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The High Crusade Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Poul Anderson was one of the most prolific and popular writers in science fiction. He won the Hugo Award seven times and the Nebula Award three times, as well as many other awards, notably including the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America for a lifetime of distinguished achievement. With a degree in physics, and a wide knowledge of other fields of science, he was noted for building stories on a solid foundation of real science, as well as for being one of the most skilled creators of fast-paced adventure stories. He was author of over a hundred novels and story collections, and several hundred short stories, as well as several mysteries and nonfiction books. He died in 2001.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; 50 Anv edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781439133774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133774
  • ASIN: 1439133778
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a unique story and very well told.
Catfish
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys SF books that are fun to read and not too intense.
Kenneth A. Klomhaus
I decided to get this book to enjoy this story one more time.
Joel W Benson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
What happens when a band of aliens land in Medieval England just as a local baron is assembling his army for war? The High Crusade! Poul Anderson takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to science fiction in this very funny, yet plausible short-novel. Told from the point of view of the local cleric, the story begins when a scout ship of alien beings, bent on conquest, land near the holdings of Sir Roger of Tourneville, who is gearing up to join the king for a war in France. Instead of running in fear, the war-rabid Englishmen suspect a "French trick" and go out to meet the ship. The fun begins when one of the aliens blasts a local, hoping to frighten the natives. Instead, the assembled troops react, only as trained soldiers will, and turn the aliens into pincushions with their longbows. Thus begins Anderson's humorous adventure. Funny as it is, the book has serious undertones in that it reminds us how little society changes despite advances in technology. This book is perfect for younger readers; it is fairly short, fast-paced, and has no offensive language or adult themes, but adults (especially students of Midieval history) will appreciate its wit and satire. It would make a funny movie. Maybe someone should send a copy to Terry Gilliam (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Time Bandits).
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on July 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
The High Crusade (1960) is a standalone SF novel. The Wersgorix were supreme in their spatial region. The other spacefaring races -- the Jairs, the Ashenkoghi and the Pr?*tans -- were weaker and allowed to retain their planets only upon Wersgorixan sufferance. Yes, the Wersgorix were supreme ... until a scoutship landed in England.

In this novel, Baron Sir Roger de Tourneville is preparing for the war against the French in the year of grace 1345. He has gathered a large force of cavalry, men of arms and bowmen, who are camped outside his castle. Then a large shiny object falls slowly out of the sky.

The ship is two thousand feet long. Lowering itself onto the boggy soil, it sinks deep into the mud. A hatch opens and a ramp lowers to the ground. A short but brawny creature, with blue skin and a short tail, steps out of the ship and three more follow him. The first creature lifts an object that projects fire, instantly killing one of the soldiers. This blue creature is immediately downed by a clothyard arrow and soon after that the other three bristle with arrows.

Sir Roger leads a charge into the huge vessel and the blueskins are slaughtered throughout the ship, at the cost of a dozen human soldiers. The blueskins seem to be little practiced in hand-to-hand combat and many are not even armed. The only survivor is carried out by Red John Hameward, Captain of the archers, who has recognized the need for an informant.

Brother Parvus teaches the captive, Branithar, the Latin language and is able to learn something of the ship and its mission. The Wergorix were following their usual practice to searching out suitable planets and subjugating the inhabitants.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This old "classic" is a great tour-de-farce that Anderson masterfully keeps just on the edge of plausibility. The premise is simple. A highly advanced alien spaceship, from the "Wersgor Empire" lands on Earth with the intent of subjigating it. The time is the 14th Century, the place, England.

Well, the local horse cavalry surprises and overwhelms the aliens and takes control of the spaceship. The Englishmen then proceed to take on the whole Wersgor Empire by guts, guile, and good old human deviousness. This all makes for great fun. This is a terrific "beer and chips" novel, which is all Anderson, a Grand Master of SF, intended for it to be. I only gave it three stars because this is not great literature, nor is it the best that Anderson has written. But make no mistake, this one gets 5 stars in the category of readability and fun, and I recommend it to anyone who likes Science Fiction and has a good sense of humor. Enjoy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter Dykhuis VINE VOICE on July 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What if a band of space faring aliens landed in medieval Europe and were overrun as they debarked from there ship by the local baron and his merry band of knights and serfs. What if these same medieval simpletons were then to take this ship to the nearest colony world of this alien power, guided by a captive alien. Imagine the fun and utter destruction that would ensue.
This is a light and fun novel that explores completely ludicrous what ifs but is enjoyable nonetheless. The book is not written in a joking manner but the humor shines through as we see what farcical destruction a band of barbarians can wreck on a truly advanced race. A good quick read that should be read as the light fare that it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marian Powell on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
The High Crusade is pure fun from start to finish. Being written by Poul Anderson (I'm a big fan)means he has studied his history so the background details are correct. I hope that doesn't sound dull; it's just the opposite. Nothing is duller or more jarring to a reader than to start thinking, "This doesn't sound right". The High Crusade is perfect! The story just sweeps you along with its adventure and underlying humor. The humor comes out of the basic situation. A highly advanced but unpleasant group of aliens land in Medieval England. Big mistake. The medieval knights simply clobber the aliens and steal their spaceship. From then on it's medieval knights conquer the universe! Of course there's a personal plot, a marriage that's in trouble and conquering the universe solves that! There's also a wonderful framing device as modern humans go into space and run into their medieval ancestors! Too bad Anderson never wrote a sequel! It's my only criticism. I'd love to see more of this.
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