The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had a certain idea about what this book was to be about before I read it. I'm a fan of Poul Anderson and some of the previous novels were so rich with history and research that I just had to finally read THIS:
1345 English knights under Edward III encounter first contact with aliens.
Well, imagine my discomfort and disappointment when it was pretty much a gloss-over for the actual history bits and we're left with the standard romantic Chivalry crap. And the aliens are peaceful. Ish.
I readjusted my expectations, let the text speak for itself, and lo-and-behold... I still had fun. Especially when these English knights are LOST IN SPACE and defeating alien strongholds and saving alien princesses. :) :)
It still has all the Chivalry crap, but now it's a tongue-in-cheek 'Doc' E E Smith space opera that feels a lot like Farscape.
As I read these later parts, I kept giggling at the thought of a full tv series like this. Modernized, of course. The novel did come out in 1960. So just think, a fully culturally accurate update of post-Crusades Europe co-opting spaceships... spoiling for a new Crusade, only focused on a much more dangerous alien foe...
Isn't that AWESOME? Let's get our historians out for this one. Do it RIGHT. :)
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