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Hardcover King David's Spaceship Book

ISBN: 067125328X

ISBN13: 9780671253288

King David's Spaceship

(Part of the CoDominium Universe Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Pocket Timescape paperback issued in 1981; first paperback edition. This is a rewritten version of the author's 1971 novel, "A Spaceship for the King," and takes place in the same galactic empire as... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An Interstellar Espionage Mission

King David's Spaceship (1980) is an SF novel in the Alderson Drive series. It takes place about the same time as the events in The Mote in God's Eye. Prince Samuel's World has recovered greatly from the Succession Wars. Now they have been rediscovered by the Second Empire. The Imperials have allied with the Kingdom of Haven to reunify the various polities into a world government. In this novel, Nathan McKinnie is a former colonel in the army of Orleans. His regiment -- the Wolves -- received the dubious benefits of the Imperial Navy's alliance with Haven. The death toll amounted to two battalions and his beloved. But he received a pension from Haven to compensate for the loss of his commission and personnel. Hal Stark is Nathan's batman, lead noncom and now his personal servant. They are living in a rundown boarding house near the waterfront. Yet they go uptown to drink. Shipmaster MacLean of the Royal Merchant Service is qualified on both sail and motor vessels. At least that is his story. But he is most probably from the Royal Haven Navy. Academician Longway is from Prince Samuel University. He studies social organization and primitive cultures as well as ancient history. Scholar-Bachelor Kleinst is Longway's assistant. He is supposedly a historian, but is actually a physicist. Mary Graham is a university graduate. Women students at the university are few and far between, so Mary has been allowed to study many different subjects for her degree. Malcolm Dougal is the head of the Haven Royal Secret Police. He has been gathering information on the Second Empire since before their alliance with Haven. He has found that the Empire is probably going to colonize Prince Samuel's World. In this story, McKinnie and Start are drinking in the Blue Bottle while three Imperial Navy lieutenants are buying drinks for the house. Of course, they are recruiting young men for their ship. But they are also getting rather noisy. During the evening, Lieutenant Jefferson mentions an Old Empire library on Makassar, among other remarks. Nathan pays little attention, for his thoughts are on the events that led to his surrender to Haven. At the end of the evening, Dougal introduces himself and invites them out for a drink, but McKinnie refuses and heads back to the boarding house. On the way, McKinnie and Start are abducted by the Secret Police and conveyed to the palace for a meeting with Dougal. Malcolm tells Nathan about the situation with the Second Empire. Then he asks Nathan to help them on a special mission to Makassar, the nearest inhabited world. When McKinnie agrees, he is introduced to MacLean, Longway, Kleinst and Graham. They will constitute the core of an attempt to retrieve data from the library on Makassar. Dougal provides two guards for the mission and gives permission for McKinnie to recruit several more from his Wolves. The cover for their task is a trade mission to the other planet. Two members of the Imperial Trade

Pournelle's Grand Homage to H. Beam Piper

This wonderful adventure novel was Pournelle's first science fiction novel and was bought and published by legendary editor, John W. Campbell. It was serialized under the title, "Spaceship for the King," over several issues of "Analog Science Fiction" magazine, beginning in December of 1971. It received its first paperback edition from DAW Books in 1973. "Spaceship for the King" reads very much like the SF adventure stories, "Space Viking" and "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen," H. Beam Piper was writing in the early 1960s. Pournelle has often cited Piper as a major influence, and "Spaceship for the King" certainly shows the Piper touch. In the late 1970s, Pournelle was asked by Editor David Hartwell to expand the original novels (apprx. 60,000 words) for a new Pocket Book's edition. This was after the success of "The Mote in God's Eye," and at a time when raising book prices meant longer novels, as readers demanded more bang for their bucks. Jerry complied and the result was "King David's Spaceship," which contined all of the vitures of the shorter novel and added a new subplot. Even some thirty years later, "King David's Spaceship" holds up as one of Pournelle's finest novels, long overshadowed by the Janissaries and Falkenberg eries. It's unfortunate that this book has remained under-the-radar for most Pournelle and SF adventure fans, and thus is out-of-print. I highly recommend the book and suggest you hunt up a hardback edition (still available at very reasonable prices) for your permanent library.

King David's Spaceship - Good Intro to Pournelle's FH

King David's Spaceship is set principally on two worlds: One, Prince Samual's World, which has only recently gained a measure of stability and civilization as the Kingdom of Haven seeks to reunite the planet under one banner after it was destroyed during the Secession Wars that led to the demise of the First Empire of Man. The second is Makassar, a world that has a still extant Imperial Library with a civilization more primitive than the horses-and-steam engine technology on Prince Samual's. The book captures a number of interesting viewpoints. That of Imperial Navy Lieutenant Jefferson who reflects on his providence on Prince Samual's World and the enormous task of the Second Empire of Man and its goal of forcibly reuniting all planets under its rule. That of Colonel Nathan MacKinnie, whose fiancee was killed when the Imperials intervened on behalf of Haven and who is tasked by that same kingdom that defeated him to gain secrets from that Imperial Library on Makassar (and to evade Imperial scrutiny) to help them build a spaceship. Lastly, that of Malcolm Dougal, an ardent patriot not only of Haven but also of Prince Samual's World, who wants to see the planet freely admitted to the Empire as a self-governing entity rather than a colonial planet ruled by newly created Imperial royalty. This is a must-read book that is set shortly before Niven and Pournelle's masterpiece ``Mote in God's Eye'' and I highly recommend it. Good adventure, fierce fighting and even a love story develops, to boot.

Exciting military adventure

Colonel Nathan MacKinnie is bitter about the world. The Imperial Navy has propped up the Havenite government and wiped out MacKinnie's resistance killing the woman he loves while doing so. When King David of Haven asks for MacKinnie's assistance, he has decidedly mixed feelings. Still, the choices available for a retired colonel in a losing army are limited. With help from the Imperial Navy and Imperial merchants, MacKinnie and a small group of associates leave Prince Samual's World to journey to Makassar, an even less advanced planet which happens to contain an ancient First Empire library. If MacKinney can learn enough, Prince Samual's World stands a chance to become a full member of the Empire rather than simply another colony world. KING DAVID'S SPACESHIP is an intriguing 'fish out of water' story. MacKinnie and his collegues are from a low-technology world by the standards of the Empire, but have far more advanced technologies than those available on Makassar. Unfortunately, they are forbidden to use these technologies, and Makassar is bound and determined not to let anyone have access to the library, which they regard as a holy place. Somehow MacKinnie must take what he knows and dominate the Makassar civilization--without Imperial soldiers learning anything about it. His military background gives him hope, but what can he do against the tens of thousands of barbarians threatening the ancient temple city? KING DAVID'S SPACESHIP is set in the motie world created by Pournelle and his frequent collaborator Larry Niven, but can be read without any knowledge of the excellent MOTE IN GOD'S EYE novel.It's great to see this novel back in print.

Hey Publishers - Put this book back in print!

Pournelle is a first rate Science Fiction writer. He also understands military history and this comes through in alot of his work.In 'King David's Spaceship' the reunification of the Human Race has begun. The once mighty empire has fallen apart and new alliances and takeovers are occurring.The rank of planets in the new situation is based on their technology - space travel being prized.This book reads like one of those English WW2 movies like 'The Dambusters', with a group of people trying to find a technological solution to stop bad things happenning. Get this book and read it. One day I hope it returns to print.
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