King David's Spaceship Author:Jerry Pournelle Set in the same galactic empire of the future that was so successfully presented in "The Mote in God's Eye", "King David's Spaceship" is Jerry Pournelle's ambitious new novel of science fiction adventure. — Prince Samual's World has been isolated from the galactic empire for 300 years, & is now a network of squabbling kingdoms that, left to thems... more »elves, would have feuded their way to peaceful civilization along the usual course of evolving worlds. But time is a luxury that Prince Samual's World no longer has; it has been rediscovered by the Imperial Navy,& is to be annexed to the Empire in the lowest possible status: a colony, without even voting privileges. Given another 100 years - even 50 years - to begin to develop some sort of primitive space travel, it could have been admitted to the Empire as a Class Two planet: a member instead of a subject.
But the Empire reckons without Colonel Nathan MacKinnie, a patriot with a plan. Not far from Prince Samual's World, as distances are measured by starships, lies the primitive planet called Makassar. It is of note only for the relentless war waged there by barbarian tribes against the monks who represent 'civilization' - and for a great library of books left by the first settlers from Old Earth, guarded as precious relics by the Makassar religious order. Somewhere in this collection lies the knowedge that built starships in the first place. Nathan MacKinnie means for it to build a starship again. And so an expedition of 'Traders' goes to Makassar, hitching a ride ignominiously on a ship they could not have built themselves. With his military background, MacKinnie may not seem the logical man to lead an expedition in search of books - but before he can bring back any lost secrets of physics, he will have to rescue the library and its guardian monks from the barbarians who have besieged it. It is a dangerous mission - and it leads to a climax that only one of science fiction's great adventure writers could have created.« less