Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Rereading While Blogging

I have three stages of engagement with a text by Poul Anderson:

(i) reading it;
(ii) rereading it (more than once);
(iii) rereading it while blogging about it.

(iii) differs from (ii) because (iii) involves rereading very closely, pausing at every significant passage, phrase, word or idea. It is unpredictable when I will become sufficiently attuned to a text for (iii). Recently, I turned back to The People Of The Wind and "Flight to Forever" and currently "The Sensitive Man."

Reading about the politics of SM Stirling's Draka led to thinking about politics in other futuristic sf, including "The Sensitive Man." Then, wanting a change from the systematic brutality of the Draka, I turned to rereading "The Sensitive Man," drawn in by its colorful opening in the Mermaid Tavern. This might lead to rereading and blogging about other early installments of the Psychotechnic History.

Baen Books need to publish a uniform edition of the complete Psychotechnic History. Such a publishing event might lead to me rereading the entire History, as happened with The Technic Civilization Saga. Meanwhile, the Draka wait patiently.

9 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree with you on the desirability of a complete collecting of the Pyschotechnic Institute (NOT "League") stories. And such a republishing should include "The Acolytes" and "The Green Thumb." I'm puzzled over why they were not included in THE PSYCHOTECHNIC LEAGUE, COLD VICTORY, or STARSHIP. Ideally, such a recollecting of the Psychotechnic stories would be part of a COMPLETE COLLECTED WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON.

Unless evidence is found showing Poul Anderson thought it belonged in this "timeline," I would not include "The Chapter Ends" in the Psychotechnic series. That story is too different from the other stories to make me think it belongs there. I think Sandra Miesel included it in STARSHIP merely because she thought it belongs in the series. If so, I disagree with that editorial decision of hers.

I can see why you are taking a break from reading THE STONE DOGS. The Draka are truly horrific people! But I found Stirling's Draka books fascinating page turners. You know my view, the Draka books are dystopian alternate history SF showing us a truly COMPETENT tyranny. I did find the lesbianism to be found in them tiresome. Unless Stirling meant that to show, in another way, how depraved the Draka were.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
It had not occurred to me that Sandra Miesel might have added a PA story to the Psychotechnic Chronology. If she did, then I also disagree with the inclusion of "The Chapter Ends." I understand that Ms Miesel also persuaded PA that PLANET OF NO RETURN belonged in the series. This novel has parallels but does not fit in the series.
Paul.

ndrosen said...

Kaor, Sean,

Given what he has written elsewhere, in fiction like ISLAND IN THE SEA Of TIME, and in a letter of his published in the Wall Street Journal, Stirling does not see make or female homosexuality as depraved. As a Catholic, you can of course disagree.

Best Regards,
Nicholas D. Rosen

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Nicholas!

I certainly do disagree with Mr. Stirling about male/female homosexuality. I could argue against the idea this distorted form of sexual activity is not wrong on both Scriptural and logical grounds, but that should probably be done elsewhere. I am merely Paul's guest, not the blog owner.

Merry Christmas! Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I based what I said about Sandra Miesel and "The Chapter Ends" from somewhere reading, or being told, that she had edited many of the collections reprinting Poul Anderson's short stories in the 1980's. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that story simply does not belong in the Psychotechnic series. I would call "The Chapter Ends" an early, non series story.

I've read PLANET OF NO RETURN at least twice and I never thought of it as belonging to the Psychotechnic series. Again, I would disagree with Mrs. Miesel.

I forgot to mention in my previous note that I wish "The Snows of Ganymede" had been in one of the three Psychotechnic volumes I listed. After all, the shorter form of VIRGIN PLANET was included, so why not "Snows"?

I like "The Snows of Ganymede." True, it's a very early work of Poul Anderson, and thus admittedly rough here and there. But, it was fun to read and had truly ingenious plot twists.

If Poul Anderson's estate ever decides to sponsor a COMPLETE COLLECTED WORKS OF POUL ANDERSON and finds the funds necessary, would you agree to work as an editor for such a project? Given how often and enthusiastically you comment on his works, including desirable ways of collecting and organizing them, I think you would be a natural choice as editor!

Merry Christmas! Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
I would certainly agree to give editorial advice/support etc. I think that a lot of people would have to be involved to make it work.
Merry Christmas!
Paul.

Paul Shackley said...

Nicholas and Sean,
Any views can be expressed here and blog readers are welcome to debate them. I try to avoid getting into too long an exchange on a single issue but there is no limit on what others can write!
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Certainly! Such a project as collecting and reprinting ALL of the works of Poul Anderson would need a chief editor, one or two assistant editors, one or two research assistants, and a fair number of proof readers. And a person who designs the book form to be used. But it could be done! The works of Kipling, Heinlein, and Vance were collected like that.

Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Many thanks! And I do see your point about avoiding excessively long discussion threads. And I do appreciate with gratitude your tolerance of opposing points of view.

Sean