Sunday, 27 October 2013


"The Old Udall leaned back and let her chamber-maid comb the stiff gray hair. Elinor Dyckman had gotten that job; an Udall usually took a Dyckman for a lover."

- Poul Anderson, "Virgin Planet" IN Anderson, Starship (New York, 1982), pp. 83-181 AT p. 93.

"The Old Udall...leaned back and let her chambermaid comb the stiff gray hair.
"Elinor Dyckman had gotten that job. The Dyckmans were good at flattery."

- Poul Anderson, Virgin Planet (London, 1966), p. 26.

This passage has been changed in two ways for the novelization.

(i) The sentence from "The Old..." to "...gray hair" has been lengthened. The additional material is:

"...finished a bone and snapped her fingers. While an adolescent Craig ran up with a wooden plate of choice pieces, she leaned back and..." (ibid.)

(ii) All reference to sexual relationships between the women in this all female colony have been removed. Presumably this decision, taken either by the author or by the publisher, reflected expectations about the market for the book version which was first published in the US in 1959?


ndrosen said...

Was the shorter version of "Virgin Planet" published in a magazine? Were sf magazines -- read in part by juveniles after all -- not required to be more strait-laced than books? Or was it mostly a matter of shortening the story? And which version was written first?

Regards, Nicholas

Paul Shackley said...

The shorter version was published in Venture Science Fiction in 1957; the longer version as a book in 1959.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul and Nicholas!

The fact that the Dyckmans seem to have been what I called the "concubine" caste in an earlier note would fit in with them being BOTH the lovers and flatterers of the Udalls. So, I don't see any real difference in what the Dyckmans were LIKE if one text called them the "lovers" of the Udalls and a secont text said they "were good at flattery."


ndrosen said...

Well, one can be a flatterer of the boss without being her lover, or a genuine lover without being much of a flatterer.

Regards, Nicholas

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Nicholas!

True, but my impression of the Dyckmans is tbat they were a pretty mercenary lot. Which would fit in with them being both concubines and flatterers.