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Eric Flint

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade: An Appreciation by Eric Flint

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.

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade may have had a greater impact on my development as a writer than any other book I ever read. I first ran across the novel as a teenager. By then, I’d already developed an interest in history and had become a science fiction fan—but I hadn’t seen any connection between the two. It was The High Crusade that first showed me how mixing history and speculative fiction could produce a fascinating result. Not long thereafter, I read L. Sprague de Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall, and my education was complete. (I’m sure my high school teachers would have disputed that conclusion, but what did they know?)

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