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The Van Rijn Method: The Technic Civilization Saga #1 Mass Market Paperback – November 24, 2009

24 customer reviews

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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 non-fiction books. He died in 2001.

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Product Details

  • Series: Technic Civilization
  • Mass Market Paperback: 635 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133262
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By S. M Stirling on August 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anderson is one of the grand masters of the field, and these adventures -- carefully thought-out, with solid worldbuilding and scientific speculation, plus great characters and wonderful action -- are classics. If you want to know science fiction, you should read these. And if you want to have a great time... then read them for that, too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on January 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories are wonderful -- if you haven't read them before, stop reading this review and start reading the stories. You're in for a treat. This is volume one of a proposed six-volume collation of Poul Anderson's wonderful Technic stories, starting with the beginnings of human exploration of the solar system, and moving out into the heyday of the Commonwealth. The world building is superb, the stories fun, and the characters fascinating (and believable). Wonderful stuff, and now we can read them in internal chronological order. So much fun!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Neil G. Matthews on September 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoy stories involving worlds created by a talented author with a physics degree (and thus has the background to create believable worlds), then this book is worth a look. Comprised of ten short stories plus a novella, set on imaginative worlds where there is often a challenging problem to overcome, this first collection of Technic Civilization stories includes a range of characters, with several, including the novella, featuring Nicholas Van Rijn. The stories written later in the series show how Poul Anderson has improved his skills and the novella, written in 1958, provides an interesting baseline from which you can see how the author has developed over the decades. I enjoyed the later book in the series more than this one, which is why I've rated this down. Read the series in order and your enjoyment can only grow!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joy V. Smith VINE VOICE on November 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so happy to see another classic reprint from Baen. (I have the Christopher Anvil and James H. Schmitz collections.) I enjoyed the Polesotechnic League stories years ago, especially the adventures of David Falkayn, Chee Lan, and Adzel; and I'm really looking forward to the second volume, David Falkayn, Star Trader. Van Rijn's character is a nice change of pace for space exploration, and his twists on old sayings are fun, such as "This is the times that fry men's souls." Also, his stirring speech in The Man Who Counts that incorporated the famous speeches from Terra's history: "This blessed plot, ...," Pericles' funeral speech, Scots Wha' Hae, the Gettysburg Address, and something about St. Crispin's Day. (I'm not familiar with the Pericles speech or St. Crispin's Day. I'd like to see them all referenced somewhere.) Anyway, thanks again Baen for letting more people enjoy these classics!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on February 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Baen Books has thus far published five ominbus volumes of Poul Anderson's "Technic Civilization" tales, with two more planned to complete the series. "Van Rijn's Method" is the first volume. Together, the seven volumes will cover thousands of years of future history.

I first read most of these stories decades ago, and it is an immense pleasure to find them all together in one collection. Poul Anderson was particularly noted for his "hard science fiction" (fiction with a goodly dose of real, physical science behind it) and this is particularly evident in the detail and care with which he crafted the numerous worlds upon which his characters found themselves. And the natives of those numerous worlds were never simply humans in bad make-up (as characterized the original "Star Trek" television series), but true aliens in physiology and psychology. While Anderson's stories had no shortage of intense action, at heart they were driven by ideas, and most usually heroes achieved victory by thinking rather than shooting.

In the Technic Civilization stories Anderson created some of the most popular, enduring characters in all of science fiction, including Nicholas van Rijn and Dominic Flandry -- and this collection of tales contains all the van Rijn and Flandry stories and books (as well as others having nothing directly to do with those flamboyant heroes).

If you already are familiar with Poul Anderson's Technic Civilization series, this multi-volume collection is your cup of tea. And if you are not familiar with it, you owe it to yourself to read them to become acquainted with some really classic science fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Poul Anderson was one of the Grand Masters of Science Fiction for many decades. It is terrific that his "Technic Civilization" series of novels and short stories is back in publication. This future history series postulates a dazzling future for mankind as humans spread across the galaxy encountering alien races and civilizations. Some of these have very alien motivations, while others have motivations, i.e. avarice and greed, that humans recognize all too well. This is all great fun.

Nicholas Van Rijn is president of Solar Spice & Liquors, an interstellar trading corporation that specializes in finding new civilizations and selling them, well, Solar spices and liquors. These stories are a part of Poul Anderson's vibrant Technic Civilization series during the period in which the Polesotechnic League ("League of Selling Skills") dominates. Mankind has invented cheap and practical interstellar travel. Humans and their alien friends and rivals take the profit motive to the stars, and this makes for a fascinating and optimistic vision of the future.

Van Rijn himself is an unforgettable character. Smart and tough, with the ability to understand both human and alien motivations, his trials and travails as an interstellar trader make for great fun. Van Rijn is directly the protagonist in only a few of these tales, but he is the archtypical interstellar capitalist, and his influence can be felt throughout. Highly recommended. RJB.
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