Monday, 29 December 2014
Margin Of Profit
was an early sf short story by Poul Anderson (Astounding Science Fiction, September 1956);
introduced Nicholas van Rijn;
had to be rewritten to be incorporated into Anderson's major future history series, the History of Technic Civilization;
was quoted but not included in the first van Rijn collection, Trader To The Stars;
thus, for some readers, acquired the special status of a defining van Rijn story that we had not read yet;
was included in The Earth Book Of Stormgate and, of course, in the definitive The Technic Civilization Saga.
What's not to like?
Personal flashback to September 1956:
I was seven and living in (a different part of) the North West of England;
in that very month, September, I started to attend a boarding school near Glasgow in Scotland;
I read comic strip science fiction and superheroes;
Dan Dare fought bald, green, imperialistic Treens just as Dominic Flandry, whom I did not know yet, fought bald, green, tailed, imperialistic, green Merseians;
that first term in Scotland was when I realized that years were numbered and that we would very soon be in 1957;
I did not suspect that, in late December 2014, I would be discussing the works of an American prose science fiction writer on a planetary computer network.