Saturday, 29 November 2014

Personal Beginnings

I first read "The Game of Glory" by Poul Anderson in a British reprint edition of Venture SF some time before 1967. This was my first Dominic Flandry story and possibly my first Technic History story. In it, the Merseians ruled an Empire not yet called "the Roidhunate." I compared this work to James Blish's "Beep" - two space secret service stories. See also here.

I knew of Flandry and Nicholas van Rijn before I learned that they inhabited a single timeline. I was surprised to read in an sf mag loccol (science fiction magazine letter of comment column) that David Falkayn, who was with van Rijn in the Polesotechnic League series, had been responsible for the development of Merseia, which was in the Dominic Flandry series. Then I read Mirkheim, starring Falkayn and featuring a Merseian.

Now it is 2014. We are in an sf future where we discuss Anderson's works on a worldwide computer network. Space exploration is not happening to schedule but is happening on a small scale with plans for commercial space travel and for the development of the Moon and Mars. I would like to be alive in 2057, the date mentioned in "The Saturn Game," but would then be 108. The present world is in turmoil which means conflict and change. Change. In 2057, things will be very different both from the way they are now and from the way anyone has imagined them.

Negatively, I do not expect regular space travel any time soon. Positively, we can formulate hopes and preferences but not expectations.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    The very first of the works of Poul Anderson I read was "Tiger by the Tail" in AGENT OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE, probably in 1968. Even then, there was something in the story and how Anderson wrote it that immediately made me a fan of his work. I soon began buying and keeping his books--first in softcover and then in hardcover. The very first hardback I obtained was FLANDRY OF TERRA, on March 17, 1971. My second and third Anderson hardcovers were copies of THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS (March 20, 1971) and ENSIGN FLANDRY (Friday, May 14, 1971). Since then, decades of steady collecting has ended with me having most of his published works, preferably in hardcover.


  2. Sean,
    Thank you for that comparative synopsis!

    1. Hi, Paul!

      Any time! Alas, the work I did on my "Uncollected Works of Poul Anderson" essay forced me to realize how MANY of Anderson's works I still have not found or read. We need a uniform COMPLETE COLLECTED WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON printed in sturdy, good quality binding and paper. Similar to what was done for the works of Robert Heinlein and Jack Vance.

      And I REALLY took off in collecting Anderson's books in hard cover in 1978 and 1979, when I ordered many good quality "used" hard backs from book stores and obtained the Gregg Press printings of THE WORLDS OF POUL ANDERSON and the FLANDRY OF TERRA books, etc. The Gregg Press volumes are what I have in mind for sturdy, good quality printing and binding.