Thursday, 25 June 2015

Praise for Poul Anderson

On the back cover of Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010):

"One of science fiction's giants."
-Arthur C Clarke.

"A Master!"
-Robert Jordan.

"Poul Anderson immerses you in the future...Anderson puts you into a whole new world."
-Larry Niven.

"These are stories of the classic science fiction tradition: hard science and tough characters in logically well integrated action stories."
-Jerry Pournelle.

"Poul Anderson probably does more things well than anyone else in the field. A thorough grasp of language, history, science, and the human spirit make him a possession for all time..."
-Harry Turtledove.

"The winner of seven Hugos and three of the towering figures of modern SF and fantasy."
-Publishers Weekly.

Each of these six comments says something different. Publishers Weekly imparts information. Sf fans, as represented by the World Science Fiction Convention, give annual Hugo awards for best novel, short story, dramatic presentation etc. Sf professionals, as represented by the Science Fiction Writers of America, give annual Nebula awards in similar categories. When a novel has won a Hugo or Nebula, I think that "Winner of Hugo (or Nebula) Award for the best novel of (year)" should be displayed on the cover. "Hugo (or Nebula) winning author" should not be displayed on other books by the same writer. Publishers Weekly tells us that Anderson has won at least ten major sf awards and also writes fantasy.

Niven expresses exactly how I feel about Anderson's History of Technic Civilization.

Dr Pournelle highlights no less than four salient features:

hard science;
tough characters;
logically integrated narratives (good point);

Turtledove lists four points:

language (I have frequently commented on Anderson's vocabulary);

All of these accomplishments explain the use of the terms "giant" and "Master!"

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