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Trader to the Stars (Future History of the Polesotechnic League)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,092 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Humankind has explored the galaxy: Nicholas van Rijn had bought it. A starwide empire was difficult to run, but the old man was wily and the resources of the Solar Spice & Liquors Company were vast. But sometimes even a conquered world can get just a little out of hand.

In his Magnificent Future History of Mankind's second great age Poul Anderson has conjured up a unive
(Berkley Medallion, F1284), 159 pages
Published 1966 by Berkley Books (first published 1964)
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Aug 17, 2013 Lyn rated it liked it
Poul Anderson created three pivotal characters (David Falkayn, Nicholas van Rijn, and Dominic Flandry) as a part of his Technic future history and central to a full appreciation of his work is to understand how each of these three impacted his vision.

Trader to the Stars focuses on the corpulent, post-gangster, Uber-libertarian, master merchant adventurer Nicholas van Rijn. First published in 1964, this is comprised of three short stories (previously published) and formed together to display epi
Mar 30, 2008 Victor rated it it was ok
I've commented already on The Trouble Twisters, so much of this will follow that same critique. Basically this is a collection of stories by Poul Anderson about one of his iconic characters, Nicholas van Rijn, CEO of Solar Spice and Liquors. van Rijn is a heavy-set, charismatic adventurer who is a major factor in the Polesotechnic League - the "Gilded Age" of Anderson's future history - and van Rijn is very much a robber baron who sometimes has a heart of gold. Never without various comforts of ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Graham rated it really liked it
Irascible, corpulent, avaricious, lustful and a mangler of the English language ("Gabriel will tootle before I get your bepestered Anglic through this poor noggin"), Nicholas van Rijn is the central character in this tryptic of 1960s short SciFi stories. In each one there is a puzzle to be unlocked, and these are based on alien symbiosis, cultural politicking, and philosophical misunderstanding. Hiding Place is an amusing 'where's the crew amongst a ship full of alien beasts'; Territory has the ...more
Mary Catelli
Three short shories about Nicholas van Rijn, the title trader.

All three revolve about contact with aliens, and his working out what to do. Very different in other respects. The first involves discovering which alien beings are the sophonts hiding among animals. The second, an attack on an alien world. The third, his hearing the account of fighting on an alien world and working out what happened.

And in the midst of it all, though not so much from his point of view, we get the boisterous, supersti
Dec 19, 2007 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1paper
Nicholas van Rijn is a tough old trader. He would have been at home trading by sailing ship in the 18th or 19th century. Instead, he's the captain of a starship. His shrewdness is amazing. He meets 3 different challenges in 3 different stories in this book. All interesting & typically well written.
Jul 20, 2013 Malcolm rated it it was ok
Trader to the Stars is a collection of three short stories, all in the same setting, and all featuring, to a greater or lesser extent, Anderson's Nicholas Van Rijn, the CEO of a major trading concern in a space-faring far future.

I ended up reading this because it was, if not recommended to me, at least mentioned as being an inspiration for Marc Miller's Traveller RPG.

The stories are well told, to be certain. They move along at a pretty fast clip, have a good amount of action and adventure, and
Another item from my uncle's Big Box O'Books. Which caused me inordinate trouble, but more on that in a minute.

It's actually collection of three short stories from the Polesotechnic League Saga. Which I may have read some of but couldn't remember a thing about. (Book logging is very good for my memory, which is why I do it.)

I wasn't super drawn in by the stories - the protagonist is yet another Flashman/Jubal Harshaw smart fat man who drinks a lot and eats a lot and is awful to females, who find
Dec 08, 2015 Tomislav rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
A quick and easy read. This book contains three related 1961 novellas of Nicholas Van Rijn, capitalist adventurer of the interstellar Polesotechnic League. This collection retrospectively won a Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction. I found the writing pretty dated, and alternated between amusement and irritation at Van Rijn's weird accent.

Hiding Place - Van Rijn boards a ship in space and discovers that he's captured a zoo. The crew has hidden itself among the animals, and the scienc
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 01, 2011 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
A collection of three short science fiction stories involing Nicholas van Rijn of a trading league. This food and alcohol loving trader solves problems involving other species on different planets. While striving to turn a profit, he always has an eye for the ladies.
Feb 05, 2008 krin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I liked this science fiction book of space-faring traders. I especially liked the challenge in the first story of trying to determine who were the crew and the cultural misunderstandings depicted in the last story. I look forward to reading the first book in the series, War of the Wing-Men.
Jun 08, 2014 Mike rated it did not like it
Did I struggle with this one. I found it tedious. The main character was unlikable to say the least. At only 159 pages its short, even then I nearly couldn't be bothered to finish it. Ah well on to the next one.
Doug Piero
Great stories. You may know what I mean by saying these are real Analog mafia sort of stories. I think a better presentation, like the recent re-release books The Van Rijn Method etc. might improve the stories.
Tome Addiction
Feb 19, 2013 Tome Addiction rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I am not a fan to Poul Anderson by himself, this book rambled on a little for me and not a very long one too so just a quick entertaining and fun.
Anthony Faber
Mar 26, 2016 Anthony Faber rated it did not like it
Three long short stories, one of which was in "The Van Rijn Method" and 2 that were in "David Falkayn : Star Trader"
Jul 16, 2014 Lea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really three short novellas. It wasn't the most exciting of space operas, but it was right up my alley- aliens in cultural conflict. A whole star for the term 'fig pluckers'.
Aug 23, 2015 Elar rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Nice stories about different races and how easy it is to misspeak if you come from different background.
Rubin Gracenote
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Sep 25, 2011
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Sep 27, 2012
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Oct 14, 2010
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Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a
More about Poul Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Future History of the Polesotechnic League (8 books)
  • The Trouble Twisters
  • The Man Who Counts
  • Satan's World
  • Mirkheim
  • The Earth Book Of Stormgate 1
  • The Earth Book of Stormgate 2
  • The Earth Book Of Stormgate 3

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