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New Treasures: Multiverse: Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson, edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Multiverse Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson-smallPoul Anderson was one of the greats of 20th Century science fiction and fantasy. He was astoundingly prolific, writing over 70 novels and numerous short stories before his death in 2001. He won virtually every award the field has to offer, including seven Hugos and three Nebulas, and the ambitious project to collect his short fiction, The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson from NESFA Press, stands at six thick volumes and counting.

Multiverse: Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson is a tribute anthology edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois that collects all-original fiction from Larry Niven, C. J. Cherryh, Stephen Baxter, Robert Silverberg, David Brin, Harry Turtledove, Terry Brooks, Gregory Benford, Tad Williams, Nancy Kress, and many others. It also contains articles and reminiscences of Anderson by most of the authors involved, plus Jerry Pournelle, Poul Anderson’s wife Karen, his daughter Astrid, and his son-in-law, novelist and co-editor Greg Bear.

For Poul Anderson fans, and for those being introduced to him for the first time, this is a truly invaluable anthology featuring some of the brightest names in the field. Here’s the complete table of contents.

Introduction: My Friend Poul, by Greg Bear
“Outmoded Things” by Nancy Kress
“The Man Who Came Late” by Harry Turtledove
“A Slip in Time” by S. M. Stirling
Living and Working with Poul Anderson, by Karen Anderson

“Dancing on the Edge of the Dark” by C. J. Cherryh
“The Lingering Joy” by Stephen Baxter
“Operation Xibalba” by Eric Flint
“Tales Told” by Astrid Anderson Bear
“The Fey of Cloudmoor” by Terry Brooks
“Christmas in Gondwanaland” by Robert Silverberg
“Latecomers” by David Brin
An Appreciation of Poul Anderson, by Jerry Pournelle
“A Candle” by Raymond E. Feist
“The Far End” by Larry Niven
“Bloodpride” by Gregory Benford
“Three Lilies and Three Leopards (And a Participation Ribbon in Science)” by Tad Williams

Multiverse was originally published as a deluxe limited edition hardcover by Subterranean Press last year, with a slightly different title (as Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds.) This new trade edition from Baen marks its first appearance in paperback.

Here’s the description:

Poul Anderson was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. Named a Grand Master by the SFWA in 1997, he produced an enormous body of stand-alone novels (Brain Wave, Tau Zero) and series fiction (Time Patrol, the Dominic Flandry books) and was equally at home in the fields of heroic fantasy and hard SF. He was a meticulous craftsman and a gifted storyteller, and the impact of his finest work continues, undiminished, to this day.

Here is a rousing, all-original anthology that stands both as a significant achievement in its own right and a heartfelt tribute to a remarkable writerand equally remarkable man. A nicely balanced mixture of fiction and reminiscence, this volume contains thirteen stories and novellas by some of today’s finest writers, along with moving reflections by, among others, Anderson’s wife, Karen, his daughter, Astrid Anderson Bear, and his son-in-law, novelist and co-editor Greg Bear. (Bear’s introduction, “My Friend Poul,” is particularly illuminating and insightful.)

The fictional contributions comprise a kaleidoscopic array of imaginative responses to Anderson’s many and varied fictional worlds. A few of the highlights include Nancy Kress’s “Outmoded Things” and Terry Brooks’ “The Fey of Cloudmoor,” stories inspired by the Hugo Award-winning “The Queen of Air and Darkness”; a pair of truly wonderful Time Patrol stories (“A Slip in Time” by S. M. Stirling and “Christmas in Gondwanaland” by Robert Silverberg); Raymond E. Feist’s Dominic Flandry adventure, “A Candle”; and a pair of very different homages to the classic fantasy novel, Three Hearts and Three Lions: “The Man Who Came Late” by Harry Turtledove and “Three Lilies and Three Leopards (And a Participation Ribbon in Science)” by Tad Williams. These stories, together with singular contributions by such significant figures as Larry Niven, Gregory Benford, and Eric Flint, add up to a memorable, highly personal anthology that lives up to the standards set by the late — and indisputably great — Poul Anderson.

Gabe Dybing, Ryan Harvey and others here at Black Gate have explored Poul Anderson’s classic SF and fantasy work. Our previous coverage includes:

The Parallel Worlds of Poul Anderson’s Operation Chaos by Gabe Dybing
Sex and Violence in Poul Anderson’s Rogue Sword by Gabe Dybing
Two Great Books by Poul Anderson: The High Crusade and The Golden Slave by Gabe Dybing
Representations of the Amazon in Poul Anderson’s Virgin Planet and in DC’s Wonder Woman by Gabe Dybing
Northern Matter in Poul Anderson’s “Middle Ages” of The Broken Sword and in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth by Gabe Dybing
Chaotic and Lawful Alignments in Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions by Gabe Dybing
From Poul Anderson’s Vault of the Ages to the End of All Things by Gabe Dybing
Poul Anderson and the Northern Mythic Tradition: An Introduction by Gabe Dybing
The Whole Northern Thing: Hrolf Kraki’s Saga by Poul Anderson by Fletcher Vredenburgh
Six Sought Adventure: A Half-Dozen Swords And Sorcery Short Stories Worth Your Summer Reading Time by Brian Murphy
Vintage Treasures: Poul Anderson’s After Doomsday
Broken In Two: Poul Anderson’s Two Versions of The Broken Sword by Ryan Harvey

Multiverse: Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson was published by Baen on June 2, 2015. It is 400 pages, priced at $15 in trade paperback. The cover is by Bob Eggleton (see the gorgeous wrap-around original here).

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

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