“And how are you going to make education easy? You might as well try to build an athlete by keeping him in a hammock with cream puffs and beer.” ~ Edgar Pangborn
Edgar's best-known book, the Hugo-nominated Davy of 1964, is set in a much later part time of that post-apocalyptic future, a picaresque bildungsroman set in a repressive theocratic society which developed out of the ruins of the destroyed old world. This post-apocalyptic world eventually became the backdrop for most of Edgar's stories, including his Hugo-nominated "Longtooth", his Nebula finalist "Mount Charity", and his last novel, The Company of Glory.
Because of his educational background and early interests, Edgar's works often deal with musical themes: in both Davy and A Mirror For Observers music plays a crucial role. Edgar's works are also known for being humane and poignant in a way that nevertheless allows for some dark themes and raunchy humor.
In his introduction to Edgar's posthumous story collection Still I Persist In Wondering, Spider Robinson observed: "[Pangborn] said again and again in his books that love is not a condition or an event or even a state of mind—that love is a country, which we are sometimes privileged to visit."