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The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

The High Crusade (original 1960; edition 1983)

by Poul Anderson

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8232911,024 (3.71)1 / 48
Title:The High Crusade
Authors:Poul Anderson
Info:Berkley (1983), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction

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The High Crusade by Poul Anderson (1960)

  1. 00
    Space Folk by Poul Anderson (dukeallen)
  2. 01
    Ten Years to Doomsday by Michael Kurland (bmlg)
    bmlg: humour, tension, and the unexpected as a pre-industrial world clashes with highly advanced alien invaders.

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Oof. This is from the 1960s. It's from the time when SF kept saying that humans were trickier than the rest of the galaxy, so even though we're dumber and not as advanced, we'll do ok. I haven't read anything like that in a while.

It's a fast read, but the gender politics were... different than todays. At one point, someone says something like, "Well, what should I have expected? Leaving my wife alone for so long, she's bound to get silly ideas". That character is mostly an idiot, but it was weird anyway.
  adamwolf | Nov 24, 2015 |
A spaceship lands next to an English castle, When the aliens come out shooting, the local, led by Sir Roger de Tourneville, leads a charge that overwhelms the aliens soldiers and everyone inside the ship. de Tourneville commanders the ship, gets everyone aboard and forces a lone alien survivor to take them to France and then Jerusalem. He double-crosses them and sends them on a trip to his home world. Oops! A delightful story I read twice when I was young...it's been so long since I read it I was able to read it afresh. de Tourneville's campaign against the Wersgorix is an excellent tale. A fun read. ( )
  NickHowes | Sep 13, 2015 |
The year is 1345, and Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville has gathered his troops ready to join King Edward III in his battle against France. The knight's day is interrupted by a two-thousand foot long flying machine, containing an advance force of Wersgorix. These are aliens from a distant world who are on a voyage of conquest; their view of Earth is as a backward and primitive place. Unfortunately for them, Sir Roger and company are combat hardened, and not only do not like being shot at but they return fire with longbows, putting arrows through the invaders and bashing those who survive into kingdom come. When the battle is over, Sir Roger finds himself in command of a star ship, with just one Wersgorix, somewhat worse for wear, left to pilot the vessel. His first reaction is to take the flying ship to France in support of his King, then on to the Holy Land to deal with the infidels. But his plan is foiled by the remaining alien, who flies the ship straight back to the nearest Wersgorix planet, believing that once there the primitives will simply surrender. It is at this point that the Wersgorix learn a fatal lesson about the indomitable spirit, cleverness and sheer bloody determination of medieval Englishmen.

Poul Anderson is one of the science fiction authors I first encountered in my youth as he began writing novels in the fifties and sixties of the previous century. He became an award-winning author and demonstrated an imagination that produced both great science fiction and fantasy. With The High Crusade we have a vision of an alternative past where the medieval knights are faced with aliens and their success leads to further adventures in space. It sounds like a precursor to a recent film, "Cowboys & Aliens", set in the American west circa 1873. The High Crusade, while written somewhat tongue-in-cheek is nonetheless entertaining with reasonably developed themes. It shows what a well-disciplined and determined inferior group can achieve against a technologically superior foe. The characters are believable and maintain the reader's interest throughout.

The High Crusade is overall an entertaining story that can be enjoyed by both young and old. It reminded me of my enjoyment of tales like Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and another classic SF novel, L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall. Poul Anderson is always worth reading and this minor classic is one reason. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jul 31, 2015 |
Pretty funny, a good explanation of possible alien contact in the High Middle Ages. How do you review a funny book in a meaningful way? Spoilers are deadly, in this genre. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 2, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Poul Andersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alcorn, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heimisch, RalfCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolheiser, JackCover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jens Christian and Nancy Hostrup ---
as well as Per and Janne ---
gratefully and hopefully
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As the captain looked up, the hooded desk lamp threw his face into ridges of darkness and craggy highlights.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743475283, Paperback)

In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurs: a huge silver ship descends through the sky and lands in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in North East Lincolnshire. The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it is, are quite expert at taking over planets, and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable, they initiate standard world-conquering procedure. But this time it's no mere primitives the Wersgorix seek to enslave - they've launched their invasion against Englishmen! In the end, only one alien is left alive - and Sir Roger's grand vision is born. He intends for the creature to fly the ship first to France to aid his King, then on to the Holy Land to vanquish the infidel!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:38 -0400)

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