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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 1999
The third in the series after Harvest of Stars and The Stars Are Also Fire, Harvest the Fire is more like a novella in size and seems kinda weird compared to other Anderson works considering there are drawings inside. When I saw those, I thought I had made a mistake and picked up a children's book. When I read it, it was good enough, though. It wasn't as sweeping by far as the previous two novels, but no less entertaining for it. It focuses mainly on the plan for a big antimatter heist, and is really cool just for that aspect. You should give Anderson enough respect to read this before you move on to the fourth in the series: The Fleet of Stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 1998
This is partially in response to the review above from Dayton, Ohio. This is not a lengthy novel. Take out the pictures (by di Fate) and it is less than 150 pages, with few words per page. As far as background is concerned, there is little. Again, this is a short book, and follows Harvest of Stars and The Stars are Also Fire. No one could possibly need any more background after reading those two books, which I would give 10's. They are replete with background. As far as the characters are concerned, Nicol is a confused, emotional guy but is likeable. We know Venator from The Stars are Also Fire. Part of what makes good writing is having imperfect - even unheroic - characters. Nicol is not necessarily unheroic, as you may see. The meshing of the characters, who certainly have distinct aims and personalities, is well done. It is rare to say this about so short a book, but I found the first half slow and the second great, and satisfying. I would not advise reading this alone, but as part of the series. You will discover that there is some foreshadowing - when you read Fleet of Stars. As far as saving your money goes, do it: it is a tiny book to pay $6 for. Buy it used (as this college student wishes he had done). If you are reading the series, do not skip this. It's well worth a couple hours. (Disclaimer: Big Poul Anderson fan)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 1998
This is about the worst fiction book, of any type, that I have ever read.
He never fleshed out any of the background scenery at all. What little background was provided never had anything more than the bare basics. And those seemed more like he had written an outline and published it.
This also followed on to the characters. Very one dimensional. One guy was a confused poet, who never seemed to be unconfused, and he was the main character. The rest of the characters were just as bad.
There was absolutely no foreshadowing of any of the events. And it seem very disjointed with no indication which events happened before, after or concurrently with one another.
And there was no interaction with any characters that did not pertain to the story. Think of one of those crappy British SF series. That's what it read like.
In other words - Save your money!
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on September 26, 2014
This novella begins with “I would not envy a poet in their mainstream civilization”, Borges murmured. “I think my advice would be that he seek elsewhere”. Mediocre poet and good pilot Jesse Nicol, does just that. This book offers and adventure, or hijack of anti-matter. Along the way are physical love of a Lunarian, (and a discovery about this relationship),. Perhaps most interesting character is Venator, a downloaded presence, who perhaps desires union with cybercosm. The book ends with “Yours is a new world, in a heroic age. Its bards are singing. I can home to be one of them” … Homer sang of a bygone age” .. “Shakespeare treated of Cleopatra and Macbeth”. Between the start and end, the plot is a little weak. This is the third in history future-history series (Harvest of Stars first)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2000
This is an insubstantial little novella or novellete which is probably not worth paying the cover price for. It belongs more in a short works collection. I actually enjoyed this more than the long and ponderous Harvest of Stars (I haven't read the second book in the series because of it.) It seemed obvious to me that Nicol was being manipulated by the Lunarians all along so it was no big surprise. I didn't find the ending very satisfying either. The illustrations didn't seem to complement the storyline very well, except for the one with the robot at the end which is a scene which does appear in the book. The illustration of Falaire isn't how I pictured her as described in the book.
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on September 2, 2007
Harvest the Fire is a fairly short book. It is part of a series, and I have not read any of the rest of them, this one being part of a SFBC deal I think.

A future poet becomes involved with some revolutionaries that don't like machine intelligences being in charge of things. A pretty unmemorable novel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The storylines here develop from a strong focus on detailed technology that seems completely real-even if the characters seem slightly less real. I wouldn't call it one of my favorite sf books, but I liked it, even without reading the first two books in the trilogy. I also liked the artwork and the book's fast pace.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HARVEST THE FIRE is the third book of Poul Anderson's four-volume future history that began with HARVEST OF STARS. Unlike the first book and the second, HARVEST THE FIRE is pretty readable because it weighs in at a mere 188 pages, and is actually less than that once you take out the illustrations by veteran science fiction artist Vincent di Fate.
The novella is the brief story of Jesse Nichols, a Terran poet in Anderson's far future, and his run in with several Lunarians who hatch a conspiracy to strike a blow against the cybernetic order that has stagnated civilization. Venator, the antagonist of THE STARS ARE ALSO FIRE, figures again in the form of a resurrected download.
The book moves quickly (I read it in one day) but is low on substance. It really is something of a novelty book.
Although more successful than the first two books of the series, as Anderson has finally left behind most of his quaint language ("fain," etc.), his characters still have little depth. Nichols is brash and irrational and just doesn't make any sense or engender sympathy on the part of the reader. Anderson also doesn't make advantage of potential for a chance of conscience for Venator. Also, the ending is a little fuzzy and doesn't resolve much.
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