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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments On my travels i picked up one of the SF masterworks series Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. I guess it would be classified as hard Sci-fi and is about a ships epic voyage in space. I like the way it is written and the way it portrays the claustrophobic nature of space travel although I have not quite finished so can still be disappointed. I had never heard of the author before reading this book but the bibliography shows he has written a huge number of books. I'd be interested to know if anybody has read anything by him and if so which other books to read.

message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan (TheGreatBeast) That is a book I would like to read during our group reads. I've heard great things about it. I havemn't read any of his sci-fi, but I absolutely loved The Broken Sword. It's sort of a historical fantasy, taking place during the viking era. It reminded me in prose and story of E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros or actual viking epics. I also read a couple short stories in some Sword & Sorcery anthologies a few years back that I remembered enjoying.

message 3: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 45 comments I thought Tau Zero was ok but has an excellent ending, hope you enjoy it. So far ive only read three of his books The Broken Sword and Three Hearts and Three Lions which were both very good.

message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Thanks for your comments. I've finished Tau Zero now and really enjoyed it so would like to read another of his books. I think as you both liked it and it sounds good I'm going to try to find The Broken Sword.

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4209 comments Mod
I'm with Pickle on "Three Hearts...". It's one of my all time favorites.

Brain Wave & Shield are two straight SF, what-ifs that made me love the genre. His Flandry books were great & I liked his space captain, Van something. He was a hoot. I haven't read any of his books in years, though.

Not too long ago, I read "On Thud & Blunder" which is his classic masterpiece essay pointing out writing mistakes for fantasy writers. If you haven't read it, the SFWA has it posted here:

message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Just read "On Thud and Blunder" thanks, Really nice summary of the mistakes, in fact it's part of the reason I prefer Sci-fi to fantasy (although Sci-fi has other issues). I am definitely going to read more Poul Anderson, maybe he can reconvert me to liking fantasy.

message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4209 comments Mod
Glad you liked it, Jo.

message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 100 comments I read a stack of Poul Anderson books back in the pre-internet days. I chose them based on cover art.

The Flandry books were entertaining. It's basically a Cold War update of the classic Space Cadet type novel.

The Boat of a Million Years is a pretty cool book about a guy who becomes immortal in the middle ages for no particular reason. He watches the world change around him and tries to plan his long term survival and purpose in life. It goes past the present day and into the far future.

Fire Time is one of the most disappointing reading experiences I've had, although it's not all Poul Anderson's fault. The cover art made me think it was going to be about people fighting ridiculous monsters. What it actually concerned was very hard SF about orbits within an unusual solar system and the effects of the alien climate on ecology. One thing I really liked from this book is that organisms from different planets can't eat each other because the cell structure is too different. Still, if you're expecting Princess of Mars and get this instead, it's going to be a let-down.

message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Phil wrote: "Fire Time is one of the most disappointing reading experiences I've had, although it's not all Poul Anderson's fault...."

Shame you thought this one was a disappointing experience it sound right up my street!

message 10: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 100 comments In my defense, the cover looks like this:

Fire Time by Poul Anderson

I was expecting an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, and I got Kim Stanley Robinson instead!

message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1092 comments Phil wrote: "In my defense, the cover looks like this:

Fire Time by Poul Anderson

I was expecting an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, and I got Kim Stanley Robinson instead!"

I see what you mean about the cover :-)

message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4209 comments Mod
I've read a couple of Anderson's books lately. I just finished A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows which is a Flandry novel. I gave it a 4 star review here:

A few weeks ago, I read Trader to the Stars which I enjoyed even more. Nicholas van Rijn is crusty, tough old trader with a very colorful way of speaking that I found amusing. I gave it a 4 star review here:

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4209 comments Mod
I'm going to start reading Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds which is a collection of short stories & novellas by a bunch of different authors who set new stories in worlds created by Anderson. It looks like quite an odd, interesting mix. For instance, Raymond E. Feist, a fantasy author, has a story set in the SF world of Dominic Flandry.

I've read stories by a lot of the authors listed & like most. There is some trepidation since I don't care much for the work of either of the editors, Gardner Dozois or Greg Bear. Both like long, rambling stories a lot more than I do. Anderson himself wrote very lean, good stories early on & got wordy toward the end, so I'll see. I may have to skip through this anthology, but I'm sure I'll find some real gems.

message 14: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 868 comments I've read him as a teen and enjoyed the books immensely. One of my favorites were Time Patrol series, which for me was an introduction to alt-history sub-genre. Maybe now some of his works are a bit dated, but for me he is still a giant of the golden age of SF

message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4209 comments Mod
I just finished Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds. It was a pretty good read, but I wish they'd explored more of his worlds. Several Time Patrol stories, Oleksandr. My review is here:

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