Sunday, 3 April 2016


Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series describes real historical events and processes. Anderson's History of Technic Civilization and Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy describe such processes recurring on an interstellar scale in the future. Since the Technic History is just one of eight or nine future histories by Anderson, we can summarize this post so far by stating that, whereas Asimov presents a future, Anderson presents the past and several futures.

The Mule disrupts Seldon's psychohistorical Plan but the Second Foundation restores it. Neldorians disrupt recorded history but the Time Patrol restores it. Later Foundation novels reveal that Seldon's Plan is subordinate to a robotic plan for humanity. A later Time Patrol novel reveals that time criminals, like the Neldorians and the Exaltationists, are a lesser threat than temporal chaos. The Technic History presents a less implausible interstellar empire and less incredible preparations for its inevitable Fall.

Either the Time Patrol or the Technic History would be a better candidate for "Best SF Series Of All Time" although the Foundation Trilogy won a Hugo Award in this category.

Anderson contributed:

one novel to Robert E Howard's Conan series;
one US Robots story to Asimov's future history;
two stories to Asimov's "Isaac's Universe" series;
one chapter to Murasaki;
one War World story story to Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium future history;
three Man-Kzin Wars stories to Larry Niven's Known Space future history;
one story to Harlan Ellison's Medea series;
one story to Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series;
the concept, the Introduction and one story in A World Named Cleopatra.

We must soon return to the Man-Kzin Wars.


David Birr said...

I hate to point this out, but twice you used "Danellians" when I think you meant "Neldorians" -- given that the Danellians FOUNDED the Patrol...

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

Ha! You beat me to pointing out Paul made a mistake including the Danellians as among the bad guys combated by the Time Patrol.

And Poul Anderson contributed not just one but two chapters to MURASAKI. One being a story and the other being a non fictional examination of how a planet like Murasaki might exist for real.

And I do wish Poul Anderson had contributed more than one story to Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium series.


Sean M. Brooks said...

I made a mistake: Murasaki is the name of the STAR, Genji and Chujo the name of the two inhabited PLANETS.

Also, besides Poul Anderson's contributions, MURASAKI has another connection to him due to his son in law Greg Beal also contributing a story: "A Plague Of Conscience."

The title of Bear's story also reminds me of Anderson's novel THE PLAGUE OF MASTERS.


Paul Shackley said...

David and Sean,
Thank you for the corrections.