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1. Earth Lords
2. The Dragon and the Fair Maid of
3. The Dragon on the Border
4. The Forever Man
5. The Outposter
6. The Dragon and The Djinn
7. Antagonist (The Childe Cycle)
9. Necromancer (Childe Cycle)
10. The Dragon and the George
11. The Dragon Knight (A Tor book)
12. Wolf And Iron
13. Time Grabber
14. The Final Encyclopedia, Volume
15. The Chantry Guild (Dorsai/Childe
16. No Shield from the Dead
17. Dorsai Spirit: Two Classic Novels
18. Tactics of Mistake (Childe Cycle)
19. Sleepwalkers' World
20. Masters of Everon

1. Earth Lords
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: Pages (1989-01-01)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$5.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441180442
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best fantasy books ever written.
This book will absolutely envelope you with it's sense of place (Canadian wilderness), excellent writing, and just plain good story.I've read thousands of novels, but this is truly one of the few books that I didn't put down; I read it all in one sitting!Well worth the used price, as it's out of print new.THE EARTH LORDS is tie with Raymond Feist's FAERIE TALE for best fantasy book of all time.Reserve your copy before they're gone for good.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Thought-Provoking and entertaining book
Gordon Dickson's Earth Lords, as with most great Science Fiction, actually a book about now. His depiction of an alienated and discriminated against group plotting revenge against the world that made them outcasts shouldstrike a chord with everyone who reads it. In addition, thecharacterisation, plot and prose are excellent, this is an 'easy' read, thepages turn quickly and the story envelopes you with ease. What it isn't iseasy thinking.A book well worth seeking out. ... Read more

2. The Dragon and the Fair Maid of Kent
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2001-09-17)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812562720
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Jim Eckert, the Dragon Knight, must now confront the three disasters that lie in wait for any visitor to the English Middle Ages: war, plague, and Plantagenets.

The plagues is caused by a covert invasion of shape-shanging goblins with plague-tipped spears that seek to take over the world. Meanwhile, Eckert's castle is invaded by Plantagenets: Edward III, his son Edward the Black Prince, and Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent.

Against the background of a full-scale human-versus-goblin war, these worthies move in a swirl of intrigue and dynastic tension. And, as usual, it's up to the Jim Eckert, in all his scaly glory, to make sure good triumphs in the end!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Plague and Plantagenets
In this final entry into the Dragon Knight series (Dickson died the year after it was published), Jim Eckert and his friends find themselves facing, for once, not the Dark Powers, but the threat of the bubonic plague, the usual convoluted politics of 14th-Century England, and a besieging army of goblins determined to kill King Edward III and conquer the island for themselves, enslaving humanity and their own hated cousins, the gentle hobgoblins who dwell in chimneys.At first, understandably, Jim is most concerned about the plague, and sets measures in place to keep it out of his castle of Malencontri, or at least to quarantine anyone who comes down with it.Then, while escorting the Bishop of Bath and Wells back to his see, he finds himself confronted by an attacking force of goblins, which leads to revelations about their nature from his castle Hob.Meanwhile, Edward the Black Prince has unexpectedly arrived on his doorstep, along with Princess Joan of Kent, his cousin and beloved--who, as it happens, is already married to either one other man or two.Trying to counteract the vicious lies about him being poured into his father's ears by his uncle, the Earl of Cumberland (who happens to be an old foe of Jim's), he has resolved to ask Jim for help.The situation is soon complicated by the discovery that Tiverton Castle, to which Cumberland has persuaded the King to go in order to be safe from the sickness now afoot in London, is staffed entirely by goblins who have magically assumed the guise of humans.When Jim manages to extract all the real humans from the place and transport them to Malencontri, he not only strains himself almost past recovery, but the goblins throw off their disguises and besiege them.Surrounded by thousands of vicious foes, threatened by plague, and having to cope with the notoriously variable Plantagenet personality, Jim finds that battling the Dark Powers may have been the easier task.Then he learns that his two old enemies, Cumberland and Agatha Falon, may well be behind the goblin invasion.How is he to persuade the King that his half-brother is behind the plot to kill him?And how do you fight an army of goblins with only some 300 humans fit to wield weapons, a not-entirely-dependable cadre of dragons, and thousands of eager hobs whom you don't dare throw into the battle for fear they'll be massacred?

In many ways this is the most satisfactory of the Dragon novels since The Dragon and the George, which began them.All our old friends--Brian Neville-Smythe and his betrothed Geronde, Dafydd ap Hywel, Aargh the English wolf, Secoh the mere-dragon, Master Mage Carolinus, and valiant little Hob--are back, each with an important part to play.As always, Dickson seems to have a good grasp of the medieval mind and personality--the obligations of honor and of a gentleman.And the climactic battle before the gates of Malencontri is splendid.It's a pity the author didn't live to follow up on the threads of this story; seeing Jim and his allies deal with Cumberland's conspiracy and perhaps finally "save" the King would have been a treat.

4-0 out of 5 stars The saga continues ...
In the ninth book of the series, we get to deal again with the real medieval history of England. The time to deal with King Arthur and Merlin passed in te previous book. Since this is a series, there is further development of all the characters that have been there from the beginning: Brian, Geronde, Carolinus etc. James is also developing and we learn that he is being considered for another promotion in the Magickal arts. All the other favorites also make return appearances even if only very quickly (Aargh and Gorbash). With all of this, it is quite surprising that the Sea Devils and the Gnarlies don't show up!

The problem to be resolved this time has to do with keeping King Edward alive. It appears that the evil Lord Cumberland and Agatha Fallon are plotting to kill him and replace him with Cumberland. The chosen means is the Black Plague which is introduced to England by them. Other magical creatures that operate on the evil side are the goblins and we learn quite a bit about the relationship between them and the hobgoblins as well as other denizens of the evil side. A major development occurs with the hobs. It seems that there are thousands of them and in one of the climaxes of this book, there is literally a battle involving them. Quite a difference from how Hob appears in the first books!

If you have read the previous titles, this will be more of the same and you will enjoy the developments of the characters. If you have not read any of these before, you will miss most of the fun and should go right back to Dragon and the George!

The Fair Maid of Kent makes an appearance and we learn that the 14th century woman could be quite influential in her own way.

This is not a small book, yet I devoured it in favor of any other reading over the course of a few days. Well worth it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Re: Welcome Back to the Middle Ages. - Oct. 17 2001
I just wanted to let it be known that The Dragon and the Fair Maid of Kent, is not, as stated by Marc Ruby in his Oct. 17 review, the fourth book in Gordon Dickson's Dragon Knight Series.

It is actually the NINTH book in the series.It may only appear to be the fourth due to the fact that Tor only included in the list of previous books those which had been published by Tor.The rest of the series was published by Ace Fantasy, with the exception of the very first book, The Dragon and the George, which was published by Del Rey in 1976.

Essentially, I just didn't want anyone to miss any of the books out of this wonderful series.Happy reading!

4-0 out of 5 stars Historical Fantasy
A fantasy set during the time of King Edward III, it is a complex tale involving magicians, dragons, goblins, the plague, and court intrigue. The author has invented history only casually related to real history. Overall, it is an interesting story but sometimes drags in long scenes which may seem peripheral to the main plot. Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, puts in an appearance in a secondary role. It seems unlikely that Edward III would have had an illegitimate half-brother as his father, Edward II, was gay and not known to have mistresses. The real power behind the throne was the Black Prince's younger brother, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (events would eventually lead to the War of the Roses between the Houses of York and Lancaster).

The author oversimplifies the relationship between Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, and Edward, the Black Prince, by calling them cousins. Joan's father, Edmund, was both a half brother of Edward II and a cousin of Edward II's wife, Isobel of France (who contrary to the motion picture, never had any contact with Wallace). A grand-daughter of Joan and Sir Thomas Holland would marry John Beaufort, a nephew of Edward the Black Prince, and a daughter of that marriage would later marry King James I of Scotland with descent to the present royal family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back to the Middle Ages.
By habit I read more than one book at a time.It keeps me from getting bored, and sometimes the odd juxtaposition of ideas gives me something unique for a review.Right now I'm reading a horror story so bad I regret agreeing to review it and a mystery story that makes too great an effort to be literature.It's slow going at best.The third volume is (or rather, was) this, Gordon Dickson's fourth in his dragon series.It took me exactly three days to read this hefty (500+ page) small print book from cover to cover, and I am not a speed reader.The other books just had to wait.

What makes Dickson so good that he has managed to author two major series (the dragon series and the Dorsai series) and innumerable other novels and collections?Personally I would call it superior plot making, intense dedication to details, and yes, heaps of talent.Dickson always takes the necessary time to draw his characters out fully, be they James Eckhart the knight/apprentice mage/sometimes dragon who is the hero of the story or the lowly master carpenter who keeps James in everything from chairs to outhouses.And he goes to know end of trouble to make sure that the reader painlessly acquires enough 14th century lore to make sense out of the goings on.

This volume finds James at Malencontri, his castle, trying to cope with both a plague of Plantagenet nobility and the very real plague which is advancing into James part of England.In addition, Carolinus, James mage master (one of the three AAA+ mages in the world, he'll have you know) is insisting that the King be protected at all costs.The Plantagenets on hand are Prince Edward the Fourth, the king's son and the beautiful Countess Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent.All they want is James assistance in a plot to make Edward the Third fond of Edward the Fourth again.This plot becomes ever more complicated until James finds himself commanded to appear before the King at Tiverton, where Edward III has retired to avoid the plague in London.

While this complexity develops James works overtime to prepare Malencontri against the plague.Since James and his wife Angie are actually visitors from our time who were unexpectedly thrust into the 14th century of an alternate earth, they know something of germs and disease protection.Since magic will not work on diseases, it is this knowledge which it their only hope.In the midst of all this confusion and stress, the EcKharts, their closest friends and Hob (the castle hobgoblin) are off to Tiverton to see the King.

Thanks to Hob, James is able to discover that an evil plot is afoot at Tiverton.Goblins, who are spreading the plague in order to take over the world, have slain the real castle staff and are now running it in disguise.James, due to his commitment to keep the king alive, goes into action.Since this is less that a third of the way into the book, it should be no surprise that Jim manages to use a small handful of men and knights (plus the unstoppable Hob and his buddy the hob of Tiverton) to completely mop up the Goblins and airlift everyone to Malencontri.Unfortunately James comes down with both the plague and magickal exhaustion simultaneously.Does he survive?Of course!Does he spend the rest of the book frantically trying to save Malencontri and the rest of England?You bet, but I will leave the rest of the plot for the reader to discover.

With this, ninth, volume in the series, it is getting a bit harder to simply pick up a volume and follow along.First of all you keep getting the feeling that you have missed several really good books, which you have.Secondly, there is simply too much background after eight solid novels to present enough information to the reader.This isn't all bad though, you will get to read several very good fantasy tales.And if you do wind up reading it first, you will still love it enough to come back to read a second time.Highly recommended. ... Read more

3. The Dragon on the Border
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: 393 Pages (1993-06-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441166571
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sir James, the Dragon Knight, faces his most terrifying challenge in the nearly indestructible Hollow Men, spirits of the dead who reside in empty suits of armor. Reprint. LJ. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars A modern day man who can shapeshift into a dragon, still finding his way in the 14th Century
Gordon R. Dickson has been gone for some time now, and - just as with the late great Roger Zelazny and Philip José Farmer - I feel atwinge whenever I pick up and re-read his stuff off my shelf. Sometimes I pause to simply hate that there won't be any more sci-fi epics about the Dorsai or tongue-in-cheek adventure fantasies about the Dragon Knight. It's been a while since I went thru the Dragon Knight books, but I just picked up THE DRAGON ON THE BORDER again, which is third in the series. Just one of those times when you grab whatever nearest book is at hand. And, after having finished reading it and even though it isn't my favorite in the series, I now feel like starting from scratch again, back to the first book The Dragon and the George, work my way up to The Dragon Knight (A Tor book), and so on...

THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE introduced Jim Eckert and his future wife Angela, two contemporary college teaching assistants from the town of Riveroak who were transported back to 14th Century England, but to an alternate universe 14th Century England where magic works. In this world of honor and armor and wine, Jim was first trapped in a dragon's body but later regained human form with the added ability to shapeshift into a dragon. In fact, he's considered a low level magician, rated D level. After many harrowing adventures - some of which were immortalized into songs and poems - and given the option to return to the 20th Century, Angie and Jim, now become Lady Angela and Sir James, Baron de Malencontri et Riveroak (never mind that only Angie and Jim know where and when Riveroak is) decided to remain in magical olde England.

Getting to THE DRAGON ON THE BORDER, it's been a few years now since Jim and Angie were first whisked away to the 14th Century, and the two have sort of settled in. But the 14th Century is an era of vigorous action, of knighthood and chivalry (and casual abuse of those beneath acceptable pedigree). The Dark Powers are as ever bent on working dark mischief against man and maliciously influencing those two powerful forces of nature, Chance and History. And it seems that Jim has been targeted in particular. The book starts with Jim and his friends doing a kindness, journeying to Castle de Mer near the Scottish border to impart news of the brave death of their companion Sir Giles to his family (referencing an event in THE DRAGON KNIGHT). With Jim are his two staunchest friends, Sir Brian Neville-Smythe, a valorous knight who maintains his impoverished estate solely with his tourney winnings, and Dafydd Ap Hywel, cool and calm man of Wales and master of the bow. Again, Sir Brian and Dafydd prove themselves indispensable in Jim's continuing struggle against sinister forces. Enroute they encounter the Hollow Men, dishonorable ghosts inhabiting armor, and the three dispatch them easily enough. But a bigger surprise greets them at Castle de Mer, when they note that Sir Giles is well and alive!

Sir James soon learns that an incursion of England is afoot, with Scotsmen shaping the invasive force, the French licking their lips on the back end, and all supported by the spectral Hollow Men, who number two thousand and more. Once again it's up to our 20th Century American to thwart the Dark Powers - but aided by Sir Brian and Dafydd, some ornery Borderers, a gruff Northumbrian wolf, and the Little People. And it won't be easy. Jim aims to put a stop to the Hollow Men once and for all. But here's the kicker: as long as even one Hollow Man survives, each slain Hollow Man resurrects within two days. The only way to ultimately defeat the Hollow Men is to slay them to the last man, and slay them all at once. It's a nifty pickle for someone whose magical cachet isn't worth all that much. Can modern-day know how find a way to best the machinations of the Dark Powers?

Gordon R. Dickson has written his share of sweeping epics, mostly in the sci-fi format (The Final Encyclopedia, Volume One of Two (Dorsai/Childe Cycle), The Chantry Guild (Dorsai/Childe Cycle), Time Storm, Way of the Pilgrim, etc.), but in this series, he demonstrates a rollicking, lighthearted flair. I like that while Dickson turns Jim Eckert into a hero, he's not a hero without flaws and weaknesses. Most notably Sir James is quite inept with medieval weaponry, to the extent that his loyal friend, Sir Brian, styles James a mere passable combatant. And, despite his weak magic (D level, such as it is) and 20th Century smarts, living in the Middle Ages doesn't come so easy for Jim. Men back then were more hardy, a vastly good portion of them probably able to kick the shiznit out of Jim. And while the natives may be able to survive imbibing water, for Jim and Angie that sucker's gotta be boiled. And, brother, wine and not water is the preferred drink. So Jim has to always be on guard against getting tipsy. It's just plenty challenging keeping up with 14th Century disposition and customs.

The Dragon Knight novels are grounded by Dickson's wonderfully detailed account of what it'd be like to live in the Middle Ages. I'm assuming the minutiae of 14th Century everday living, minus the magic parts, are as historically accurate as the author can research it, and from what I understand real places and several historical figures are referenced in the breadth of the series. You learn stuff in terms of the customs back then, and how they behaved and thought. For example, I had no idea what a chatelaine was until this series, and Liseth makes a feisty, willful chatelaine of Castle de Mer. Again, although DRAGON ON THE BORDER isn't my top choice in the series, it's still a nice read and rates a 3.5 out of 5 stars. As with the other books it's sprinkled with humor. The disembodied Accounting Office, an ambiguous entity which keeps tab of magicians' magical accounts and which occasionally makes itself heard, continues to be a welcome presence. And, as a twist, the Little People (or dwarves) don't care at all for gold. And, as always, Sir James survives on modern savvy and quick thinking, much of his societal slip-ups resolved by Jim matter-of-factly stating (and I paraphrase), "Well, I do that because I'm a magician."

More acts of derring-do would've been welcome. There's a static feel, as much of the book focuses on Jim simply prepping for the big skirmish with the Hollow Men. This involves his playing politics with the proud Borderers and the mistrustful Little People and setting the stage for playing a key trick on the Hollow Men. Carolinus, the irascible AAA+ rated mage and Jim's mentor, comes in in spots to keep insisting that he can't much help Jim. And, honestly, I don't know that the series needed yet another implacable and blunt talking wolf. Snorrl is pretty much the Northumbrian version of Aargh, the English wolf Jim had met in earlier novels.

However, the big fighty fight at the end does much to make up for the methodical pace. Turns out that the Dark Powers have a backup plan, just in case the Hollow Men are bested. And, so, Sir James is called upon to go above and beyond, to meet an unexpected challenge. Which actually is a normal day for him. Another thing to like is that Dafydd steals a bit of the spotlight, his story arc being tied in to the Little People, who boast long memories. And, for those curious to read more about the Dragon Knight (there are nine books in all), check out The Dragon at War, fourth in the series and which picks up just about where THE DRAGON ON THE BORDER leaves off. For what it's worth, I happen to like THE DRAGON AT WAR quite a bit better than THE DRAGON ON THE BORDER.

Gordon R. Dickson. Roger Zelazny. Philip José Farmer. And you know what sucks? I just found out that David Eddings had also passed away. Death is not cool, brother.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best fantasy series ever!
I highly recommend this book and all the "Dragon and the George" sequels. IT was a wonderful series, written by an amazing SciFi/Fantasy author!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Great Series.
This is a great fantasy series, the characters and problems they run into are unique and overall writing is proof enough that Mr. Dickson is one of the great Fantasy writers of the past century, i am truly enjoying this.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book!
I thought the Dragon and the George was really awesome.The characterswere great.A great sequel to the Dragon Knight.

4-0 out of 5 stars The dragon who doesn't stop
Yet another great performance by the dragon knight.It has all theenjoyable elements of the previous book that I loved.My dissapointmentwith this book is that to me the final threat seems all to easy to takecare of in the end.I am deffinatly not trying to say this book is anyless than the rest but the dark powers could have found some thing betterthan the hollow men.On the bright sde more than just the hollow men arethere and it makes the book that much more enjoyable.Jim, Brian and Gilesprovide another exciting battle against the dark powers that you will love. Keep reading these books, they get even better than this. ... Read more

4. The Forever Man
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 345 Pages (1988-02-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044124713X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Five Stars: He brings you to the stars.
Poets use the stars as exemplars of eternal beauty and guidance.

Dickson shows us one way to understand this. The hero *becomes* his space fighter and (accompanied by a psychologist/sociologist) travels through contested space to find beings of pure thought (or energy). In the end, using his new knowledge of himself, his companion and the various creations he meets, our hero finds a way to end war and allow the world (the Earth, Terra) to continue growing and expanding, as the hero and heroine do walking off into the ... sunset together. Great, classic piece.


5-0 out of 5 stars Book Report
I oeigionally chose "The Forever Man" as a book for may book report. I soon found out I was going to enjoy the book very much and rate it as one of my favorites.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever Man is a great book
Forever Man is a story about a man who has his mind implanted into an old, rusted out ship in an attempt to understand how an alien race ticks.The beggining is slow but the action speeds up and soon has the reader stuck tohis (or her) seat until the end.This book is worth reading if you likescience fiction.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine book about the merging of man and machine.
A old french spacecraft is found after many years. It is discoverd that the ships pilot died in flight, but through some unknown process, his mind has merged with his ship. Another astronaut goes through an experiment to see if the process can be duplicated. He then goes on a mission in deep space ... Read more

5. The Outposter
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: 256 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671721402
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A man who once had witnessed the slaughter of human colonists by an alien race sets out to stop the ongoing raids against Earth's most far-flung outposts. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
the earth city is overcrowded and sense most people don't want to leave for the colonies there is the lottery. now certain people important to the running of earth city are exempt and also the military and thier families. so mostly the dregs of society are forceably sent to colonise the systems around earth. the outposters are the govenment force with the responsiblity to run the colonies. because most people don't want to be there they barely survive with help from the earth city, add and alien race more interested in what they can steal than trade for and a space navy taking bribes and afraid to fight and things are desperate. throw in a second generation outposter with the will and a plan to change it all and your have a geat story.

3-0 out of 5 stars Average Book
The book had some interesting elements, and I liked at how quick one could get into it; however, that being said, what I disliked about the book was that it never seemed to go anywhere.The aliens were supposed to be extremely tough, yet the main hero did not seem to have to put up much of a struggle to get where he wanted to.The climax, if ever there was much of one, did not result in anything big.I like a book that doesn't drag on and on about nothing, which in this case Dickson seemed able to get to the point in a quick fashion; however, this book seemed written only with the notion that the author wanted to hurry up and get it done.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pointless the whole way
When I finshed reading the book, I really felt like I wasted a good two weeks reading, when I could have read something else.Luckily, it only took me about 2 weeks to read, I was in a hurry.It was my fault for being mislead by the cover and the back description.Of course the main guy does not know who to lose in hand to hand combat.Standard hero stuff.Not much on military stuff, which is what I thought it was.It definitely is not.

4-0 out of 5 stars Black Steel
An alien race takes over Earth, but they allow Earth to pretty much still govern itself.There are diplomats who correspond with the alien race.Earth is overpopulated, so the poor are sent to colonize nearby planets/satellites (e.g. mars, moon).The Outposter is one of the government security force assigned to keep the colonists orderly, but he soon abandons his post to join with the resistance movement.

action (as in some fighting) and intruige - and all this from a shady memory of it (i read it maybe 5-6 years ago, around the same time i read Black Steel by Steve Perry)

2-0 out of 5 stars Early 1970's sci fi from an award winning author.
Dickson is one of those authors whom I refer to as the psycodelic generation.

Many of their novels are literally "far out".The Outposter is one of them. ... Read more

6. The Dragon and The Djinn
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: 400 Pages (1998-01-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$9.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441004954
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Gordon R. Dickson continues his acclaimed saga of a twentieth-century American transformed into a Dragon Knight - and transported into a fantastic medieval adventure!The Dragon Knight's journey to the Holy Land is supposed to be a simple quest...but pirates, sea giants, and the legendary Djinn threaten to make his voyage the most dangerous odyssey known to man - and dragon. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Eastward ho!
James Eckert, the Dragon Knight, who was transported to an alterante 14th Century and there became known as both a magician (he can transform himself into a dragon) and a member of the nobility (a baron, to be precise), here finds himself drawn by the obligations of friendship into new perils.His friend and neighbor, Sir Brian Neville-Smythe, has learned that Sir Geoffrey deChaney, the father of his betrothed, has been seen in the city of Palmyra in the Holy Land, and is resolved to seek him out and ask him to grant his permission for Brian to marry his daughter.When Jim's petition to the King for guardianship of the infant Robert Falon, is granted earlier than he had expected, he finds himself free to follow his friend and offer his assistance.And it turns out to be needed.Through a siege upon the Cypriot castle where they're temporarily lodged (including the need to deal with the owner, who's been cheating Brian at dice), an abduction by Assassins (the kind who ate hashish), and the repeated appearance of a mangy dog that claims to be a djinni in hiding from a jealous counterpart, Jim and Brian persevere, and finally discover that their journey has a meaning far beyond what they had expected, as they confront a Muslim sorcerer who's raised a major demon--and can't control it.

Dickson here expands somewhat on his previous explications of how magic works in his world, while at the same time following Jim's sustained unease over just how fit he and his wife Angie really are to live in this alternate reality, where magic may work but people are the real stumbling block.The final confrontation between Jim, Angie, Brian, Geronde and her father, two hobgoblins, a Christian knight turned slave, and the sorcerer himself vs. the demon and its machinations--intended to, as Jim says, "upset the balance between History and Chance"--is particularly thrilling, though the djinn-in-disguise turns out not to be as vital a character as I had expected it would be.It's clear, too, that the author did some serious research into the 14th-Century Near East.Though my favorite Dragon Knight volume will probably always be the initial one, The Dragon and the George, this sixth entry is a satisfying blend of magic, intrigue, and human interaction, with a lot to say about friendship and courage.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible book
This book was terrible - the writing dragged and the plot was lame.The story had little to do with dragons (the hero could change into a dragon but rarely did so, and for no real heroic purpose).The djinn was hardly even a character in the story, despite being given credit in the title.This book should only be read by a die-hard fan of medieval knights.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well the Djinn is a Genie in a bottle
The book was pretty good but nothing stands out in my mind when I think of it.Sorry I couldn't be more helpful

3-0 out of 5 stars A little on the disappointing side
Althought I love the entire series of these books this one only grabs yourattention at the end of the book.Admittidly this has a very excitingending but the body of the book was much slower than the rest. Of course Istill enjoyed the battle of the Jim and Brian but it seemed to stray toofar away from the other books.However if you have come this far you haveto keep going becuase the following books raise back up to the usualstandard that is expected.So in short, read the book.It isn't bad butyou have to do it to get to the next two which are much better.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best in the series
After the first two books in this series, this was the best.We finally get to see what happened to Geronde's father.And there's a wonderful moment when Angie seemingly defies the rules of magick (and upsetsCarolinus quite a bit in the process)--delightful!The only pssible way itcould have been improved is if Daffydd had had a nice large role, too. *sigh*(Okay, I'm obsessed with Daffydd.)Great book! ... Read more

7. Antagonist (The Childe Cycle)
by Gordon R. Dickson, David W. Wixon
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2008-03-04)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$0.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812521684
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Gordon R. Dickson’s “Childe Cycle” of novels depicting the future of the human race has been one of the grand epics of science fiction. At the time of his death in 2001, Dickson was writing Antagonist, the tale of Bleys Ahrens’ turn toward darkness. Now Dickson’s assistant David W. Wixon has brilliantly finished the long-awaited book, working from Dickson’s copious notes. Antagonist is a fitting capstone to one of the most ambitious series in SF history.
The Childe Cycle is the story of a new human evolution: the development of a real, hardwired sense of “responsibility” shared by all human beings. Donal Graeme was a Dorsai, a mercenary soldier, and also a mutant gifted with insight into the path forward for the human race. Through his gifts Donal would come to bend time and live three lifetimes—and, in the process, run into problems he had not expected: first, his own flaws, and second, the existence of another mutant, Bleys Ahrens.
Following Young Bleys and Other, Antagonist advances the story of the formidably powerful Bleys Ahrens. Bleys is a man with a clear vision of the struggle in which he’s involved -- but an increasingly deficient sense of human values. He and his organization, the Others, are tracking down an elusive interplanetary opposition. Meanwhile, Bleys' own intricate conspiracies and devisings, and his quest for power, which began with the best of motives, have become something darker and fiercer.
He's committed to his plans. They may bring about the advent of Homo superior. And they may destroy the human race.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT a Dorsai book.Not a Childe Cycle book.
First of all, let's get something clear. My definition of "Dorsai Book" or "Childe Cycle Book" is pretty simple: a book set in the Dorsai "universe" and written by Gordon R. Dickson himself, with only the minimal customary amount of input from others.For example, editors, first readers, friends & family could all quite reasonably provide feedback to an Author.What is NOT a Dorsai/Childe book is anything written from Dickson's notes (copious though they might be), taken from unfinished manuscripts, given to other authors (regardless of how intimately acquainted they might be to the Author and his works), or any new works in the same universe authorized by the estate of the Author.Antagonist falls into a couple of categories in this latter definition, being a work finished after the Author's death and written from his notes by his assistant.Therefore, it is not a Dorsai book.

Antagonist is at best a misguided attempt to give the fans what they want, and at worst an attempt to capitalize on the good works of the deceased Author.I want to believe it's the former, but in reality publishing companies know that an Author's name is at least as valuable as his existing works.And they really don't care that the price for exploiting the name is paid by the Author's reputation.

Antagonist is one of the best examples of this problem.Here you have David W. Wixon, the Author's long time associate and assistant.If anybody could add another chapter in the Childe Cycle, one would think it would be him.Unfortunately, it is not to be.No two writers have the same style, no matter how one tries to imitate another.At best you get an echo of the other's voice.Wixon's attempt is even feebler than most other copy-cat impressionists.One gets the feeling that he is floundering around desperately trying to ask himself "What Would Gordon Do?" and generally coming up with the wrong answer.Like so many posthumous sequels in other Authors' universes (Darkover, Dune, etc), the lack of Author/Universe connection shows.Antagonist fails to draw the Reader into that connection.There is no Author/Universe/Reader triad.

Effectively, this book is merely "authorized fanfic," written by someone who is perhaps more legitimate of a fan than the typical basement dweller logged into a website.Is it worth spending eight bucks to read fanfic?I'd say no, because you can find LOTS of Dorsai fanfic out there.The only real difference is that the publishers of Antagonist probably ran it through a spelling and grammar checker, and Harry Potter doesn't appear anywhere in it.Which is sort of a shame, because a Hal Mayne/Hermione Granger/Bleys Ahrens love triangle might throw a couple of really neat plot twists into the mix.

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT "the Capstone of the Childe Cycle" !Not by half ...
Let me re-emphasize that point ... "Antagonist" is NOT the long-awaited conclusion to the Childe Cycle, and if you are responding to the pre-release advertising to that effect ... well, slow down and take a breath.

What "Antagonist" IS is a completing volume to an offshoot series that Dickson unexpectedly began after completing "The Chantry Guild", when instead of the looked-for "Childe", we were greeted by "Young Bleys" instead.Apparently Dickson felt that his protagonist, 'Hal Mayne', required (and perhaps, even deserved) a more fleshed-out opponent for the final act than we might have gotten from the few pages he (Bleys) had in "The Final Encyclopaedia" and "The Chantry Guild".

So we have watched "Young Bleys" Ahrens as a child (no "e"), becoming more aware of himself and the differences he has from the common man in "Other", but he still wasn't anyone to worry about yet.And in "Antagonist", we finally get to see Blehs attain the beginnings of his maturity.

He is definitely a darker character initially, especially when compared with Hal, and yet, the more detailed our view of Bleys becomes, the more we feel a growing sense that the two are not really so dissimilar.That which has nourished Hal's soul has been more pure in nature than the sources available to Bleys, but otherwise they might have been brothers.And both men feel this.

So, read this book for a greater insight into Bleys, to see the sides of the vast chessboard of historical forces begin to attain the same level of readiness for the final chapter, to watch the order of battle being set for Armageddon, or Ragnarok, or the Final Conflict, or .

But DON'T look for this book to complete the Childe Cycle!In fact, with this book's publication, we actually take a step backward, because "Antagonist" ONLY TAKES US THROUGH THE TIME OF EVENTS WHICH OCCURRED AT THE END OF "The Final Encyclopaedia".And it is important to note this, because a great deal of the mental development and preparation Hal Mayne goes through, and in fact, even his fuller understanding of the tools and abilities which he discovers in the "Creative Universe", all of this occurs (in "The Chantry Guild") AFTER the time that "The Final Encyclopaedia" concludes.

And there the void beckons.Nature (and your above-average science fiction reader!) abhors a vacuum ... so is it logical to assume that our Antagonist (Bleys), having attained nearly the same stature and capabilities as our Protagonist (Hal), would do nothing to further his own development during the time that Hal is off in the mountains of the former Exotic worlds?Of course not ... and that is the story which will now need telling before the final story, "Childe", even begins.

All that having been said, the book is fairly enjoyable and an engaging read BUT ... and its a big BUT ... it's just NOT a Dickson story.The characters are there, the situations are there, but the ambience has gone ... where?The "Childe Cycle" stories were going somewhere special, perhaps more magical than scientific in nature (the roots of which were first shown in "Necromancer") ... someplace literally across the "rainbow bridge" which closes "The Chantry Guild".

And whatever was on the other side of that bridge, it's fairly obvious that Mr. Wixon, for all of his contacts, note-taking, and whatever else, has never even glimpsed the place.If you can't bring yourself to believe in Faerie, the least that you can do is avoid writing fairy tales.Those who follow later will praise your discipline.

I still hope that the story will someday be completed, and that Mr. Wixon, as well as Mr. Dickson's estate, will allow others the chance to finish it in the way Gordon would have wished it to be.And that this book, "Antagonist", was only a foretaste of treasures yet unseen. ... Read more

by Gordon R. Dickson
 Hardcover: Pages (1997-01-01)

Asin: B0028Q6SDM
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Coping with kidnap and treachery
Gordon R. Dickson, who died in 2001, was best known as a writer of military science fiction, notably the 11 volumes of the Dorsai!, or Childe Cycle, series, but he also had a gift for uproarious humor (he and Poul Anderson collaborated to produce the delightful Hoka! series, about a race of sentient teddy bears and the ramifications that result from their tendency to copy any culture they learn about), and he produced nine volumes (this is the seventh) about the Dragon Knight, Jim Eckert, who (in Dragon and the George), found himself transported to "a magic world at once comic and ethically complex where human beings and dragons share a common culture," and eventually decided to stay there.Having earned nobility and a castle of his own through his exploits against the Dark Powers, Jim and his wife Angie, along with various allies both human and otherwise, spend the rest of the series dealing with the sometimes jolting differences in thought and culture between this alternate 14th Century and the 20th from which they came, and by the way swatting at the Powers whenever they rear their heads.In the present volume, it's been three years since they became permanent residents of the dragon/human reality, and Jim is beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea after all; he suspects that his castle people--steward, servants, men-at-arms--are beginning to "see through him," to realize he's not really the knight/baron/magician they think him, and is convinced that if they do so, his friends--and his enemies, including the King's half-brother, the powerful Duke of Cumberland--won't be far behind.Given that there's something of a tax revolt under way, this is about the worst possible time to have such an eventuality unravel his life, and the recurring weird noises in his castle walls--"boomps," as he's christened them--are just one more distraction he doesn't need.Then his and Angie's infant ward, Robert Falon, vanishes out of his very cradle, even as Crown Prince Edward sends a message begging Jim's help.But there's really no choice to make: Robert must come first.Accompanied by Sir Brian Neville-Smythe, his friend and neighbor, and Dafydd ap Hywel, the Welsh longbowman, Jim sets out for the mysterious land of Overhill-Underhill, which proves to be accessible only through the Drowned Land (inhabited by a people whose king is a kinsman of Dafydd's) and the ancient land of Lyonesse.A grotesque and silent manikin who's been adopted as a sort of pocket-pet by Jim's friend, Rrrnlf, a 30-foot-tall Sea Demon, proves instrumental in finding and rescuing the child, but even then Jim's troubles aren't over, as he returns to his castle to find himself and his two friends faced with arrest on charges of high treason!

Though not classic fantasy of the Tolkien type, the Eckert books are filled with all the elements that makes fantasy fun, including valorous duels, difficult quests, strange cultures both human and otherwise, vivid characters (Dafydd is a favorite of mine, as is Aargh, the sentient English wolf), and the ever-lurking shadow of evil.Jim's lingering self-doubts give them a Marvel Comics flavor of angst that will be familiar to any fan of Spider-Man, and his struggles to fit in--psychologically as much as any other way--into 14th-Century society help the reader understand just how differently people thought in those days from the way they do now.Dickson also introduces a new species of "Natural," as most nonhuman beings are called in his world: the Gnarlies, who are neither gnomes nor dwarves but a little like both.It will help if you've read the previous books in the series (at least the first one), but you can follow the story even if this is your first introduction to it.

4-0 out of 5 stars An exctiing adventure to a land of magic
This book deffinatly gets you back on pace from the dragon and the Djinn. This time suspense fills your mind as you try to guess what this smallcreature is that Hob befriends.The land of Lyonesse is very exciting toread about and grabs your attention from the very beginning.This time Jimhas to deal with another magic that may or may not be more powerful thanthose of the land above.Also interweeved into this book is an old foethan must be dealt with once again.Another exciting book to read and lovefrom Dickson.As an interesting side note I would have rated this a 4.5star book but that isn't possible to do.This is another must read book.

5-0 out of 5 stars what is wrong with you people?
I really do not get you reviewers who are short changing this book by far.Dickson's Dragon Knight series is one of the best set of books out there!In this book I admire his development of the character of Hill, who changesfrom an anonymous play-thing of the Sea Devil, to one of the most keycharacters of the book.Also, I like the fact that in this book, Jimlearns that his Master in Magick, Carolinus, is not invincible, and that hecan be caught in a magickal situation that he is helpless to get outof.

I would definitly reccomend this book to all of my friends.In fact,I already have.

If you are a Fantasy reader, and you HAVE NOT READGordon R. Dickson's Dragon Knight series, you'd better get cracking!Thereare already nine amazing books in this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
I have just reread this book for the third time, and still found it enjoyable.It is a light, easily read book.It does have slight connection to a previous book but this does not detract from itsreadability or enjoyability.Anyone wishing to have a light, humorousread, and can cope with fantasy, should not go past this excellentseries.

I found this series on par with Christopher Stasheff's 'wizard inrhyme' series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dickson brings new life to Jim Eckert's continuing Adventure
In "The Dragon and the Gnarly King" Gordon Dickson explores a new fantasy world. Jim Eckert, the Dragon Knight is forced to pursue his enemies into a mystical realm. This book will create a word in your mindthan continues after you've stopped reading. You'll forgot you're readingand begin to live it. ... Read more

9. Necromancer (Childe Cycle)
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 224 Pages (1998-09-15)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$38.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812545303
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Life on Earth is good. Disease is checked, hunger ended, and war and suffering abolished, with liberty and justice and a high standard of living for all.

But Paul Formain, a strangely gifted young engineer, doesn't believe a word of it.

So he comes to Walter Blunt's Chantry Guild, whose motto is "Destruct!" and whose stated goal is the end of civilization. There are Alternate Laws at work in the world, says the Chantry Guild; Walter Blunt has pledged his life to them, and to the principle of destruction as a positive force.

Even more disturbingly, the Alternate Laws appear to work.

After centuries of hope and progress, and the triumph of science, something strange is happening to mankind. And whatever it is, it's going to be big.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars No Room for Man
This book was retitled "No Room for Man" for a 1966 (50 cent) mass market release No Room for Man (Orig. Title: Necromancer). At this time fantasy was out and space age Sci-fi in. It's interesting to compare the two versions. This one's title blurb reads: "So far, he had been indestructible-- but how long could he defy the laws of the physical universe?" The back reads: "Judgement Day: The machine that controlled all life wouldn't tolerate any interference. People who refused to be regulated had to be disposed of-- isolated, driven insane, murdered.A small group of men had dedicated themselves to fighting this Frankenstein of man's technological achievement. Secretly they laid plans to destroy the machine and all its works... including the millions of people who had accepted their robot-like existence. Either way, the human race was doomed!" The inside blurb, however seems like one that could have been in the original printing of "Necromancer".

The art is that sort of nebulous, blobby art that adorns numerous titles of this era, and seems to suggest something Freudian. There's a later edition that links this book to the Dorsai series, but still has a techy cover, blending elements of SF and fantasy. Freudian psychology was big in the late '50s/ early '60s. The film that popularly synched it with a tech future was 1956's Forbidden Planet. There was also an attempt to shift fantasy elements to the same solid footing as "hard SF" books. As in this book, however, authors soon realized "get in and get out" was better for SF than getting endlessly bogged down in how it all works.

Like many SF books of this era, this one is full of intellectual discussion about the place of man, the arts, and what's really going on behind the sturm und drang of the madding crowd. An author who does this well, I think, is Charles Williams, who used occult themes and wrote in the '40s, best illustrated in his novel War in Heaven War in Heaven, A Novel. The war against the machine theme is quite minor in this Dickson novel, despite the blurb, but it reminds me of Kate Willhelm's The Killer Thing The Killer Thing, which is, I think, a classic of the genre. Since Star Wars so successfully married fantasy and SF, or if you will, spiritual or archetypal with tech themes or settings, the door has largely been thrown open to rediscover these hybrids.

There's a sub-theme in this novel that reminds me of R.A. Lafferty's Fourth Mansions Fourth Mansions, an amazing romp of a book. One more book comes to mind, a collection by Henry Kuttner, who also wrote in the same era as Dickson, and sometimes on similar themes. One small collection that seems to transcend the era, in my view, is called Robots Have No Tails Robots Have No Tails (Planet Stories). This is also the source of the short story, "Mimsy Were the Borogroves", the inspiration for the recent film, "The Last Mimsy".

In the view of Dickson's wide fanbase, of course, the best part is the re-emergence of this novel, with its original title, in relation to his much larger cycle of writing. How fortunate that the SF/ fantasy of the past is being rediscovered by a wider audience and a new generation.

4-0 out of 5 stars A classic of late 1950s/early 1960s Sci-Fi
A few days ago, I decided to re-read NECROMANCER (for the third time, I think) because of the superficial similarities between this short, early 1960s novel and a recent STAR WARS novel, DARTH BANE: PATH OF DESTRUCTION. Both are about strong, talented, young men's paths towards enlightenment. Both men start out in mines (although NECROMANCER's Paul Formain is an engineer, and DARTH BANE's Dessell is a laborer), and both men become members of organizations that preach destruction (Formain's Chantry Guild wants to destroy technologies that keep humans from developing to their full, good potential, and Dessell's Brotherhood of Darkness wants to destroy the Jedi Knights and their Old Republic that keep them from developing to their full, evil potential). Both also find flaws in these organizations and take actions that lead to the organizations' dissolution (NECROMANCER) or obliteration (BANE).

Despite these similarities, the two novels are very different. NECROMANCER is the more contemplative novel, and it is spiced up (or, depending on your point of view, bogged down) with plenty of discursive passages about the meaning of life, the potential of Man, and the nature of reality. It's not a great novel, and it's not even very good as a novel per se, but it occupies an important place in Dickson's Childe Cycle, tying the future fragmentation of mankind that we see in Dorsai! and other novels to currents in the contemporary world that are tearing societies apart. Also, in this concern about the fragmentation of mankind, in its worries about the dangers of thinking machines, and in its suggestion that humanity has potential powers that are as yet nearly untapped, NECROMANCER anticipates what Frank Herbert did in DUNE.

Contemporary readers will be at least a little discomfited by Paul Formain. Formain is a typical Dickson superman. He is (or slowly becomes) a humble, stoic, manly man who is bigger, emotionally and physically stronger, smarter, wiser, more courageous, more perceptive, and more in touch with the deep, mysterious essence of reality than anyone around him. Men want to be him and women want to be with him. He's not quite *that* over the top, but over the top enough to be hard for the twenty-first reader to take seriously. Readers will also be disturbed by Dickson's casual early-1960s sexism; virtually all of the central characters are men, and the one important woman is basically there as a trophy for the alpha male.

In any event, if you enjoyed DORSAI! (the first novel Dickson's Childe Cycle), consider NECROMANCER. Do read DORSAI! first, not because NECROMANCER can't be read standalone, but because DORSAI! is more enjoyable, and if you don't like DORSAI! you certainly won't like NECROMANCER.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting blend of hard science fiction and fantasy
"Necromancer" is a fascinating novel.It is the story of the beginning of the Splinter Culture era, when humankind acquires the ability to colonize other stellar systems, and "splinters" into various groups.This is a wistful, and poetic story with numerous touching undercurrents that the discerning reader will appreciate.It also has the distinction of being the only Childe Cycle novel that really talks about Old Earth (our planet) in considerable detail (although volume 2 of The Final Encyclopedia does touch upon it a little, and Young Bleys and Other do to a minor extent.)

This novel touches upon a profound question: what is the true basis of reality, and how is it affected by our own perceptions?The "Chantry Guild," the precursor to what becomes the Exotic Culture, is trying to explore this question.It comes up against a mutant from the future who is seeking to apply what physicists are only now beginning to call "retrocausality" in order to change the past from the future.And in so doing, this sets the stage for the Childe Cycle future of the Dorsai, Friendly, and Exotic cultures.A book that can do all that is certainly worth a look from fans of Dickson's "Child Cycle" series of novels and short stories.Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
This is not a direct sequel as such. No zombies, either. A man loses an arm in an accident when he fails to take heed of his 'danger sense'. He then gets involved in an organisation that has 'Alternate Laws' they believe in, and tell him he can regenerate his arm.

They have plans for him and his talent, they think they can use him as an agent to destroy the technologically assisted utopia they live in, that is still full of problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Bridge to the Dorsai
Necromancer is the second published novel in the Childe Cycle, following Dorsai!, but is actually the first volume in internal chronology among the published works. This novel was intended as a bridge between the projected (but never published) historic volumes in the Cycle and the near future novels of the Dorsai series.

In this novel, Paul Formain is a mining engineer who has an accident that tears off his left arm. Although he has regeneration treatments, the arm does not grow back. He is told that the problem is purely psychological, so he consults a therapist, but only learns something that he already knows: he is unusually resistant to hypnosis.

Taking another approach to the problem, Paul tries the Chantry Guild, an organization created by Walter Blunt after being the only survivor of a hunting party caught by a freak early-winter blizzard. While the others died of exposure, Walter walked out to shelter wearing only the lightest of hunting clothes and arrived warm and rested. Chantry Guild literature claimed successful regrowth of missing limbs even in the treatment of resistant individuals. Paul meets with Jason Warren, the Guild Secretary, and is provisionally accepted in the Guild. He finds the training to be weird, but effective, and becomes a Necromancer.

This novel shows Paul developing certain skills in the Alternate Laws, but otherwise seems to lack any forward movement. The reason for his passivity is implied by the continued concern over a sailing episode five years before. Paul had been caught in a small sailboat by a severe storm and nearly died of exposure, much as Blunt had come close to death. Paul has a continuing vision of dying in that boat. At the end of the book, Paul visits a body wrapped in chains far below the surface of the ocean near the location where he had been rescued; this scene will be shown again in other stories in this series.

The author exhibits an intense interest in hysterical strength and other superhuman phenomena. This interest is reflected in his other works, but is central to the Childe Cycle. The author often pairs such extraordinary skills with a strong sense of responsibility and an unrelenting perseverence.

The pivotal character in the Child Cycle is Donal Graeme, the "genetic general" who has the main role in the Dorsai! novel. Donal has the ability to see the future ... and the past. Moreover, he has other abilities that he keeps concealed from most people.

This novel sets up the interstellar political situation in The Tactics of Mistake, the next novel in internal sequence. It depicts the initial separation of the Exotic and the Friendly Splinter Cultures from the mainstream of humanity. The origin of the Dorsai Culture is described in the next volume.

Highly recommended for Dickson fans and for anyone else who is interested in the evolution of mass movements, cultural differentiation, and the role of individuals within society.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

10. The Dragon and the George
by Gordon R Dickson
 Paperback: Pages (1976)

Asin: B002BS74EO
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
book ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
The book was received in better condition than I expected and very quickly.Yes, I am very much satisfied.

3-0 out of 5 stars local boy does good
Our Hero gets whisked away to another world, a world with knight, trolls and wizards, where he needs to fight the forces of darkness to rescue his true love. Sound familiar? But there's a twist, in this new world he is a dragon. Dickson (born in my home town of Edmonton -according to Wikipedia) has taken a familiar set up added the dragon element and created an enjoyable if familiar tale. I would like to have seen more about dragons though- I don't believe this was explored as much as it could have been, leaving the story a little bit cliche and mundane.

2-0 out of 5 stars unhappy
I was very unhappy with all aspects of this order from this vendor. The book was in very bad shape, not good as indicated. The way that it was shipped was not very professional. I will not order from this vendor again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Begin the adventure!
I highly recommend this book and all the "Dragon and the George" sequels. It was a wonderful series, written by an amazing SciFi/Fantasy author!

5-0 out of 5 stars Begin the dragon adventures!
I highly recommend this book and all the "Dragon and the George" sequels. It was a wonderful series, written by an amazing SciFi/Fantasy author! ... Read more

11. The Dragon Knight (A Tor book)
by Gordon R. Dickson
 Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (1991-11)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812509439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the sequel to The Dragon and the George, Sir James Eckert is transformed back into the shape of a dragon. Now he must learn to control his magical abilities and truly become the Dragon Knight--which carries some responsibilities he hadn't counted on. "Lives up to its predecessor. . . ."--Library Journal. HC: Tor. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Camelot, It's Not
Remember the Middle Ages?You know, when castles were gleaming with banners streaming, knights wore shining armour and carried lances that never broke, and the ladies and damsels were all quiet beautiful, whether in distress or not.You know, like Camelot.Jim Eckert and his wife Angie, have been sucked into an alternative universe based on the Middle Ages, but where magic reigns supreme.(This was all spelled out in "The Dragon and the George", an excellent book as well.)Jim became a knight, and also a mage, and has the ability to change to dragon form at well.But this is no Camelot.Here, there are bedbugs.And lice.And if you drink the water - which mostly nobody ever does - you can plan on suffering through a nasty bout of dysentery.And while some of the ladies and damsels may be beautiful, have a certain, ah, earthy arouma, since they bathe on a monthly schedule.And novice knights don't just pick up a sword and slay every foe in sight, sometimes left handed and other times with their eyes closed.Because sword work is a very hard won skill, which takes years of practice.

In this world, as in the real Middle Ages, being a knight isn't a leisurely pursuit.It's constant hard work.In addition to learning arms and armour, maintaining a castle, and governing his populace, Jim is trying to introduce some 20th century ideas about sanitation to his unreceptive subjects.Dickson does a marvelous job of bringing this world to life, bringing out details that show he's a true medieval scholar.Jim (and to some extent Angie, though she plays a pretty minor role) struggles to fit into his new society, and you can feel his frustrations at not having modern conveniences and tools to solve some pretty basic problems.You get to follow his though processes as he works though obstacles, and Dickson is exceptional at showing how well-intended actions can bring unexpected consequences.

This isn't a low-rent fantasy, where the hero carves through ranks of enemies without breaking a sweat, or waves his arms and radiates an unlimited array of magic to solve every impossible problem.Fighting is hard work, and Jim has to live with the consequences of exhaustion.Magic is available, but only in limited amounts, and only through innovation and practice.For a fantasy world, everything becomes remarkably real.

I only have two minor criticisms.First, some of the detail becomes a bit ponderous.It's all nice to know, but sometimes you wish things would get moving along a bit more smartly.Second, after a great build up to the conclusion, the book ends very abruptly.There are a few loose ends left hanging, and you get the distinct feeling that the last chapter is simply missing . . . or held back for the next book in the series, "The Dragon on the Border". In spite of that, this book is excellent.If you enjoy Dickson's other books, or fantasy in general, you will love this book.I very strongly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best fantasy series of all time!
I highly recommend this book and all the "Dragon and the George" sequels. It was a wonderful series, written by an amazing SciFi/Fantasy author!

5-0 out of 5 stars Second book in the Dragon Knight Series
a great book and the second in this amazing series.

a must for Fantasy readers everywhere.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great read of mid-evil battle
This is another good book in the dragon series.If you liked the firstyou will surely like this one.The one disappointment I had with this bookwas that it leads you to believe there is much magic involved with theplot.However, in the final grudge there is really no magic but morestrategy and war than any magic battle.The final ending does bring youback up to speed with an unsusspected surprise.Once again the mid-evilthriiler will grab you in the end and bring you back to the next book inthe series.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book with a real view on medival life plus magic
This book is very exciting and does a good job how life was probably like in the middle ages, but it also has alot of suspence and action, and alotof times when you can't help to wonder how Jim(aka the Dragon Knight) canget out of his situation. It also has the interesing twist of comedy thatmakes you laugh every once and a while. This was a very good book but, Istill like The Dragon and the George, better then this one, but they areboth pretty simular. Never the less, this is a great book and I recomend it ... Read more

12. Wolf And Iron
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (1993-03-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$48.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812533348
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wolf and Iron
Apparently written for adolescents, this book still has relevance for the adult population since it deals with the effects of economic melt down and survival as well as the interaction between man and beast.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not great, yet unforgettable
Wolf and Iron is an odd book. For one thing, it is a completely atypical book for Dickson, who usually writes "hard" science fiction. (Dickson's stories do not usually have romantic developments in them; this book serves as an excellent example of why they should not...)

However, Dickson takes a highly original premise here, and follows it out in some interesting directions.

This is the ONLY post-apocalypse story I have EVER read that posits an economic collapse as the reason for the collapse of modern society. In the present time of economic crisis, I have found myself mentioning this book over and over again. On my first reading, I found the economic collapse scenario totally unconvincing. However, on re-reading it several times, it becomes more and more believable.

The valuable nugget buried in the book is that premise of economic collapse engendering social anarchy, and the developments that followed. Unfortunately, in fleshing out the picture, Dickson uses a plot that goes from believable to wild, and ultimately to the completely sappy.

Dickson's writing is never the best, and this book is not particularly well-written. But it certainly illustrates that Dickson, if nothing else, is a truly original thinker.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dickson's Worst: No Science, Lame Fiction
Gordon Dickson is an incredible SciFi writer.His Childe Cycle and Dragon Knight series earn him a place at the table with the likes of Asimov and Heinlein.This book, however, is like nothing else he has written.The book starts shortly after the end of civilization.We never know quite why it ended, it just did.And that is the sum total of any science fiction content here.We follow our hero, Jeebee, as he treks from Michigan, attempting to reach his brother's farm in Montana.His goal, which overrides all else, including love, is to get to the farm and save the information he's learned about civilization's decline and fall, so future generations can learn and avoid our mistakes.

Along the way he befriends a wolf, who decides to join him.The book's forward goes to great lengths to point out that wolves are not like dogs, and Dickson has done much research to ensure his wolf acted correctly.Most of that research appears to have been incorporated into this book.Pages, and pages, and pages of dry-as-dust information about wolf behaviour appears again and again.Very little actually happens in the 460+ pages of this book.You get a bit of detail about Jeebee's travels, then a full chapter or more of how-to information.How to build a shelter.How to build a forge.How to deliver a baby.After many pages detailing Jeebee's actions through an hour or a day, we skip through weeks or months in a single sentence.Unless you are really interested in the condensed version of several survival manuals, the only way to get to the end of this book is by skimming through entire chapters until something vaguely interesting happens.And the ending . . . Dickson ends this book the way I end stories I read to my children when they fall asleep halfway through.When they nod off, I finish the page, and then say, "the end".Jeebee suddenly decides he didn't need to do what he set out to do after all, and puts down roots in the last place he stopped."The End."No real closure, no glimmer of hope for humanity, it just stops.

Avoid this book.It is not SciFi, it is not interesting, it has no redeeming features.It just stinks.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Different Kind of Dickson Novel!
I've always been a big fan of the apocalyptic, end-of-the-world-and-beyond type of story. From older books like Earth Abides and A Canticle for Leibowitz, to newer stories like The Wild Shore: Three Californias (Wild Shore Triptych) and Eternity Road. So finding "Wolf & Iron" by Gordon R Dickson, and knowing what a great author he was, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say, what started out good ended average at best.

The premise is that the country, and supposedly the world, had a complete and total financial meltdown causing society to fall back to almost a feudal type of culture. Cities and towns became fortresses where strangers are met with suspicion and hostility, where bands of outcasts terrorize the countryside robbing & killing indiscriminately, and where there is no law except survival of the strongest. The main character is Jeebee who is trying to travel to Montana in the hopes that his brother's ranch might be a safe haven for him. Along the way he somehow picks up a wolf and together they head west. The story takes the two into very dangerous situations as they must both trust, and learn from, the other for survival.

What works in the story is that Dickson takes his time to develop not only the characters but the overall disaster that has fallen on society. He doesn't paint a rosy picture of people and situations but instead shows us a bleak, almost hopeless portrait of how desperation can bring out the worst in human nature. At the start of the book Jeebee is almost completely unprepared for the hardships he will have to face. The story takes us through his growth as a person and survivor as he has to make hard choices in his quest to find safety.

What fails here is pretty much the last third of the book. The story becomes boring and even silly at times. The pace of the story begins to slow down making it very hard for the reader to stay interested. And his "reunion" with the young girl Merry is completely unbelievable. Without spoiling the story too much, a disaster leads her to try and find him weeks after he left her family. Along the way she is held captive by another family causing her, you would think, to fall even further behind him. And yet, after escaping, she somehow gets ahead of him while hiking in a snowstorm where he ends up finding her. The final resolution of the book, while showing a somewhat hopeful future for Jeebee and Merry (and Wolf of course) is actually disappointing to a certain extent. I really expected more.

Overall, it's not a bad book, just one I wouldn't recommend too strongly. If you are into these types of stories you will find this to be somewhat enjoyable. But if you are a Gordon R Dickson Sci-fi fan, you'll probably be disappointed with this effort.

2-0 out of 5 stars Wake me when it's over
YAAWWWNNNN!!!!Starts well enough, but slowly and methodically dribbles into a snooze fest. No action, no tension.... nothing. And the ending? I liked the way the author explained away the whole point of the book in the last pages. Dumb. ... Read more

13. Time Grabber
by Gordon R. Dickson
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-04-17)
list price: US$1.29
Asin: B0026P4ZYO
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Philton J. Bugsomer is a scholar of sociomaticsin the 27th century. With the time-grabber he'll be able snatch some Christians from the 1st century before they are killed by the Roman Gladiators. Bugsomer, despite the possiblilty of a time paradox, decides to replace those Christians with some round heads. But things don't got exactly as planned. Do they ever when time travel is involved?

Also includes the story THE BREAKING OF JERRY McCLOUD. Jerry didn't want to bring his wife to this wild outpost without a stake―but he turned sentimental when he was vamped by a skem! ... Read more

14. The Final Encyclopedia, Volume One of Two (Sf Series , Vol 1)
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: 384 Pages (1996-11-15)
list price: US$20.99 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312861869
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Childe Cycle, also known as the Dorsai series, is Gordon R. Dickson's future history of humankind and its ultimate destiny. Now one of its central novels return to print in a two-volume corrected edition.

In The Final Encyclopedia the human race is split into three Splinter cultures: the Friendlies, fanatic in their faith; the truth-seeking Exotics; and the warrior Dorsai. But now humanity is threatened by the power-hungry Others, whose triumph would end all human progress.

Hal Mayne is an orphan who was raised by three tutors: an Exotic, a Friendly, and a Dorsai. He is the only human capable of uniting humanity against the Others. But only if he is willing to accept his terrifying destiny...as savior of mankind.

A towering landmark of future history, The Final Encyclopedia is a novel every SF fan needs to own.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars A challenging, but worthwhile read
First, a word of warning. The paperback version of this book is in VERY small print. As I understand from an interview I heard with the author, this had something to do with shrinking down the hard cover version. It's going to be very challenging for those who require decent sized print.

That aside, I have long considered The Final Encyclopedia the pinnacle book of Dickson's Dorsai collection. It isn't an easy, quick read, though.

The earlier books were much less intellectually challenging than this one. They tend to be more about the external action, while this one has a strong internal focus. If you are a fan of the military elements of books like The Tactics of Mistake, then Encyclopedia might not be your cup of tea. If, however, you are interested in the sociological developments and evolution Dickson has developed over the previous Dorsia stories (chronologically starting with Necromancer), and enjoy books that make you think, then you'll probably enjoy Encyclopedia a great deal. To my mind, it is comparable to Frank Herbert's Dune series.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good read for those that like sci.fi rather than pure fantasy
I first read Dickson's work, Dorsai !, in 1977 and the periodically picked up the Childe Cycle books which is the series that essentially culminates in "The Final Encyclopedia". Specifically :

The Genetic General (1960)
Necromancer (1962
Warrior (1965)
Soldier, Ask Not (1967)
Tactics of Mistake (1971)
The Spirit of Dorsai (1979)
Lost Dorsai (1980)
The Final Encyclopedia (1984)

I prefer these older sci.fi. books to the current crop of fantasy works that ever Dickson indulged in during his later years (Dragon Knight Series). I suppose there's precious little difference between dragons and spaceships however I haven't read any factual accounts of anyone riding a dragon in the 20th or 21st centuries. Note that these books aren't particularly deep and make for a good restful read when you have the time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
The Final Encyclopedia is a storage facility that is supposed to contain the sum total of human knowledge, as it is possible in this universe. When information is power, there will be conflict other such a store.

The two figuredheads for this struggle are the more than human characters Hal Mayne and Bleys.

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthy conclusion to the Childe Cycle
Gordon Dickson's The Final Encyclopedia is a fitting conclusion to a top-notch science fiction series.
It tells the story of Hal Mayne, who as an infant was found deserted in a spaceship among the stars. He was raised by tutors representing the three cultural "splinters" from Dickson's future world - the military Dorsai, the fanatically religious Friendlies and the mystic Exotics. In a superficial sense, Mayne draws upon his experience with all three groups to battle an opposing group (the Others) for mankind's future.
That being said...
The book is much deeper on many levels. In it, Dickson pays tribute to each of mankind's splinters and demonstrates the worthiness of each group. The Dorsai, of course, are lionized as honorable and unbeatable warriors. The Friendlies are praised for their stalwart and unshakeable faith and their willingness to endure any ordeal without flinching in service of that faith. The Exotics are valued for seeking mankind's continued development in intellectual and paranormal areas.
In Dickson's world, Mayne journeys to each of the splinter cultures and begins to realize his purpose is to ensure mankind's continued development as a culture. Opposing him are the Others, another group of humans whose heritage is drawn from a combination of the splinter cultures. The others are led by Bleys Ahrens, who sees a future in which the Others serve as a ruling class to the lesser members of mankind.
During his journeys, Mayne runs into members of each splinter culture who represent the best of that culture. For the Dorsai, it's Amanda Morgan; for the Friendlies, it's Rukh Tamani, the charismatic freedom fighter; and for the Exotics, it's Amid. Thanks to his unique upbringing by members of each group, Mayne is accepted by each group and comes to realize mankind must bring its splintered self back together if it is to develop and survive.
People who read this book expecting a strictly military sci-fi work will be disappointed. Yes, there is action in the story...no, it's not another "Dorsai" or "Tactics of Mistake." It's the conclusion Dickson's series pointed to since its inception - where are these pivotal historic soldiers taking us?
In The Final Encyclopedia, mankind has reached the point where it can bring its splintered self back together and consciously guide its own development or it can fall into stagnation and slowly die.
While it's a stand-alone book, I recommend readers first turn the pages of the rest of the Childe Cycle books before taking on The (685 page) Final Encyclopedia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most satisifying book in the series yet
I do have to say that there's really no reason for this novel to be split into two somewhat pricy volumes . . . the original paperback was published in one large volume so it's not like it's impossible.But whatever.This is by far the largest volume in the Childe Cycle, for good reason, because it seems that mostly everything in the series has been leading up to this volume.When last we left Donal Graeham had basically sorted out all the Cultures and brought some semblance to peace.Now the story takes place quite a while later and things are rapidly falling apart.Another quasi-Culture called the Others, led by Bleys Ahern, are taking over everything and threatening to thrust the entire human race into a period of stagnation from which it will never recover.For some reason Bleys and company are searching for a young man named Hal Mayne, who was raised on Old Earth by people from all three major cultures.When he finds he has to leave Earth suddenly, things start to get interesting.Dickson really takes the time to stretch things out to epic length here and this is probably the most in depth look at the working of his little future history that we have seen yet.By giving the series its first major challenge (and indeed it's a point he's been trying to make throughout the other books, just now he's putting a physical sense to it) he adds a sense of drama and reality to it.All his skills here are at their peak . . . his characterizations are excellent (men and women, for once the latter are better than ciphers), his descriptions of the worlds are detailed and focused, his discussion of philosophy is more or less interesting and the story moves along quickly enough.Some of his most evocative scenes are in here, especially when it echoes earlier scenes, such as the extended sequence when Hal visits the old Graeham house and sees the graves of all the old characters (Donal, Kensie, Ian, etc), all of which have died years and years before the book even started.It really gives the reader a sense of the scope of the series.Finally, the Final Encyclopedia, a minor thread that has been threatening to become a major part of the saga, takes center stage.The book is probably longer than it needs to be, although as I mentioned Dickson does keep things moving and since it follows Hal throughout the plot probably isn't as complex as it could be.Also the ending is a bit on the anti-climatic side, especially when you realize you've read over seven hundred pages to get to this point.But this is a crucial part of the Cycle and makes me curious as to what will happen next.The other books, hit or miss that they were, really were only prelude to this volume and it's nice to see Dickson's writing explode in what we see here, juggling all the characters and places and themes with the ease of a master.Based on what I've read so far I'd place it above Heinlein's Future Histories but it's not as gripping as Asimov's Foundation, which was brilliant and effortless.But this is pretty good too and SF fans should get acquainted with this near classic, which isn't spoken about as much as those other histories.But it ranks up there, easily. ... Read more

15. The Chantry Guild (Dorsai/Childe Cycle)
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2000-04-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$49.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812575598
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Dorsai Amanda Morgan has made it to earth with disturbing news--the Younger Worlds intend to attack Earth, unless she and mysterious Chantry Guild can prevent it. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Fails in all aspects
"The Chantry Guild" ranks among the worse novels I have read. It fails as science fiction, as fantasy, and as a way of presenting philosophy and ethics.

Chief complaints:

1. Redundancy-- Information from previous books in the series is strewn throughout this book as direct quotations and rewordings within the body text. The latter two-thirds of the novel contains information from earlier chapters. Since this novel is impossible to understand without having read earlier novels in the series, the repeated information adds length and annoyance, but no useful information.

2. Excessive verbiage: Throughout this book there are lengthy, detailed descriptions of things that add absolutely nothing to the novel. Examples include describing the images projected on walls and ceilings (without discussing the technology behind them), catalogs of flora and fauna when the information has no relevance to the plot, full descriptions of recurrent dreams each time the dreams recur, descriptions of characters who were described fully in earlier chapters, etc.

3. No science: Faster-than-light travel occurs via phase-shifting whereby the ship enters a timeless phase, is reduced to subatomic particles, gets dispersed throughout a different universe, and gets reassembled in our universe but in a distant location. Where is the information stored for reassembling the particles? Where is the energy for this process? How can this occur within an atmosphere without intermixing air molecules and the ship? It's just magic. Other "no science" includes flying drones with no lift mechanisms, air cars with no power systems described, an encyclopedia that can store all known information and convey it directly into the brains of specially gifted individuals, etc.

4. Fantasies too fantastic to believe: Gifted people can use their minds to create alternate universes that they can perform tricks such as walking on air, hanging upside down, smashing lights without apparently moving, interacting with historical figures and putting themselves into their minds, replacing the mind and soul of a dying man while preventing him from dying, and (over an eighty-year period) forcing ones body to regress from an elderly man to a two-year-old with no conscious memories from the original man, entering a phase-shift machine and still being able to think after having ones subatomic particles scattered across a new universe and then being able to will ones body and mind back to the real universe, etc.

5. Overuse of Celtic and Scottish Mythology: I soon grew tired of feyness and old poems.

6. Idiotic philosophies: The human species as a whole has drives and will and can control the development and advancement of mankind. It even conducts experiments pitting one developmental path against another to see which will best enable prolonged survival of mankind. This is just a bizarre version of Intelligent Design with the intelligence being the intermingled contributions of all humans, present and past. Bah. Another idiocy was that religious fanaticism contains characteristics important to mankind's survival. But, centuries of evidence prove that fanaticism leads only to death-seeking behaviors: murders, genocide, wars, and self-destruction.

7: Idiotic mantras and adages: "The transient and the eternal are the same." This is just too stupid to argue about. Next we have: "Size does not matter, only will counts," says the protagonist, Hal Mayne (a seven-foot-tall, immensely strong, former Dorsai soldier). But, the Dorsai soldiers were bred for size because a strong-willed, seven-foot-tall, tremendously strong man will always overcome an equally strong-willed, five-foot-tall, moderately strong man.

8: Slow pace: The action parts of this novel could be condensed to a few dozen pages. The rest is mostly unneeded descriptions, lengthy debates (often internal), and the above-mentioned philosophical discourses.

9: No ending: The novel ends at the story's climax, and there is no direct sequel. The two Bleys books do not pick up where "The Chantry Guild" left off, and the reader is left hanging.

The Dorsai or Childe Cycle novels received praise from numerous critics, but I cannot understand why. A few of the earliest books were okay, most of the books are mediocre, and this one is poor. I recommend avoiding them all.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
The sixth book in the Childe Cycle is fairly philosophical. Hal Mayne visits the Chantry Guild, in its incarnation in this time. He spends a lot of time with them on the planet Kultis still trying to understand and spearhead the final transformation of humankind.

As before, he is sometimes opposed by those that want to stop him, Bleys specifically.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good continuation of cycle, but definitely flawed
Following up the Final Encyclopedia was no doubt a daunting task, especially with that book's massive impact on the Childe Cycle as a whole, finally giving the series a sense of direction and the ability to head toward a definite conclusion, as well as giving purpose to the previous books, which had sort of floated along in a shared Universe sort of fashion.And yet Dickson had to follow it up to give the Final Encyclopedia any meaning, since the ending to that book was so anti-climatic that the words "To Be Continued" might have as well have been stamped there in giant letters.So faithfully Dickson gives us this book, the title teasingly implying that this might be the long awaited conclusion, with its promises of tying in to the very beginning of the Cycle (the Chantry Guild was last seen in the first book in the series, Necromancer, and apparently gave rise to the Exotic Culture).Instead, we get some furthering of the Cycle's themes but a lot of water-treading as well.Hal's victory in the last book was not a complete one and he is finding himself stymied in his efforts to make a total breakthrough and use the Encyclopedia for its true purpose.Amanda Morgan mentions that he should seek out a new incarnation of the Chantry Guild to find what he needs.So Hal does.That's pretty much it, which is pretty much the problem with this book, Dickson spends most of his time trying to do a lot with comparitively little.Hal's quest to unlock the "Creative Universe" is sort of vague and the terms of his victory against Bleys becomes more and more muddled as the book goes on.I'm not even sure how the Creative Universe will help him win, whatever it is.The bulk of the novel is taken up on Kultis where Hal tries to learn from the Chantry Guild and this is where Dickson's pacing fails him . . . it's simply too long a section of the book.Incidents that should take less than a chapter stretch out to multiple chapters, for no real reason.The main problem (soldiers finding the Guild) has nothing to do with the overall quest and the characters spend too much time focusing on who is going to track down the wild child that is roaming around outside than, you know, saving the Universe.Plus the sequence of attacking the soldiers' camp goes on way too long and features very little action.Then Hal leaves and we never hear about the people there again, anyway.Bleys puts in a token appearance simply to annoy Hal it seems and it all wraps up at the Encyclopedia.Maybe.Dickson's ending this time is perhaps more vague than the last book and just sort of leaves the reader hanging.What is good about this book?The supporting characters are well developed and Dickson's writing, when not mired in pseudo-philosophical meanderings, is an interesting as ever.And the future history is as fascinating as ever.But the sad thing is that way too important events happen to justify this book's length.While the previous book had epic scope and status quo shaking events, this plot is too much point A to point B stuff.However, it's readable and a crucial addition to the Cycle, which makes it essential if you've read this far.Unfortunately I'm not sure Dickson ever brought the Cycle to a satisifying conclusion, the next two books are mostly focused on Bleys' early life and I'm not sure if those books further the story of Hal at all.And without Dickson having now passed on for a few years, if the ending hasn't been published (or written) we're not about to see it.So this is a step down from the previous book but still interesting in itself.Just don't start here, by any means.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poorly edited and difficult to follow
I was given this book a few years ago by a friend, and finally picked it up to read this summer. I have not read any other books in the "Childe Cycle" that this book is apparently part of, which perhaps is a big part of my reason for my poor impression of it.

At a basic level, there is an editorial sloppiness to the book. There were far too many sentences that clearly are missing words, as well as a couple of places where entire phrases were inadvertantly repeated in the same paragraph. Yes, it's a minor annoyance, but distracting just the same.

The author also does a bad job of giving background to readers who haven't read the previous books. I realize that coming into the middle of any series can be challenging, but even some basic introduction to important elements in the main characters' backgrounds is typical. I once made the mistake of picking up a relatively late book in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series (Crown of Thorns) as my first, but I felt I eventually understood most of what I needed to in order to appreciate that book as a story on it's own. Not so with The Chantry Guild... Dickson is very haphazard about background, and as a result, the primary struggle in the book, the protagonist's (Hal's) effort to reach the "Creative Universe", is baffling and ultimately incomprehensible.

Or perhaps I'm being too generous by giving Dickson that out... even if I had read the rest of the series, I'm not sure it would make sense. Too much of the book is spent in rambling third-person narration describing Hal's internal monologue and thoughts as he grapples with this intangible metaphysical goal. It is hard to read, bogs down the other plots, and proves ultimately unsatisfying in that, despite being told over and over again that this task is the main character's life goal and is somehow tied to the fate of humanity, why or how is completely unclear. Perhaps by this point in the series we are supposed to be so attached to this character that seeing him achieve something very important to him is supposed to be satisfying to us by itself.But as a new reader, I didn't find myself caring about this guy much, and I want to know what the point of all the navel-gazing was and how it might actually help save humanity. In some ways, this plot is very derivative of Paul Atreides' messiah quest in Dune, and Dickson's work in this book suffers badly in comparison.

The more traditional plot in the book is not particularly noteworthy either. Dickson spends *130* pages on what is basically a small-scale action sequence that takes place over a day as the secret village Hal stays in is first threatened by enemy search parties and then caught up in rescuing a few of their own who are caught by the bad guys. The story moves excruciatingly slowly. Worse, all of the struggle and effort we are dragged through ultimately serves no clear narrative purpose, other than to physically exhaust the protagonist to the point that he can get a good night's sleep and have a breakthrough in his metaphysical journey.The "enemy" even finds them anyway as the result of very casually-noted aerial surveillance (setting up a highly contrived visit by the arch-nemesis), and the characters being rescued are discarded so quickly afterwards that we are never given the resolution of their personal stories, which Dickson had spewed many pages setting up.

Of course, it's not all bad. The "world" this story is set in is well-conceived and interesting, and there are some really innovative aspects of the protagonists' backgrounds. Refreshingly, relatively little time is spent on technology, and when he chooses to, Dickson can describe this world with clear and vivid images that one can easily imagine making a transition to a movie screen.

Overall, this is a weak book that, while potentially interesting to those who have become engrossed in the rest of the series, should be avoided by anyone else. It would be much better if it were a 100 pages shorter and provided a better explanation of what came before and the significance of the "Creative Universe".

3-0 out of 5 stars A Weaker Novel of the Childe Cycle
Gordon R. Dickson's 'The Final Encyclopedia' is easily one of the greatest novels of science-fiction.The novels that precede it in the series are also all first rate works.But sadly, the three novels that follow, 'Young Bleys,' 'Other,' and 'The Chantry Guild,' are considerably weaker.While 'The Chantry Guild' does give some reward to the readers who've followed the series for years, it still lacks the final resolution that we've waited for, (no doubt Dickson is planning more books in the series), and the bulk of the work is just plain uninteresting.If you're a fan of the series then you probably should give this one a look, if you're new to the Childe Cycle you might want to start with 'Tactics of Mistake,' of 'Soldier, Ask Not.' ... Read more

16. No Shield from the Dead
by Gordon R. Dickson
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B003N3TPGG
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
No Shield from the Dead appeared in the January 1953 issue of IF Worlds of Science Fiction.

No conceivable force could penetrate Terri's shield. Yet he was defenseless. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars short short story
At the smallest font on a Kindle dx this "book" is fewer than 5 pages long. The only reason to buy this "book" is if you are trying to read everything Dickson ever wrote.A short story from 1953, don't expect much. ... Read more

17. Dorsai Spirit: Two Classic Novels of the Dorsai: 'Dorsai!' and 'The Spirit of Dorsai'
by Gordon R. Dickson
Paperback: 432 Pages (2003-03-01)
list price: US$20.99 -- used & new: US$3.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312877617
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Two cornerstone novels of the acclaimed “Childe Cycle” return to print in an omnibus edition—with an introduction by David Drake.

Throughout humanity’s Fourteen Worlds, no group is as feared and respected as the Dorsai. The ultimate warriors, they are known for their deadly rages, and ferocious independence...and unbending honor. No one man rules the Dorsai, but their mastery of the arts of war has made them the most valuable mercenaries in the human universe.

Dorsai! is the saga of Donal Graeme, the uniquely talented Dorsai, with powers beyond those of ordinary men. Once he ventures to the stars, the world of the Dorsai will be changed forever.

And The Spirit of Dorsai, written two decades later, is Dickson’s great novel of the women of the Dorsai.For the warrior spirit of the Dorsai does not, cannot reside solely in the men of that race—for when the mercenary Dorsai go to their wars, it is their women who defend their home planet from the predators of the universe. And defend it they do: their home planet has never fallen to an invader, though space is full of the corpses of those who have tried.

Through three generations, the unconquerable Amanda Morgan has embodied this warrior spirit. She is more than one lone woman; she is...the spirit of the Dorsai.

In this single volume is a pair of military SF classics every fan will want to own.
Amazon.com Review
Two must-have classic novels of military science fiction are now reprinted in this omnibus edition honoring one of science fiction's most influential authors.

Dorsai, the foundation novel of Dickson's Childe Cycle, introduces Donal Graeme, a warrior in a culture of fiercely independent men and women who discovers within himself talents that will help him change the course of history. The Spirit of Dorsai tells two stories of Dorsai heroes: Amanda Morgan, who must face a military force bent on the destruction of Dorsai culture, and Ian Graeme, who struggles to avert a disaster while he wrestles with grief and rage over his brother's murder.

Dickson creates a complex and convincing political, historical, and social framework inhabited by compelling characters who never lose their blend of humanity and heroism. The Spirit of Dorsai is a smoothly written balance of strategy, tactics, and the individuals behind them that still sets a standard for military science fiction. --Roz Genessee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Military SciFi
DORSAI SPIRIT(2002) is an omnibus comprised of DORSAI!(1976), which is an expanded/updated version of THE GENETIC GENERAL(1959); and THE SPIRIT OF DORSAI(1979).Here are brief reviews of each of these two stories:

DORSAI!(1976)***** - 250 pages.This is a great Military SciFi story, which covers the early career of the Military Academy trained officer Donal Graeme, who comes from a military family, and from a planet whose main export is military mercenary soldiers.When I get a chance, I want to read the original story THE GENETIC GENERAL(1959), and see what differences accumulated in the 17 years between the release of the two stories.DORSAI! holds up well, but I would imagine that the original would be out-of-date by now, mainly due to the unforeseeable advancements of computer technology since 1959.

THE SPIRIT OF DORSAI(1979)*** - 180 pages (but little white space).Contains two shorter background stories of Dorsai characters... one from the early history of the planet, and another from later history... for some reason, the prologue, interlude, and epilog, which are provided to tie the two stories together, are descibed in italics - making them difficult to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read to understand Dickson's Childe Cycle
Dickson was a great story teller. He wrote some of the best and some of the worst fiction ever. The Childe Cycle was a great idea but was flawed in the telling. Dickson was a plup fiction writer. So his books tened to be fun and have great ideas but they were often unbelievable or had flaws that would be unacceptible today. If you read the series you will read some great books but be aware that the series has some flaws.

4-0 out of 5 stars military science fiction
"Dorsai".Among the fourteen worlds, Dorsai provides one export that is in great demand.The planet consists of the best military mercenaries known in the cosmos.Donal Graeme is about to go off planet with abilities never seen before as humanity has taken a quantum leap up on the evolutionary path.This reviewer read "Dorsai" in the sixties and found it to be a fascinating tale.Though a powerful introduction to the Dorsai culture, the military tactics seem weak in a post Star Wars world.Still Donal is a great character struggling between his differences and his human frailty.

"Spirit of Dorsai":"Amanda Morgan".While the men go off planet to fight, women remain behind to defend Dorsai.Amanda Morgan faces an enemy with one goal in mind, the destruction of the Dorsai culture."Brothers". Ian Graeme feels guilt for living, grief for his dead sibling, and anger for not being able to keep his brother alive.Preferring to avenge his brother's murder, Ian must first prevent a major catastrophe from occurring.This novella ("Amanda Morgan") and short story ("Brothers") provide more of a historical perspective to the Dorsai, especially Amanda's story furnishing insight into the role of women in the culture.

DORSAI SPIRIT is a compilation of two previous Gordon R. Dickson's books from his Childe Cycle.The stories remain interesting and old fans will rejoice to read them while newcomers will find the tales entertaining.Yet this reviewer wonders why the memories of Mr. Dickson as one of the standard bearers of military science fiction seem weakened at least from re-reading this part of the saga.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Read Them All
Gordon R. Dickson, like Robert A. Heinlein, is a master storyteller.If you have never read Dickson's Childe Cycle, then buy and read them all.This is a mythic journey and one you shouldn't miss.The Childe Cycle tells the story of the human spirit, the strength of human relationships, reveals our unlimited potential, and takes you on a "hero's journey."Joseph Campbell would have love these books if he had ever read them.Perhaps he did, who can know. Your library will never be complete without these books in your collection.Both authors caused a major paradigm shift in my own life's vision, values, imagination, priorities, and appreciation for science fiction.Come and join in the journey and you will "soar on the wings of eagles. ... Read more

18. Tactics of Mistake (Childe Cycle)
by Gordon R. Dickson
Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (1998-10)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812545311
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
It's obvious that Cletus Graeme--limping, mild-mannered scholarly--doesn't belong on a battling field, but instead at a desk working on his fourth book on battle strategy and tactics. But Bakhalla has more battlefields than libraries, and Graeme sees his small force of Dorsai--soldiers of fortune--as the perfect opportunity to test his theories. But if his theories or his belief in the Dorsai lead him astray, he's a dead man. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Military Classic
I first read this book back in the early '70's, and then enlisted in the US Army.Yes, the lessons learned were in in themselves useful, but that was only the beginning.The concepts presented in the book were so relevant to the military situation at hand that I was able to excel myself. Consider also the timeless nature of the concepts of the complete soldier that is presented such that by reading this book I was able to not only grasp what my limited role as an enlisted soldier was, but more importantly I was able to grasp the ever more important role that the competent officer's role was.It wasn't only enough for me to be competent, but even more for so for the officer in tactical control to be competent as well.Ah, but to really grasp it you have to read the book.As well as the rest of the Childe Cycle novels.

The poignant part of this is that one day, back in the mid '70's, I was in the battalion commander's office on routine duty and noticed that right there in his bookcase on the lower case, within easy easy reach of his desk, was a copy of -- you guessed it -- Gordon Dickson's "Tactics of Mistake".Oh, and at the time he already had a CMH (Congressional Medal of Honor) earned in Vietnam, and would eventually earn triple General's Stars.Yes, this was on the bookshelf of a Lieutenant Colonel who would eventually become a 3 Star General.This is serious material, even though it is only a novel.

IMHO, for anyone who is interested in military strategy, this is a "must book".This is a classic that simply MUST be read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Asimov meets strategy expert
There is destiny painted on canvas with fine stokes of military strategy which is revealed in a manner of boiling kettle of Asimov's Foundation series' psycho-history. If you have read the Foundation series, you know the thrill how to anticipate the next turn in the strings of history. That history is being written by clever to-be Dorsai planet leader Cletus Graheme, who tricks an earth politician -- his opponent -- to underestimate his visions, using his strategy impetus.

This book was written in 1971 and is not in rust at all, notwithstanding a light verdigris. Some review complained about "treatment of women, it's assumption of Vietnam-style conflicts, it's cardboard ubermensch heroes". A little southern 'Gone With the Wind' romance is not harm at all to the story. It brings humanity to otherwise military plot line. The characters didn't feel like cardboarded. They have emotions, albeit caricatured, but those are not dwelled further because bigger strategic picture is set at front of the reader.

Four (4) stars are well earned. Not a shoot-em-up book but full of convincing military strategy, implications on planetary wide earth politics, raise of "Dorsai Empire", and a sacrifice story for greater good. At the end, the Cletus wife's, Melissa's, words -- in this otherwise hard military space world -- are difficult to be matched in any book published. A testimony of the writer's skill to wrap up story where hope still lives. Very good book even for those who don't usually read military stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars A splendid "Childe Cycle" novel
"Tactics of Mistake" is the second novel (chronologically at least) in Dickson's well-regarded "Childe Cycle" series.Written during the Vietnam War period, it reflects the politics of that time to at least a limited extent.Following the events in "Necromancer," mankind has begun settling habitable worlds in nearby stellar systems, and the "Younger Worlds" are still largely under the political control of Earth.Specifically, the "Alliance" (corresponding somewhat to the North Atlantic Alliance) and the "Coalition" (which appears to be the old Soviet Bloc, more or less).

The story takes place in the context of a struggle on the planet Kultis, which Childe Cycle fans know to be one of the two Exotic Worlds.However, at this time the Exotics have not yet gained control of Kultis.Cletus Grahame (more or less the founder of the Graeme family on the Dorsai) is sent to Kultis by the alliance to take charge of the Alliance forces, which are aiding the Exotics colony.In doing so, Grahame plants the seeds of the eventual development of the Dorsai Splinter Culture, and the independence of the Younger Worlds from the nations of Earth.

This is a superb story, and one of the very best Childe Cycle novels.One of the things that I liked about this novel is that it is set far enough in the future such that we can see the emergent Splinter Cultures taking form, but at the same time Earth politics of the 20-21st Centuries are still visible, providing a neat transition.Further, Dickson's characterizations in this novel are pretty good.Overall, there is a lot to like in this novel, and every fan of Dickson's "Childe Cycle" will want to read and probably own it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
This is set in an earlier time than the last book, and the main character is Cletus Grahame, an ancestor of Donal. The title is the title of a work of what he sees as revolutionary strategy he is currently working on, being crippled and not so useful running around a battlefield.

He gradually uses his theories to become a very important man, and later on has increasing mental powers which allow him to heal his injured leg. His theories revolve around making the other guy screw up.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Military Scholar
Tactics of Mistake (1971) is the second SF novel in the Childe Cycle, following Necromancer.In the previous volume, Walter Blunt started a revolution by his Chantry Guild to destroy the cultural basis of his society.Yet Paul Formain stopped him and sent his chief followers out to find their own destinies.When Kantele offered to stay, Paul sent her after Blunt.

In this novel, Alliance Lieutenant Colonel Cletus Grahame introduces himself to Dow DeCastries, Secretary of Outworlds Affairs for the Coalition.He also meets Colonel Eachan Khan of the Dorsai Mercenaries and his daughter Melissa, the Exotic Outbond Mondar, and Pater Ten of DeCastries's staff.Then Cletus leads Dow into a conversation and demonstration that causes the Coalition official to lose face to Grahame.

When the ship reaches Kultis, Pater Ten uses the ship-to-planet lines heavily, so much so that none are available to Cletus.When they debark the shuttle, Mondar offers Cletus a ride to the town of Bakhalla in the command car with Colonel Khan and Melissa.On the way, guerrillas ambush the command car and ignore the following bus.Grahame uses a gambit to counter-ambush the guerrillas.

Reporting to the commanding general, Bat Traynor, Cletus offers his services as tactical advisor.When Traynor disparages his usefulness, Cletus mentions the upcoming infiltration of a guerrilla attack group through Etter Pass.While Bat is still doubtful of Grahame's contributions to the Alliance effort, he does send a company of troops under a marginally competent commander to intercept the infiltrators.Captain Athyer is ordered to listen to Grahame's tactical advice.

After Grahame and six men capture more than three dozen guerrillas, while Athyer and his men capture none, Traynor gives Cletus permission to set up a tactical briefing facility.Athyer is reassigned as liaison to the Exotic library at Grahame's insistence.Cletus goes on to capture a large number of men and supplies before they can infiltrate into the town, using the Alliance Navy detachment in Bakhalla harbor.The Navy wants more opportunities to capture guerrillas.

In this story, Grahame defeats every move by DeCastries and the guerrillas and eventually captures a large portion of the Neulander Colony regular troops.Cletus resigns from the Western Alliance military and emigrates to the Dorsai.There he starts training a new kind of soldier.He and DeCastries are fated to meet again.

Highly recommended for Dickson fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military tactics, political intrigue, and a touch of romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

19. Sleepwalkers' World
by Gordon R. Dickson
 Hardcover: 264 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786243384
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With most of the world wrapped in a hypnotic deep sleep, Rafe Harald arrives from the moon to find a friend and is shadowed by agents of the failing world government and a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Walking in Nightmares
This book could be considered Dickson's good/evil alegory. Much darker then most of his stories, with a poetic alegorical style reminiscent of that of C.S. Lewis's classic Space Trilogy. In adition to being one darn good suspenseful read. ... Read more

20. Masters of Everon
by Gordon R. Dickson
 Mass Market Paperback: 256 Pages (1992)
list price: US$3.99 -- used & new: US$5.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812503945
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jef Robini is sent to the planet Everon find out why all efforts to create a stable colony on the planet have failed and discovers the cat-like maolots, mysterious inhabitants of Everon. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars raised with an animal from Everon
Jef has been raised with an animal from Everon, a planet that has been newly settled.The animal has not grown as they are known to on their home world, so he is taking it home see if it grows or what, on his native world.It is a scarey beast as far as most folks from the world are concerned, but with Jef, it is docile and obiedant.When he gets to the planet he starts off with the authorities wanting to quarantee or kill it.He is assisted by some fellow he met on the ride out, so at least he and his pet get to stay together.
Jef gets into trouble, gets to know the people and societies of the planet.There is some psychic connection between Jef and his pet that grows stronger as his pet grows as well.In the end the connection has grown so strong, Jef is able to see from the eyes of others not his pet.
The delimna that it turns out Jef is to solve was presented by the animals of the planet and is a trial, of sorts, of the human race.

5-0 out of 5 stars raised with an animal from Everon
Jef has been raised with an animal from Everon, a planet that has been newly settled.The animal has not grown as they are known to on their home world, so he is taking it home see if it grows or what, on his native world.It is a scarey beast as far as most folks from the world are concerned, but with Jef, it is docile and obiedant.When he gets to the planet he starts off with the authorities wanting to quarantee or kill it.He is assisted by some fellow he met on the ride out, so at least he and his pet get to stay together.
Jef gets into trouble, gets to know the people and societies of the planet.There is some psychic connection between Jef and his pet that grows stronger as his pet grows as well.In the end the connection has grown so strong, Jef is able to see from the eyes of others not his pet.
The delimna that it turns out Jef is to solve was presented by the animals of the planet and is a trial, of sorts, of the human race.

5-0 out of 5 stars raised with an animal from Everon
Jef has been raised with an animal from Everon, a planet that has been newly settled.The animal has not grown as they are known to on their home world, so he is taking it home see if it grows or what, on his native world.It is a scarey beast as far as most folks from the world are concerned, but with Jef, it is docile and obiedant.When he gets to the planet he starts off with the authorities wanting to quarantee or kill it.He is assisted by some fellow he met on the ride out, so at least he and his pet get to stay together.
Jef gets into trouble, gets to know the people and societies of the planet.There is some psychic connection between Jef and his pet that grows stronger as his pet grows as well.In the end the connection has grown so strong, Jef is able to see from the eyes of others not his pet.
The delimna that it turns out Jef is to solve was presented by the animals of the planet and is a trial, of sorts, of the human race. ... Read more

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