Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson. Ensign Flandry Flandry 1 by Poul Anderson. Dominic Flandry. Before he's through he'll have saved worlds and become the confidante of emperors. But for now he's seventeen years old, as fresh and brash a sprig of the nobility as you would care to know. The only thing as damp as the place behind his ears is the ink on his brand-new commission.
Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will strug Introducing Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will struggle gloriously and win usually mighty victories, Dominic Flandry is essentially a tragic figure: a man who knows too much, who knows that battle, scheme and even betray as he will, in the end it will mean nothing. For with the relentlessness of physical law the Long Night approaches.
The Terran Empire is dying Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 1st by iBooks first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Ensign Flandry , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 21, Lyn rated it liked it. Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson is on its surface a far future science fiction action adventure, but not much beneath is an allegory about the Vietnam War and American foreign policy. Far Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson is on its surface a far future science fiction action adventure, but not much beneath is an allegory about the Vietnam War and American foreign policy.
Far apart from other writers who use strawman villains and one-dimensional antagonisms, Anderson takes steps to present both sides of an argument. This quality is in full force here as Flandry finds good and bad on both sides of the fray. Like his classic, The High Crusade , Anderson uses humorous caricature to highlight the need for a balanced approach, and his narrative is better for it. That said, a weakness of this book is his poorly developed characterization. Part Horatio Hornblower, part James Bond, and part James Kirk Flandry wins at action while giving way to the finer points of good literature.
Good Anderson book, good read. Jun 21, Megan Baxter rated it liked it. Ensign Flandry is classic science fiction, exploration of new worlds, clashes between galactic civilizations.
Retro Review: Poul Anderson – Ensign Flandry
And it's pretty good. But not great. I just, quite frankly, kept catching myself tuning out every once in a while, then having to flip back and figure out what I missed. But while it isn't engrossing, it's solid early Poul Anderson, and Poul Anderson is almost always worth a read. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You c Ensign Flandry is classic science fiction, exploration of new worlds, clashes between galactic civilizations. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook View 2 comments. Jan 09, Jason rated it really liked it. Having made my way through Anderson's Polesotechnic League saga from the start, I can say with confidence that this is one of the better novels in the series. At first, I was missing Van Rijn, and the absurdity and gravitas that he always brought to the proceedings.
But a quarter of the way through, one begins to get one's bearings. We find ourselves in the midst of a proxy war on some nowheresville backwoods planet.
The growing Merseian Empire have, for reasons unknown, begun to arm a sentient Having made my way through Anderson's Polesotechnic League saga from the start, I can say with confidence that this is one of the better novels in the series. The growing Merseian Empire have, for reasons unknown, begun to arm a sentient ocean-species against their land neighbours, and so the dying Terran Empire, only partially having any idea why they're doing it, decide to arm the sentient land-species of the planet against the ocean species.
- Title: Ensign Flandry!
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They don't really know why they are there, we come to understand, nor do they know what they have gotten themselves into. The MacGuffin is a great hook: why have the Merseians begun this conflict?
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Why are they arming this species in the middle of nowhere, and setting it to fight against another species in the middle of nowhere? The planet offers no strategic value, no resource value. What do they hope to gain by dragging the Terran Empire into a war over a nothing planet? This tasty mystery becomes the focus of the rest of the novel.
And what a surprising novel it turned out to be! It was certainly more weighty than I anticipated. In one scene, Flandry tours an underwater civilization that his own people have sworn to destroy. In another scene, he is forced to use a person he cares deeply about for the good of the Empire. These sorts of moral crossroads form the spine of the novel, and they receive unusually serious treatment for a 's space opera. Essentially, though, this is a spy novel, like John Le Carre in space, but with the traditional roles reversed.
Instead of the big bad government of Earth using and manipulating the poor unknowing spy, here we have the spy fooling and betraying his own government, in a Mission Impossible-style plot with real stakes, real intrigue, and some real complexities. The thematic approach to all this material is, of course, determined by Anderson's libertarian ideology, his belief that governments are too big and slow and stupid to do anything effectively, and so we are never in doubt as to the moral rightness of the people who risk their lives or lifelong imprisonment to save the very Empire that's trying to stop them.
Along the way, we have everything you might expect from a spy novel: tense cloak-and-dagger action, ambiguous loyalties, the compromising of morals necessary to keep an Empire safe. And it's all done with such beautiful control over tone, narrative structure, and pacing.
Near the climax of the novel, there is a scene where an agent must get the information he has illegally retrieved to another agent, but he's been caught. He's being shot at, he's bleeding, he's crawling across the floor, the fate of the Terran Empire may lie in his hands, and suddenly I realized how tense I was, and how emotionally engaged. When the chapter ended, I had to take a breather. Everything is like that in this book, just a little better than you expect.
There are also some wonderful character touches. At the fringes of the novel, there is a cyborg double-agent or is he a triple-agent? Hauksberg is another compelling character, a Chamberlain of the future who is willing to accept any lie from the enemy as long as he can tell himself he has achieved peace in his time. As for Flandry, his characterization is admittedly pretty standard fare, though absolutely competent, and the man is somewhat more thoughtful and philosophical than I was led to expect from his reputation as a "James Bond" type.
The attack had already been launched Only Ensign Flandry had the answer in the form of a code which he might-or might not-be able to decipher. And so the Merseians Were coming after Flandry with every weapon in their terrible arsenal. And just to make things worse, Earth's own armadas were after him too for desertion, high treason and other assorted crimes.
Even for a future saviour times were looking pretty tough. Poul Anderson — was born in Pennsylvania of Scandinavian stock. Dominic Flandry had a great future ahead of him as saviour of the civilised universe.
Ensign Flandry ( edition) | Open Library
In later years his talent for swift, decisive action would give him an intergalactic reputation. But at the age of nineteen and straight out of naval academy, he was just another raw ensign. The mighty Merseian Empire had sworn to wipe the Earth from the face of the universe. The attack had already been launched, but no one knew how or where the ravening power of the savage green skinned aliens would strike.
Only Ensign Flandry had the answer, in the form of a code which he might - or might not - be able to decipher. And so the Merseians were coming after Flandry with every weapon in their terrible arsenal. And just to make things worse, Earth's own armadas were after him too - for desertion, high treason and other assorted crimes. Even for a future saviour, times were looking pretty tough.
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