Friday, 14 November 2014

Prolificity And The Earth Book

Poul Anderson was prolific. He must have written fast to generate such a large output. By contrast, James Blish, with a much smaller output, had to labor over each text. In particular, Hloch's short introductions in the Earth Book Of Stormgate were probably written quickly. However, their content is substantial, adding much to the Technic History:

"Now The Earth Book Of Stormgate is ended. From my tower I see the great white sweep of the snows on Mount Anrovil. I feel the air blow in and caress my feathers. Yonder sky is calling. I will go.
"Fair winds forever."
-Poul Anderson, The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), p. 434.

By reading Hloch's introductions in conjunction with the stories, we build a much more detailed picture of fictitious future events. For example, Emil Dalmady from Altai was the Solar Spice & Liquors factor on Suleiman, then an entrepreneur backed by van Rijn. While an entrepreneur, he was told of an incident on the planet Ivanhoe by a participant and relayed that story to his daughter, Judith, whose married name was Lundgren. Children of Emil, including Judith, moved to Avalon with Falkayn, where Judith wrote for a magazine named after the Avalonian moon, Morgana. Her stories included accounts of:

her father's achievement on Suleiman;
the incident on Ivanhoe;
an experience of Falkayn's young grandson, Nathaniel, on Avalon of which Judith in her old age probably heard from Nathaniel.

Without Hloch, we would not have known that Dalmady had children, that some of them moved to Avalon or that one of them wrote these three stories.

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