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    Review of FOR LOVE AND GLORY by Poul Anderson

    TOR, March 2003

    Lissa Windholm is the favored daughter of one of the most powerful clans in her home planet and has made planetary exploration her life's project (and in a world of multiple regenerations, a life can span hundreds of years). While on one exploration, she meets Torben Hebo--a 900-year-old man with a sexist attitude that sets her teeth on edge despite the strong physical attraction. Their adventures take them apart through the middle of the novel as Lissa explores a scientific miracle, but bring them back together for a set of adventures that start back on Lissa's native system.

    Poul Anderson is one of the great SF writers of the 1950s and 1960s. FOR LOVE AND GLORY is a postumous work and lacks some of the attention to detail that Anderson would certainly have given it had he survived. Still, in many ways this novel is a throwback to an earlier era of SF--an era of fabulous adventures, where a man, a woman, and a spaceship (perhaps along with sidekick aliens) could defy evil empires, make huge new scientific discoveries, and achieve a degree of personal happiness as well.

    FOR LOVE AND GLORY contains some thoughtful concepts and speculations. Among these--what will happen to marriage and other human relationships if people can live indefinitely, renewing their youth whenever it starts to fade? Is there a next step in human evolution that will take us beyond being individual beings and allow us to plug into some sort of universal consciousness (perhaps using computer technology to link human brains)? Can an economic system be set up that rewards discovery without the need to have the discoverers actually exploit the knowledge that they find. These are the sorts of questions that define Anderson's brilliant earlier works and it is a pleasant flashback to see theim peaking through in this work created at the end of his life.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 5/16/03

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