Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Poul Anderson's editor, Robert Gleason, had three ideas for the volume that became Going For Infinity (New York, 2002):

(i) stories selected from half a century of writing;
(ii) information about their origins, backgrounds and contexts;
(iii) a historical overview of fantasy and sf for that period.

(i) requires "representative" rather than "best of...," although I think, nevertheless, that each writing phase, career stage, publishing outlet, genre, series, decade etc should be represented by whichever short story or novel is the author's best work within that particular sub-category. I suspect that "Death and the Knight" represents the Time Patrol because it is short. I would have picked "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth."

(ii) the book is rich in.

(iii) Anderson's Introduction states that he presents just one reader/writer/participant's experience - but that is more than enough.

I do not agree with all the inclusions. But I think that a comprehensive best of/representative collection would have to be multi-volume. But then again, that could now be published on a kindle so that mere physical size is no longer an issue. On that basis, I would want to include, at least, in their entirety:

the Time Patrol;
the Technic History;
the King of Ys;
the two intergalactic novels, World Without Stars and Tau Zero;
After Doomsday (I think of this and the intergalactic novels as a triad (not trilogy) of "complete" hard sf novels);
A Midsummer Tempest and the other works linked to it by the Old Phoenix;
There Will Be Time.

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