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The Van Rijn Method: The Technic Civilization Saga #1 (Technic Civilization Series) Hardcover – September 2, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 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 Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555698
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first collection of the polesotechnic future history written by Poul Anderson, collected and printed in chronological order as they happened not as they were written. So the quality of the writing changes from story to story. Not that any of the writing is bad as Anderson was an accomplished writer whose characters have complex personalities and whose descriptions and settings are plausible. But over time even Anderson became more accomplished as a writer.
These stories are mostly about Nicholas van Rijn, the businessman behind his interstellar trading company. Other key characters are introduced in some of the stories, so the characters and settings develop over the course of the tales. These stories are stories of exploration for profit, the merchant princes are looking for new worlds in order to find new products and new markets. The government hasn't become corrupt yet, so people and the alien races are free people of the galaxy.
I've always enjoyed Andersons writing, and the hard science fiction he wrote. So it's nice to have all the stories collected in volumes that make them easy to read in order. Each volume contains at least two novels and numerous short stories and novella's that precede the succeed the core novels.
If you enjoy the classic hard sci-fi that started in the 50's then you will enjoy this collection.
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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the beginning, Van Rijn made his fortune by making deals himself. This meant risking his own (considerable) skin on various planets, facing down tyrants and crooks (while abusing the King's English). Along the way, we learn history of the Polesotechnic League. And about planetary science- not fantasy.
So, The Saturn Game is the crew of a spaceship lost in a role playing game.
The Problem of Pain concerns two races on an island- one dying of a local germ, the other ill, not dying.
How to be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson relies on a friend to score points at a festival.
The Three-Cornered Wheel takes place on a primitive planet under fire.
Each story a neat set-piece in a different place.
The book is especially valuable for a Chronology of the Technic civilization.
See: David Falkayn: Star Trader: The Technic Civilization Saga.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read many books by Poul Anderson, but this is one I am not overly enthused over. While very creative, and well constructed, the story, or series of stories in this time does not contain the plot elements I like. Also, a rarity for Poul Anderson, there is plot redundancy in which the team is going to run out of food. This is a seldom used element in Sci-Fi. Not a bad read, but I don't plan on reading any more.
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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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