Edmund Burke Archives



More Generally: Historical Thinkers (314)

February 21, 2021

Reflections on the Science Fiction of Poul Anderson

Poul Anderson's science fiction is, in my opinion, not so uniformly excellent as Theodore Sturgeon or Ursula Le Guin. However, he produced some real masterpieces (the 1972 novelette "Goat Song"—a futuristic retelling of the myth of Orpheus, with a computer in the role of the god—being my favorite) and he pioneered several major tropes of the 'space opera' sub-genre, as well as the "Time Police" trope. The majority of his stories are simply fun adventures. One of the most striking and interesting things about Anderson's work for me is the way his image of the future differs from many other...
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