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Poul Anderson's Science-Fiction Future Histories

"Uniting [the Dominic Flandry and Nicholas van Rijn] stories gave Anderson the nucleus of a future history 5000 years long which now numbers more than 40 separate items including 11 full-length novels.  It is the most remarkable achievement of its kind in sf."
— Sandra Miesel, "Lurex and Gold," Agent of the Terran Empire


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Psychotechnic Future History

Image - Star Ways by Poul Anderson

Dust jacket illustration by Ed Emshwiller

Anderson's first future history, comprised of stories mostly first published between 1950 and 1957 and novels like Star Ways (1956 — reissued as The Peregrine) and Virgin Planet (1957), chronicles the rebirth of human civilization after a devastating world war and humanity's subsequent advance into the stars.  Anderson's original timeline of the future history was published alongside the novella The Snows of Ganymede in Startling Stories, Winter 1955, and most of the stories were originally collected in The Psychotechnic League (1981), Cold Victory (1982) and Starship (1982), and more recently all of these future history works — save Star Ways — were reissued in the three-volume collection The Complete Psychotechnic League (2018).



Technic Future History

Image - The Man Who Counts by Poul Anderson

Cover illustration by Michael Whelan

Van Rijn | Falkayn | Flandry

Anderson's most renown future history, including tales of Nicholas Van Rijn and David Falkayn, Traders of the Polesotechnic League (published in collections like Trader to the Stars and The Trouble Twisters and novels like The Man Who Counts — originally serialized in Astounding, February 1958, March 1985 and April 1958, and published as War of the Wing-Men — and Mirkheim), and of Dominic Flandry, Agent of the Terran Empire (published in collections like Agent of the Terran Empire and Flandry of Terra and novels like Ensign Flandry, The Rebel Worlds, A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows and A Stone in Heaven), consists of dozens of stories and novels first published between 1952 and 1985.



World of the Maurai

Image - Maurai & Kith by Poul Anderson

Cover illustration by Thomas Kidd for "The Sky People"

A post-apocalyptic Earth of the distant future where industrial resources and technological know-how are scarce, comprised of three stories, "The Sky People," "Progress" and "Windmill," first published between 1959 and 1973 (and collected in 1982's Maurai and Kith) and the 1983 novel Orion Shall Rise.



Fireball and Anson Guthrie

Image - Analog, March 1995

Cover illustration by George Krauter, served by Galactic Central

The tales of Anson Guthrie, one of the first humans to have his consciousness "downloaded" into a computer, describe the evolution of humanity into space and eventually to the stars.  The series, beginning with the novel Harvest of Stars, consists of four novels and a novelet first published between 1993 and 1997.




"He'd gone to sleep in a room somewhere in the stews of Catawrayannis, with no prospect or intention of leaving the city for an indefinite time —"
  — Poul Anderson, "Tiger by the Tail"



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