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Flandry Books In Order

Publication Order of Flandry Books

We Claim These Stars (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Earthman, Go Home! (1960) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mayday Orbit (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Let the Spacemen Beware! (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Agent of the Terran Empire (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ensign Flandry (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rebel Worlds (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Circus of Hells (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Days of Their Return (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Stone in Heaven (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Long Night (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Game of Empire (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Flandry Collections

Flandry of Terra (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tiger by the Tail! (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Flandry series are a series of fantasy and science fiction novels by one of the most respected fantasy fiction authors of the generation, the American Poul Anderson. The first novel in the series was “Ensign Flandry”, first published in 1966 to much critical acclaim and popularity among fantasy and science fiction fans alike. The lead protagonist in the series is Dominic Flandry, a type of space faring James Bond character. Even as he has been compared to James Bond, Flandry predates Bond given that the books were written at an earlier date than the Bond movies. If the character were to be compared to anyone, he is more of a C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower. Although Dominic is an intelligence officer, unlike Hornblower who is a warship commander, he made his first appearance in the 1951 published “Tiger by the Tail” as a formidable captain. Similar to Forrester, Poul Anderson goes back to outline his character’s background, before continuing with his story in the latter years of his career. By the time the author finishes with the Flandry series, he has gone on an arc that covers the lifetime of the protagonist and a grand sweep of the history of his multiverse. The series of novels spawned six novels, two omnibus collections in 1965, four omnibus editions between 2009 and 2011. The character also appears in Bertram Chandler’s Dark Dimension of the John Grimes series.

Dominic Flandry is a man of contradictions and a fascinating character. Flandry is physically capable, clever, and intelligent, aspects of his character that have made him cocky and vain. He had clawed his way from obscurity to be one of the elite members of his society after he climbs up the ranks in the navy from lowly ensign to become an admiral and later a knight. Working for the Imperial Intelligence Corps, he undertakes interstellar flights to fight the empires internal and external enemies. He is a hedonist who loves parties, drinking, and dressing like a peacock, though he is just as much devoted to provide service to the empire which he does with the zeal of a monk. Flandry loves and attracts many women in his many travels, though his work would never allow to form any type of long-term relationship or to stay in one place for any significant amount of time. He almost always succeeds, but is at his core a tragic figure and no matter how much he builds, the history and background of the Empire always comes back to tear down everything. In the end, he is aware that he can never put off the impending fall of his beloved Terran Empire or the Long Night intergalactic Dark Age that is sure to follow. The author as a student of Norse mythology makes Flandry like one of the heroes in the sagas, who are constantly striving to save the world, only to succumb to an inevitable fate written for all men. Nonetheless, beneath all the daring, adventure, and disregard for conventional morality of Dominic Flandry, a certain melancholy in his life that provides the character with gravitas and weight.

The Flandry series of novels is set six centuries after Poul Anderson’s Polesotechnic League series of novels. The novels are set in the Terran interstellar Empire that has dominion over thousands of stars. However, the biggest empire ever seen has been in a period of steady irreversible decline for several decades now. The Empire has come under attack from the Merseia Empire that is as powerful as it is ruthless. Dominic Flandry a low born man who starts out as ensign and climbs the ranks to become admiral of a fleet is the Terran Emperor’s unofficial advisor. The major theme of the series is twofold; the corruption and weakness of the Terran Empire, and the evil plots of the alien empire. Over the course of the series, the contests are often set against each other constantly weakening Dominic’s beloved Terran Empire. However, Flandry never stops being the ultimate opportunist and cynic, even as he remains loyal to a contemptible and weak empire, when he could have easily defected to the stronger Merseians. For Flandry, the essence of his loyalty is the principle of legitimacy and the avoidance of internal warfare that would likely lead to suffering of his people. Even as he is a great admirer of Merseian virtues of strength and efficiency, the tolerance and mercy of his empire are more endearing to him than the post imperial anarchy sure to follow the collapse of the Terran Empire.

“Ensign Flandry” is the enchanting first novel in the Flandry series that introduces the tragic hero of the Flandry series of novels, his struggles, victories, and ultimate tragedy. The novel starts with the lead character in the middle of nowhere in a remote planet. The Merseian Empire has been growing in influence, and has recently been sending an alien species to the new planet for some unknown reasons. The Terran Empire, which has been on a steady decline over several decades, has had a long-standing enmity with the Merseians, but the latest acts of their rivals cannot be explained away by the rivalry. In response, the Terrans decide to send Flandry and another alien species to the planet to counter the Merseian plans. But the problem is that the alien species hardly have any understanding on why they have been sent to the barren planet or what type of conditions they may be facing in the inhospitable planet. With the planet one of the most remote ever discovered, the big question is, why would the Merseians arm a species to take it over given that it does not have any resources or strategic value. Why would they drag the Terran into a conflict over a planet with virtually nothing to offer to either of them?

“A Circus of Hells” the second novel in the Flandry series of novels opens in a very similar tangent to the first in the Flandry series. Just like in the first novel in the series, Dominic Flandry is a Crack Lieutenant with utmost loyalty and duty to the Terran Empire. But that is all set to be tested, when Leon Ammon the galactic vice king offers him a Djana a voluptuous woman, half a million in credit, and a commission that would help him achieve his dream of exploring a treasure laden dark moon. But in the strange world of shadows and ice, the desolate valleys and peaks, Flandry finds more than what he had hoped to find. The planet that everyone believed was a barren wasteland was swarming with a hideous race of demons, under the control of brilliant and deranged computer consciousness. Each of the paranormal creatures fit into a given program of killing like chess pieces in a bizarre chess game. Even though Flandry had no knowledge of it, his woman was also part of the dark cabal of paranormal beings.

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