Friday, January 12, 2018

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

Sweet Old Timey Cover

I just read Poul Anderson's 1960 novel, The High Crusade. It was a solid science fiction read. Lots of battles and flitting around in space ships.

What impressed me was the different way it was written. The POV is a character in the story, but also the chronicler. So the story is told as if being told orally some years later by a guy who was there, filling in portions that he wasn't present for but subsequently heard about. Some of the telling is of the 'from a mile up' variety, not so much deep in POV but rather a summary of events.

It's an interesting style and it fits the elements of the story well, since it's about a group of crusaders from Medieval England being whisked away on a galaxy spanning crusade.

Another interesting thing about the book, and I'm not sure if this was in the original edition or not, is that there's a prologue story largely disconnected from the rest of the book. A side quest at the end. Was the book too short? It needed some padding? I dunno. It's a strange choice though. [EDIT: I looked it up, yes, The Quest at the end of The High Crusade was a stand alone short story in the same universe, it was appended to the end of my edition of the book. Cool!]

I'd recommend this book to any fan of sci/fi, especially if you are into that classic high adventure style 1960's sci/fi was known for.

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