it has its rewards.

Story Three: The Valor of Cappen Varra -- It's been said that there are many and strange shadows, memories surviving from dim pasts. Poul Anderson turns to a legend from the Northern countries, countries where even today the pagan past seems only like yesterday, and tells the story of Cappen Varra, who came to Norren a long, long time ago.

Story Four: Industrial Revolution -- Ever think how deadly a thing it is if a machine has amnesia; or how easily it can be arranged...

Story Five: Early to Rise (also released as The Man Who Came Early) -- Time travel story about an American soldier stationed in Iceland. He's accidentally transported back to ancient Iceland and tries to survive using his skills from his own time. Notable for being one of the best descriptions of how time travel is likely to turn out.

These are the original and unabridged versions of these classic science fiction treasures. A must-have for fans of classic sci-fi! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars The writing is classic Poul Anderson but the Kindle version...
I wouldn't even be writing this review if it hadn't been for Amazon's claim that this edition "has been beautifully formatted". Truth be told, this edition is very poorly formatted and is shoddy. Illustrations that were in the original text have been replaced with the word [Illustration], there are incorrect words used that are clearly due to text recognition errors. This is the kind of thing I expect to see from a work that has been scanned and OCR'd for free, not something I pay for at Amazon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Short Stories that Stand the Test of Time
the truely great sci fi short stories are the ones that don't go too deep into the underlying technology.This small collection definately belongs with the other greats of A.C.Clarke and I.Assimov.Definately worth the read

4-0 out of 5 stars Ahead of his time...
Poul Anderson was a man ahead of his time when it came to writing good old-fashioned brainy sci-fi! This collection proves that. The formatting and links look and work great on my Kindle. I wish a 'A Man Called Joe' was included since that is one of my favorite stories, but it's a good collection nontheless. ... Read more

10. Genesis
by Poul Anderson
Hardcover: 253 Pages (2000-01-31)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$18.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000F6ZBD0
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Astronaut Christian Brannock ahs lived to see artificial intelligence develop to a point where a human personality can be uploaded into ac computer, achieving a sort of hybrid immortality. He welcomes that because the technology will make it possible for him to achieve his dream and explore the stars... A billion years later, Brannock is dispatched to Earth to check on some strange anomalies. While there, he meets Laurinda Ashcroft, another hybrid upload. Brannock and Laurinda join forces and investigate Gaia, the supermind dominating the planet, and learn the truth of her shocking and terrifying secret plans for Earth. Amazon.com Review
Even after nearly 40 years in the biz, Poul Anderson still cranks out the imaginative sci fi like a champ, with the idea-packed Genesis--a billion-year-spanning tale involving immortal AIs and the future of Earth itself--being just another example. A decorated hard-SF veteran from the old school (think the Amazing, Analog and Omni crew from the '50s, '60s, and '70s), Anderson has got a mantle any other writer would kill for, boasting a Nebula Grand Master award, seven Hugos, and three "regular" Nebulas. (Heck, the guy's even got whippersnapper Greg Bear for a son-in-law.)

Taking on ideas that share space with Anderson's well-loved Fireball series (Harvest of Stars et al.), Genesis follows the peculiar existence of Christian Brannock and Laurinda Ashcroft, two humans who shared such affinity with machines in their mortal lives that they went on to become uploaded consciousnesses, immortal human-robot hybrids. Anderson mines even the mundanities of this situation thoroughly, but adds in enough twists in the far-future plot to start asking some really interesting questions too: when the vast supermind inhabiting posthuman Earth (mythically named Gaia) starts simulating endless replays of humanity's chaotic evolution, the time-hopping Brannock and Ashcroft--who have been tasked with investigating exactly what Gaia's been up to--find themselves struggling over the moral complexities of free will and the very nature of reality. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Shadow of The Boat of a Million Years
Poul Anderson's The Boat of a Million Years was a brilliant exploration of human history - past, present, and future - as told through the lives of a small group of immortal humans.

Genesis is NOT The Boat of a Million Years. It is a fairly tame and disjointed love story (what was it with Poul Anderson and love stories in his last works?) that spans billions of years of human history (and that of the AIs left by humans after they disappear).

As humans expanded into the solar system, Christian Brannock was there with his expert robotic skills necessary for the exploration of inhospitable places (like Mercury).

On Earth, humans create a central AI to take care of the Earth and its inhabitants. Lucinda Ashcroft is its liason with humans. When it is determined that all life will be at risk in 9,000 years, it is the Central AI's job to ensure that Earth survives.

A little while later, it is determined that only AIs will ever be able to explore the galaxy, and they are sent out on millions of years long exploration trips. Bored, Christian Brannock chooses to be absorbed by an AI so he travel to the stars on one of these missions. Lucinda Ashcroft is eventually absorbed by the Central AI.

Over a billion or more years, the AIs sent out to explore the galaxy become a great Galactic Brain communicating on a galactic time scale as a collective one. The Central AI on Earth, now known as Gaia, is one of the collective Galactic Brain.

Another Billion years or so with the Earth near the end of its life as the sun begins to expand, another member of the Galactic Brain, Alpha (the AI that absorbed Christain Brannock) decides that Gaia is not being completely forthcoming about the goings on on Earth and decides to send an emmisary and it instills the essense of Brannock in its core.

Thus begins the love story of Christian and Lucinda as they are downloaded into simulacrums to interact during the investigation.

While The Boat of a Million Years examined human history, Genesis seems to ignore it. When all is said and done, billions of years pass and the reader learns nothing of what is to come for human history.


A Guide to my Rating System:

1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting "big idea" novel with a truly epic timeline
In a genre noted for epic scope and lengthy timelines _Genesis_ by Poul Anderson really stands out. A billion years passes in the course of the novel though as one might imagine the reader does not follow along all or even most of what transpires in this setting's history.

Reminding me in some ways of another excellent novel of his, _Starfarers_, Anderson handles the huge sweep of time in the book in several ways. For many of the individuals involved, they are traveling near the speed of light and relativistic effects mean that a few years for them translates into tens of thousands of years for the outside universe.

A second way the author deals with such vast timelines is a plot device he used also in _Starfarers_; vignettes. In both books, Anderson would illustrate how human culture and history has progressed over huge amounts of time with what were basically short stories, portraits of humanity at a given place and time along the novel's continuum and as in _Starfarers_ tied in with the one of the novel's main themes.

There was a third way the billion-year time frame was handled. Unlike in _Starfarers_ most of the main characters aren't human, they were either originally human and had their memory and personality uploaded into a machine consciousness or were artificial intelligences to start with. In this setting, actual physical human beings are too fragile and too expensive to travel the stars themselves, and instead uploaded humans and artificial intelligences make the journey instead (a similar concept used in the excellent trilogy by Sean Williams and Shane Dix that began with the novel _Echoes of Earth_).

Though the novel begins in the relative near future, the main character being the astronaut Christian Brannock, busy with exploring the planet Mercury and an early pioneer of working in close partnership with a robotic artificial intelligence, the majority of the novel takes place in the far future, the results of such pioneers as Brannock and others. After a series of vignettes that show the progression of human history on Earth with the rise of increasingly powerful (and dominant) artificial intelligences, most of the novel is set in the far, far future. The artificial intelligence that controls Earth, named Gaia, has been strangely silent in the vast community of artificial intelligences that spans the entire galaxy and one of these artificial intelligences dispatches an emissary along with a downloaded human consciousness - the original Christian Brannock, one of the first people ever uploaded - to explore what is going in the birthplace of all galactic civilization. Additionally, it would seem that the Earth's biosphere is failing and the galactic network of intelligences wants to know what Gaia proposes to do about that, though again, Gaia is nearly silent on the matter. What will the emissary (named Wayfarer) and Brannock find? What was Gaia hiding? Does Gaia have some sort of sinister plan or is it just something the galactic community cannot understand unless one of its own sees for itself?

A major theme explored in the novel is the nature of free will. As the machine intelligences through the course of a billion years become more powerful, intelligent, capable, and responsible for more and more details of life on Earth, is that a good thing for all concerned? Is the prevention of suffering, chaos, and evil always in the best interest of humanity? To get the good in humanity - friendship, charity, artistry, courage, leadership, love - does one have to allow for the bad - suffering, selfishness, greed, cowardice, and tyranny? The machine intelligences have achieved a great deal, a truly impressive body of knowledge and a civilization that is already spreading to nearby galaxies, but what have they lost in this pursuit?

As is it hard to have a novel where the protagonists have knowledge far above and beyond any human is capable of, usefully the novel is presented largely through the eyes of the various human characters. In the far future setting the main characters are the intelligence and personality of Christian Brannock and a downloaded intelligence that Gaia provides to interact with him, a woman by the name of Laurinda Ashcroft.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable speculation
This is really a set of short stories, loosely connected byt a story line spanning billions of years. The first vignette shows Christian Brannock exploring the surface of Mercury. The environment is far too harsh for human survival, even with ordinary kinds of environmental support, so Brannock explores as part of a man/metal team with Gadget, a robot with intelligence of its own. His close, even warm relationship with silicon intelligence makes him a unique candidate for the greatest exploration of all - the stars. Even if the distance is too great for the human body to traverse, Brannock's mind is recorded in a robot explorer. As much of a man as ever could reach the stars does.

After a winding and relatively peaceful set of interludes, Brannock, or something like him, returns to Earth. Its planetary intelligence has been acting oddly, in the eyes of the machine minds of nearby stars. The machine intelligence that includes Brannock is sent to investigate. After a billion years or more, they find the one thing they never expected to see ...

... but find out for yourself. This is as good as SF gets: intelligent, based on sound science, and built around characters that I can empathize with. There's nothing spectacular here, just good, thoughtful writing.


3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not a great story
Genesis is a well-written book containing much interesting speculation, but overall it doesn't hold together so well as a story.Most of the plot is unsuprising - I felt I could predict the characters' actions well in advance, and very little occurred in the course of the story that the characters could not control.I was hoping for a surprising ending in which Gaia's plan is revealed as something interesting and original, but in fact the ending is unspectacular and her plan turns out to be nothing remarkable.But the prose is very evocative, and the book is short and easy to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Future of Man?
A fascinating book on the possibilities of evolution on a distant planet.Any sci-fi fan with an interest in biology will love this book! ... Read more

11. Ensign Flandry, Volume 1: The Saga of Dominic Flandry, Agent of Imperial Terra (v. 1)
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 208 Pages (2003-08-25)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$7.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596870303
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Ensign Flandry is a classic character in the history of science fiction. This definitive omnibus of three Flandry adventures will delight Anderson's legion of fans. After the first flowering of the Terran Empire, which has grown increasingly decadent and corrupt, other civilizations in the galaxy threaten to take over the Terran's worlds. In this scenario steps the debonair, tough and pessimistic Dominic Flandry, half-Hans Solo, half-James Bond and a hero for the ages! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
Flandry is fresh out of the military joint at 19, and shows some quick thinking and nereve in a confrontation between two races on an outpost world.

An old diplomat and spymaster recognises a possible super agent, when he sees one, and apparently there is a large shortish of such even in the massive empire, so he gives Flandry a job.

He uncovers a very big secret, on more than one front, and is sometimes on the run from his own side.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some OK SF action, but a bit childish and a dodgy political subtext
Having relished a couple of Anderson's short stories (and understandably confused Poul with Pohl and blown some time on 'Outnumbering the Dead') I thought I'd give a novel of his a go.

Pity, that.

It wasn't awful, but I'd hope that this wasn't what he was showered in Hugos and Nebulas for. Sure the general space vibe is workable, and there's some action and exotic locations - but Ensign Flandry's James Bond style antics get a bit silly at times - no more so than when Anderson is trying to be taken seriously on some political stance.

The politics of the book are pretty wiffy - almost laughable. It's your standard right wing Tom Clancy jingoist fare - bleeding heart appeasers are weak ambitious fools who should just hand over control to the hardheaded clear thinking generals. And of its time: it's hardly a coincidence that a book written in 1966 by an American sets two superpowers against each other in a cold war environment as they dice around each other offering `support and advice' to opposing factions on an undeveloped minor planet, while the military who are engaged must grind their teeth at the brinkmanship diplomacy that means they only have a portion of the resources their governments could supply. Blimey, I wonder where he got an idea for a situation like that? Extrapolate and the lesson is quite hypocritical. Ensign Flandry, our hero from the human side, can shake his head in superior bemusement at the tragedy that the two barbarian cultures of Starkad can't see past their immature prejudices to realise that their `enemies' really aren't so bad, and actually have a lot to respect, and even a lot in common. Anderson, however, is totally blind to the irony that the moral to Flandry's story is realising that *his* enemy, the empire of the Merseians, is evil to the core, and that the only hope of humanity is to cease any attempt at negotiation, to get fighting, and, with any luck, to destroy them. They're not a foe to be underestimated, but it is ultimately us or them: something those stupid self-seeking peaceniks will never realise.

So instead of perhaps enjoying the mentor-apprentice relationship between Abrams and Flandry, I found the former's pompous (but meant to be unquestionable) pronouncements hard going. Unlike Starship Troopers where at least Heinlein actually formulates an argument, Anderson just has Abrams drop a few impressive sounding names - Aristotle, Machiavelli, Jefferson (as if there aren't any alternative names like Plato, Francis of Assisi or Martin Luther-King) - in the expectation that the reader won't actually have engaged with these writers and will feel they dare not challenge someone who drops them. It's a cheap and underhand technique: if these guys have a good case and you understand it - present it. If you've won people over just by waving some iconic figures they haven't even read, what sort of a victory is that?

It's not all shallow pamphleteering and bedroom farce, there are some usable action scenes. The hardest bit, again, is having to deal with the author regularly telling us who the really smart people and actions are, when they're patently not. Why, for example, did Flandry work so hard to keep the Merseian's evil secret rather than simply broadcast the coordinates the moment he had them - this is hardly the action of a supposedly precociously intelligent agent. It is just possible to ignore these sorts of dodgy aspects, but as background noise they do detract from the pleasures Pohl has to offer.

I notice this is the first of a series. I won't be back - maybe I'll try to find something where Pohl's politics are less to the fore.

4-0 out of 5 stars The downward spiral of the Terran Empire
From the back cover of the 1985 Ace Science Fiction edition:
Introducing Dominic Flandry...
Before he's through he'll have saved worlds and become the confidant of emperors.But for now he's seventeen years old, as fresh and brash a sprig of the nobility as you would care to know.The only thing as damp as the place behind his ears is the ink on his brand-new commission.

Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will struggle gloriously and win (usually) mighty victories, Dominic Flandry is essentially a tragic figure:a man who knows too much, who knows that battle, scheme and even betray as he will, in the end it will mean nothing.For with the relentlessness of physical law the Long Night approaches.The Terran Empire is dying...

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Space Opera!James Bond of the 31st Centuryl
This is the first book of the "Dominic Flandry, Agent of Imperial Terra" series.Basically, it is the 31st Century, and Humankind has established a large, but now decadent, interstellar empire.Dominic Flandry is a brilliant, resourceful young man who is eventually recruited into the Imperial Intelligence Corps by Max Abrams, head of Terran security on the world of Starkad, where the Terran Empire and their deadly rivals, the Merseians, are fighting a brush-fire war.

Before all is said and done, Flandry has uncovered the deadly secret of the Starkad War, which poses a lethal threat to Humanity.Both sides are after him, and in the end his brilliance is established.Flandry is the James Bond of the 31st Century and the whole "Flandry" series is great space opera.Those readers who appreciate this genre won't want to pass this one up.The whole Flandry series by Poul Anderson is well worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Books are Timeless
This is the first book of the Poul Anderson series, "Flandry, Agent of Imperial Terra" and it was published in the mid-sixties.I say this up front because the book, story and characters live outside thecopyright date and achieve that timeless quality you expect from authurslike Asimov, Burroughs and of course Poul Anderson.Flandry is just anensign when we meet him in this story and at first, he doesn't even feellike the staring character.As the story unfolds, we expect more and morefrom our young ensign until the fate of Terra and other worlds hang on hisevery decision.Don't get me wrong, he's not made Emporer by books end. Through and through, he is just an ensign who plays the cards that aredealt him.It is said that great events make great men and we see EnsignFlandry take on a captivating shape.I haven't read the next books inthe series, but have high hopes for the Long Night of the Terran Empire. ... Read more

12. The Poul Anderson Sci Fi Collection Vol I (with linked TOC)
by Poul Anderson Anderson
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-21)
list price: US$1.49
Asin: B003WUYDOY
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This ebook is complete with linked Table of Content making navigation quicker and easier.

The Poul Anderson Sci Fi Collection Vol I contains 7 Poul Anderson Science Fiction stories including:

DUEL ON SYRTIS ... Read more

13. The Rise of the Terran Empire: Technic Civilization Saga
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-06-09)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439132755
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"Rise Of The Terran Empire". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Science Fiction by one of the Grand Masters
Poul Anderson was one of the undisputed Grand Masters of Science Fiction, and these are some of his better stories.Poul Anderson created a dazzling "future history" scenario in which mankind has perfected cheap and reliable interstellar space travel, and expanded into the Galaxy.In doing so, mankind meets many alien races, and author Anderson is a master at imagining biologically and psychologically credible alien races.The author also postulates that when humans travel to the stars, they will bring with them all of our flaws--avarice and greed.Capitalism and freedom (the author believes that the two go hand-in-hand) require elbow room, says the author in one of these stories, and the Galaxy is the ultimate elbow room in which capitalism, for a time, flourishes.

These stories range from the beginning to the end of what the author calls Technic Civilization, more specifically the Polesotechnic League ("League of Selling Skills") -- a sprawling, brawling combine of merchantilist corporations spread throughout the Galaxy.Their interactions with alien cultures and races is the overarching theme of the book.In short, here Mr. Anderson seeks to answer the questions of what humans will find when they achieve interstellar travel and what this will do to mankind.

These stories are more or less arranged chronologically within the future history series."Mirkheim" is placed at the beginning, which is appropriate as that novel heralds the end of the Polesotechnic League and the beginning of the Empire stage of Technic Civilization.In my opinion Mirkheim is one of the best Technic Civilization novels.Each of these stories stands very well alone, and these are all wonderful speculative reads.Highly recommended.RJB.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine story of a flamboyant member of a league of star traders who is involved with a strong military fleet on earth
Poul Anderson's RISE OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE: THE TECHNIC CIVILIZATION SAGA is a fine story of a flamboyant member of a league of star traders who is involved with a strong military fleet on earth - and in the founding of an empire. This is the third volume in the complete edition of his Technic Civilization saga, recommended for owners of the prior editions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good ol' Poul
I have always enjoyed Poul Anderson and have missed having his stories. Now with this series I can indulge myself. The groupings and selections have most of my favorites. ... Read more

14. War of the Gods
by Poul Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (1999-02-15)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812539257
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The story of the great King Hadding is one of the darkest and most violent to come down to us from the old North. Hadding was raised by giants far from his rightful throng, as his father, a Danish King, was slain shortly after Hadding's birth. But the times comes when Hadding feels he must reclaim his legitimate place in the land of the old North. He must endure ferocious battles, the charms of voluptuous Valkyries, and a War of the Gods to rival Armageddon.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poul Anderson still had it!
Classic Poul! This book is proof that even when the man was near his death, he was still sparking with a passion for his writings!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
This book is a little on the dry side, and quite variable, from mythology to high fantasy to amusing.Gods and mortals, the enmity of kings and some bloody battles. For example : "What an amazement!What a troll-banging amazement!" Part of this is in the erratic style of the source text, according to his afterword, which is interesting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-historical/mythological fantasy
Apparently, Poul Anderson is a prolific sci-fi and fantasy writer, and has been writing for a long time, too.I haven't read anything else of his, but based on this book, I am considering picking something else of his up.This wasn't one of the greatest books I've ever read, but it held my interest because of its use of Norse mythology and the supernatural.The narrative starts out relating the strife between Odin's Aesir and the Vanir, threatening to separate the gods forever, and perhaps have cataclysmic effects on the whole universe.It then focuses on Hadding for the rest of the book, who struggles to establish a stable kingdom, facing dangers both earthly and otherworldly.His role in bringing peace to the war between the gods may not be clear until the end, unless you're a lot more cunning than me.Following the interrelationships between the characters and geographies sometimes became a daunting task and confuses the narrative, but once I got past those things, the story became very engrossing.I'm not usually into fantasy, but I'm not sure this is entirely fantasy - its pseudo-historical/myth/fantasy/horror.The supernatural and pseudo-historic elements (some of which Anderson admits are inaccurate in a brief Afterword) don't really get in the way, though at times, as I said, the focus on detailed interrelationships and geographies can be a problem.The characterization is also a little weak; although there is some, I don't feel any of the characters were very fully developed, not even Hadding.There are flashes of some of the characters that reveal something profound about their personalities, but ultimately the narrative isn't very character-driven.Instead, the emphasis is more on describing action-packed battle scenes and the history of the characters and land.Still, as I said, the story became intriguing to me, and those few passages of characterization got me to care enough for the people that I wanted to know what happened to them.And eventually I did come to sympathize with Hadding as the text showed him as a leader of people, though something a bit more than human; fair and compassionate, yet stern and brazen; strong and courageous, yet rash and vulnerable.Also, fortunately, the action scenes weren't glorified or clichéd, but instead driven by metaphor and original description.For example, "Like two storm waves, a greater and a lesser, the hosts crashed together.Blood-foam spattered into the wind.The tides churned, swirled in among each other, became a seething that howled."The pages are filled with the typical fantasy fare: warriors, kings, princesses, sorcerers, witches, trolls, elves (though these are the scary kind), as well as some uncommon creatures such as jotuns (giants), drows, and land wights.And of course gods and goddesses.Recommended if you're into Norse mythology, or think you would enjoy a good, dark mythologically and pseudo-historically based fantasy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Full of detail, but lacking depth
"War of the Gods" tells the story of Hadding, a viking warrior and king of the Danes.While the tale has all the battles, intrigue, romance and valour I expected, it's told in a stiff, formal way that I had a hard time getting into.

To give Anderson credit, he seems to be trying to replicate the speech and tone of the sagas themselves, and he includes a wealth of historically-accurate detail about daily life in the viking era.But I found myself skimming big chunks of history and wordy speeches looking for the occasional, brilliant nuggets of suspenseful story-telling.

I would have liked to see more depth in some of the characters; even Hadding himself doesn't really take on dimension until the last third of the book.The last 100 pages are better all around than the beginning, and there's a nice twist at the end.

I picked it up because the book jacket suggested parallels to King Arthur - familiar elements of fosterage, leadership, sacrifice and betrayal give this story added dimension if you're interested in Arthurian stuff.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
While not on the level with Anderson's Hrolf Kraki's Saga, I still found this novel enjoyable.It successfully evokes the same mood as many of the Icelandic sagas...dark, melancholy, its meaning murky.There is not too much available these days in Viking fiction.If you are a fan of the genre, read it. ... Read more

15. David Falkayn: Star Trader: The Technic Civilization Saga
by Poul Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 704 Pages (2010-02-23)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133441
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Polesotechnic League of star traders was prospering, and Nicholas Van Rijn, its most flamboyant member, was prospering most of all as commerce flowed between the stars. But not all League members played fair when trading, nor did some of the non-human races of the galaxy object to dirty tricks. Van Rijn could not be everywhere, and relied on his representatives, foremost among them his young protégé, David Falkayn, and the members of David’s trader team: Adzel, a large dragon-like being who practiced Buddhism, and Chee-Lan, a brilliant but hot-tempered felinesque extraterrestrial.


This is the second volume in the first complete edition of Poul Anderson’s Technic Civilization saga. And, after the three volumes chronicling the Polesotechnic League’s rise and fall will come more volumes, telling of the rise of the Terran Empire and the adventures of Poul Anderson’s other legendary character, Captain Sir Dominic Flandry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertainment seeded from little known science facts
I thoroughly enjoyed David Falkayn: Star Trader, which is a collection incorporating a novel, five novellas and a short story.The only other book I've read in the Technic Civilization series is "The Three Cornered Wheel", which I thoroughly enjoyed many, many years ago, so it was great to find more stories from the same 'future history'.While in a space opera style, most stories are build around some hard science seed, and given these stories were written some thirty years ago, they've held up very well.This book is well worth a look if you enjoy a light SF read that has much of the background extrapolated from astronomical physics to good effect.

4-0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future
I grew up in the Technic Civilization through the words of the master, Poul Anderson.Finding a new publication by Anderson was a bright spot in my reading week when I was young.The names of Falkyn, Von Rijn and Flandry remained on my personal hard disc so it was nice to see them reappear in print and in chronological order with a chronologic history by Sandra Meisel guiding me through the era.I've given this 4 rather than 5 stars because as nostalgic as the series is ( and I definitely look forward to the Flandry releases), I don't think it quite reaches the level of Jack Chandler's Lost Fleet Series but it should be a welcome addition to the serious SF reader's library. Best if read in order but not absolutely necessary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Science Fiction
This book was received in new condition within the normal time. It brings together many of the stories published in different places. Some I had read, some I had missed. I am very pleased with this book and with the easy ordering process.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poul Anderson's dazzling vision of humanity's future in space
These excellent stories constitute Poul Anderson's vision of humanity's future in space.Essentially, the author assumes that human beings and their alien counterparts on other worlds will be driven by the same motivations as today--material and commercial gain.Free enterprise needs elbow room, according to the author, and in these stories the author postulates a future in which interstellar travel is cheap and feasible, and there are many intelligent races in the universe, some friendly some not.The Polesotechnic League ("League of Selling Skills") is a loose confederation of interstellar merchants with the sole aim of promoting conditions favorable to interplanetary commerce. The League is more powerful than any government, and less oppressive since its only goal is to promote commerce. These stories deal with David Falkayn, a human being, Adzel (a large reptilian intelligent being), and Chee Lan, a small feline being who despite their differences as species, meld together into an interstellar trading team with the mission of finding and developing new markets.Many of these new commercial opportunities involve strange civilizations and aliens, and it is all great fun.One of Poul Anderson's strengths is his ability to intelligently postulate the nature of other alien beings, and usually the aliens that he presents in his story really are aliens, and they make sense to the reader even with their different-than-human perspectives.Falkayn, Adzel, and Chee Lan are vivid characters that the reader will come to know and appreciate.I did.

Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories, presented in this collection, provide a dazzling and optimistic vision of the future.It is great that author Anderson's works are being republished.I do wish that Kindle versions were available and I hope that this will happen soon.Meanwhile, enjoy.

Highly recommended.RJB.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rethinking Poul Anderson: better than Heinlein?
I have been re-reading the three volumes (so far) in Baen's reissue of the Van Rijn, Falkayn, and Flandry stories, and the headline has been rediscovering just how good a science fiction writer Poul Anderson was.One of the back cover blurbs says something to the effect that "Poul Anderson ... probably does more different things well than anyone else in the field", and I think that is a very fair assessment. The science is great, the politics is very good, the characterization is very good, and the maturity level of theauthor is far higher than, say, Heinlein.Anderson's very best is not as good as Heinlein's very best, but almost everything of Anderson's is far better than Heinlein's weak stuff--and none of it is marred by the self-indulgence and wish fulfillment that marked later Heinlein. ... Read more

16. The Golden Slave
by Poul Anderson
Paperback: 286 Pages (2009-08-09)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$13.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1448646693
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100 B.C. The Cimbrian hordes galloped across the dawn of history and clashed in screaming battle against the mighty Roman legions. Eodan, son of Chief Boierek, has been on the war campaign for many years. The Cimbrain army has become a hungry homeless pagan tribe. Their sworn enemy, the Romans, they have battled against gloriously. But for all the burning towns, the new-caught women weeping, the wine drunk, the gold lifted, the Cimbri did not find a home. Eodan, the proud young chieftain, had been caught and sold into slavery, his infant son murdered and his beautiful wife, Hwicca, taken as a concubine. But the whips and slave chains could not break the spirit of this fiery pagan giant who fought, seduced and connived his way to a perilous freedom to rescue the woman he loved. A struggle that would make him a lover, pirate, commander, and in the end the struggle would make him a legend! ... Read more

17. Time Patrol
by Poul Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 784 Pages (2006-01-31)
list price: US$7.99
Isbn: 1416509356
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Forget minor hazards like nuclear bombs. The discovery of time travel means that everything we know, anyone we know, might not only vanish, but never even have existed. Against that possibility stand the men and women of the Time Patrol, dedicated to preserving the history they know and protecting the future from fanatics, terrorists, and would-be dictators who would remold the shape of reality to suit their own purposes. But Manse Everard, the Patrol's finest temporal trouble-shooter, bears a heavy burden. The fabric of history is stained with human blood and suffering which he cannot, must not do anything to alleviate, lest his tampering bring disastrous alterations in future time. Everard must leave the horrors of the past in place, lest his tampering-or that of the Patrol's opponents, the Exaltationists-erase all hope of a better future, and instead bring about a future filled with greater horrors than any recorded by past history at its darkest and most foul. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars EXcellent CLassic Sci-fi
In my opinion Time Patrol is one the best Science Fiction adventure tales ever written. If you enjoy action adventures stories or if you are a Sci-Fi buff this classic deserves a space in your library. This is one of those stories that you will want to read over and over. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
The Time Patrol is yet another collection of Anderson's stories set in the universe. He obviously liked fiddling with them.

Basically, they centre around Unattached Agent of the Patrol Everard Manse, and his adventures and his relationships working for the highly advanced Danellians to preserve the nature of the timestream.

Time Patrol : Time Patrol [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : Brave to Be a King [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : Gibraltar Falls [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : The Only Game in Town [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : Delenda Est [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : Ivory and Apes and Peacocks - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : The Sorrow of Odin the Goth - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : Star of the Sea - Poul Anderson
Time Patrol : The Year of the Ransom - Poul Anderson

Recruiting of a time agent.

4 out of 5

Manse and Cynthia ponder time off, but there is still Patrol work to be done.

4 out of 5

Lots of water and interfering.

3 out of 5

Sandoval has to co-opt an Unattached for a mission, and guess who?

3 out of 5

20,000 years back for skiing and winding down for Patrol agents, particularly when a bit grumpy with the super overlords.

3.5 out of 5

Everard the Unattached in Tyre and South America with Bolivar.

3 out of 5

Interspersed interview.

3 out of 5

Relationship, three eras, and Exaltationist issues.

3.5 out of 5

4-0 out of 5 stars The Guardians of Time
This is the first Poul Anderson book I've ever read. I am impressed. There are ten short stories in this, the entire "Time Patrol" collection. Each story, although focused around the main character of all the stories, is unique. Mr. Anderson is certainly a gifted writer. He combines history, science and fiction. deftly weaving great yarns that make you think. And that's the kind of book I like to read. A book that makes you think.
Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better For History Buffs
Poul Anderson was a history buff and, except for the first, each of these stories seems to represent his need to come to grips with his research into a particular era. Stipulated that Anderson was a master storyteller, almost incapable of telling a dull tale -- yet some of these do approach dullness, if you don't happen to share his fascination with the details of that era. Yes, sometimes he makes the history come alive in vivid descriptive passages: this is "showing" not "telling," and indeed "showing" of a high order.

But in some stories, he "tells" instead, using long expository passages in which characters bring each other up to date on the historical background of the era in question. Anderson's expository dialog, unlike his action or plotting, is dull and sometimes awkward, and I several times lost interest and skimmed.

And in other stories, contrarily, he doesn't do enough exposition: "Gibraltar Falls" vividly describes the era when the Atlantic spilled into the then-dry Mediterranean valley, but gives the curious reader no background to follow up the geological speculation on which it is grounded. Similarly, "The Only Game in Town" describes a Mongol expedition into North America, a speculation that I believe has some basis, but although Anderson tells us a lot about the Mongols, there is not enough of a handle to follow it up into current research.

Net: fun for history buffs; action/adventure fans might do better reading other series by Anderson.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic, timeless, and glorious...
Together with DeCamp's LEST DARKNESS FALL or Silverbergs's UP THE LINE (and perhaps a few others), no other stories really capture the flavor of history, the paradox of time travel, or the genuine joy at being able to wander into the past as this book of stories.

Although the first few have the exact flavor of their era--1950's Astounding magazine--there is nothing really dated or obsolete about these eight stories. Each and every one is a delight, from the long agony of "Odin the Goth", who already knows the doom of those he loves, to the joy of catching time bandits in a beautifully realized ancient Tyre, Poul Anderson gives us stories of the sort that hooked me on science fiction all those years ago... and exactly what brings me back today.

The full set of time patrol stories at nearly 800 pages, this is the biggest bargain you'll find this year. ... Read more

18. Going For Infinity: A Literary Journey (Poul Anderson Collection) (Poul Anderson Collection)
by Poul Anderson
Unknown Binding: Pages (2002-06-29)
-- used & new: US$13.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003B7M9IK
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Going For Infinity
very nice compilation of his stories.... mostly odd bits of ideas, but his writing is so charming they make for very nice reading

5-0 out of 5 stars Science, philosophy, poetry
"Going for Infinity" contains eighteen stories by Poul Anderson, written over the course of a half-century. Fifty years is an immensely long time in the history of science fiction. It almost is the history of science fiction. In terms of literature, though, fifty years is nothing. Science fiction has hardly begun its life in human culture. No wonder, then, that it has changed so much since its birth, just like a baby does in its first few years. From mute and helpless infant, to crawler and communicator, to walker and talker.

Poul Anderson's writing covers in time most of the life of the genre of science fiction, but the stories in Going for Infinity range less widely in style and substance than the genre as a whole. Anderson says in the Introduction:

"What [Robert Gleason, my editor] had in mind [for this book] was not simply another collection, but a retrospective - besides stories, something about their origins, backgrounds, contexts, a historical overview of the science fiction and fantasy field throughout those decades."

Then Anderson immediately follows with:

"Of course, this isn't really possible. I have been only one writer among many, and how wonderfully diverse a lot they were and are! "

Anderson's own stories in this collection are largely the product of a fairly straightforward synergy of contemporary science (contemporary to the time of writing), and imagination. In introducing the first story, "The Saturn Game," published in 1981, he recounts his visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a few years later "to witness Voyager One's flyby of this very planet." Anderson had also written another story set on the Saturnine moon Iapetus. Anderson wondered,

Would my speculation prove completely mistaken? It's a risk that science fiction always takes, a risk that in the long run becomes an inevitability. But would this piece of mine have any run of might-be-so at all?

This realism, this concern that a story fit the facts, characterizes most of Anderson's stories in "Going for Infinity." These are not William Gibson stories. Most of them are science fiction as a backdrop of unfamiliarity against which the ordinary - but lonely, sad, evil, good, beautiful - stands out in a new and exciting way, or maybe just a simpler, more obvious, less complicated way. Economics, democracy, religion - these are all examined anew under the strange light of an unfamiliar sun.

Another mark of Anderson's stories is the emphasis on the writing itself. He tells stories, but even more he paints images and composes music in language. Not just fantasy clichés of `purple mountains on the horizon', but lines crafted from a conscious and deliberate wielding of language and words and rhythm and space. This, I think, is the most satisfying element of Anderson's work here.

There is more to enjoy, though. Anderson introduces every story with comments on the story itself, or its inception, context, or repercussions. He mentions other writers, other times, other ideas. For Anderson fans, this will surely be welcomed.

Though this collection mostly is of a realistic style, there is some other more fantastic pieces mixed in. "Goat Song" is one of these. Published in 1972, this story was somehow influenced by another science fiction story, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," and Cocteau's film Orpheus. It seems appropriate that this story struck me as the most contemporary, regardless of publication date.

"Going for Infinity" is definitely a worthwhile collection to own, and Anderson's stories more than worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Homage to a grandmaster
GOING FOR INFINITY pays homage to one of the speculative fiction's greatest authors of the twentieth century by providing a taste of Poul Anderson's works as well as his retrospective thoughts over the six decades he wrote.The tales run the gamut of science fiction and fantasy with mystery thrown in showing how diverse a writer Mr. Anderson was.Some of the science fiction seems obsolete, but when looked from a historiographic perspective provides insight into the times the stories were written and into the mind of a creative individual.The fantasies and detective contributions hold up better as they clearly show Mr. Anderson's real talent of turning the obviously impossible into something that feels real and genuine; thus leaving the awed audience celebrating the classic works of a noteworthy renaissance writer.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

19. The Fleet of Stars
by Poul Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (1998-02-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812545982
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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In Fleet of Stars, Poul Anderson brings back the wildly colorful Anson Guthrie, his iconoclastic hero from Harvest of Stars. The staid, somber people of Earth are not only dependent on technology, they are all but ruled by machine intelligence. Suspecting a conspiracy to suppress humankind's last vestiges of freedom, Guthrie begins a dangerous journey across the realm of the comets, the asteroids, and the stars themselves--willing to risk his life to preserve humanity's ability to roam the universe.
Amazon.com Review
Poul Anderson marks the 50th year of his science fiction writing career with the conclusion of his Harvest of Stars series (Boat of a Million Years, Harvest of Stars, The Stars are Also Fire, Harvest the Fire). While the writing is leisurely, the action bounces between the solar system and the stars as Anson Guthrie returns to action once again (or at least his downloaded consciousness does). It seems the artificial intelligence that half support and more than half control the Terran system are hiding something from humanity, and Guthrie is determined to find out what that is. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tedious at times, but worth the read
Several times in the middle, I got so tired of reading repetitive speeches by the unctuous know-it-all Chuan, that I almost quit. Glad I didn't, as the action finally picked up at the end with startling surprises that made me glad I finished it. I probably wouldn't plow through it again, but there are parts, especially in the last hundred pages that I won't forget.

3-0 out of 5 stars The last book of Anderson's series is the best, but still...
THE FLEET OF STARS, the final book of Poul Anderson's four-volume future history that began with HARVEST OF STARS, is perhaps the most successful. That's not saying much admittedly, but THE FLEET OF STARS leaves one with much fewer complaints than the previous books of the series.

THE FLEET OF STARS takes place over five hundred years after the previous book, HARVEST THE FIRE, and shows a far-future in which humanity is trapped in complacent irrevelance by the cybercosm, a collection of intelligent machines. Anson Guthrie, the libertarian icon and hero of the first book, leaves one of the distant planets he has colonized and returns to the Sol in download form to investigate rumors of a massive discovery by a gravitational lense.

This really is a mystery story, and although it drags often Anderson does manage to sustain suspense over what exactly the lense has discovered. The ending comes as something of a surprise. Unlike another reviewer, I felt the ending was particularly strong because it does answer the one question that the reader keeps in mind.

Although I cannot recommend this series, if you have already read HARVEST OF STARS and THE STARS ARE ALSO FIRE, it might be a good idea to read the latter two books of the series. While not as readable as airplane books or as substantial as real literature, this series does occasionally entertain.

1-0 out of 5 stars nogo
I have ten other books by Poul Anderson.Every one of them is a "5".This one is simply a failure.It dragggggggs terribly.This is the first book by Anderson that I know of that is badly written. Most Unfortunate.

4-0 out of 5 stars A moving story with many heroic and human characters...
Much in the same style as a Heinlein book in it's gruff long-lived hero, Anson Guthrie, the storymay not please some who want up to the minute hard techno SF or a tight linear plot. The focus on the humanity of thecharacters, the way they think and feel at first seems distracting butleads you to give real thought to the conflicting philosophies that arepresented by the various types of humans and the computer derived"protectors" that they have created somewhat in their image... Inbetween you meet many various characters from different human and evolvedanimal societies and get involved in what their dreams,wishes, loves, andregrets are... I saw the books questions could be applied to our own hereand now and what should be important for humanity to do... Should we besafe and save resources and stay here on our Earth or is there some reasonor need to gamble and send man and not just robots to space.. This bookexplores all that and more without

pushing answers on you..It's also anentertaining big-question, old-style, many ideas at once SF story...not foreveryone...but Poul Anderson sure does write characters you would like toknow and can feel for... It moved me and made me cry at the end...and whatever a book's faults I guess that's an endorsement of thecharacterization...

1-0 out of 5 stars The book sucked
I read the entire series and found it mostly boring.I don't think that Anderson actually resovled any of the problems raised from the conflict between the two main groups.The ending was especially disappointing, Iwait through the entire book to find out whats going to happenwith some newalien civilization and he has a useless meeting between to characters inorder to revive a dead one who ends up doing nothing.The entire lastchapter was 'Fenn woke.'. ... Read more

20. Tau Zero
by Poul Anderson
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-01)
list price: US$7.99
Asin: B003XVYLEY
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Thus, as she made her great swing half around the Milky Way and turned for a plunge through its heart, the ship�s periscope revealed a weird demesne. The nearer stars streamed past ever faster, until at last the eye saw them marching across the field of view: because by that time, years went by outside while minutes ticked away within. The sky was no longer black; it was a shimmering purple, which deepened and brightened as interior months went by: because the interaction of force fields and interstellar me ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good science, poor fiction
Tau Zero may be back in print as a sci-fi masterwork, but it remains a piece of pulp fiction reliant for success on its concept. The idea was brilliant to have an exploration spaceship veer through the galaxies at a speed ever closer to light's. Fulfilling Einstein's prediction, time on board passes ever more slowly than outside, until centuries and millennia of galactic time become mere seconds on board. The discrepancy governs life choices on the ship to powerful effect, and it is used to bring about a dazzling, unforeseen finale. Beyond this, the characters are cardboard cut-outs and the situations one-dimensional. Sexual promiscuity feeds the attention of what must have originally been a mostly teenage readership. And the on-ship politics that are meant to provide the meat of the story are crudely simplistic. Anderson's book has stood the passage of time well - more than can be said of most sci-fi - even if it squarely belongs in the era of the space travel craze. It is worth reading for its sheer ingenuity. But I would take a good Isaac Asimov over Tau Zero anytime.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Superb science-fiction.However, if I had known how badly publishers would produce Kindle versions I would have never purchased a Kindle.This book is rife with errors, buyer-beware if purchasing Kindle version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Evokes awe - an amazing story with no need for dress up
This was one of the first books I placed on my display shelf, whioh contains only a few. The story of a ship and crew stranded hopelessly in space packs a punch that I still recall feeling, many years later. The conveyance of immense time is achieved with a precious few pages. The only other book that to me achieved the same effect about time was "Tomorrow And Tomorrow" by Charles Sheffield. Even Anderson's other vast work with time as a theme, "The Boat Of A Million Years", wasn't as memorable. There is not a lot of time devoted to characters in Tau Zero. There are no obvious attempts to dramatize or create suspense. The idea provides both. It is developed with Anderson's considerable talents, and is impressive because he could write a story about it without need of decoration. Is it a perfect book? No. Could it have been better if developed more fully? Maybe. This one gets 5 stars with me because the book works so well, despite flaws. It is not about people, it is about ideas. This is one of the finest examples of idea-driven science fiction. That it is still available, despite the disappearce of so many other fine stories of its time, isproof that many are still enjoying it.

4-0 out of 5 stars When the Universe collapses
A star ship crewed by 25 men and 25 women begin a journey to reach a distant star system in order to colonize it. The ship is powered by a Bussard ramjet which is capable of accelerating near light speed. On the voyage the ship collides with a gas cloud before the half-way point, damaging the Bussard; it can no longer decelerate. Due to radiation of space the crew cannot neither repair the decelerator nor turn off the accelerator's protective magnetic field. The only hope is to get into the dark space, where radiation is not a problem and the engine can be shut down for repairs. But that requires acceleration of powers of ten; which slings the crew out of the Milky Way, of the the galaxy, out of the galaxy group, out of the known galaxy clans (super groups). And due to Einstein's time dilation, millions of years go by when the crew estimates the Universe to collapse and -- born again. Is there any hope left?

The English speaking reader may find few quibbles: at ship launch, the Earth was ruled by Sweden. This isn't that unconventional if we consider who is the home of the Nobel Prize. Pohl also uses his Danish roots to introduce some Scandinavian characters on board. But those are only part of the setup and won't affect the full story. The hard science fiction is the Einstein's E = mc2, where ship's kinetic mass increases as the velocity increases, and relative time at ship runs slower and slower.

Four (4) stars. Written in 1970 the book may no longer be up to date by modern cosmological or physics standards. Nevertheless the balance of hard SF, the story of paniced crew and their human horror to cope with the inevitable, is psychologically sound. Human relations regroup in this cramped ship and learned man-woman habits break slowly. What to think about God when universe collapses? How can captain, a trembling leaf, escape the vastness of space abyss when he is about to announce the verdict: the ship must continue to accelerate more in order to see any hope? The plot takes reader to the very end of everything with human crew's eyes. Recommended for any reader, even for non hard SF reader.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Terrible Kindle Edition
Having read the story years ago in paperback, I was excited to find it available for my new Kindle at a very reasonable price. Unfortunately, it appears you get what you pay for.

There are numerous errors in the translation of this book into its electronic (Kindle) edition. From the pointless links to the TOC at the end of each chapter, the insertion of strange characters in words, extraneous and unbalanced parentheses, to the bizarre substitution of the word "me" for the word "the" randomly throughout the book, the flow of the original printed version is greatly impaired. It's also somehow crippled in a way that prevents the enabling of full justification, so if you prefer that mode for reading, forget about it with this edition.

This must have been one of Amazon's early efforts, and I cannot see how it could have possibly been proofread in its electronic form. I hope this sort of sloppiness in transcription is rare at Amazon.

This is one case where buying the paperback version is the smarter move. ... Read more

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