Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Anderson's Technic Civilization future history is complete in seven omnibus collections although I argue that eight volumes of unequal length would reflect the contents more accurately than seven volumes of equal length.
His Psychotechnic future history could be gathered into two omnibus volumes:
Vol I, The Solar Union, eleven works from "Marius" to "Brake";
Vol II, The Stellar Union, nine works, including two novels, from "Gypsy" to "The Chapter Ends".
Each of these volumes covers a period longer than that of its "Union" but these are the prominent organizations in the two volumes. The Psychotechnic League is an inappropriate title first because the psychotechnicians' organization is called the Psychotechnic Institute and secondly because that Institute is outlawed between the sixth and seventh works to be included in Vol I, although the science of psychotechnics continues. Another continuing organization in Vol I is the Order of Planetary Engineers but it features in only three stories.
"Stellar Union History" rather than "Psychotechnic History" might be a better title for the series as a whole. The Solar Union is advised by the Psychotechnic Institute, until the Institute is outlawed, and the Solar Union is served by its Coordination Service but the Service sets out only to prevent disorder and exploitation, not to remake society and humanity, which was the Institute's mistake (?).
In Anderson's Technic History, the Solar Commonwealth in conflict with its Polesotechnic League is followed by the Terran Empire, then by the Allied Planets and later by the Commonalty;
in the Psychotechnic History, the Solar Union guided by the Psychotechnic Institute, is followed by the Solar Union, then by interstellar Empires and later by Galactic Civilization.