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In Shoogar's world for an intruder whose powers match his own let alone one whose powers might exceed his So before the blue sun can cross the face of the red sun once Shoogar will show this stranger just who is bo. Borrowed from a friend on our return flight from Seoul Korea to San Francisco to Portland I enjoyed this book very much It was a light hearted sci fi adventure with bits of comic relief interspersed It s a wonderful good paced story about a technologically advanced spaceman one magician who becomes marooned after coming into contact with a primitive society on an as yet undiscovered world existing in a dust cloud with two suns a large but dim far off red dwarf star and a brilliant blue white but tiny closer star and eleven moons of various sizes that wreak havoc with the tidesThe comedy comes in from the viewpoint of the narrative character Speaker Lant the novel being a first person exploration of Lant meeting the spaceman and having to deal with his own village s magician Shoogar a pompous semi egotistical elder whose magic is based on observation superstition than scientific tested fact The entire book is an excellent allegory on the ills benefits of having Science tested confronted by Religion with all of its superstitious trappings Other elements of primitive society are present multiple wives the subjugation of women the devaluation of women s work their worth as compared to men in a patriarchal society the power of names the general lack of crime in small groups of interdependent beings belief in magic association of a pantheon of gods to a host of natural forces the introduction of production lines coin to replace bartering and overcoming the inertia at adopting new ways of doing things as well as the sometimes comical methods to trick people into accepting those new waysOverall an excellent read one that had me laughing out loud several times and cursing Shoogar at other times

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The Flying Sorcerers

This funny and insightful science fiction classic introduces Shoogar the greatest wizard ever known in his village His spells can strike terror in the hearts of even his most powerful enemies But the enemy he faces. The Flying Sorcerers is a 1971 novel by David Gerrold and Larry Niven who had just published Ringworld his opus magnum one year earlier I have read the 1982 German edition Die Fliegenden Zauberer at some time in the last millennium but this time tackled the English versionOn the surface this book is a robinsonade Purple a scientist from an advanced civilization is stranded on a primitive planet The inhabitants take him to be a sorcerer and he has to build up an industrial and economic base to create an airship to fly towards the euator so that he can call the mothership to take him home And he is always in competition with Shogar the other and original magician of the village What makes this interesting and charming is that the story is told from the perspective of Lant one of the native inhabitants of the planet and someone who shares a world view in which magic is real And as it turns out to a certain degree it is Shogar is not all bluff as brilliantly demonstrated in the scenes in which he destroys Purple s original landing craft stranding him on the planetThe book is full of SF in jokes In particular the names of most of the characters and gods are puns on real names of authors and publishers This part has not aged well one can look up the associations on Wikipedia but even then they are only mildly funny at least to meI ve been vacillating between 3 and 4 stars The strength of the book really is the interpretation of Purple s modern achievements through the lens of Lant s and Shogar s pre scientific world view But on the other hand the story is too simple and the obstacles are too easily overcome It s lazy plotting And what finally moved me to lower the score is the two layered paternalism Gerrold and Niven create their fictional culture to reflect and to a degree exaggerate faults of our own only so that the enlightened influence of capitalism and the industrial revolution not even science can reduce these So in the end women are not universally hobbled and they even have unconsecrated let s not take it too far names Hooray for the civilizing influence of the white maleThere are many worse books but also many better ones This one definitely has its moments but overall I had to work at keeping myself going

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Now is like none he has ever seen before The stranger has come from nowhere and is ignorant of even the most basic principles of magic But the stranger has an incredibly powerful magic of his own There is no room. This book was on my shelf unread for many yearsat least twentyonly to be lost with nearly 6000 others to a fire Prompted by a reference to another Gerrold book for which I went searching i came across it and decided it was about time I should read it and it goes on my Books I Should Have Read Already shelfThe best part of the book are the subtle and not so subtle puns and a couple of period references The body of the book is just okay and really it seemed a chore to get through I almost never summarize fiction plots in reviews because I don t like to spoil them for othersI will say that one segment referred to a federal worker event during the Reagan regime


10 thoughts on “The Flying Sorcerers

  1. says:

    This book is simply delightful light SF The scene is a faraway planet where a furry and peaceful people live in village based civilization where government is basically a mayor and a shamanmagician where life is good and food is plentiful Then a human arrives with his computerized translator to study the peaceful culture

  2. says:

    The Flying Sorcerers is a 1971 novel by David Gerrold and Larry Niven who had just published Ringworld his opus magnum one year earlier I have read the 1982 German edition Die Fliegenden Zauberer at some time in the last

  3. says:

    This is good if a bit campy The running jokes puns are cute but they really do wear a bit thin by the endPurple As A Mauve is a visitor to a far away planet from Earth where he discovers a furry race of proto human types They must be a VERY c

  4. says:

    David Gerrold is hilarious The storyline is suspiciously similar to another very popular Larry Niven advanced human is stranded amidst primitive aliens works with prehistoric technology to rescue himself while learning valuable lessons and altering the natives' lives forever But in The Flying Sorcerers the story is told from the POV

  5. says:

    1977 grade A1994 grade A2018 grade AWritten with Larry NivenThis is a story about what happens when an arrogant alien scien

  6. says:

    This book was on my shelf unread for many yearsat least twentyonly to be lost with nearly 6000 others to a fire Prompted by a reference to another Gerrold book for which I went searching i came across it and decided it was about time I should read it and it goes on my Books I Should Have Read Already shelfThe best part of the book

  7. says:

    In all honesty the collaboration between Gerrold and Niven first drew me to this book Yes David Gerrold is best known for

  8. says:

    This parody hadn't aged very well The jokes come so fast that they're trying a bit too hard and the sexism is horrendous It is funny in places though and a classic culture clash story

  9. says:

    Borrowed from a friend on our return flight from Seoul Korea to San Francisco to Portland I enjoyed this book very much It was a light

  10. says:

    Simply wonderful and one of the best books i've ever read It's well written perfect classic golden age science fiction Shows growth of all characters throughout the novel This book is a sci fi love letter and has tons of references t