American SF and fantasy writer, best known for his Childe Cycle/Dorsai
His other works include The Dragon Knight
series, in which a couple of 20th-century graduate students find themselves in an alternate world that resembles Medieval England but with magic, dragons, and fairies; and the comedy Hoka
series, co-written with Poul Anderson
, about a planet whose inhabitants spend all their time pretending to be characters from Earth fiction.
Works by Gordon R. Dickson with their own trope pages include:
Other works by Gordon R. Dickson provide examples of:
- Deflector Shields: In Way of the Pilgrim the personal force-shield of any Aalag soldier would allow him to hold out indefinitely against any weapons humanity could throw at him. Even nukes. The ship-board version is presumably even more robust.
- Heavyworlder: In a short story, which adds an uncommon corollary: things fall faster (or rather, accelerate at a higher rate) on a high-gravity world. One alien from such a world is somewhat stronger, but much faster, because falling over on such a planet is a bad idea and being able to catch falling things is usually helpful too.
- Humans Are Special / Humanity Is Superior: If the setting has humans against aliens, humans always win. Often just because they are oh so awesome. In more reasonable works they win by being very persistent.
- Superweapon Surprise: In The Alien Way, an aggressive alien race discovers Earth by analysis of floating space debris and launches a covert surveillance mission as a prelude to invasion. Sadly for the aliens, humans not only know about them, they used the alien mission as a tool to psychologically profile the would-be conquerors and find out all about their civilization and military capabilities. Then humans sent a message about how they've deceived the aliens, together with images of spaceships ready to strike the alien homeworld and an offer of peace.
- Ursine Aliens: The Dilbians.
- Vichy Earth: The Way of the Pilgrim tells a pretty straightforward interpretation of this trope, with the protagonist, a translator/pet for the occupying Aalaag, organizing a revolution with the power of the indomitable human spirit. They have to, since militarily La Résistance is futile—if he had to, one fully armored Aalaag could defeat every human army in an afternoon.