Sunday, 13 December 2015


In January this year, I posted in detail, from here to here, about Poul Anderson's Genesis, a late single volume future history covering geological epochs. This December, I have become entirely focused on the first three installments of Anderson's first future history series, the Psychotechnic History.

In this early period of the Psychotechnic History, Secret Servicemen work for the UN whereas, in a transitional period of Genesis (see here), a gifted woman works alone liaising between humanity and the planet-controlling Artificial Intelligence. Ideas of the future change as we move into it.

"A Chronology Of The Psychotechnic Series" on pp. 283-284 of Poul Anderson, Starship (New York, 1982) is:

"Prepared by Sandra Miesel, based in part on the chronology published by Poul Anderson in Startling Stories, Winter, 1955." (p. 284)

So we do not know how much of the 1982 Chronology is by Anderson and how much by Miesel - unless someone has a copy of that Startling Stories? The 1982 Chronology begins:

1958  World War III
1964   "Marius"
1965  First Conference of Rio makes U.N. world government
1975   Psychotechnic Institute established Expeditions to Mars and Venus, then colonization
2004  "Un-Man"
2009  "The Sensitive Man"

It should read:

1958  World War III, followed by Years of Hunger
1964  "Marius"
1965  First Conference of Rio makes U.N. an instrument of multilateral negotiation
           Years of Madness
1975  as above plus Pilgrims emigrate to Mars
           the Socialist Depression and other economic breakdowns
2004  as above
2009  as above

At the time of "Un-Man":

"'The U.N. is in the process of becoming a federal world government.'" (p. 71)


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Now I'm interested in trying to find a copy of the Winter 1955 issue of STARTLING STORIES, to compare Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic chronology with the one found in STARSHIP. I think Sandra Miesel may have expanded on the STARTLING STORIES Chronology.

Also, you made a mistake in your revising of the Chronology. You wrote: "1985 World War III, followed by Years of Hunger." The date should be 1958.


Paul Shackley said...

Thank you for the correction. I always seem to get numbers wrong.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

MY weakness here is how I sometimes neglect to properly use quotation marks. (Smiles)

I'm sure the two us, and Poul Anderson, were/are all glad there was no WW III with the USSR. Almost certainly such a conflict would have gone nuclear--and even if the West won, it would have been at least as shattered as what we see in "Marius."