Book of the Week: Operation Chaos.

This would be Operation Chaos from Poul Anderson, not anything that is… out of the map. There’s a potential book of my own that intersects with that one. I really should do something about that, too.


Book of the Week: Brain Wave.

Poul Anderson’s Brain Wave, in the hands of somebody less skilled than Poul Anderson, would have been incredibly stupid.  Which is ironic, because the central theme of the book is “What would happen if every living creature on Earth suddenly had its intelligence tripled?”  Fortunately, it was Poul Anderson who wrote it, so we got an excellent book out of the deal.

And so, adieu to The Stars My Destination.


Book of the Week: “Winter of the World.”

Poul Anderson’s classic science fiction novel The Winter of the World is melancholy, of course. Books written by Poul Anderson tended to be; and books about the civilizations that arose thousands of years after a new Ice Age crushed ours also tend to be.  Combine the two, and you get almost crystallized sadness. But it’s a good story for all that; action, statecraft, Thieves’ Guild, a battle or two, and evolutionary biology.

As I said: classic science fiction.

And so, adieu to Hawksbill Station.


Book of the Week: “The High Crusade.”

How to describe Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade? Well. Do you like books where alien invaders discover why it’s not a good idea to mess with a 14th Century English baron who has a complete set of longbowmen with him?

…The answer to that should be ‘yes,’ by the way. Not that I’m judging you if it’s not.  Well, not too much.

And so, adieu to Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation.



Book of the Week: ‘Hoka! Hoka! Hoka!’

So, Hoka! Hoka! Hoka! is this collection of short stories (a collaborative effort between Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson) involving… you know something? It’ll take too long to explain.  You’re probably better off just reading them.

And so, adieu to Conquistador. (more…)


Book of the Week: ‘Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds.’

Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds is an anthology of stories set in Poul Anderson’s universe, written by a cross-section of the biggest names in science fiction (particularly alternate history).  I’ve read a lot of books by Poul Anderson, and I’ll be damned if I can think of one that I didn’t like. He was just consistently that good. Anderson’s books were often a little sad – like H. Beam Piper, there was a melancholic streak in much of his works – but they were always worth the time to read. Seeing what a bunch of other crackerjack writers could and did do with his source material was fun.

Farewell, Ruled Britannia.  Note that Harry Turtledove has a story in this anthology.


Ooh, Poul Anderson’s going up on the Kindle…

…which is good, because my paperbacks are starting to acidify. The first one up is “Call Me Joe,” which I remember first encountering in comic book form when I was a kid; as I remember, it actually was a pretty faithful adaptation of the original.  For those wondering: the story is much like Avatar to the point where James Cameron is lucky that Anderson is dead, and thus can neither sue nor Smite – only without the America/capitalism-bashing.  Which is to say, it’s like Avatar, only much superior and written much earlier.

I look forward to seeing the rest of Anderson’s stuff there: it’d also be nice if somebody started doing it for, say, Robert Bloch.  I have been meaning to track down his Strange Eons for a while now, and discovering that it’s not available electronically has been kind of frustrating.  I mean, I would cheerfully give his estate the money for a copy, if only a copy was available*… och, well, that’s why I have a Wish List. (Which has been updated.)

Via Instapundit. (more…)


Book of the Week: A Midsummer Tempest.

A Midsummer Tempest is one of my favorite alternate history books, written by one of my favorite SF authors (Poul Anderson); its conceit/divergence point is profoundly subtle; and I find it amazing that there hasn’t been a recent reprinting. And as you can guess from the title, the Matter of Shakespeare is of critical importance to the work. In other words: check it out.

And so, farewell to Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter.


Atlantis tsunami!

…No, almost certainly not: 300 BC is well within the historical era. Still, this is interesting:

Ancient tsunami ‘hit New York’

A huge wave crashed into the New York City region 2,300 years ago, dumping sediment and shells across Long Island and New Jersey and casting wood debris far up the Hudson River.

The scenario, proposed by scientists, is undergoing further examination to verify radiocarbon dates and to rule out other causes of the upheaval.

Sedimentary deposits from more than 20 cores in New York and New Jersey indicate that some sort of violent force swept the Northeast coastal region in 300BC.

…if only because I don’t think that there are contemporary reports of anything happening on the other side of the Atlantic, although at that latitude… no, the Iberian peninsula had cities at that point; somebody would have noticed, say, a big honking asteroid hitting the ocean.

Ach, well: link it up with the legend of Ys and hope that your players only half-remember their Poul Anderson. Or that they like big honking asteroids more than they do accurate mythological references.

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