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A Treasure Trove of Classic Science Fiction & Fantasy: The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson

Sunday, June 11th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Collected Poul Anderson 1 Call Me Joe-small The Collected Poul Anderson 2 The Queen of Air and Darkness-small The Collected Poul Anderson 7 Question and Answer-small

By the time of his death in 2001, Poul Anderson was at the top of the field, with over 70 novels and numerous short stories to his credit. He’d won virtually every award science fiction has to offer, including seven Hugos and three Nebulas. In the 16 years since, however, virtually all of his work has fallen out of print. And like most of the greats of 20th Century science fiction, he’s now in very real danger of being forgotten.

Thank goodness for NESFA Press. Their ongoing project, The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, currently at seven volumes and counting, gathers the very best of his short fiction, including all of his Hugo and Nebula nominated and winning short stories. NESFA has produced some stellar collections over the past few decades, celebrating the work of Roger Zelazny, John W. Campbell, Fredric Brown, Zenna Henderson, Cordwainer Smith, C.M. Kornbluth, and countless others, with gorgeous permanent edition hardcovers.

Like each of those, these new volumes have made hard-to-find fiction available and fresh all over again, introducing Anderson to a whole new generation. The latest installment, The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Volume 7: Question and Answer, collects five novellas, two novels, and a smattering of short works, including six tales of Dominic Flandry, agent of the Terran Empire, and two stories of the far-ranging Psychotechnic League. It was released in hardcover in February.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Question and Answer includes two complete novels. The first, Question and Answer, was originally serialized in two parts in Astounding Science Fiction in 1954, and published as an Ace Double (paired with Andre Norton’s Star Guard) as Planet of No Return in 1956 (below left, cover by Ed Valigursky). It was reprinted in the UK in 1978 by Universal with a wraparound cover by Les Edwards (below right).

Poul Anderson Planet of No Return Ace Double-small Poul Anderson Planet of No Return

The second novel, Hunters of the Sky Cave, originally appeared as an Ace Double in 1959, under the title We Claim These Stars! (below left, cover by Ed Valigursky). It was reprinted by Ace with the same title in 1968, with a new cover by Kelly Freas (below right).

Poul Anderson We Claim These Stars Ace Double-small Poul Anderson We Claim These Stars-small

It also appeared as part of the 1980 Ace collection Agent of the Terran Empire.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents of the NESFA edition of Question and Answer.

Introduction by Rick Katze
Poul Anderson by Vincent Di Fate
“Question and Answer” (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1954) — novel, also known as Planet of No Return
“Tiger by the Tail” (Planet Stories, January 1951)
“The Big Rain” (Astounding Science Fiction, October 1954)
“Warriors from Nowhere” (Planet Stories, Summer 1954)
“The Troublemakers” (Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine, September 1953)
“To Outlive Eternity” (Galaxy Magazine, June 1967)
“A Message in Secret” (Fantastic Science Fiction Stories, December 1959)
“In the Shadow” (Analog Science Fiction, March 1967)
“Trader Team” (Analog Science Fiction, July 1965)
“Honorable Enemies” (Future Combined with Science Fiction Stories, May 1951)
“Outpost of Empire” (Galaxy Magazine, December 1967)
“Hunters of the Sky Cave” (Ace Double, 1959) — originally published as We Claim These Stars!

There have been seven volumes in The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson so far.

The Collected Poul Anderson 3 The Saturn Game-small The Collected Poul Anderson 4 Admiralty-small The Collected Poul Anderson 5 Door to Anywhere-small The Collected Poul Anderson 6 A Bicycle Built for Brew - small

Here’s the complete list.

1. Call Me Joe (510 pages, January 11, 2009) — cover by Bob Eggleton
2. The Queen of Air and Darkness (504 pages, July 10, 2009) — cover by Tom Canty
3. The Saturn Game (512 pages, July 1, 2010) — cover by Bob Eggleton
4. Admiralty (508 pages, February 4, 2011) — cover by John Picacio
5. Door to Anywhere (512 pages, January 30, 2013) — cover by Bob Eggleton
6. A Bicycle Built for Brew (474 pages, July 1, 2014) — cover by Bob Eggleton
7. Question and Answer (550 pages, February 17, 2017) — cover by Vincent Di Fate

The books range in price from $29 – $32. There are no paperback or digital editions (so far). There’s a fine overview of the first few volumes at The Little Red Reviewer. Get more details at the NESFA website.

Our previous coverage of NESFA Press includes:

The Good, the Brown, and the Kornbluth by James Enge
On the Other Hand–Amen: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny by James Enge
Faces in the Mirror: Magic Mirrors by John Bellairs
Back to the Future: Modern Reprints of Classic Fantasy by Rich Horton

Our previous coverage of Poul Anderson includes dozens of articles. Here they are.

See all our recent New Treasures here.

5 Comments »

  1. There is, actually, an e-book of the first volume in the NESFA Poul Anderson series, Call Me Joe. NESFA is planning on producing some more of these ebooks, but I think this may be the first.

    It’s of very high quality–as well formatted and proofread as their print volumes, which is a very high standard indeed.

    Comment by James Enge - June 12, 2017 2:47 am

  2. James,

    Right you are, as usual! Looks like there’s a both a Kindle and Nook version of Call Me Joe available for $9.99. The pub date is March 2016, so they’ve been available for a year.

    Don’t see digital editions of the others yet, but I’ll keep my eye out.

    Comment by John ONeill - June 12, 2017 10:02 am

  3. Excellent. I love Poul Anderson, have since I started reading him in Astounding. These are really excellent editions of next-to-impossible to find works. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

    By the way, the piece on the Little Red Reviewer blog by Broken Bullhorn is me, that was the name of my blog at the time. You’ll also find it blurbed on the back of the dust jacket.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - June 12, 2017 11:37 am

  4. R.K,

    I had no idea! Small world.

    I have checked out your new blog Tip The Wink, and enjoy it very much. If you’d ever care to do some vintage SF reviews for us, we’d love to have you!

    Comment by John ONeill - June 12, 2017 12:43 pm

  5. That’s a fine offer, John, and very much appreciated. If and when I think I have something worthy, I’ll let you know in a comment here on the BG blog.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - June 12, 2017 4:12 pm


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