Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pandora's Legions, by Christopher Anvil

Spent the last few days reading Pandora's Legions, a novel put together from several stories following up on Anvil's most famous tale. The first story, Pandora's Planet, is very typical of him and was anthologized many times. It tells the story of the human encounter with the Centrans, a vast star civilization. The humans are much smarter than the Centrans, and tie them in knots, thought they can't quite beat them. It's basically the same plot as Turning Point, the last item discussed here. It's OK, but you're better off with Poul Anderson. 2 stars

Christopher Anvil and John Campbell

As noted in Wikipedia's article on Anvil, he was a competent executor of Campbell's favorite plot. When John Campbell founded Astounding, he was tired of the stories of aliens running roughshod over Earth. He wanted stories where the Earthlings won out. Campbell shaped the best minds in SF around this vision--Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke.

Read of the Day

Sweet Reason is another unconnected story in the Pandora universe. This is more typical, not real good Anvil stuff--the ideology overcomes the storytelling. Basically an apology for spanking. One star.

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