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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Trader to the StarsTrader to the Stars by Poul Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As much as I generally enjoy Poul Anderson, this particular set of stories is something of a miss for me. It IS interesting on an idea level and probably would have gone over nicer during the '60s when it had come out, but for such a libertarian series of stories, it is certainly NOT Heinlein.

Maybe I wanted a more vibrant character in Flandry. Maybe I didn't want to see a few of the species-slavery arguments hit uncomfortably too close to home. The apologies here feel just a tad too disingenuous. Or, rather, pure bullshit.

The whole rah, rah capitalism angle probably would have been better back in the day, too. I'm of a mind that capitalism is fine as long as no one is pushing their thumbs down on the scale. And since MOST of the capitalism we have now is exactly that, it has kind of left a bad taste in everyone's mouths (except the winners). There's even a hint of that in these stories, but it's subtle. Perhaps a lot more subtle for our modern tastes.


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