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Star Fox Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1978

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Mass Market Paperback, Jun 1978
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (Mm) (June 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425051773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425051771
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Sloppy Conversion to Kindle! July 13 2016
By moontan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good 1960's SF book (space opera plus a dash of sociological sf). However, I think I liked it a lot better when I first read it many years ago.

My main complaint with this book is the extremely poor conversion to kindle:

(1) All spoken language is set off with only a single quote mark (instead of the usual double quote marks). Not necessarily bad, except that the opening quote mark has been left off in at least 50% of the sentences!

(2) Some punctuation is missing so that words and/or sentences are joined together.

This sloppy work makes it a little more difficult to read quickly and shows that the publisher really doesn't care about his product!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 26 2016
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Classic Poul Anderson.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Age classic w/ superfluous bridge Jan. 18 2009
By 2theD - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading Tau Zero years ago, Poul Anderson became one of my favorite sci-fi authors. Since then I've read a few more of his novels and haven't been so impressed. I almost gave up hope that perhaps Tau Zero was his only great work... until I came across The Star Fox.

A fantastic Poul novel! Early space opera- short and sweet. Hesitant earth lets a colony fall to conniving aliens. The main character Heim says, "Oh oh... hell no! Not while I'm alive! I'm gonna go mess 'em up." And does so. Chapters 1 and 3 are pretty much part of a linear story and would have been a 5-star read if it hadn't been for the second chapter, which is out of place. Chapter 2 by itself though would have been a good story. However, it turned itself into a superfluous bridge. Overall, fantastic planets, plotting and people.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relevant July 19 2010
By Richard Aubrey - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Poul Anderson was famous for decades for writing hard sci-fi, with a good deal of violence even if it were not mil sci-fi.
He also wrote some fiction and fantasy about "the northern thing", set in various real or imaginary Dark Ages settings resembling northern Europe.
He seemed, to me, anyway, to have two layers of writing. One, to be uncharitable, would be called "potboiler" and the other his serious work. Dominic Flandry and the Polesotechnic League stories would fall, in my view, in the first. Avatar, Orion Shall Rise, Boat of A Million Years, in the second.
I preferred the former. The work I--although nobody I know has ever agreed with me--think of as being in the serious category was not particularly appealing, although Orion Shall Rise had some interesting situations.
Anderson's first categories had lessons relevant to the times. Appeasement doesn't work (Star Fox). Decadence will cost you an empire (Flandry). Socialism is soul-destroying and ruins economies and human freedom. (Polesotechnic League)
Star Fox has three main parts, each of which would be a decent novella, except for lacking a conclusion. The first is when the Bad Guys take a human colony. It's not just any colony. Anderson takes his beloved French countryside and makes an entire planet something like the Loire Vally with the French Alps on the side. The hero, Gunnar Heim, decides to buy and outfit a ship in order to go privateering against the Bad Guys, since the Terran government will do nothing. We see the man, his decision, his manuverings, the opposition in the United Nations.
The second part details the visit of the ship "Star Fox", to a planet where it would be loaded out with weapons not allowed to Heim by the Terran government. There are troubles galore including a trek across a hostile landscape. But the weapons are gained and then the Star Fox sets out. Strictly speaking, this part is not necessary, but is interesting.
The third part tells about the fighting, the talks between the representative of the Bad Guys and Heim, the work on the occupied colony planet, and the eventual victory.
Anderson does his usual superb job of setting scenes. I believe he once said that he rereads his manuscripts and, if he doesn't see a mention of a scent, odor, smell, fragrance, he puts one in. This is apparently the reason his characters are forever smoking pipes, drinking whiskey, smelling blood and spices.
It works.
If the book was to be an allegory about resisting evil regimes, it was at a time when the US' interest in such things was ebbing, even before Jimmy Carter.
Highly recommended, even if you're not in the market for an allegory about current events.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War Stories with French Ballads June 7 2015
By Paul Camp - Published on
Format: Paperback
"_Chevaliers de la table ronde,
Goutons voir si le vin est bon--
Chevaliers de la table ronde,
Goutons voir si le vin est bon--
Goutons voir, oui, oui, oui,
Goutons voir, non, non, non,
Gouton voir si le vin est bon."

"Knights of the Round Table
Drink up if the wine is good--
Knights of the Round Table
Drink up if the wine is good--
Drink up, yes, yes yes
Drink up, no, no, no
Drink up if the wine is good."
-- Old French Drinking Song

Poul Anderson's _The Star Fox_ (1965) is a fixup novel comprised of three novellas from _Fantasy and Science Fiction_. They are "Marque and Reprisal" (Feb., 1965), "Arsenal Port" (Apr., 1965), and "Admirality" (June, 1965). "Marque and Reprisal" was nominated for the Hugo for best short story but lost to Harlan Ellison's "'Repent Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman". The novel was nominated for a best Nebula award, but it lost to Frank Herbert"s _Dune_. What we have is a competent enough military adventure-- but not one of Anderson's very best tales

The alien Alerion have invaded the human colony of New Europe. They smoothly claim that the human colonists are all dead. but ex-Navy Captain and starship manufacturer Gunnar Heim knows that this is a lie. The colonists have fled to the mountains to fight guerrlla action until reinforcements arrive. But the cowardly and pacifistic governments on Earth are ready to accept the lies of the aliens and abandon New Europe to its fate.

Except for the fiery, freedom-loving French. "Marque and Reprisal" relates how the French outfit a battleship commanded by Gunnar Heim to rescue the New European colonists. "Arsenal Port" relates Heim's problems in getting proper arms for his ship. It is not quite as critical a piece as the first and last novellas, but it is not without its interests. "Admirality" relates the battle at New Europe and the eventual defeat of the Alerions.

The story is spiced up with several romantic subplots and complications with Gunnar Heim's adolescent daughter. But mainly it is buttressed with a lot of stirring patriotic and comical folk songs sung by a minstrel. Some of the songs are in English, like the one sung on page 92 as their spaceship is escaping from Earth, or the old Irish version of "Johnny Comes Marching Home" on page 152. (You can hear this one sung on any number of records by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.)

But many of the songs are sung in French, which Anderson does not translate for the reader. The fragment of a drinking round sung by soldiers on page 191 I have given in its more complete verse at the head of this review,along with its English translation. When Gunnar Heim first meets the minstral Vadasz, he is singing this old song:

"'Marquis, dis mois, la connais tu?
Marquis, dis mois, la connais tu?
Quelle est cette jolie dame?'
Et la marquis repondu:
'Sire Roi, c'est ma femme.'
Rataplan! Rataplan! Rataplan-plan-plan-plan!
Rataplan! Rataplan! Rataplan-plan-plan-plan!" (4)

My translation is:

"' Marquis, tell me, what do you know?
Marquis, tell me, what do you know?
Who is that lovely woman?'
And the marquis replied:
'My king, that is my wife.'
Rataplan! Rataplan! Rataplan-plan-plan-plan!
Rataplan! Rataplan! Rataplan-plan-plan-plan!"

Anyone familiar with the morality of kings in ballads will know where this song is going. Perhaps I have space for a few more quick quotations for those who have limited backgrounds in French. On page 19, the politician Twyman asks Gunnar, "How's everything?" Gunnar replies, "_Comme ci, comme ca_." This literally means "like this, like that". But the actual meaning is "so-so". On page 64, Heim asks: "_Donnez-vous moi M. le Minister tout de suit, s'il vous plait._" Or: " Give me the Minister right away, please.." And on page 190, a young, clean-featured lieutenant asks: "_Pourquoi cette tristesse soudaine_?" Or:"Why this sudden sadness?" I trust this will help some readers.

So yes, Anderson delivers a passable space opera. But I am afraid that when I first read _The Star Fox_ back in 1965, when the Vietnam War was still going on, I was less than enthusiastic about Anderson's patriotic militarism and his message of "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute". I was not convinced that all military leaders tended to be wise and rational leaders.In fact, many military leaders had proved themselves to be stupid, impulsive, and dangerous. Nor was I convinced that all pacifists were a pack of craven, backstabbing cowards. I find that my opinion has not changed substantially since that time.

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