Saturday, 28 March 2015

Short Series With Large Implications

As previously discussed, several "series" by Poul Anderson consist of just two works. In some such cases, there is a novel and a shorter prequel or sequel that can be, and sometimes has been, included in the same volume as a later edition of the novel. Thus, a novel can inspire a further idea that need not be treated at the same length.

I have found this same pattern twice so far in the works of SM Stirling whom I regard as a worthy successor of Anderson:

The Peshawar Lancers has a prequel;
the second Lords of Creation novel also has a prequel.

Each of these prequels was published in a themed anthology of original stories, the themes respectively being alternative histories and fictional versions of Mars. Thus, in each of these cases, an sf fan might want to read the Stirling novel and the anthology or just the works by Stirling. At present, I am half way through the first Lords of Creation novel.

The possibility exists that all of Stirling's alternative history novels could come to be connected as occurring in different universes of the same multiverse, just as the Old Phoenix Inn links four novels and two short stories by Anderson. Whether or not the various histories are explicitly connected, the idea of their coexistence remains implicit in the concept of divergent timelines.

Addendum: See here.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Let's see, Poul Anderson wrote first THE HIGH CRUSADE and then later added a short story called "Quest" to that "universe." And, of course THE ENEMY STARS had "The Ways of Love" added. I've seen later editions of both novels where the short story was added to them.

    And THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS has been indirectly linked to OPERATION CHAOS and OPERATION LUNA thru both the Old Phoenix story "House Rule" and linking passages found in A MIDSUMMER TEMPEST. We even see the Old Phoenix Inn again in that book!

    Heck, we even see Nicholas van Rijn in "House Rule"! That "connects" the Technic History stories to the works mentioned above. I would love to know how on Terra Old Nick first entered the Old Phoenix! (Smiles)


  2. Sean,
    And TAU ZERO has a prequel.

  3. Kaor, Paul!

    I agree, what you said about "Pride." Altho no edition of TAU ZERO has yet been printed including that story as a prequel.

    And I was surprised to find out "War-Maid of Mars" was a sequel to "Duel on Syrtis."