Monday, 29 July 2013

Poul Anderson's Fictions

(I want to end July with 89 posts in order to form a round number with June, which accidentally ended with 101 instead of 100, because I find round numbers easier to deal with. (Addendum, 30 Nov 2015: Later, two posts were moved from 2013 to 2014. One of these posts must have been from June 2013 because that month now has 100 posts.) This might mean a few posts drafted tomorrow and Wednesday but not posted till Thursday. Meanwhile, I hope that there are enough here for anyone who is interested!)

It really is extraordinary how one reader's attention can move around between Poul Anderson's multifarious works of fiction. When I was posting about Anderson's diverse works set in the past, I did not want to return to his futuristic sf.

More recently, for over two months, I focused entirely on a single futuristic series, the Technic Civilization History, because I thought, and still think, that this series warrants that much attention and more. However, I began to wonder how long I would be able to sustain a commentary on one series - it can always be returned to later. Meanwhile, I remembered that there was one historical fiction short story that I had not yet read and had intended to return to.

Identifying this story as "Son of the Sword," in the collection Alight In The Void, I read and posted not only about it but also about the remaining four stories in this collection. Although I prefer novels to short stories and trilogies, tetralogies or series to single novels, I currently feel that the future of Poul Anderson Appreciation blogging lies in the short stories so I will be reading or rereading some other collections that have gathered on a bookshelf upstairs.

Earlier, a particular theme took me entirely outside the Anderson canon. Anderson's several works set on Jupiter include "Call Me Joe" which has strong parallels to James Blish's "Bridge." Rereading the Anderson story led to rereading the Blish story which led to rereading and blogging about several other Blish works, on James Blish Appreciation. However, Anderson's output is much bigger than Blish's so that, after about a month, I was back with Anderson. It is unpredictable where this process will lead to next.

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