Friday, 14 October 2016

The History Of A History

There is a history to the book publication of Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization and I think that, for completeness, it makes sense to own copies of successive versions as well as the comprehensive The Technic Civilization Saga published by Baen Science Fiction and compiled by Hank Davis. In particular, the earlier Polesotechnic League collections:

Trader To The Stars
The Trouble Twisters
The Earth Book Of Stormgate.

These volumes were not complete even at the time and did not present the stories in the correct chronological order. Nevertheless, they were nearly complete and were the form in which we first encountered the series. Fortunately, the seven-volume Saga, although I dislike that title, incorporates and preserves everything, including the extra material that was added as Introductions and a conclusion in the Earth Book. The twelve works that were collected in the Earth Book are, the Saga Volumes I-III, separated by intervening installments. Therefore, it makes sense to retain a copy of the Earth Book in order to appreciate this volume as the unity that it still is.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I have hardback copies of all three of the volumes you listed. In my zeal to collect the works of Poul Anderson I purchased hardback copies of as many of his stories as I could. The very first hardback by Anderson I acquired being a copy of THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS in 1971.

I still have some thirty plus Anderson paperbacks, but kept because either there were no hard covers for them, or for sentimental reasons. Or because they contained extra material such as essays by Sandra Miesel.