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.
Tor.com 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.
My God, has it really been fifty years? I’m looking right now at the July 1960 issue of the magazine we all had known and loved as Astounding Science Fiction, which just a few months before had renamed itself, bewilderingly, Analog Science Fact & Fiction, and there is a sly-looking guy on the cover wearing medieval armor, and a bunch of axe-wielding Viking types stand behind him, and, vaguely visible in the background, are the silvery snouts of what surely had to be spaceships, standing upright, balancing on their vanes as spaceships were meant to do. And in bold white-on-black letters at the bottom are the words, “THE HIGH CRUSADE By Poul Anderson.”
And the July 1960 issue—no matter how many times I do the math, it comes out to be fifty years old. I have trouble believing that. It seems like just yesterday, or, let us say, the day before yesterday, that I picked up that issue in John W. Campbell’s editorial office.