|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2009)|
The space opera series is set in the 31st century, during the waning days of the Terran Empire. Flandry is a dashing field agent of the Imperial Intelligence Corps who travels the stars to fight off imminent threats to the empire from both external enemies and internal treachery. His long-time archenemy is Aycharaych, a cultured but ruthless telepathic spymaster who weaves plots for the expansionistic rival empire of the alien Merseians. Similar to the James Bond stories (which started two years later), every new adventure brings Flandry another beautiful damsel to woo and rescue.
The illegitimate son of a minor nobleman, Flandry rises to considerable power within the decadent Empire by his own wits, and enjoys all the pleasures his position in society gives him. Still he is painfully conscious of the impending fall of the Terran Empire and the subsequent "Long Night" of a galactic dark age. His career is dedicated to holding it off for as long as possible. In time, he passes the mantle to his daughter Diana, who is also illegitimate.
Flandry is willing to disregard conventional morality and use his foes' tactics against them. He can cheerfully deceive, seduce, and blackmail; in A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, he orders the mind-probing his traitorous illegitimate son, reducing him to a vegetative state, and bombards Aycharaych's uninhabited homeworld into radioactive ruin in part for vengeance, as Aycharaych's latest plot had resulted in the death of the woman he loved and planned to marry.
Flandry is featured in
- Ensign Flandry (1966)
- A Circus of Hells (1970)
- The Rebel Worlds (1969)
- A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (1974)
- A Stone in Heaven (1979)
- The Game of Empire (1985)
- Agent of the Terran Empire (1965) consisting of the short stories 'Tiger by the Tail', 'The Warriors from Nowhere', 'Honorable Enemies' and 'Hunters of the Sky Cave'.
- Flandry of Terra (1965) containing 'The Game of Glory'. 'A Message in Secret' and 'The Plague of Masters'.
- Young Flandry (2009), combining the novels 'Ensign Flandry', 'A Circus of Hells' and 'The Rebel Worlds'.
- Captain Flandry: Defender of the Terran Empire (2010), combining the short stories 'Outpost of Empire', 'The Day of Their Return', 'Tiger by the Tail', 'Honorable Enemies', 'The Game of Glory' and 'A Message in Secret'.
- Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight of Terra (2010), combining the short stories 'The Plague of Masters', 'Hunters of the Sky Cave', 'The Warriors from Nowhere' and the novel 'A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows'.
- Flandry's Legacy (2011), combining the novels 'A Stone in Heaven' and 'The Game of Empire'.
He also appears - with Anderson's permission - in the novel The Dark Dimensions (1971), part of the John Grimes series written by A. Bertram Chandler. There, Flandry crosses over into Chandler's Rim Worlds and meets Chandler's Commodore Grimes (the two fail to like each other).
'The Day of Their Return' is related to the Flandry saga though he does not appear in it - being a sequel to "The Rebel Worlds" depicting how the planet Aeneas and its inhabitants fared after Flandry ended his mission there and went elsewhere.
- Poul Anderson at http://www.baen.com/ Retrieved 20-10-2010
- Poul Anderson's Future Histories, by Dr Paul Shackley
- Dominic Flandry series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Wagner, Thomas M. (1997). "ENSIGN FLANDRY". sfReviews. "This book kicks ass!"
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