Follow TV Tropes


Creator / Leo Frankowski

Go To

Leo Frankowski (1943 – 2008) was an American science fiction author.

The Other Wiki

    List of works 
  • Conrad Stargard series
    • The Cross Time Engineer
    • The High-Tech Knight
    • The Radiant Warrior
    • The Flying Warlord
    • Lord Conrad's Lady
    • Conrad's Quest for Rubber
    • Conrad's Time Machine
    • Lord Conrad's Crusade
    • Conrad's Last Campaign
  • New Kashubia series
    • A Boy and his Tank
    • The War With Earth with Dave Grossman
    • Kren of the Mitchegai with Dave Grossman
  • Two Space series with Dave Grossman
    • The Two Space War
    • The Guns of Two Space
  • Fata Morgana
  • Copernick's Rebellion

Works by Leo Frankowski with their own trope pages include:

Other works by Leo Frankowski contain examples of:

  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Pink Dragon topless bar in the Conrad Stargard series.
  • Alternative Number System: In the Conrad Stargard series, the new civilization Conrad starts up in Medieval Europe uses base 12 mathematics, because Conrad believes it's more useful than decimal.
  • Annoying Arrows: In the Conrad Stargard books, Conrad introduces the concept of plate armor to the Poles. The English longbows still readily put holes in the armor, but the Mongol horsebows largely just stick arrows in the armor's surface. However, Conrad himself does get shot in the face after removing his helmet, resulting in him losing sight in the eye on that side.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: In The Cross Time Engineer, one of Conrad Stargard's first controversial acts is to euthanize a bear that's being used for bear-baiting. Unfortunately this makes an enemy of the knight who had spent months setting up a trap for it.
  • Cool Horse: Conrad Starsgard finds that his mare Anna is as intelligent as a human, can outrun any normal horse, can kill if necessary and can even understand Polish! She's actually a genetically engineered gift from a time-traveling relative, trying to covertly aid Conrad after he was accidentally sent back to 13th Century Poland.
  • Decapitated Army: In The Flying Warlord, Conrad Stargard sends in a commando force who somehow identify and kill every commander in the Mongol forces in the middle of the night. This is used to explain the Idiot Ball later when the Mongols ride straight into the trap set by Stargard's forces. Given that an army of nomad warriors who had already conquered large parts of Asia and Eastern Europe would be used to taking casualties and have no shortage of combat-experienced soldiers adept at taking the initiative, this is rather implausible.
  • Delegation Relay
    • Used to show the size of Conrad Stargard's army when they march out against the Mongol invasion. Conrad gives the order to advance to his three kolomels; it's then passed on to their eighteen barons, their hundred commanders, their six hundred captains, their 3,600 platoons, their 21,000 knights, and their 126,000 soldiers (who of course only say, "Yes sir!").
    • Conrad confesses his real identity to his priest, who can't decide whether this is an act of God or the Devil. So he refers the matter to the Holy Inquisition in Rome. Conrad spends years with this threat hanging over his head, but it turns out someone at the higher levels of the Church always refuses to believe the report and sends it back to the local church authority for verification. But as Conrad's star rises the priest keeps getting promoted as well, because naturally the Church want to maintain their influence over any powerful figure. So the report keeps getting referred back to his friend as the local authority, and therefore just goes round in circles without reaching Rome.
  • Deus ex Machina: Conrad has a relative in the far future who goes to extensive lengths to make things easy for him.
  • Droit du Seigneur: In the Conrad Stargard series, the time traveling protagonist is shocked by this practice, but quickly overcomes his objections when he becomes a feudal lord himself.
  • Eternal English: Addressed in the Conrad Stargard series. When Conrad goes back in time to 13th-century Poland, he realizes how lucky he is to be there, where the language hasn't drifted very much in 700 years, as opposed to England, where he would be completely incomprehensible. Which is just as much of a bull as you might expect.
  • Hungry Jungle: The protagonist of Conrad's Search for Rubber faces this when attempting to explore Africa. After the massive death incurred by both the explorers and the natives, Conrad vows to do no more exploration until he'd found a solution.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Conrad tells a bartender that women in bunny outfits (à la Playboy bunnies) will help business. Also something of a subversion, in that the bartender takes his advice, but eventually has trouble finding new employees when the girls keep running off to get married.
  • Judgment of Solomon: Used in the Conrad Stargard series. Conrad Stargard becomes a feudal lord, and is asked to arbitrate a dispute. A man and his neighbor each owned a pig, and one day, they only found one pig. They both claim it is theirs. Conrad agrees with both of them, and tells them the court cost from each of them is half a pig. They divide the pig between them, and later give Conrad the other pig when it is found.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: In the Conrad Stargard series, Conrad adapts quickly to living in medieval Poland.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: In the Conrad Stargard series, one of Stargard's men finds himself in suddenly married to a beautiful employee at the boss's factory, but when she becomes pregnant he ponders this trope, wondering if he's been manipulated into saving a former mistress some embarrassment.
  • One-Hit Polykill: In the Conrad Stargard books, when fighting the Mongols with shots from the steam-powered machine guns often blasting through 3-4 men at a time.
  • One-Man Industrial Revolution: In the Conrad Stargard series, Polish hiker Conrad Schwartz, in a drunken stupor, bypasses all kinds of security and stumbles into a historical-research time portal and awakens in thirteenth-century Poland, where he has just ten years to industrialize and unite his nation before the Mongol hordes arrive and kill everybody.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: In the Conrad Stargard series, the Trapped in the Past protagonist is assumed to come from the miraculous (and non-existent) realm of Prester John to help Poland fight the invading Mongols. When asked why they'd only send one man, Conrad quips that there's only one invasion.
  • Pure Is Not Good: In the Conrad Stargard series, Conrad reflects on his pastor's words that one with a pure heart has The Strength of Ten Men. He realizes that it could be pure anything; pure love or pure hate, pure greed or even pure evil.
  • Sapient Steed: Anna and her descendants in the Conrad Stargard series are guessed to be about as intelligent as a 6-8 year old. Within the books, it's indicated that they might even be smarter than that, but have been hiding their abilities since they're essentially genetically engineered slaves.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Conrad's Time Machine uses this in multiple forms. First of all, the characters start out planning to use their new scientific discoveries for things like railroad tunnelling rather than time travel; and they do have many non-time-travel uses for the technology that is also useful for making a time machine. At one point, during the process of figuring out how to invent a really workable means of time travel, they seriously consider using time travel to steal from a bank vault, and get as far as figuring out the plan for how to do this. Fortunately, Jim Hasenpfeffer points out that it would make more sense just to use stock tips from future newspapers, and the characters get the money they need that way. And then, about halfway through the book, the characters are whisked away to a fabulously wealthy island paradise which was built by their own future selves, in which all of this wealth was generated by the practical applications of time travel.
  • Space Sailing: In The Two Space War, Hyperspace is literally two dimensional, and spaceships are sailing ships made of wood infested with an alien fungus.
  • Trapped in the Past: In the Conrad Stargard series, Polish hiker Conrad Schwartz, in a drunken stupor, bypasses all kinds of security and stumbles into a historical-research time portal and awakens in thirteenth-century Poland, where he has just ten years to industrialize and unite his nation before the Mongol hordes arrive and kill everybody.

Alternative Title(s): Cross Time Engineer