Sunday, 9 June 2013


An author's use of language resonates between works. Dominic Flandry first appeared in "Tiger by the Tail." (1951) The title means that barbarian imperialists kidnap Flandry and wish they hadn't.

The Young Flandry Trilogy is an extended prologue. In Ensign Flandry, (1966) Flandry, when in the company of a xenosophont called a "Tigery," uses the phrase "'...a Tigery by the tail!'" Here, Anderson clearly deliberately echoes that earlier written title. In A Circus Of Hells, (1970) he "...smiled like a tiger." Probably another deliberate echo. I am currently rereading The Rebel Worlds, (1969) looking out for tiger comparisons.

In The Rebel Worlds, Flandry is summoned before Vice Admiral Kheraskov - like Bond summoned before Admiral Sir Miles Messervy, commonly called M. Kheraskov is:

"...the master of perhaps a million agents through the Empire and beyond." (The Rebel Worlds, London, 1973, p. 17)

Just think of it.

Flandry has changed his face for the first and only time so that, in any screen adaptations, a different actor would have to be used from this installment onwards.

Files had given Kheraskov reels on a dozen agents qualified for this job. We would like to read novels based on the other reels just as we would like to know about 008 or 009.

This next subject is probably of interest to none but me but so be it. Latest thinking on how best to package and present the History of Technic Civilization:

three boxed sets -

The Rise Of The Polesotechnic League
The Decline Of The Polesotechnic League
The Rise Of The Terran Empire

Young Flandry
Outposts Of Empire
Captain Flandry

Children Of Empire
After The Empire

We wish there were more not only after the AFTER but also before and between.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    Dang! I've read and reread ENSIGN FLANDRY more than once but I never thought of "Tiger by the Tail" when Flandry exclaimed "...Tigery by the tail" as he and Dragoika were combating the Merseians. Wish I had! (Smiles)

    I had noted how Vice Amiral Kheraskov was the master of a million agents in and out of the Empire. A colossal job, trying to keep tabs on the dangers threatening the Empire.

    Now that you've mentioned it, it would be interesting to know more about the other 11 officers Kheraskov considered sending to help investigate Aaron Snelund in Sector Alpha Crucis.

    And while I am interested in your thoughts in how best to publish in standard editions Poul Anderson's Technic History stories, wouldn't such arrangements need to be somewhat different in a COMPLETE COLLECTED WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON edition? What did you think of the Vance Integral Edition and the Virginia Edition of the complete works of Jack Vance and Robert Heinlein? Might they be possible models for the works of Poul Anderson?


  2. Yes, what has been done with Vance and Heinlein could be a model for Anderson but I think that, in any Complete Works, each series, including the Technic History, should be published together in a volume or, in this case, a series of volumes so some discussion about how to improve on THE TECHNIC CIVILIZATION SAGA is appropriate.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      I agree, in any proposed COMPLETE WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON, it would make sense to keep together the stories and novels making up a series or timeline. The three "Young Flandry" books would make a natural separate volume of a COMPLETE WORKS.

      There were a few times, however, when Poul Anderson revised some of the stories he set in a timeline. I would argue for considering the revised texts "canonical" and place the original stories in appendices at the end of the volume or volumes collecting a linked series of stories. Examples being "Margin of Profit," Tiger by the Tail," etc.


  3. I would say that the appendix should be a distinct volume if there are enough original versions for it.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      I agree, along with any annotations necessary for explaining the changes made in the texts and why the origial forms were relegated to an appendix.