Poul Anderson: Flotsam and Jetsam

Sunday , 7, June 2020 5 Comments

I like my anthologies and author collections to have some sort of unifying theme. I am not a fan of anthologies just thrown together. If an author has written across several genre or several types of stories, I like the parts to fit together. There is one exception to that, the introductory collection if an author wrote across many genres. The Book of Robert E. Howard and The Collected Stories of Max Brand are two examples.

I recently wrote about DMR Books publishing the Poul Anderson collection Swordsmen from the Stars. For years, I used to play around on hypothetical Poul Anderson collections. There are some stories by Anderson from the 1950s never reprinted in a collection. Some are in Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Galaxy anthologies.

There are some Poul Anderson anthologies that just make no sense. Homeward and Beyond comes to mind. It is a great little collection but all over the place in terms of content, mostly stories from the 1970s. Alight in the Void (Tor Books, 1991) was edited by Bob Weinberg. It consists of stories from Popular Publications pulps, mainly Super Science Stories. That is a great collection of golden age space opera.

Here is a list of Poul Anderson stories that are sword-and-science, heroic fantasy, and historical:

Witch of the Demon Seas             Planet Stories                    January 1951

The Virgin of Valkarion                   Planet Stories                    July 1951

Swordsman of Lost Terra              Planet Stories                    November 1951

Goodbye, Atlantis!                          Fantastic Stories               August 1961

Son of the Sword                              Adventure                          January 1952

The Trader and the Vikings           Jack London’s Adventure Magazine October 1958

The Valor of Cappen Varra           Fantastic Universe           January 1957

The Gate of the Flying Knives      Thieves World                   1979

Lady of the Winds                            F&SF                                      Oct. 2001

The Peat Bog                                      Homeward & Beyond     1975

The Tale of Hauk                               Swords Against Darkness 1977

The Bog Sword                                  The First Heroes               2004

Anderson contributed stories set in other author’s words:

Strength                                              Magic May Return           1981

The Newcomers                               The Enchanter Completed 2005

Then there are some fantasy pieces on the obscure side. I have not read these but have the feeling they are in the mode of Unknown:

Ashtaru the Terrible                        Fantasy Magazine            March 1953

Rachaella                                             Fantasy Magazine            June 1953

Three Wishes                                     Fantastic Stories               March-April 1953

Mr. Tiglath                                          Tales of the Frightened August 1957

I will leave it at here for today and pick up next week on how I would organize these.

  • Bies Podkrakowski says:

    A few years ago I’ve spent some time with Internet Speculative Fiction Database and archive.org looking for some obscure Poul Anderson stories. But I’ve discovered that some pulps scans were mutilated at the request of Poul Anderson trust – they removed pages containing his stories. Still, they didn’t get everything. I’ve found The Virgin of Valkarion and The Witch of the Demon Seas this way.

  • deuce says:

    Another great post on Poul Anderson! Personally, I consider him the best writer of SF ever. Yeah, better than Heinlein. Better, even, than NK Jemisin.

    I love that SUPER SCIENCE cover. “OK, here are some guys shooting guided missiles at some spaceships. HEY! Let’s have a random blonde in a bikini come running through from Stage Right!”

    • John E. Boyle says:

      I can’t think of anyone who I would say is better than Poul Anderson and very few who might equal him. I don’t think Heinlein is one of them. I can’t speak for NK Jemisin’s work as I’ve never been able to finish anything she’s written.

      That SUPER SCIENCE cover is great! It got my attention and that’s what covers are supposed to do…hmmm. I wonder if I should put a blonde in a bikini on the cover of my next book? Something to think about.

  • John E. Boyle says:

    Morgan, thanks for renewing your spotlight on one of the great SF & F authors and also for that list of stories. There are a number I’ve never heard of before!

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