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Ensign Flandry (Flandry #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,351 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Introducing...Dominic Flandry.

Before he's through he'll have saved worlds and become the confidante of emperors. But for now he's seventeen years old, as fresh and brash a sprig of the nobility as you would care to know. The only thing as damp as the place behind his ears is the ink on his brand-new commission.

Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will strug
Paperback, 203 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by iBooks (first published 1966)
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Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson is on its surface a far future science fiction action adventure, but not much beneath is an allegory about the Vietnam War and American foreign policy.

First published in 1966, the similarities between our involvement in Southeast Asia and Anderson’s puppet and string space adventure is evident. A recurring theme amidst Anderson’s work, and one for which I am especially intrigued, is his almost neutral, fair and balanced depiction of both sides of a conflict. Far
Jan 20, 2010 Roger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good scifi yarn
Ensign Flandry The Saga of Dominic Flandry 1 by Poul Anderson

I'm not sure how this one slipped through the cracks for me. I've read a fair bit of Anderson in my youth. Most notably his Time Patrol stories and his Psychotechnic League stories.

I picked up a paperback copy of Ensign Flandry at Camerons's Books in Portland, OR. If you live there, or are passing through, Cameron's is a bibliophile's used book store erotic dream. Southeast of the larger and infinitely more well known Powell's books, which also sells used books and could arguably be called a bi
Megan Baxter
Ensign Flandry is classic science fiction, exploration of new worlds, clashes between galactic civilizations.

And it's pretty good. But not great. I just, quite frankly, kept catching myself tuning out every once in a while, then having to flip back and figure out what I missed. But while it isn't engrossing, it's solid early Poul Anderson, and Poul Anderson is almost always worth a read.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You c
Ensign Flandry, the first volume I’ve read in Poul Anderson’s famous series of books about intergalactic intrigue and espsionage reminds me, of necessity, of Keith Laumer’s famous Retief (of the CDT, Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne) series and Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series. The necessity, of course, is that all three series deal with intergalactic spies. The latter two, however, have some of the most hilarious scenes in science-fiction (or, at least, in space opera). Laumer’s Jaim ...more
Morgan Alreth
Dominic Flandry. How do you describe him? The Goodreads blurb calls him half Han Solo, half James Bond. But neither of them could take him. Han solo, naive innocent that he is, would never get within a parsec of Flandry before the bomb aboard the Millenium Falcon went off. Jame Bond, on the other hand, just isn't fast enough or tough enough to beat him in a stand up fight.

Ensign Flandry, later to become Captain Sir Dominic Flandry, then Admiral Sir Dominic Flandry, and finally chief advisor and
Space opera done right. Fast, layered, unpredictable, with exotic worlds, challenging technologies and Big Questions in abundance. Joyously, there is no bloat (cf. the modern state of the genre), though there are some cliches in the female character department. Given the sheer exuberance and fun on offer, it is hard to begrudge the book. Forget comparisons to Bond and Hornblower; this is unique, and it is good.
Similar in approach to Heinein's "juvies", this is an early effort by the great Poul Anderson. Don't let the cover art fool you. There is more to this book than hot alien girls ... but I'm thankful he included some!
Quinton Baran
It took a few chapters to get a handle on this book, due to characters, description of location, etc., but once this happened, the book took off for me. I really enjoy how Anderson develops his characters, and also makes each of the civilizations seem dimensional. I especially enjoyed the last few chapters, and the finishing chapter is top notch, with a great write up on morality and action.
Stutley Constable
I know this book is not the most politically correct ever written. The story is decidedly misogynistic but I would argue that, given the time period in which it was written, that doesn't detract from its appeal. For me it was a fun romp through the galaxy with beautiful companions. Also, one of those companions was an archetypical warrior queen so the misogyny is toned down just a bit.

Basically this is a classic sort of "boy and his rocket ship" adventure with a bit of real science and a lot of
Aug 10, 2014 Martin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Space Opera lovers
Shelves: science-fiction
A good, quick read. Some excellent surprises, while the big secret is not surprising. Flandry gets the girl, or in this case 3 girls, on his way to saving the day. The depiction of the peacenik politician is just dead on.

We read it as a bedtime story.
Ensign Flandry is the hero in this first of a ten book series. The Terran Empire is in decline, perhaps. The Merseian Empire is its equal and growing. Young Ensign Flandry is in the midst of saving a solar system and maybe the Terran Empire.

The plot is action packed, but surprisingly dull. The main point of the book seems to be to develop the character of Ensign Flandry, but in fact one learns almost nothing about him, and he comes off as a complete non-entity.

I read this after reading book 2 i
Carl V.
My first foray into one of Poul Anderson’s created universes proved to be one filled with rip-roaring adventure, political intrigue, Bond-style romance and not a little bit of commentary on the soul-blackening compromise of world, or in this case Imperial, government. "Ensign Flandry" not only provided me with some of the everyman-hero-overcoming-all-odds storytelling I was hoping for but was also full of surprises.

For the rest of my non-spoiler review, go here.

Cold-war era science fiction, this reads a little dated (only the alien female is seen as both a sex object and a warrior.) Despite showing its age, "Ensign Flandry" features some very nice alien environments, and the treatment of primitive cultures caught in a war between two superpowers is brisk and fun. The descriptions of faster-than-light space combat are engaging, too... Poul Anderson took the imaginanium -driven science and made it consistent and interesting.
Flandry is a character I have enjoyed since I first read, way back in the 70s. The right mix of daring do and introspection, set against a backdrop of a 'Roman Empire' in space. Written with Anderson's gift.

I will add that this must rank as one of the worst covers ever produced. Totally ridiculous, totally irrelevant to the stories inside, and seemingly designed to repeal any reader of sense and taste.
Tim Alm
I found the story good. I had an issue though with the time gaps in the story.
This was my first attempt at Poul Anderson. The plot sounded like something I'd enjoy; sci-fi, aliens, battles, intrigue. Well, I was wrong. There were too many people and places with weird unpronounceable names. Politics with bureaucracy. And a few characters spoke using strange contractions like talking'd, meeting'll, d', y', etc.
I'm coming late to the stories that others cite for influencing their sci-fi games, and this is one of them. I found it for sale at a used store, and I think I certainly got my money's worth.

It ran smoothly, but sparingly, over the action. There wasn't much description, and zoom, we were off to another scene. Kinda interesting, that.
Jun 01, 2013 Monty rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Space Opera Fans
This is one of Poul Anderson's earlier space opera's, first published in 1966. The technology is somewhat dated, as references are made to "record player" and "data tapes", but otherwise it is a wonderful yarn. There are a number of Poul's books in which Flandry appears, and I highly recommend them all to space opera fans.
I'd never read Flandry, and heard quite a bit about it. Unfortunately it was not for me - dated, cold-war plots, ridiculous aliens (but hot!) ... but, what is worse, by modern standards the book is full of dull writing and uninteresting characters. I don't really see the comparison to James Bond.
James Chapman
The book, and its squeals is nicely done 'future' history that uses the template of the Byzantine Empire (humans here) and the Sassanid (aliens) Persians. Flandry is the capable but somewhat weary defender of a corrupt but necessary Empire. Worth a read.
Horatio Hornblower in space, as young Flandry is sent to a distant colony to help deal with the tensions between humanity and the lizardy aliens that are our chief rival in space.

Fun bit of space opera with a bit of political intrigue mixed in.

Dominic Flandry has all the elan of James Bond and is perfectly willing to play a bit loose with the law to protect the Terran Empire from falling into the 'Long Night' as Flandry calls a new dark age.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
This is a good space opera with serious, dark undertones. Anderson wrote this first volume in the adventures of Flandry long after he started writing about the character. I quite liked it.
Fantastically good fun, essentially James Bond in space. Being a lover of all things superspy, intrigue, space opera, and galactic empire, this was right up my alley.
Third time I've read it in the era of my personal book list 1998-2012. A good 'ol comforting space opera. Enjoy it for what it is, a good yarn from the 60s.
Nancy Jensen
The James Bond of the future, Dominic Flandry's Scottish flair for problem solving and saving the world is fast-moving fun on a cosmic scale.
David Rawls
Two classic genres - espionage and science fiction - blended together in a fairly quick pace make this book well worth a look.
Charles Baker
I loved The Saga of Dominic Flandry! I wish I still had these books. Perhaps I can find them and read them again.
Rip-roaring old style sci-fi. Not deep by any stretch, but still a good yarn nonetheless.
One of my favorites out of the Dominic Flandry series. Space Opera, but inspired space opera.
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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

Flandry (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • A Circus of Hells (Flandry)
  • The Rebel Worlds (Flandry, #3)
  • The Day of Their Return
  • Agent of the Terran Empire (Flandry, #3)
  • Flandry of Terra (Ensign Flandry 3)
  • A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows
  • A Stone In Heaven
  • The Game of Empire (Flandry)
  • We Claim These Stars (Dominic Flandry)
  • Earthman, Go Home!
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