Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Handful Of Short Stories

"...[Anderson] sometimes takes a long time to develop an idea. He begins with a scattered handful of short stories. Later he returns to their world and builds one or more novels."
Tom Easton, "The Reference Library" IN Analog, Sept, 1983.

Easton refers to the Maurai History, three short stories followed later by one long novel:

"The Sky People" (1959);
"Progress" (1962);
"Windmill" (1973);
Orion Shall Rise (1983).

There Will Be Time (1973) is also connected.

Another example of short stories followed by a novel might be the Ythrians series within Anderson's Technic History. However, the dates of the works featuring Ythrian show that mostly they resulted from a single burst of creativity:

"Wings of Victory" (1972);
"The Problem of Pain" (1973);
"Lodestar" (1973);
"Wingless" (1973);
"Rescue on Avalon" (1973);
The People Of The Wind (1973);
The Day Of Their Return (1973);
The Earth Book Of Stormgate (1978).

A very productive period especially if we check the bibliographies, which I am not going to do right now, to see what else Anderson was writing at that time.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm not sure I quite get Tom Easton's point or objection. It seems logical to me that most writers might use the same background in a group of stories and only later think of how it could be used for a novel.

And not all of Anderson's linked short stories eventually get a novel included. Easton also reviewed PA's TALES OF THE FLYING MOUNTAINS in the same column, and Anderson never did get to write a Flying Mountains novel. And, now that I've thought of it, I'm sorry he didn't!