Sunday, 8 September 2013
The Broken Sword (adult fantasy);
Vault Of The Ages (juvenile sf);
Star Ways (adult sf).
Star Ways, not Star Wars. Never heard of it? Don't panic.
A publisher commissioned and accepted Star Ways but delayed publication for so long that Anderson's agent offered it to another publisher who:
cut the text to fit an exact page number;
cut erotic passages;
changed a character's name;
added chapter titles.
I do not know whether Anderson changed that character's name back. However, since he supposed that the name had been changed because "...it looked too Russian..." (The Peregrine, New York, 1979, Introduction), the question becomes whether there is now a Russian-looking name in the book - "Petroff" (p. 73)?
In the 1979 edition, the list of "Books by POUL ANDERSON" includes:
The Saga of Dominic Flandry:
FLANDRY OF TERRA
Just two volumes, one novel and one collection! The Flandry series grew to become six novels and two collections and also became just one part of the much longer Technic Civilization History.
I think that the evocative title Star Ways should be restored. The novel is a substantial installment of Anderson's first, Psychotechnic, future history, which has yet to be collected in a single complete edition as Baen Books did with the Technic History.
The Nomad culture starts in "Gypsy" when sixteen families become interstellar wanderers in the single spaceship Traveler under Captain Erling Thorkild. Three centuries later in Star Ways/The Peregrine, when the many ships periodically meet on the Earth-like planet Rendezvous, the President of the Captains' Council is by tradition the captain, still a Thorkild, of Traveler III.
Chapter I, a two page description of Rendezvous, tells us that, although the Nomads appreciate this clement planet, they sense the many differences from Earth and further informs us that the knowledge that this is not Earth "...becomes a hunger in you..." (p. 2) I question this statement. Human beings have adapted to many different environments even on Earth and they usually feel at home wherever they have grown up, however different that is from whatever their ancestors had experienced.
Three installments of the Polesotechnic History form a triad:
"Gypsy" introduces the Nomads;
"The Pirate" introduces Trevelyan Micah of the Coordination Service;
in The Peregrine, Trevelyan works with, then joins, the Nomads.