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Polesotechnic League Books In Order

Publication Order of Polesotechnic League Books

War of the Wing-Men (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Trader to the Stars (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trouble Twisters (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Satan's World (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The People of the Wind (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mirkheim (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Earth Book of Stormgate (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chronological Order of Polesotechnic League Books

War of the Wing-Men (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Trader to the Stars (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Trouble Twisters (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Satan's World (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Earth Book of Stormgate (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mirkheim (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The People of the Wind (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Polesotechnic League is a series of novels by Poul Anderson the American science fiction writer. The first novel in the Polesotechnic League series was the 1958 published “War of the Wing-Men” that also goes by the name “The Man Who Counts”. With the first novel of the series receiving many accolades and becoming an almost instant hit with fans, Anderson wrote several more titles in the series that culminated with the publication of “The Earth Book of Stormgate” that he published in 1978. Similar to most his colleagues in the period, Anderson wrote the Polesotechnic series in the tradition of Robert Heinlein. In writing the series, the author includes aspects of chaos theory, an analysis, and intellectual distrust of history and it’s rewriting, and prejudice favoring individual freedom. The series is thus more of an emotional departure from encompassing systems and the embracing of the individual as a person who can influence his own destiny. In this regard, the series of novels was not written in chronological order. Similar to Robert A. Heinlein’s practice of going back and forth in time in his Future History series, the novels in the Polesotechnic League also employ the same technique. Nonetheless, Sandra Miesel the authority on anything Poul Anderson made a timeline of the order of the series that were posted on the Chronology of Technic Civilization.

The Polesotechnic League series is the one of the most popular sagas in science fiction. It is set in the twenty-second century at a time when humans were still trapped in the Solar System after recovering from a predicted period of chaos. The series ends five millennia later, at a time when humanity has managed to get out of the solar system to settle all over the galaxy. The present tells the narrative of humanity still recovering from a longer period of chaos popularly referred to as “The Long Night” that is the aftermath of the destruction of the Terran Empire. The writing of the saga-spanned quite a long time, as it started with the publication of the novella “Tiger by the Tail” in 1951 and ended with the 1985 published “The Game of Empire”. The lead protagonist in the series is the bigger than life, vulgar, and blustering both figuratively and literally human volcano, Nicholas van Rijn. Van Rijn is a merchant prince from the Polesotechnic League, which is a loose confederation of like-minded interstellar merchants. According to Sandra Miesel, the word Polesotechnic was invented by Karen Anderson, Poul’s wife, who got it from the Greek word for “selling skills”. In that regard, van Rijn makes for one of the most polesotechnical of all the inhabitants of his polesotechnical world.

The Polesotechnic series of novels featuring the lead protagonists David Falkayn and Nicholas van Rijn are set in the 25th century. However, it is important to note that there are some novel sequences without either of the characters. Nicholas van Rijn is the president of Solar Spice & Liquors Company, one of the largest trading companies in his empire. Given his position, he never does trade himself, preferring to send out teams of merchants to trade on his behalf, even though he will occasionally find it necessary to go thrash out deals in other planets in person. He has a bizarre way of speaking as he includes frequent malapropisms, puns, and foreign words to speak a version of broken English referred to as Anglic. Conversely, David Falkayn is the youngest child of a princely family on Hermes who moves to earth after he is expelled from his militechnic college for his insolence. Lucky for him, Martin Schuster a Master Trader of the Polesotechnic League takes him under his wing as an apprentice. Falkayn would later become Nicholas van Rijn employee and a leading member of a team of merchants that head out to little known planets to find opportunities for trade. He is accompanied by Chee Lan, a cat like female being from Cynthia who has a quick temper and silky white fur, and Adzel a gentle Buddhist with dragon like appearance from Woden. They travel on the spaceship “Muddlin Through” which is controlled by a computer system named “Muddlehead”. The Polesotechnic League is defunct by 2550 paving way for the rise of a new Terran Empire in 2700 just as the Commonwealth goes up in flames.

“Satan’s World” is a classic science fiction narrative full of aliens and adventure. The lead character, Captain David Falkayn embarks on his trading journeys on behalf of his master Nichols van Rijn. The merchant explorer stumbles into Serendipity, a company that claims that it can yield connections and hook up concepts. They have machinery that can create a rogue world that is unattached to a planetary system, making it possible to mass transmute elements across interstellar space. The reclusive company’s owners are willing to talk to him, but after the initial discussion, he leaves and does not return. Intending to complete the negotiations, his colleagues the Buddhist and dragon like Adzel, and Chee Lan the cat like woman try to communicate with him but their efforts fall on deaf ears. However, given his messages are very weird, they decide to contact their employer van Rijn back home. The rest of the novel includes narratives of space chases, hiding on a planet, kidnapping, abducted children, xenopsychology, and fierce honor codes that are great fun reads.

“The Man who Counts” is fascinating science fiction work in the Polesotechnic series of novels by Poul Anderson. Nicholas van Rijn the lead character in the novel is something of Renaissance Dutch merchant, a rotund and middle-aged man transplanted to the future. When van Rijn and his fellow trader from the Polesotechnic League are stranded on Diomedes, they know they will have to fight hard to survive. To make matters worse, there is a war going on between the Lannachska and the Drak’ho a land and sea people respectively. The smaller and nomadic Lannachska have come back to their ancestral lands to find them occupied by the Darak’ho, who love the land for a special type of fish it produces. With their own food running out, Nicholas van Rijn comes up with an ingenious plan to help the outnumbered Lannachska in return for food and protection from the vicious Drak’ho. Even as van Rijn is clever, he can be an irksome character, and hence the novel would be a best fit for someone that likes the whimsical yet clever character.

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