Wednesday, 26 August 2015

From The Golden Age To The 1990s

The modes of publication of Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series reflect the history of the publication of American sf in the second half of the twentieth century:

magazine stories, later collected;

an original collection and two novels;

an original short novel first published in the omnibus collection;

a contribution to a themed anthology.

Thus, the stages are:

material originally published in magazines, then republished in books;
material originally published in books by a single author;
themed anthologies as a major innovation.

Although "Death And The Knight," a Time Patrol story in a Knights Templar anthology, has been added to a later edition of the Time Patrol omnibus collection, it still remains part of that anthology, which might be reissued? Also, some fans might prefer to read such a story in a miscellaneous volume? I don't - but maybe some people out there do prefer multi-author anthologies to single-author collections? It is like a synthesis of magazine format with book format, especially when a themed anthology becomes a series, like Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars to which Anderson made three contributions.

To illustrate this post, I have found the cover of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1955, which wrongly describes the first Time Patrol story, "Time Patrol," as a novel although the blurb is illegible as reproduced here.

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