Sunday, 10 November 2013

Back To Senlac

Rereading Poul Anderson's works and reading some for the first time is an endless voyage of discovery. Many months ago, I posted about his time travel novel, There Will Be Time. One detail that I appreciated in that novel was the hero's birthplace, the carefully realized Midwestern town of Senlac with its river and the nearby Holberg College. In fact, I posted about Senlac specifically.

At present, I am reading, I am fairly sure for the first time, "The Kitten" by Poul and Karen Anderson and blow me down if this short story is not set in Senlac where the viewpoint character's wife commutes forty miles to Holberg College in order to complete her master's degree. I think that the novel also mentions the distance of the College but will check.

Still reading the story, I am not sure whether it is going to fit into the category of mystery fiction or of fantasy. There is an early cryptic reference to "...the other place..." that will have to be elucidated (The Unicorn Trade, New York, 1964, p. 122).

Since There Will Be Time is set in the timeline of Anderson's Maurai future history, the Senlac setting suggests a slight extension of this series, which can be collected in three volumes:

Vol I, the three Maurai stories;
Vol II, Orion Shall Rise;
Vol III, There Will Be Time and "The Kitten".

This sequence starts in a post-nuclear future and ends in a quiet Midwestern town in the present.

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