Saturday, 17 August 2013

Losers' Night II

Not remembering how much of Poul Anderson's "Losers' Night" I had read last night, I have just read the whole story through again from the beginning. It is as relaxing as a visit to the inn even though the conversations touch on difficult issues. It would be possible to google Winston Churchill's biography to ascertain which period of his life is represented here. From what both he and the narrator say, it would seem to be between the Wars, which would mean that he took up painting and bricklaying at that stage, not, as I would have thought, later - but this can be googled, or someone who knows more about Churchill's life might comment?

This story is like the summit of the parallel universes/Old Phoenix sequence because it refers to:

Valeria Matuchek of Operation Chaos and Operation Luna;
Holger Dansk of Three Hearts And Three Lions;
Prince Rupert of A Midsummer Tempest;
Huck Finn who is in the Old Phoenix inn at the end of A Midsummer Tempest;
the Abelard who visited the inn in "House Rule" -

- and I need only add that Matuchek, Dansk and Rupert meet in the Old Phoenix in A Midsummer Tempest to show how these three novels and six stories hang together. (I am reckoning Operation Chaos as four stories rather than as one novel.) In fact, they make as substantial a sequence of volumes as the King of Ys, Time Patrol, Technic Civilization or Harvest of Stars, and deserve to be packaged as such in Poul Anderson's Complete Works.

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