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  1. says:

    DAW Collectors #42Cover Artist Kelly FreasName Pournelle Jerry Eugene Birthplace Shreveport Louisiana USA Birthdate 7 August 1933 8 September 2017Alternate Names Wade CurtisIt is rud Jack Vance might have provided the template for the scout servicePournelle won the first John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1973 He collaborated with Larry Niven on The Mote in God’s Eye Inferno and Lucifer’s HammerHis first SF publication “Peace with Honor” in Analog 1971 launched the sprawling CoDominium universe A Spaceship for the King 1973 West of Honor 1976 The Mercenary 1977 the collection High Justice1977 Exiles to Glory 1978 Prince of Mercenaries 1989 Go Tell the Spartans 1991Here the future history focus is on Prince Samual's World down at heels planet that's been contacted by the CoDominium Imperial Navy from the outer galaxies The World is about to be made a slave state mainly because it has fallen into a technological Dark Ages But working to save his World from this fate is Colonel Nathan Iron Pants MacKinnie who is persuaded by the world's King David to disguise himself as a trader and go to the planet Makassar where he might be able to steal the knowledge for building a spaceship if King David's people build a spaceship then their World will not enter the CoDomiium as a slave state but rather as a classified world So MacKinnie arrives with his special crew on the planet of Makassar having been transported there by the Imperial Navy with a load of primitive weapons armor gold and platinum liuor spices trinkets and he finds himself involved in wars there that reuire his expertise in battle training based on Roman Legion tactics He also falls in love with his secretary Mary Graham a liberated freelady Does Prince Samual's World build its ship and get status? Yes it does and MacKinnie and Mary also get exiled to their pleasing planet Makassar its tech level is very low where they will be big fish indeed Space opera with a dab of civilization conscious theme weaving


  2. says:

    King David’s Spaceship is the first book by Jerry Pournelle I remember reading I picked it up from the local library in 2006 and I could not put it down Colonel Nathan MacKinnie’s desperate uest to find a forgotten database of ancient technology on a barbaric planet and then spirit that information home under the watchful eyes of the Imperial Navy is a classic adventure Jerry Pournelle’s style is the place where intrigue politics and technology meet often with a heavy dose of military tactics King David’s Spaceship is all that and When I discovered the works of Jerry Pournelle I was in a slough of despond about science fiction novels I simply couldn’t find anything I liked so when I stumbled on this book it started a long love affair with the works of Pournelle Fortunately Jerry had a long career which was winding down in the early 2000s but not yet over So that gave me many works to read and enjoy several of which would be at the top of my list of favorites Looking back I now better understand why I liked Jerry Pournelle’s works so much especially King David’s Spaceship but also why I had trouble finding any other authors in the field that I liked for nearly a decade I simply couldn’t articulate what it was that I liked about this book so I adopted the ideas of others Unfortunately I’ve come to realize that those ideas simply didn’t map well to the kinds of stories I liked and the ones that I didn’tFor example since Jerry was a protege of John W Campbell I looked at Campbelline science fiction When I did I didn’t find what I was looking for Campbell’s vision was described by John C Wright in Transhuman and SubhumanAccording to Wright Campbellian Hard SF consists of Speculation about how near future technological advances might affect man on a social and metaphysical level Scientific optimism combined with classical Liberalism A naive love of theory Which William M Briggs has wisely called the root of all evil Malleable human nature Protagonists who tend to solve problems with their wits than with brawn Main characters guided by an ethical code of vague origin that holds up man as an inherently moral beingJerry definitely put the first two of those elements into King David’s Spaceship He crafted a tale of multi layered political intrigue due to a planetary government being absorbed against its will into an interplanetary empire but also managed to fit in technological elements that run from the construction of sailing ships to rocketry Both the Haven petty kingdoms and the Imperials have broadly technocratic governments in the mode of the Kennedy Enlightenment high minded and also efficientHowever the rest of the list isn’t a good fit for King David’s Spaceship or the rest of Jerry’s work Jerry had a great love of protagonists who were military commanders who were often brilliant strategists but solved their problems by killing them first And as for malleable human nature the setting of this book as well as many other novels in the CoDominium future history are based on a notion of cyclical patterns in the form of human societies explicitly based on Arnold ToynbeeAnd there is nothing vague about morality either One of the major Imperial factions and one with considerable clout is the Catholic Church state religion of the Second Empire of Man Various characters of course do things that fall short of sanctity but everyone knows what the standard isSo given that I don’t think Wright’s list applies to Jerry Pournelle let’s compare that list with JD Cowan’s description of Gothic novelsWhite against black Dark against Light Hero against Villain Eternal Life against Endless Death Temptation against Virtue It goes beyond the surface into weighty themes of the Ultimate God and True Justice The knowledge of a battle between forces beyond both parties at play that haunt the scenery and the overall world behind the story It underpins every action and decision and the thought that salvation or damnation is a stone throw away is the most nail biting experience of them all Jerry pretty clearly didn’t write a pulp novel either There are no explicit bad guys except maybe for the Imperial Traders Association who play the role of the heel in the Imperial factions What we get instead is a mass of different players with different motives and objectives all striving against one another Given that these are hard men making hard choices I could see how someone could come away with the impression that the various characters we meet are all just various shades of gray But I think that impression misses not only the point of MacKinnie and his uest but the real motives of most of the other characters tooSince the Secession Wars shattered the First Empire of Man various places and cultures ended up in different parts of the historical cycle Makassar relapsed into barbarism something like the 8th or 9th century AD Europe while Haven is like 18th or 19th century Europe inventive and nationalistic The Imperials are at the second peak of their power urbane and civilizedYet what unites them is a basic orientation to order versus chaos Given their different frames each culture interprets that need differently and even within a culture various factions also have competing impressions of what is to be done MacKinnie himself is driven by a sense of honor and duty and one of the central themes of the uest is to whom does MacKinnie really owe his duty?But most of all this is just a great adventure where Colonel MacKinnie leaves his home travels across the stars journeys through great peril and emerges at the end with his purpose in life restored I very much wanted to be Nathan MacKinnie both the first time I read it and now This book works because it combines elements of the Campbelline vision with a very Christian moral vision and a grand adventure If you haven’t gotten into the works of Jerry Pournelle this is a great place to start


  3. says:

    One of Jerry's Best TalesAs far as military science fiction goes few authors are as good at it as Jerry Pournelle It is unfortunate that he is no longer with us The story tells of the struggle of a newly discoved and relatively low tech world to avoid being colonized by the Second Empire of Man This involves a secret mission to obtain sufficient new tech to avoid this fate ironically from a world that is even primitive Not only must Colonel MacKinnie bring back these secrets he has to do it under the supervision of Imperial officers And while falling in love with his expedition secretary An excellent read full of swashbuckling action political intrigue and a bit of tasteful romance


  4. says:

    OK first of all when you see the title King David's Spaceship don't you think about King David from the Bible? I was thinking maybe David defeats Goliath becomes king and then decides to really kick some Philistine ass by sending a rocket to the moon No such luck I bought this book because I was intrigued by the idea of a relatively backwards civilization building a spaceship but most of the book is taken up with various tangential adventures Pournelle's characters as always are flat The actual spaceship building only takes a few dozen pages in the book it doesn't go into much detail and I had pretty much lost interest in the story by that point anyway


  5. says:

    'A Spaceship for the King' was the title of the original serial version in Analog Magazine Jerry added a few new scenes when it was packaged as a novel and published under the title 'King David's Spaceship' The book is interesting for the characters and the environment On one hand you have the Empire star faring and re uniting worlds after the collapse and the out worlds that have collapsed back to pre industrial civilizations The juxtapositions of these technologies is striking but the strongest comparisons is between the technological levels of two fallen civilizations A good read and good value for the money


  6. says:

    Reading this novel was like chewing through a wet sand sandwich The premise was promising The planet Prince Samual's World is in the process of being colonized and it will be categorized on the basis of its level of technological achievement Within the colonizing empire those worlds which have attained space flight are accorded higher status along with greater power and autonomy An expedition of ostensible traders actually a para military detachment hitch a ride on an imperial ship to the planet Makassar once a advanced world which has now fallen into barbarism in order to plunder a library which may contain the technical information necessary to build a spacecraft There is a lot of potential in this basic plot arc but Pournelle suanders it profoundlyMore than half of this novel is devoted to painfully tedious overly detailed descriptions of a long sea voyage and the preparation and prosecution of various military campaigns Here are a couple examples of the copious padding which bloat the text to no end The jibs backwinded pulling the bow around 'Let go the jibsheets' MacLean shouted 'Now trim them in on the port side Snap to it Man the leeboards Smartly men' The port leeboard was pushed down the tackles strained to raise the starboard one MacLean stamped with impatience until the task was done then turned to MacKinnie 'She's lively enough Bit slow easy to get caught in the stays If I end up out of action remember that Leave the jibs cleated until the bow's well around or you'll be in irons'The above is an excerpt from a very long seuence which had the author anything substantive to fill his pages with could have been summarized in something like the following manner The voyage presented many challenges and they were just barely able to evade the pirates but in the end with a little luck and fortitude they reached their destination with a minimum of losses As it stands the reader is expected to be an expert in sailing and to know for example what a jibsheet is what it means to trim one what a leeboard is and so on This same obsession with sailing jargon is evident in some of Pournelle's other early works as wellLater we have the following which is also representative MacKinnie sent a heavy detachment of shieldmen angling forward and to the left from the camp gate A second group angled off to the right while others marched out to form a line between them its ends anchored with the hard marching groups of picked men When the left hand group had left a large enough opening inside the wedge the knights were sent forward until they were just behind the shield wall at the extreme left corner of the inverted wedge the army was forming Then MacKinnie sent the Temple archers forward a line down each leg of his triangular formation leaving none in the centerOnce again page upon page upon page of detailed description of every nuance of the battle could have been summarized The battle was fierce but MacKinnie's forces now gaining confidence were able to withstand the barbarian attack and emerged triumphant Only those deeply interested in medieval field combat could possibly find Pournelle's interminably detailed descriptions of combat and the preparation for it the least bit interestingIn short the central premise of this book a uest for technology is a MacGuffin which covers for a story about sea voyages and combat What remains is muddled at best and the denouement in which the knowledge sought is finally attained is deeply disappointing and seems to leave things sufficiently open ie unresolved to warrant a seuel This novel was later expanded as King David's Spaceship and formed a part of Pournelle's CoDominium series But really who the hell gives a damn?I have struggled with Pournelle I started reading his work based on some of the collaborations he's been involved with and I suppose that when he's working with another author his lesser impulses are effectively muted On his own he tries my patience in the extreme I doubt I'll be returning to his work again


  7. says:

    Trying to remember when I first read this book this may have very well been my first encounter with the hard sci fi genre though looking back I wouldn't firmly put this book on that side of the aisle I picked it up because I really wanted to read The Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand and someone suggested I start with this one first To this day I don't know why It was recommended to me in a backwards way that unfortunately biased me against the story someone suggested it resembles Greece's 400 years of slavery and the eventual rebellion That's about where the similarities end at the numbersOverall the story arc was solid and the execution while falling a little flat at times delivered in the end I liked how at the beginning you aren't sure who is the villain and stories with unwilling heroes facing unlikely successful odds have always appealed to me


  8. says:

    I was in the midst of reading A Spaceship For The King when I heard of Jerry Pournelle's passing Very saddened for our loss of another great writer; I will miss his Chaos Manor musingsIt appears by the comments left here that this book was expanded under a new name King David's SpaceshipThis DAW paperback appears to be the serial only as it ends view spoilerbefore they get off Makassar and return to Prince Samual's World and build a spaceship hide spoiler


  9. says:

    Pournelle who has recently died wrote this book in 1980 and parts of it suffer from its age For example he tries to have a strong female character but she violates Bechdel's test repeatedly and ends up the 20 something consort to the 50 something hero buzzer sound followed by ejection seat sound And the treatment of pseudo Islamic characters is ignorant and offensive And a kriss knife seems to be a rip off of Herbert's crysknife so there's a bit of derivative thinking here But there are some good concepts and Pournelle's battle scenes especially the one fought at sea are swashbuckling and exciting


  10. says:

    Scifi story where following the collapse of a galactic empire a planet just re discovering steam power is conuered by people on a space faring world If they are not to be relegated to being a second class colony world they need to demonstrate their technological advancement by building a spaceshipIntrigue interstellar travel battles with primitive weapons interesting characters just a fun read Might give it five stars if it were available on ebook


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review Ê PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ï Jerry Pournelle

King David's Spaceship

Egained an early industrial age technology but another planet has progressed faster and it's imperial Navy has discovered them If his people are not to spend the rest of t 'A Spaceship for the King' was the title of the original serial version in Analog Magazine Jerry added a few new scenes when it was packaged as a novel and published under the title 'King David's Spaceship' The book is interesting for the characters and the environment On one hand you have the Empire star faring and re uniting worlds after the collapse and the out worlds that have collapsed back to pre industrial civilizations The juxtapositions of these technologies is striking but the strongest comparisons is between the technological levels of two fallen civilizations A good read and good value for the money

Read King David's Spaceship

Heir history as just another satrapy they must prove that they can reach space unaided Though they have just re invented the steam engine King David will have his spaceshi Trying to remember when I first read this book this may have very well been my first encounter with the hard sci fi genre though looking back I wouldn't firmly put this book on that side of the aisle I picked it up because I really wanted to read The Mote in God’s Eye and The Gripping Hand and someone suggested I start with this one first To this day I don't know why It was recommended to me in a backwards way that unfortunately biased me against the story someone suggested it resembles Greece's 400 years of slavery and the eventual rebellion That's about where the similarities end at the numbersOverall the story arc was solid and the execution while falling a little flat at times delivered in the end I liked how at the beginning you aren't sure who is the villain and stories with unwilling heroes facing unlikely successful odds have always appealed to me

review Ê PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ï Jerry Pournelle

In the time of John Christian Falkenberg the explosion of humanity into space was followed by a galaxy wide technological collapseSince the Fall King David's people have r One of Jerry's Best TalesAs far as military science fiction goes few authors are as good at it as Jerry Pournelle It is unfortunate that he is no longer with us The story tells of the struggle of a newly discoved and relatively low tech world to avoid being colonized by the Second Empire of Man This involves a secret mission to obtain sufficient new tech to avoid this fate ironically from a world that is even primitive Not only must Colonel MacKinnie bring back these secrets he has to do it under the supervision of Imperial officers And while falling in love with his expedition secretary An excellent read full of swashbuckling action political intrigue and a bit of tasteful romance

  • Paperback
  • 283
  • King David's Spaceship
  • Jerry Pournelle
  • English
  • 07 August 2019
  • 9780671431051

About the Author: Jerry Pournelle

Dr Jerry Eugene Pournelle was an American science fiction writer engineer essayist and journalist who contributed for many years to the computer magazine Byte and from until his death maintained his own website and blogFrom the beginning Pournelle's work centered around strong military themes Several books describe the fictional mercenary infantry force known as Falkenberg's Legion T.