The High Crusade (1960) #86

Science fiction and fantasy come together in this classic tale of adventure and traveling to the stars. The middle ages meet the future as blaster meets sword in a cascade of hilarious nonsense. What would English knights do given the chance to meet aliens? Kill them and take over their planets, of course.

Book description:

The High Crusade is a science fiction novel by Poul Anderson, originally serialized in Astounding Magazine in 1960, and first published in book form by Doubleday.


Alien invaders arrive in middle ages England and are expecting an easy conquest and colonization. The English, already ready for war with the French, slay most of the aliens and after taking over their ship find themselves on the way to another planet. When they arrive they decide to continue their effort and do what the English do, that is, go to war and spread the empire.

Praise and critiques:

This book is a quick fun read and will probably take you no more than a day or two to get through. The story is fast paced and totally preposterous in a great way. There were moments when I laughed out loud, especially during the problems they experience with translation and religious ideas. It occurred to me that perhaps this book is a criticism of imperialism, however most of the story is so ludicrous that it just comes off tongue in cheek. The science is a mess, the history is a mess, but none of that matters because this book was just plain fun. Apparently there is a short story sequel called “Quest” written much later, I enjoyed this book so much I’m going to have to hunt it down.


Fans of short, humorous science fantasy will love this book.


4.5 of 5 really enjoyed this one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Book link

Reviewed by:

Jean-Paul Garnier
Jean-Paul Garnier

Jean-Paul L. Garnier lives and writes in Joshua Tree, CA where he is the owner of Space Cowboy Books.

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