Poul Anderson

thepaladin

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I skimmed through this thread again and just wanted to "re-state" that i found Anderson when I was young and along with Van Vogt and a few others always felt comfortable with buying any of his books. I don't know how many i've read...some I liked better than others. I won't make a claim that it's "his best" etc, but I have a soft spot for The High Crusade...interesting little novel.
 

Connavar

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In case you guys didnt know there is a new complete collection of PA books called The Technic Civilization Saga. I was looking for Flandry books and found they will be collected in 5+ volumes with Van Rijn stories,David Falkayn. Two volumes are already out. Flandry are realesed in early 2010 as Volume 4,Volume 5.
 

Fried Egg

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I just finished reading "The Long Way Home" and I'm coming to the conclusion that much of his work is only average. There was a stage where I would just buy pretty much anything of his I saw in the second hand book shop but now I'm thinking that I need to be a bit more selective. I've not read anything actually bad by him yet but the top quality that I've found in some of his works seems to be largely more of an exception than the rule.
 

Connavar

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I just finished reading "The Long Way Home" and I'm coming to the conclusion that much of his work is only average. There was a stage where I would just buy pretty much anything of his I saw in the second hand book shop but now I'm thinking that I need to be a bit more selective. I've not read anything actually bad by him yet but the top quality that I've found in some of his works seems to be largely more of an exception than the rule.
None of the books i see you read are known as his most rated works.

I think its the negative side of prolific SFF writer from those days you had to write a lot of stories to make money.

I'm very selective on authors like PA who i have read great book of but not many books. Only the big favs of mine i read anything of. To save money on the books you want,on the right books.
 

Fried Egg

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None of the books i see you read are known as his most rated works.

I think its the negative side of prolific SFF writer from those days you had to write a lot of stories to make money.

I'm very selective on authors like PA who i have read great book of but not many books. Only the big favs of mine i read anything of. To save money on the books you want,on the right books.
Well, I've read "Broken Sword" and "Tao Zero", in the SF and Fantasy masterworks respectively. They were both superb.

I found "Planet of No Return" and "Enemy Stars" very good. But others like "The Long Way Home", "Byworlder", "Rebel Worlds" and "The Corridors of Time" only average.

I still have "Orbit Unlimited" on my shelf to be read (A random selection from a second hand book shop) and "Brainwave", "The Boat of a Million Years" and "Three Hearts & Three Lions" on my list to look out for as they all come highly recommended.

He just happens to be one of those authors who is easy to get hold of second hand so I have in the past just taken a chance on one of his books even without recommendation. But like I say, I shall be more choosey from now on.
 

Connavar

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Frankly i would like to read decent PA any day of the week if he was easy to get second hand in english over here. My second hands are from online so i have to get the ones that is worth the shipping cost.

The reason i read the most rated books first, they are more likely to be worth the effort of buying them.
 

Tansy

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Tansy -- that's a fairly good summation of the technique Poul was using in that piece; especially as he was aiming for a blending of the modern novel and the original Icelandic sagas which so often inspired his work (and of which, in fact, he did some translations here and there....)

I personally didn't find it made me feel overly distanced, or that I was missing anything in the book; to me it gave a feeling of leanness and immediacy... and as for the characters... well, he did a very good job of capturing the bleakness of much of the worldview of the time; something you can easily see if you look at the poetry of the period....
I think in he chose every word wisely which is why you felt close to the characters but in a historical sense, his description was sparsely used but expertly wielded

I don't think there was a wasted word in the whole story :)
 

blacknorth

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I've read quite a bit of Poul Anderson over the past few years - his novels are so easily found in used stores that it would be hard not have read something by the man, he was so prolific.

But today I read a piece new to me - The Sharing of Flesh, a short story dating from the late 60's, and a very impressive piece of work indeed. It reads like an anthropological Bride Wore Black - husband and wife members of a survey team, exploring a primitive planet; the husband is killed by the native and the wife stalks through the narrative and the native population seeking the culprit and revenge.

Really very very good. :)
 
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blacknorth

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Um, yes... won a Hugo, that one....
Thoroughly deserved. :)

Sorry, JD, I'm not really up on the various SFF awards. I find I'm usually out of step with their choices and do the sensible thing to keep the blood pressure down. :eek:
 
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GOLLUM

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I posted several sticky threads under Classic SFF subforum covering the major awards, that I try to maintain if you want to take a peek sometime.

Cheers...
 

blacknorth

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heh-heh, had a peek, Gollum, Anderson seems to have been a serial winner in the early 70's.
 

Connavar

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Haha a SF Bride Who wore Black thats sound like something special :)
 

Thadlerian

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Just read "The Saturn Game", about the evils of role-playing games on long, tedious spaceflights.
 

Fried Egg

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"Orbit Unlimited" turned out to be yet another run of the mill piece of SF best forgotten in my opinion. That's it; no more random picks from his books in second hand stores, one definitely needs to be selective when exploring his back catalogue.
 

Elflock

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"Orbit Unlimited" turned out to be yet another run of the mill piece of SF best forgotten in my opinion. That's it; no more random picks from his books in second hand stores, one definitely needs to be selective when exploring his back catalogue.
Very true,a lot of it is lame. Basically,I think his 50's stuff from the magazines is the best. For instance,'Garden in The Void' was a classic. 'Dual on Syrtis',things like that.
And this one...

http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/members/elflock-albums-sf-paperback-cover-art-picture970-sf019.jpg

I did re-read 'Three Hearts' and 'Broken Sword' a while ago but I was very underwhelmed by them the second time around...(like 90% of everything else that I thought was great when I was,like,17) I also really liked 'The Merman's Children' back in the 70's or whenever it was,but I never read the sequels. Another pretty good one I thought was 'Satan's World'...and 'Trader To The Stars' was a bit of a laugh too.
Check out his ridiculous output here...no wonder a lot of it was ordinary ;)

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CC8QFjAD&url=http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Poul_Anderson&rct=j&q=poul anderson garden in space&ei=uNG_Tde-HoukvgONmdC7BA&usg=AFQjCNGtUnyxRVsnvJINqMP_tk-YBVK84g&cad=rja
 
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Fried Egg

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Just read "Three Hearts and Ghree Lions" and gave it three out of five stars:

Not since I read the great epic The Broken Sword have I read any of this author's fantasy and I was hoping to be wowed a lot more than I was.

The story was okay but had a few little quirks that detracted from my enjoyment such as the pointless Scottish accents of the protagonists two travelling companions and the boundless chauvinism that made me wince when I thought what I female reader might think reading this.

It was interesting to see how this had such a strong influence on Michael Moorcock though. Here we see the perpetual struggle between law and chaos, a concept of the multiverse and a hero being drawn across time and space at times of crisis, reminiscent of John Daker and the Eternal Champion. Moorcock was even quoted on the back cover singing the praises of this book so it is clear that the link wasn't incidental.

But for me, this just isn't as timeless as "The Broken Sword". I can imagine it felt a lot more original and fresh when it first appeared but now it feels very safe, full of well-worn fantasy tropes and clichés. Not a bad book but of little interest, other than to those studying the history of modern fantasy.
 

Bick

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Two Poul Anderson I've read in the last year or so: Twilight World - very golden agey, but thoroughly enjoyable, and secondly, Boat of a Million Years, which is the best book on immortality I've read. I'd certainly recommend Anderson from these two. They're quite different, but both great reads. I must look up some more of his. I'm sure I have a couple Flandry novels on the shelf.
 
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