Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Comments?

A local science fiction fan suggested that some people view this blog but do not comment on it because they do not want to tangle with someone (me, apparently) who knows what he is talking about. Let me assure everyone that this is not the case. I have reread, found errors, corrected them and wondered why someone else did not point them out. (They have done, occasionally.)

There are regularly over 100 page views per day and this is an increase because I used to be pleased with just over 50. It would be good if some of those 100+ people could tell us who they are and what they think about Poul Anderson? They are bound to think different things because Anderson addressed many issues, several of them extremely controversial.

I find it very easy to read or reread Anderson's works and find something to say about them and other Anderson fans are bound to find different things to say so they are welcome to express them here, especially if they disagree with things that I have already said. Anyone advocating racist views would not find a platform here but no one seriously interested in Poul Anderson's fiction and philosophy could seriously advocate such views, could they?

So what does anyone that we have not heard from yet think of the King of Ys Tetralogy, the Time Patrol series or the History of  Technic Civilization?

7 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I agree absolutely! I too wish other readers of this blog would deposit their own comments here about Poul Anderson and his works. Or even about works by other authors. That is what regulars readers do at John Wright's blog, as you recall (I've sometimes sent you links to some of his essays).

I hope this shyness is due to nothing more than the well known English tradition of being taciturn and reserved! (Smiles)

As you know, I've written to Poul Anderson a total of 24 letters. And he patiently and kindly replied to every one of my sometimes far too long and argumentative letters. I have discussed both his Terran Empire stories and THE KING OF YS with PA (but not, alas, the Time Patrol stories).

I'll end by urging readers of this blog to take a chance and drop a note or two! Paul won't bite you! (Smiles)

Sean

ndrosen said...

I wrote to Poul Anderson once. Back in '96 or '97, I was following a Usenet group, and asked Dorothy Heydt, a friend of his, for his address. She emailed me that she would forward a letter instead, so mailed a letter to her. I told Anderson that I was presuming on the invitation in one of his books: he had said that he had long wanted to write convincingly about a spaceship with oars, and I could imagine a possible scenario for this, which I set forth. I began by assuring him that I waived any rights I might have to payment or acknowledgement; this was a gift to a man who had provided me hundreds of hours of reading pleasure and considerable food for thought. He sent me a polite reply to what he was pleased to describe as my charming letter.

Nicholas D. Rosen

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Rosen:

Many thanks for your interesting comments about writing to Poul Anderson. The manner of how he responded to you certainly fits in with his kindly replies to my letters.

I'm not sure if I ever came across his thoughts about somehow using oars to propel a space ship. I have read his amusing "A Bicycle Built for Brew," which details how he used BEER as a power source.

Someday, someone should collect and publish at least some of the surviving letters of Poul Anderson.

Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

Paul Shackley said...

Yes, I recently came across PA's remark about wanting to write a spaceship with oars although I have not got it to hand.

Nicholas, maybe you could send your idea to some other sf writer or even share it here?

Paul Shackley said...

In KINSHIP WITH THE STARS, New York, 1991. p. 1, Introduction to "A Bicycle Built for Brew": "An ambition of mine, to write convincingly about a spacecraft with oars, remains unfulfilled. Suggestions are welcome."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

So that's where Anderson's idea of a spaceship with oars came from. I don't have that collection of Anderson's stories, largely because the items in it can be found in other books I have. Many thanks!

Sean

ndrosen said...

The idea was rowing/polling in the rings of Saturn or some imagined planet with a similar or perhaps even more congenial ring or set of rings. I did not suggest that this would be standard propulsion, but that perhaps the crew of a damaged spacecraft could gain just a little key velocity by finding objects to use as oars, and pushing off rocks in the ring. If anyone wants to make a story of this, go ahead.

Regards, Nicholas