Book Review: World Without Stars by Poul Anderson (four stars)

Book Review: World Without Stars by Poul Anderson (four stars)

“Earth’s no place for a live man to live any more.”

Published in 1961 before we launched a man into space, let alone walked on the moon (not to mention a couple years before Star Trek debuted), this story of extra-galactic exploration holds up well.  Hardly hard SF as humanoid aliens abound, Anderson respects science enough to at least address faster-than-light travel, etc.

‘At least, there was no conscious hatred. Down underneath, I don’t know. We threatened their whole existence. You see, they were gods.’

Ahead of his time in hinting at social and sexual trends a half century away, Anderson nevertheless writes an all-male adventure story related as much to war as space exploration. The climax is telegraphed sufficiently that it will not surprise many readers.

“Don’t be romantic. You haven’t got the face for it. The object of the game is to stay alive, and get back our people and our stuff.

Anachronisms abound. Cigars and pipes portrayed as normal. Patriotism assumed, hardly the case in anything of this century. Microelectronics not conceived of.

“When free folk know what freedom costs and how to meet that cost, they are hard indeed to overcome.”


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