Thursday, 1 August 2013

Two Collections

Poul Anderson wrote many short stories. Many of them have been collected. As its American title suggests, Seven Conquests (New York, 1984)/Conquests (London, 1981) collects seven short stories. Alight In The Void (New York, 1993) contains six works but the sixth is a poem. Thus, these two volumes contain twelve stories.

Four of them need not be in these volumes:

"Wildcat" in Conquests and "Flight to Forever" in Alight In The Void are time travel stories and as such are included in Past Times, a (mainly) time travel collection;
"Cold Victory" in Conquests is an installment of Anderson's first future history series and as such is collected in, indeed is the title story of, one volume of that history;
"Son of the Sword" in Alight In The Void is historical fiction, therefore, I argue, should be included with at least four other stories set in diverse past periods in a relevant collection that could be called Many Times.

Conquests is a collection on the theme of war. Thus, since, e. g., "Wildcat" is about both war and time travel, there is some rationale for its appearing in two differently themed collections. However, what is needed now is a complete multi-volume collection, without duplication, of all of Poul Anderson's short stories. Seven Conquests/Conquests can either lose the Seven from its title or, probably, gain two relevant stories from among those that are still uncollected.

I have recently discussed the five stories in Alight In The Void. "Wildcat" is discussed briefly under "Limits on Time Travel" in the earlier post, "Time Travel And Poul Anderson", dated Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 (see here), but will warrant further discussion later (indeed has already been discussed (see here and here) because the order of these posts has been shuffled between drafting and publishing).

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