Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Armies Of Elfland

Poul Anderson's The Armies Of Elfland (New York, 1992) is a truly redundant volume. It collects eight stories although all of them had appeared in earlier collections.

"The Queen Of Air And Darkness" is in The Queen Of Air And Darkness And Other Stories, Winners, The Book Of Poul Anderson and New America but really belongs in the same volume as the eight Rustum stories because it is set in the same future history timeline.

"House Rule," "The Tale of Hauk," "The Valor of Cappen Varra," "The Gate of the Flying Knives" and "The Barbarian" are in Fantasy.

"Fairy Gold" and "A Feast for the Gods" are in The Unicorn Trade (co-written by Karen Anderson).

"Fairy Gold" belongs in the same volume as "Cappen Varra" and "Flying Knives" but should come after them, not before as here.

In the Armies Of Elfland introduction to "Flying Knives," Anderson says that, although this story brings back Cappen Varra, it was his, Anderson's, first contribution to the Thieves' World series. Thus, the first Varra story was not conceived as set in Thieves' World whereas the second was. Thus, the latter contains both a character and a city that appear in Thieves' World volumes by other authors.

The Armies Of Elfland has a good cover by Dieter Rottermond and a short Foreword on Romance by Anderson.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I agree, THE ARMIES OF ELFLAND is redundant, due to me already having the stories in that book in other Anderson collections. Which is why I never bothered to get a copy.

But, I am glad there were so many anthologies of Anderson's short works, no matter how redundant that was to readers who collected his books. This made Anderson's works as widely known as possible to as many readers as we could reasonably hope for.