Thursday, 15 August 2013

Post-Mammalian Aliens

(This cover is wrong because its Yhtrian is avian and beaked.)

This post is not what it seems. Please read on.

I noted before that Poul Anderson's collection Explorations begins and ends with the opening and closing stories of his Technic Civilization History, "The Saturn Game" and "Starfog." By the same token, his collection Homeward And Beyond begins with "Wings of Victory," which was for many years the opening Technic History story before "The Saturn Game" was written.

However, my intention is not to complain yet again of duplications in collections but to commend Anderson's short introduction to "Wings of Victory" in Homeward... This introduction should be preserved with similar introductions in an Appendix to the Technic History. If left in front of the story that it introduces, it would interrupt the narrative flow because "Wings of Victory," like eleven other works, is fictitiously introduced by an Ythrian so that even the introductions are part of the fiction.

But Anderson's Complete Works should include this short paragraph which refers to Anderson's last conversation with Astounding/Analog editor John Campbell. Anderson asked what might come after mammals as they had come after reptiles which had come after amphibians. Campbell made a suggestion which became Anderson's Ythrians.


reptiles and birds;
intelligent, winged carnivores.


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