I'm searching for a science-fiction book set in the quite an old time: around the 15th-16th century. Features aliens arriving in a spaceship to an old country: likely a western country from what I remember.

Here are the details that I can remember:

  • Read the book during 2005-2008. Definitely not published during that time based on the writing style: I will hazard a guess at around 1960-1980 publication.
  • Story begins where there's some sort of military rally and an alien spaceship lands in this old country. The aliens attempt to kill the people there but are overpowered and killed. I believe 1-2 aliens were kept as prisoners.
  • People board (capture) the ship and use it to travel to the alien's base seemingly reach there. They talk to the aliens and have a treaty whereby the aliens also have to serve in the (people's) country's military force to win a war.
  • Not long after one of the alien's bases are bombed and the spaceship is destroyed, leaving the people trapped on the alien's country.

I'm pretty sure the ending is where a few years later, the people trapped on that planet manage to get back home.

One interesting part to note: when the people captured the spaceship they named it. I can't remember the name but it likely has an '-ade' at the back. Something like 'Invade' along the line.

I just remembered reading the book recently after reading 'War of the Worlds' - another alien scifi book; any help is appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Sounds like Poul Anderson's The High Crusade. Quoting the summary:

Sir Roger formulates a plan that with the captured ship, he can take the entire village to France to win the war, and then liberate the Holy Land. The townspeople, with all of their belongings, board the ship at the baron's instruction, and prepare to take off. The people of Ansby are mystified at the advanced technology aboard the ship, which they come to call the Crusader. Being unable to pilot the Crusader Sir Roger directs the surly Branithar to pilot them to France. Instead, the alien wrecks the baron's plan by throwing the Crusader into autopilot on course to Tharixan, another Wersgor colony.

The Crusader arrives at Tharixan in days, and Sir Roger learns of this new world: it is sparsely-populated, with only three fortresses, Ganturath, Stularax, and Darova (the chief base). The humans capture Ganturath but destroy the Crusader in the process. Word spreads of the invaders and a meeting is arranged between Sir Roger and his soldiers and the chief of Tharixan, Huruga.

The cover I remember from the 80s and a more recent one (taken from Goodreads): 19832003

  • Here are some more covers.
    – user14111
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 13:27
  • Dang, was it that easy to find? This sure looks like the book, thanks for the help!
    – Voronwé
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 13:43
  • @Voronwë Not really an issue of finding it, more of remembering/recognizing it. Wasn't just me, I saw someone else posted the same answer but deleted it afterwards (while I was adding pictures).
    – eshier
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 20:11
  • FGITW - I recognized this one from the title of the question - one of my favourites as a teenager. Commented May 14, 2017 at 5:56
  • And a definite aversion of Medieval Morons. The villagers are ignorant of high technology, but they learn how to use it. I was also highly amused at how part of their success was because they had more sensitive hearing than the aliens, leading to them overhearing all of the whispered plotting.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 18:46

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