Creator / Gordon R. Dickson

American SF and fantasy writer, best known for his Childe Cycle/Dorsai future history.

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:

  • Blue and Orange Morality: Dickson loved this trope. If there are humans and aliens in the story, there's definitely Values Dissonance and misunderstanding, often very deep. For both sides. It even happens between humans from different planets. How successful, convincing or realistic those systems of values were, is... very debatable.
    • Occasionally subverted, like in The Odd Ones short story. Aliens ascribe different disgusting ideas to humans, up to and beyond Human Resources, but in the end humans prove quite nice from their point of view, and all visible oddities stem from having two sexes.
  • 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: Hour of the Horde and some short stories add an uncommon corollary: on a high-gravity world things fall faster (because of higher acceleration). A Humanoid 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.
  • Laser Blade: In Wolfling the preferred weapon of High-Born (haughty, but highly advanced Human Aliens ruling an interstellar empire) are hand-sized "pipes" that project an energy beam, length of which can be varied during fight.
  • 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.
  • Technology Uplift: Discussed in Wolfling, where mankind meets an interstellar empire of Human Aliens. Every High-Born (a member of the ruling race) receives enough education to uplift a stone-age planet to the imperial level.
  • 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.
  • World of Chaos: The whole theme of his novel Time Storm, in which the eponymous storms can change a locale's time frame by thousands of years or more as they pass.

Alternative Title(s): Gordon R Dickson