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Hoka! Hoka! Hoka!

by Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hoka (Collection: 1-9; Interludes 1-6)

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1832116,829 (3.63)5
The Interbeing League had been formed to make contact with new intelligent races in the galaxy. But when the League encountered the Hokas, furry creatures strongly resembling the teddy-bears of Earth, the League's agent, Alexander Jones, could have been excused for wishing he had a simpler assignment than making sense out of the Hokas.… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
Shenanigans ensue on a world inhabited by sentient teddy bears who really get into Earth stories and culture.

A really cute idea and overall a fun read, this is one collection of short stories that is probably best read over a period of time instead of all at once as some of the contrivances needed to get the story started some become repetitive and annoying. Also the writing really shows it's age and the less said about the one woman who is represented in the stories is written the better.

Not a horrible way to introduce young readers to science fiction, though the creaky writing style and language...as well as some of the settings that aren't as common today as they were when the stories were written might make it harder for them to get into the stories. I read it for the nostalgia factor and it was definitely worth it for that. ( )
  Kellswitch | Jan 5, 2016 |
Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson were serious writers of serious sci-fi, so I’ve always wondered if somebody lost a bet, or if they just got way too drunk at a convention and talked each other into it. The result was perhaps the funnest alien race ever. Picture teddy bears. Inhumanly tough and strong teddy bears. Inhumanly tough and strong teddy bears with really vivid imaginations. Now picture their discovery by stiff and proper humanity as it diligently spreads its Everybody Gets Along federation through the stars. From the Hoka’s point of view, of course, they discovered humans–rather like discovering a unicorn in the garden. It was love at first sight.

The native Hoka culture was swept away overnight, as the Hokas gleefully adopted every culture, story, and character in human literature. Overnight the planet became a patchwork of Victorian England, pirate/viking-infested seas, desert-dwelling Bedouins, jungles full of talking animals, kingdoms (mostly Arthurian), empires (mostly Roman or French), and, well, you get the picture.

Into all this comes Alexander Jones, our straight-man. The hapless plenipotentiary of the Interbeing League to the planet Toka (we wouldn’t let them rename it Earth), he is given the job of preparing the Hokas for citizenship, but the planet-full of furry cosplayers are having much too much fun. Each story features a crisis complicated by the Hoka penchant for Extreme Memes (having your native staff suddenly decide to go in “quest of the One Ring” is hugely inconvenient).

The Hoka stories have been thoughtfully collected and preserved in the books Hoka! Hoka! Hoka!, available only on old-fashioned paper, and Hokas! Pokas!, also available in ebook formats directly from Baen Books. Are they Forgotten Treasures? Since they’re out of print and I recently got a blank stare from a science-fiction geek when I wondered what Hokas would have done with Star Wars, I’d say yes. Which is a pity, since I’d long ago made a bargain with God; if reincarnation exists then I’m coming back as a Hoka. So out-geek your sci-fi/fantasy friends; order these books and learn why references to role-playing ursinoids popped up in alien crowd-scenes across the genre for many years. ( )
  M.G.Harmon | Jun 11, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anderson, PoulAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickson, Gordon R.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hickman, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is a revised and expanded version of Earthman's Burden. It omits two stories, and adds three others and interstitial material.
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The Interbeing League had been formed to make contact with new intelligent races in the galaxy. But when the League encountered the Hokas, furry creatures strongly resembling the teddy-bears of Earth, the League's agent, Alexander Jones, could have been excused for wishing he had a simpler assignment than making sense out of the Hokas.

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