Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Series Not Included

Which of Poul Anderson's series are not represented in his Going For Infinity (New York, 2002)?

Wing Alar
the Flying Mountains
the Harvest Of Stars Tetralogy
the Old Phoenix (should have been in there?)
"Pride"/Tau Zero
The Enemy Stars/"The Ways of Love"
Genesis (could count as a series, with chapters set in successive future periods?)

Nicholas van Rijn, Rupert of the Rhine and Holger Danske all visit the Old Phoenix, the inn between the universes, at various times.

Anderson explains that Tau Zero does not lend itself very well to excerpting and also that:

"...the evidence has become strong that our universe is flat, not closed as was commonly thought in those days." (p. 355)

Cosmological theories have changed that much within one lifetime. But I do not think that Anderson's second point matters from the point of view of fiction. Tau Zero is classic hard sf and myth. The existence of a prequel even bestows the status of a series: the two works read together present an immensely long cosmic history. So I would like to see the Tau Zero passage describing cosmic death and rebirth included in a representative collection of Anderson's works.

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