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Astrid Anderson Bear

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade: An Appreciation by Astrid Anderson Bear

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade in the pages of Astounding magazine (later to be known as Analog that very year). In celebration, Baen Books is releasing an anniversary paperback edition on Tuesday, September 7th, with appreciations from some of science fiction’s greatest names. will be posting these appreciations throughout Monday and Tuesday of this week, courtesy of Baen Books. These appreciations originally appeared at WebScription, where you can also sample the first few chapters of The High Crusade.

Sometime in 1959 my father walked downstairs from his attic office at our house on Grove Street in Berkeley with the completed manuscript for The High Crusade. It’s not called Grove Street anymore and he and the house are both gone now, but the book remains. This rollicking romp of medieval mayhem first appeared in Analog magazine as a serial, as many SF novels did in those days. The issue with the first installment (July, 1960) had a cover by Richard Van Dongen, showing knights in chain mail standing in front of a space ship, the blurring of SF/history boundaries mimicking the blurring of the magazine’s logo as the blue letters saying Astounding receded and the bold red letters saying Analog moved forward.

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