Monday, 28 October 2013

Four Tetralogies

Poul and Karen Anderson's The King Of Ys and Poul Anderson's Harvest Of Stars are tetralogies. Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series could also be packaged as such:

The Guardians Of Time
"Time Patrol"
"Brave To Be A King"
"The Only Game In Town"
"Delenda Est"
"Gibraltar Falls"

The Gods Of Time
"The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth"
"Star Of The Sea"

The Thieves of Time
"Year Of The Ransom"
"Ivory And Apes And Peacocks"

The Shield Of Time
The Shield Of Time
"Death And The Knight"

- as could his Psychotechnic History:

"The Sensitive Man"
"The Big Rain"

Solar Union
"Quixote And The Windmill"
"Cold Victory"
"What Shall It Profit?"
"The Troublemakers"
"The Snows Of Ganymede"

Stellar Union
"Star Ship"
"Green Thunb"
"The Acolytes"
Virgin Planet

Star Ways
"The Pirate"
The Peregrine
"The Chapter Ends"

(The shorter version of "Virgin Planet" belongs in a volume of earlier, shorter versions of Anderson's works.)

The first two stories in the proposed Stellar Union collection are FTL but pre-Stellar Union and I have not yet read the third and fourth so that so far I have read only four of the six works set in the Stellar Union period.

Between them, these four tetralogies cover the historical and prehistorical pasts and three alternative futures.

I was pleased to find that Anderson's Psychotechnic History, like his Technic History, does the same kinds of things as Asimov's Foundation Trilogy but does them better. However, I hope that I have finished comparing Asimov unfavorably with Anderson. This issue has come up several times and each time has, to me, seemed fresh but cannot go on forever!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

The only question I have with how you divided into "volumes" the Time Patrol stories is whether or not "Death and the Knight" should come before, rather than after THE SHIELD OF TIME. I think "Death and the Knight" would fit in better before SHIELD because Manse Everard seems to be unaware of Wanda Tamberley in the former story. But I grant that could be because Everard was totally focused on his mission in "Death."


Paul Shackley said...

Wanda is in "Death". Everard's mission is an interruption to the holiday that she and he began at the end of SHIELD.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Drat! That's what I get for going by memory! In that case, yes, I agree "Death and the Knight" is best placed after THE SHIELD OF TIME.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

There's another point I forgot to add to my previous note: I am doubtful the Harvest of Stars books can be truly called a tetralogy. Unlike THE KING OF YS, which is truly a four volume novel, HARVEST OF STARS and its three "sequels" can, in my opinion, be read independently of each other. HARVEST THE FIRE, for example, is definitely indepdent of the other three books, while still sharing the same background and "historical setting." Altho I do agree Anson Guthrie and his downloads does provide a continuing link in three of these books.