Sunday, 10 March 2013


Early references to spacemen of different nationalities speaking Swedish, to Stockholm as their capital city and to the Control Authority keeping world peace establish that Poul Anderson's "Pride" (IN Anderson, Space Folk, New York, 1989, pp. 1-28) is set in the same future timeline as his Tau Zero. Otherwise, "Pride" would have been simply an independent story of space exploration. I suppose that any number of stories set in space could be linked into a radial series if their texts were to incorporate such common background references.

The spaceship Anna Lovinda has two purposes:

to test the Bussard drive that might be used for interstellar journeys - and is in Tau Zero;
to investigate "Nemesis, long-unseen companion of Sol..." (p. 5), a "brown dwarf" (intermediate in mass between a star and a planet), and even to land smaller craft on some of its planet-sized satellites.

Nemesis is so called because it is the body whose passage through the Oort cloud disturbs the comets so that some fall towards Sol with catastrophic consequences if they hit the inhabited inner planet. James Blish's unfinished novel King Log features Beta Solis, the long unseen white dwarf companion of Sol, and its planets, including one that is inhabited.

My Anderson agenda has become:

to finish rereading "Pride" because of its connection to Tau Zero and because it is interesting in itself;
to return to rereading the fascinating World Without Stars, which is a companion volume to Tau Zero since both are transgalactic in scope;
to reread "Call Me Joe" because it is a further Anderson work set on Jupiter;
maybe to reread "A Bicycle Built For Brew" and one or two other early works with common backgrounds.

Rereading just became more complicated.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

"Call Me Joe" is a true masterpiece by Poul Anderson. one of the earliest and best stories on the theme of downloading or transferring a human's memories/personality from his original body to another body.

You may also be aware of how James Cameron has been accused of ripping off, without attribution, ideas from "Call Me Joe" for his movie "Avatar." I was very indignant when I looked a bit into this and decided it was likely Cameron had plagiarized from Anderson's story.

And "A Bicycle Built for Brew" was a fun story to read. A real laugh riot!


Paul Shackley said...

Sean, "Pride" is the prequel to TAU ZERO.