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Interstellar Patrol II: The Federation of Humanity (Federation of Man) [Mass Market Paperback]

Christopher Anvil , Eric Flint
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

5 Dec 2006 Federation of Man (Book 2)
Vaughan Roberts and his two companions had been trapped on a crime-ridden, chaotic planet until they bamboozled the population with a gigantic hoax-which brought them to the attention of the Interstellar Patrol, who were looking for a few good con men, capable of ingenious improvisation and adept at playing dirty tricks on the bad guys. The new recruits acquitted themselves admirably, so they naturally were given more tough nuts to crack, including: Flummoxing an alien empire which has taken a number of human prisoners to gather information prior to an invasion. This has a personal aspect, since the prisoners are from the planet which Roberts tricked into reforming . . . Stopping a plan by not-so-good Samaritans who are pretending to cure a planetary plague-which they introduced to the planet-with a "miracle" drug which creates an addiction to the same drug, which the schemers will be glad to continue supplying for ever-increasing sums . . . Making sure that the rightful heir to a planet's throne escapes from captivity and overthrows the usurper. This time there's a complication: Roberts may be falling for the heir's beautiful sister. . . . And much more, including such lethal alien wildlife as banjo birds with rapier-like beaks, alien caterpillars with flaming dragonlike exhalations, and a cast of thousands of biting, stinging, bloodsucking insects from a host of colony worlds who think humans are the tastiest things they've ever come across.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (5 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416520996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416520993
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.8 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,236,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars About time! 8 July 2013
By Phil
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anvil was a favourite author of mine in the 60s and I was exceedingly glad to see that all his stories were back in print in these collections. They also include several I had apparently missed when they appeared in magazines. Those were the days when John Campbell's Astounding/Analog produced writer like Anvil and Beam Piper who were streets ahead of many writing today, though there are a few anachronisms, like computers of the far future having all their storage on tape, watches needing to be wound up, and everybody smoking...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The continuing adventures of Roberts, and other stories 2 Jun 2005
By Henry Cate III - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before giving the review of this book, I want to give full disclosure: I was part of a group that worked with Eric Flint to find many of these stories, to scan them in, and to proof them. Christopher Anvil (Harry Crosby) has always been one of my favorite authors. So I am slightly biased about this book. But in all honesty, this is a good collection of fun stories.

There are 23 stories in this book; the stories are in four groups. These stories were originally published from 1958 to 1978. All but "Warlord's World" were published in various Science Fiction magazines. "Warlord's World" was previously published as a complete book.

The first group of stories, which makes up about half the book, is about the Interstellar Patrol. These stories are a direct continuation to "Interstellar Patrol" which was published last year. Roberts and his friends have to solve a number of impossible problems, problems that would overwhelm mere mortals. In one story "Riddle Me This ..." they have to go into an alien fort to rescue two comrades who are being tortured to death. In another story "The Throne and the Usurper" Roberts goes solo against a man with a very amazing mutant ability.

The second group of stories has the least connected set of stories; this is kind of the grab bag set of stories. Two of the stories have to do with colonies of particular branches of humanity fighting off nasty alien invasions.

The third group of stories are about problems a couple crews have in shipping freight between the stars. The first story is about how to handle a new crew member who is a big trouble maker. There are two stories about how to handle difficult cargo. Another story is about potential death during shore leave.

The last group of stories focuses on the struggles of colonists on very hostile worlds. "Leverage" is one of my all time favorite Anvil stories. It is about how the colonists learn to use the deadly fauna to work for them, instead of killing them.

If you have ever enjoyed a Christopher Anvil story, buy this book. These are entertaining stories. The book is hard to put down. If you haven't read any of Christopher Anvil's stories, this is a good place to start.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mischief and Mishaps in the Space Lanes 3 Aug 2007
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Interstellar Patrol II: The Federation of Humanity (2005) is the second collection of Interstellar Patrol stories and related SF tales, following Interstellar Patrol itself. This volume includes twenty-two short stories and a short novel set in the Colonization universe.

In this collection, the first six stories are at least marginally related to the Interstellar Patrol, an organization known for its use of unconventional strategy and tactics. "The Claw and the Clock" (Analog, 1971) tells of the disastrous Crustax invasion of the pacifistic world of Storehouse. This story does not directly involve the IP except at the conclusion.

"Riddle Me This . . ." (Analog, 1972) concerns the rescue of two IP agents from a Crustax space fortress by Captain Roberts and his crew. "The Unknown" (Amazing, 1972) relates the tribulations of three con artists who attract the attention of the IP team and their ship. "The Throne and the Usurper" (F&SF, 1970) depicts the confrontation between Roberts and a man with an unusual talent. "The Trojan Hostage" (Analog, 1990) relates the trials of Roberts as a prisoner of clever anarchists.

Warlord's World (DAW, 1975) is a novel about the kidnapping of a royal princess of Festhold who has been admitted by Roberts into his IP crew as a probationary recruit. The villains are very cunning, but the IP is even more persistent in the defense of their new recruit. Since she is the sister of the true King, Roberts and the IP also intervene in an ongoing attempt to usurp the throne of Festhold.

The remaining stories concern other aspects of the Federation of Humanity. The next five tales are about Soldiers and Scholars. "Goliath and the Beanstalk" (Astounding, 1958) and "Facts To Fit the Theory" (Analog, 1966) relate the tales of Stath invasions of two separate pacifistic human planets. "Cantor's War" (If, 1974) pits an authoritative mathematician against the pragmatic military. "Uplift For the Savage" (Analog, 1968) tells of the practical education given to a learned woman by a fieldworker. "Odds" (Amazing, 1977) depicts the challenges of a man on an improbable planet.

The following five tales are about the Troubles With Cargoes. "The Troublemaker" (Astounding, 1960) concerns a cargo-control man who causes problems and a captain who knows the perfect solution to such antics. "Bill For Delivery" (Analog, 1964) shows why live cargo is often not a good idea. "Untropy" (Analog, 1966) illustrates the perils of drinking and driving. "The Low Road" (Amazing, 1970) shows why it is sometimes desirable to drink while driving. "Trial By Silk" (Amazing, 1970) depicts a situation that must be experienced before it can be believed.

The last seven tales in this collection are about the Troubles With Colonies. "The Operator" (Analog, 1971) puts the acting leader of a colony figuratively between a den of pack-bears and a shipload of neobarbarians, with some desirable females as the prize. "While the North Wind Blows" (Amazing, 1978) continues the previous story, only now the warm spell has led to an influx of giant flit birds and the awakening of the flame throwing slags. "Leverage" (Astounding, 1959) tells of a planet where the lifeforms cooperate much more vigorously than expected. "The Sieve" (Astounding, 1959) relates a tale of a new colony with too many uncooperative druggies. "Mating Problems" (Astounding, 1959) reveals one way of canceling out difficulties. "Hunger" (Analog, 1964) suggests that material goods and self-control is not enough. "Contrast" (Analog, 1964) explains a service provided to jaded citizens by one group of colonists.

Many of these stories have morals of sorts. For example, never attack a group of pacifists without checking out their history; some may be former galactic conquerors trying another approach. Another is to analyse the assumptions when evaluating a problem. In any case, the author doesn't just write a satisfying story, but also gives the reader something to thing about afterwards.

Unhappily, few people remember this author from his glory days. As one of those few, I still enjoy memories of his stories in Astounding and Analog and his few book collections and novels. My first introduction to Anvil was his story "The Gentle Earth" in a used edition of the November, 1957, Astounding, where naive aliens invade Earth and then discover weather.

Note that many of Anvil's stories first appeared in Astounding/Analog, starting with Pandora's Planet in the September, 1956, issue of Astounding. They continued to be published in the magazine for the rest of Campbell's tenure as editor. Apparently Ben Bova did not have the same appreciation for Anvil's style as Campbell, so Anvil went elsewhere. Yet Anvil returned for the last IP story, "The Trojan Hostage", which was published in the July, 1990, issue of Analog.

This is the last collection of IP tales, but not the last of Anvil's stories. The Trouble With Aliens gathers a plethora of short works about various and sundry problems with aliens of all sorts. They may be the best tales ever written by Anvil, but for certain they are even more typical of his style.

Highly recommended for Anvil fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space adventure, risky situations and competent people.

-Arthur W. Jordin
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good B-list space opera 13 Sep 2005
By David H. Simmons - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"B-list space opera" might seem like faint praise, but Anvil is not E.E. "Doc" Smith or A.E. van Vogt in their prime, he is (to borrow Eric Flint's description of Laumer) a journeyman rather than a master.

There is quite a lot of enjoyment to be had in reading the Baen books collections of Interstellar Patrol I-II and Pandora's Legions, and I recommend all of them, but I can't give the fifth star I bestow on Smith's Lensman series, Brian Daley's Hobart and Alacrity trilogy, or Lee and Miller's Liaden novels.

Still, recommended to anyone who enjoys a good tale well told.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Followup 28 Mar 2007
By Gene E. Thompson - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interstellar Patrol II is an excellent followup to Interstellar Patrol. The choice and sequence of Christopher Anvil's stories to include in this followup volume was well thought out. Seeing Anvil's work again, some of it barely remembered, was a treat.Interstellar Patrol (The Interstellar Patrol series)
4.0 out of 5 stars Anvil is fun. 17 Mar 2014
By Murph - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Christopher Anvil is just plain fun reading. His Interstellar Patrol stories are some of my favorites along with his Pandora's Planet story. Highly recommended, and I am ecstatic that this one is in digital format so I can take it with me on my Nexus 7.
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