Tuesday, 13 August 2013

On The Track Of Cappen Varra

Fantasy (New York, 1981), a collection by Poul Anderson, comprises:

two stories and one satirical piece under the heading, "Historical";
three stories and one article under the heading, "A-Historical";
four stories, one article and one satirical piece under the heading, "It Could Happen To You";
an Afterword that seems to be part of the third section and that, when we turn to it, turns out to be by Anderson expert, Sandra Miesel.

This is far too mixed up. The various items would have to go into different volumes of any Complete Works.

In "Historical":

"House Rule" is an Old Phoenix inn between the worlds story that belongs in an alternative timelines/parallel universes collection;
"The Tale of Hauk" is a historical fantasy that belongs in a collection of stories set in various past periods;
"Of Pigs And Men," the satirical piece, belongs in a non-fiction, or at least non-narrative, collection.

In "A-Historical":
the article should be in a non-fiction collection;
the stories should indeed be in a Fantasy collection;
of these, the two Cappen Varra stories should be placed before "Fairy Gold" which is not here but which does refer to Cappen Varra.

In "It could Happen To You":
the article and the satirical piece should be in a non-fiction collection;
of the stories, "Interloper" and, I think, "The Visitor" (I have yet to reread it), are sf, not fantasy;
"The Visitor" is in any case repeated in the later collection, All One Universe;
"Pact" and "Superstition" are, I provisionally think, fantasy.

The Afterword is about Anderson's fantasies.

I am trying to track down Cappen Varra stories but felt obliged to analyze Fantasy before reading "The Valor of Cappen Varra."

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