Sunday, 16 February 2014

Kolkhoz And Naos

Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991).

When I first read Poul Anderson's works, there were many words and references that I did not understand but also did not need to understand to follow the story. Sometimes we think that we recognize a word or can get some idea of its meaning from the context but such understanding can turn out to be incomplete.

Now, however, I am trying to understand every reference and it should be a straightforward matter to google words like:

"kolkhoz" (p. 14);
"odeon" (p. 23);
""ithyphallic" (p. 23);
"hippodrome" (p. 23);
"humidor" (p. 67);
"stoa" (p. 77);
"temenos"(p. 88);
"pomoerium" (p. 92);
"clepsydra" (p. 93);
"naos" (p. 104).

Anderson uses the term "herms" (p. 23) but does explain it - and I think that we recognize the objects described.

One of the references is to a name:

"...subtly erotic murals that would have done Alicia Austin proud." (p. 82)

Google reveals that Alicia Austin is an illustrator of fantasy and sf works, including some by Poul Anderson.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    I quite agree! Poul Anderson has a rich vocabulary and uses many words many of us would not be likely to know. I did know a few of the words in the list you gave in this blog piece, however. But I would need to google or use a dictionary for the others.

    And illustrators of works by Poul Anderson? I'm reminded of how Frank Frazetta did the cover painting for the original hard cover edition of THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS, which I liked. But, alas, too many covers, hardback or paperback, fail to do justice to the contents of the books. The abominable Baen Books covers for YOUNG FLANDRY, CAPTAIN FLANDRY, and SIR DOMINIC FLANDRY being three esp. galling examples.

    And I will be looking up Alicia Austin, I'm curious to know which of Anderson's works she illustrated.


  2. I have just added "humidor" to the list.

  3. Hi, Paul!

    Well, I already knew what "humidor" means: a container, sometimes made from wood, for fine cigars. (Smiles)

    And I did a qucik google of Alicia Austin. She illustrated THE DEMON OF SCATTERY, co authored by Poul Anderson and Mildred D. Broxon. I'll wan to see if she ilustrated more Anderson books.