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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Gordon R. Dickson

One of the things I have always most enjoyed about some of the so-called “hard” science fiction is the optimism inherent in “speculative” works. Gordon R. Dickson’s best known work creates a universe of the future under the overall umbrella called The Childe Cycle (also known as The Dorsai.) His wiki intro is a bit sparse though:

Gordon Rupert Dickson (November 1, 1923 – January 31, 2001) was a Canadian-American science fiction writer. He was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.[1]



His bio from the Science Fiction Hall of Fame offers a little bit more info:

Gordon Dickson was a prolific author of science fiction, publishing over 80 novels and many short stories since his first, “Trespass” (co-authored with Poul Anderson), was featured in Fantastic Story Quarterly in 1950.

Dickson does have one book that apparently was loosely combined with a book from another author and adapted for an animated movie.

The first of his books I ever read, Tactics of Mistake was the fourth book (in printing) of the Childe Cycle (though occurring as second on the timeline.) I forget how I came to pick the book up but recall reading it in the barracks while I was in Hawai’i. However it came about, it sparked an interest for me so I went back and read the earlier books then continued reading the Childe Cycle as newer books came along. I think what attracted me first to the series was the military theme involved. I seem to enjoy the sci-fi military themed books from the “what-if” range.

I do not recall reading any of the books from Dickson’s other main series, the Dragon Knight but have read a few of his stand alone books and enjoyed them. The Wolf and Iron is a dystopian view of the US after a collapse of civilization. From Goodreads:

“Jeebee” Walther was a scientist, a student of human behavior, who saw the Collapse of the world economy coming, but could do nothing to stop it. Now he must make his way across a violent and lawless America, in search of a refuge where he can keep the spark of knowledge alive in the coming Dark Age. He could never make it on his own, but he has found a companion who can teach him how to survive on instinct and will. Jeebee has been adopted by a great Gray Wolf.

The Magnificent Wilf is a light hearted read and does not require a lot of thinking.

And really, anyone who can title a book The Right to Arm Bears is going to offer some interesting reading to say the least:

Planet Dilbia is in a crucial location for both humans and their adversaries, the Hemnoids. Therefore making friends with the Dilbians and establishing a human presence there is of the utmost importance, which may be a problem, since the bearlike Dilbians stand some nine feet tall, and have a high regard for physical prowess. They’re not impressed by human technology, either. A real man, er, bear doesn’t need machines to do his work for him.

Photo from woordenaar licensed under Creative Commons

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Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL