Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Horn Of Time

Poul Anderson's The Horn Of Time (New York, 1968) (see image) has arrived by post. It is a collection of six separate stories, three of them fitting into different series written by Anderson. The blurb wrongly implies that this volume is a novel or collected series with a single theme.

The front cover states:

"They were savage primitives of a strange future - a harrowing chronicle of the millennium after the end of the world!"

The back cover states:

"THE 20TH CENTURY PLAYED A GAME OF NUCLEAR RUSSIAN ROULETTE. AND LOST. Man must escape his own dead world, raid hostile planets, subdue his human nature to survive in a strange cosmos.
"Science-fiction master Poul Anderson explores the future in a bloodchilling narrative that spins from Earth to distant galaxies as he foretells the ultimate destiny of mankind in THE HORN OF TIME."

The book is six narratives, not one. There is no escape from a dead Earth and there are no distant galaxies. One story is about time travel from the twentieth century to the Viking period. The title story, "The Horn of Time the Hunter," features a spaceship returning from a relativistic journey to the galactic center and "The High Ones,, which I have yet to read, also features interstellar travel but everything else is set on Earth. At least three of the stories do refer back to a nuclear war but with different outcomes.

The title, "A Man To My Wounding," looked familiar and the story is in fact in the collection Conflicts but I do not seem to have read it. Like "License" in Conquests, it features legalized assassination. Keeping track of collections and of short stories with related themes gets complicated.

I will post about "A Man To My Wounding" and "The High Ones" and might revisit the haunting "The Horn of Time the Hunter." Then, back to The Makeshift Rocket and Star Prince Charlie.

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