Saturday, 26 April 2014

Spans, Illuminates And Completes...

According to the cover of Poul Anderson's The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), this volume "Spans, illuminates and completes the magnificent future history of the Polesotechnic League."

The Polesotechnic League is one period of Anderson's future history of Technic Civilization. However, since a "future history" must cover more than one generation, the League period does achieve future history status in its own right.

According to Sandra Miesel's Chronology of Technic Civilization, the League period comprises nineteen works. (Since the League is not mentioned until the second of these works, we might limit the period to eighteen works, but let's stay with Miesel's Chronology.) Eight works were published in four previous volumes. The remaining eleven are collected in The Earth Book.

The eleven League period works in The Earth Book begin with the first League story and end with the last. Further, the volume begins with one pre-League story.

The Earth Book also contains new introductions to the stories which illuminate their background. These introductions are written from the perspective of the post-League, early Terran Empire novel, The People Of The Wind, and therefore look back on the League period as a whole.

Thus, the phrase, "Spans, illuminates and completes...," accurately describes this collection.

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