Poul Anderson: The High Crusade



I had a certain idea about what this book was to be about before I read it I m a fan of Poul Anderson and some of the previous novels were so rich with history and research that I just had to finally read THIS1345 English knights under Edward III encounter first contact with aliensAwesome rightWell imagine my discomfort and disappointment when it was pretty much a gloss over for the actual history bits and we re left with the standard romantic Chivalry crap And the aliens A thought provoking celebration of the Englishman laced with tongue in cheek glamour and sprinkled with a deftly handled satire on contemporary superpowers and societiesThe book is short and there s a great deal of action and witty humor it gets a bit philosophical towards the end but I finished it in one sitting with easeAn intergalactic mega empire scouts for new planets to dominate and one of his spaceships lands in 1345 Lincolnshire England where even the lowliest serf looked up from his acre and dreamed of freeing the Holy Land and picking up a coffer of gold on the way What was a routine mission soon becomes the aliens worst nightmareThe plot is linear and tightly focused and it fits the subtlety of the book s themes just fine I liked the story direction but it s the unfolding that is source of constant entertainment I ve never read anything by Poul Anderson before but I soon trusted him the prose the narrative structure and the setting premises themselves make the whole adventure sound plausibleThe story is truly humorous original absurd and full of boldness bravado and deceit centered around a space jacuerie uprising led by a medieval noble knight I m a fan of England a sucker for the Hundred Years War the earlier part at least but I find anything related to gunpowder already too modern to bear fact is this book is so enthralling I got hooked immediately knights and blue aliens Livestock to confound airborne patrols Archery and spacecraft Heavy chivalry pitted against tanks A whole village traipsing in the space and the main problem is how to calculate EasterThe characters feel authentic like the forlorn baroness the ambitious oung knight or the rambunctious archer no way a good book about Englishmen in the middle ages can miss an archer and then of course the catchy protagonists Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville the man of war takes circumstances in stride and seizes the bull by the horns while Brother Pelvus the narrator the man of religion tries to understand the implications of their actions but both apply the filter of their culture with the right mix of superstition crusading spirit and hard life experience on the events to utterly hilarious conseuences and unexpected results The clinching proof of my reasoning is that I ll cut anyone who argues further into dogmeat Actually I felt that in his crude way my master had grasped truth In my spare time I would recast his logic into proper syllogistic form to make sure Very soon it gets so charming that I started to find logical everything I read and internally it was for sure Add into the fray a super powerful alien society grown complacent in their own superiority a few surviving subjugated civilizations some practical English diplomacy and Oh now I just loved reading this And why Well on Earth there ve been many nations and lords for many centuries all at odds with each other under a feudal system nigh too complicated to remember Why ve we fought so many wars in France Because the Duke of Anjou was on the one hand the sovereign king of England and on the other hand a Frenchman Think The Defense (Eddie Flynn you what that led to andet tis really a minor example On our Earth we ve perforce learned all the knavery there is to know Re read with my sisters January 18 2017 SO GOOD PEOPLE 3 3 3For on why Hai nhà you really ought to read this joyous book see my full review Read August 27 2016THIS BOOKOH MYKNIGHTS VS ALIENSALL THE LOVEALL THE LAUGHSALL THE HEARTSTRINGSFULL REVIEW MOST CERTAINLY TO COME Rounding up on the reread It s silly and tongue in cheek and strangely entertaining Your regular garden variety Englishman in 1345 had a few things to worry about the Hundred Year War the general conditions of life in the not so pleasant Middle Ages and if they had a working crystal ball the merciless arrival of the Black Death in three shortearsNone of these worries normally included traipsing through the galaxy on a captured spaceship Lo It was as a miracle fighting the aliens advanced technologies with lances and trebuchets and reshaping the galaxy in accordance with the customs of feudal England on a crusade for the glory of God the honor of England and the enrichment of us all However many a sober trustworthy man at arms swore that he saw the holy knight ride down the Milky Way in a foam of stars and impale enemy ships on his lance like so many dragons Credibility Who needs credibility when ou can have medieval warriors in space This book is such fun built on the same premise that possessed the creators of Cowboys vs Aliens and our eternal desire to root for the obvious likeable underdog But the underdog here the savvy Baron Roger de Tourneville has an unexpected advantage over the technologically superior aliens the advantage borne out of human capacity for intrigue and good medieval capacity for an all out brawl Where it comes to intrigue I m no master of it myself no Italian But the starfolk are like childrenAnd why Well on Earth there ve been many nations and lords for many centuries all at odds with each other under a feudal system nigh too complicated to remember Why ve we fought so many wars in France Because the Duke of Anjou was on the one hand the sovereign king of England and on the other hand a Frenc. One of the Most Beloved Novels of a Grand Master of Science Fiction with Introductions and Appreciations by Major Science Fiction FiguresIn the ear of grace 1345 as Sir Roger Baron de Tourneville is gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France a most astonishing event occurs a huge silver ship descends through the sky and lands in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in northeastern Lincolnshir.

ONLINE BOOKS The High Crusade Author Poul Anderson – jimmychooshoes.us

SUMMARY The High Crusade

Hman Think Falling Through Clouds you what that led to andet tis really a minor example On our Earth we ve perforce learned all the knavery there is to know Ah the knavery The easiness with which Sir Roger springs complicated politics and clever intrigues onto the unsuspecting aliens already baffled by the confusing nature of these Englishmen fighting force shields with smile cutting weapons bragging of what seems to be centuries of space explorations and tales of amazing genetic engineering with all their highborn talk and strange rituals that seem to give them strength and power The power of bluff and bravado so alien to the non English space creatures What chance did they ever have against Sir Roger and his crusaders An ancestor of mine by the name of Noah was once admiral of the combined fleets of my planet Our lords have extensive foreign possessions such as Ulster Leinster Normandy but I ll not weary The Art of Acquiring you with a catalogue of planets I alone noticed he had not actually said those counties and duchies were planets Yes on the first glance the adventure is silly enough to have been turned into a mainly comedic and not well made film in the 90s But that s superficial take on it believe me Where it shines is the beautifully woven in humor The narration done in the stiff devoted hero and god worshipping style of a cleric Brother Parvus accompanying Roger de Tourneville on the space crusade works so well when as the events unfold it begins incorporating the lines that would have been right at home in Star Wars or such as the knights and serfs and our monk get a hang of navigating the vast universe at supersonic speeds shooting laser guns and hanging out with all kinds of space aliens combining technology and superstition medieval euphemisms and advanced technology all told through the prism of sheer bravado and space lore But we have one prisoner Branithar who speaks Latin I would not say that sire I interrupted His declensions are atrocious and what he does to irregular verbs may not be described in gentle company It s a pleasantly compact story nicely uick paced due to such short length never getting sidetracked and never steering from the straight narrative path It s a refreshing break from the world of doorstopper sized tomes It s uite worth the few hoursou ll spend on it35 stars The idea that earth can resist an alien invasion is fairly ludicrous given that the aliens would have to travel light ears across the universe to get here so their level of technology and weaponry must be vastly superior to ours Poul Anderson a scifi legend was well aware of this and he carefully created an amusing scenario where such a thing is at least plausible Anderson was a versatile author books like Tau Zero and Brain Wave and The High Crusade are all very different not to mention his non genre and nonfiction works The premise is fairly straight forward In 1345 AD a huge spaceship lands in Ansby a small village in Lincolnshire just as Sir Roger de Tourney illegal an English Knight was raising an army to fight a war with France This is a scout ship from the Wersgorix Empire who are always looking to expand their dominion As luck would have it their technology is so advanced that they have forgotten how to fight hand to hand and fall prey to the English soldiers who stormed their ship and basically hacked them all to death except for one rather shady character named Branithar Thinking that the flying ship will give them a huge advantage over the French Sir Roger orders Branithar to fly the ship to France Branithar readily agrees but activates the pre programmed autopilot to take them to the nearest Wersgor colony insteadIn spite of the rather farcical premise the book is very enjoyable it is humorous than the other Anderson novels I have read well I have not read that many of them Fans of the ultra hard sf Tau Zero will be disappointed if they are expecting in that vein those looking for a uick read and an entertaining sci fi romp are in for a treat The book is written in the first person narrated by a monk who follows Sir Roger on his space adventures The medieval style English is wonderful I can not vouch for its authenticity of course but it is very amusing to read especially when describing alien technology For example I have studied the principles of their star maps a little sire I answered though in truth they do not employ charts but mere columns of figures Nor do they have mortal steersmen on the spaceships Rather they instruct an artificial pilot at the start of the journey and thereafter the homunculus operates the entire craft Ha Love that stuff The main alien race the Wersgorix are a little old school in that they are blue skinned bipeds who communicate through vocal speech and gestures thus conveniently facilitating the establishment of communication Other alien races show up later who are less like anthropomorphised creatures but really not all that strange by today s sci fi standard You may find that the idea that a bunch of medieval Brits resisting and conuering alien races with vastly superior technology ridiculous It is basically done through bluff and bluster with a lot of luck thrown in But how could that be sire asked Sir Owain They re older and stronger and wiser than we The first two granted nodded the baron His humor was so good that he addressed even this knight with frank fellowship But the third no Where it comes to intrigue I m no master of it myself no Italian But the star folk are like children In any case Anderson has written the book and developed the characters with such skill that ou are likely to be swept away by the story and jettison our incredulity out the window Tremendous fun and takes no time at all to. E The Wersgorix whose scouting ship it is are uite expert at taking over planets and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable they initiate standard world conuering procedure Ah but this time it's no mere primitives the Wersgorix seek to enslave they've launched their invasion against free Englishmen In the end only one alien is left alive and Sir Roger's grand vision is born He intends for the creature to fly.

Read a must I love Poul Anderson It amazes me that he can write such masterful and complex works as The Broken Sword and something as silly and fun as The High Crusade and make both eually enjoyable to me The basic premise of this book is medieval Englishmen from around the time of the crusades in space brazening it out and taking over the universe It is all dealt with very lightly but there s still moments that are touching and emotionally compelling too Lady Catherine s words at the end of the story for exampleOne of my favourite bitsWe have one prisoner who speaks Latin I would not say that sire I interrupted His declensions are atrocious and what he does to irregular verbs may not be described in gentle companyJust awesome Ridiculous but awesome The High Crusade by Poul Anderson tells the unlikely but still somehow plausible tale of an alien invasion of earth in the 1300s The aliens made a cosmic blunder by messing with an English baron and his fiefdom What ensues is a story that must be read to be believed and it is hard to put down While reading this I could not help but recall scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail especially the scenes with Michael Palin as the lord of the castle in the swamps saying Please This is supposed to be a happy occasion Let s not bicker and argue over who killed who One of the great things about this book is the humor never far from the surface but tucked in like a tongue in a cheek allowing the narrative made all the entertaining by being told from the perspective of a learned friar to chronicle a truly uniue and imaginative adventure Also I cannot help but compare and contrast this story with Mark Twain s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur s Court from which it must have gained inspiration and to Eifelheim Michael Flynn s 2006 novel which may have gained inspiration from The High Crusade This book also has a similarity with Asimov s Foundation first published in 1951 series though nowhere near its scopeAn energetic light and entertaining adventure story very original in its design well written and smoothly paced Anderson has also crafted a subtle examination of diplomacy and war while satirizing human nature as it is used in a metaphor by an alien race Or this is just a fun book nicely done The aliens landed in Medieval times and were ready for an easy conuest of a backward worldtill the knights rushed the ship and got inside and the aliens were defeatedand the ship lifted off in auto pilotThe plot sounds a bit hokey but it made such a good story I think it could have made an ever better one but my imagination took the original and ran with it Fun enjoyable imaginative original nothing like it then and only variations since As I said I like it If it were written today it would probably be the first in a long running series There actually were a couple of follow up stories I think ou ll enjoy this one While the plot may at first seem a slight eye roller and Anderson does place his tongue in his cheek a bit here within the story s own logic it works uite well Remember that depending entirely on superior technology doesn t always work just ask the British about the Battle of Isandlwana AmericaFrench about the ultimate outcome in Nam the Russians about AfghanistanGeneral Custer and so on Poor leadership overconfidence lack of back up all can allow local forces to win over technological superiority The Aliens here seem to suffer from all the aboveWith a seriocomic take on the story this novel looks lightly at some serious subjects and tells an enjoyable tale It s a good story I like it I ve been making a sincere effort over the last couple of Mr. Fix-It years to play catch up with a number of books that I somehow missed over theears Look let s face it we are mortal beings and there is no way that we will ever be able to read all of the books that we want to read in a lifetime It s a good problem to have when one has an overflowing to read pile but it does make picking the next adventure tough sometimes I have always had an affinity for classic science fiction but there is such an overwhelming amount of material out there produced by wide va During the long summers without playmates at grandmother s cottage in southwest Michigan I drew and read a lot when it was too lousy outside to spend a day with my dog Jimmy The beach though nearby had lost its charm after the first days of summer There was none of the aesthetic concern for having a good tan which became a motivation in adolescence If I joined the folks down there at all I d mostly read only stepping in the water to cool off on the hotest days Sometimes however I d retreat up the hundred odd stairs in the wood alone to have the house to myself while the old ones talked and sunned themselvesI recall reading Anderson s The High Crusade on such a beautiful day the folks on the beach me alone in the bedroon shared with my eight The Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers yearsounger brother Fin the afternoon and early evening sun pouring through the windows This is a great book I thought a really funny one besides I was learning about the Middle Ages and that was interesting in itself None of the treatments of the period in school were half as much fun not even the children s edition of Malory with its romantic illustrationsIt is uite something to vividly remember reading a book forty seven ears ago to remember the day the thoughts the basic plot The ones remembered are often famous like H G Wells novels the kinds of stories one hears about again and again refreshing the memory Anderson s little tale however is obscure nothing I can remember ever hearing about or even talking about though I bet I recommended it at some point back then The memory is pristine preciou. The ship first to France to aid his King then on to the Holy Land to vanuish the infidel Unfortunately he has not allowed for the treachery of the alien pilot who instead takes the craft to his home planet where he thinks these upstart barbarians will have no choice but to surrender But that knavish alien little understands the indomitable will and clever resourcefulness of Englishmen no matter how great the odds against them.

Winston P Sanders P A KingsleyPoul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century Anderson also authored several works of fantasy historical novels and a prodigious number of short stories He received numerous awards for his writing including seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards Anderson received a degree in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1948 He married Karen Kruse in 1953 They had one daughter Astrid who is married to science fiction author Greg Bear Anderson was the sixth President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America taking office in 1972 He was a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America a loose knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the 1960s some of whose works were anthologized in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords anthologies He was a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism Robert A Heinlein dedicated his 1985 novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls to Anderson and eight of the other members of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy23 Poul Anderson died of cancer on July 31 2001 after a month in the hospital Several of his novels were published posthumously Series