The Saturn Game
by Poul Anderson
Review by Steve Sawicki
NESFA Press Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781886778894
Date: 01 July 2010 List Price $29.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is the third volume in the collection of the short works of Poul Anderson. This volume contains 18 stories including: The Saturn Game, Hunter's Moon, No Truce With Kings, A Tragedy of Errors, and Sam Hall. The collection also includes seven limericks and two untitled songs. Talk about diverse! Three of the aforementioned stories were Hugo and Nebula award winners. Bob Eggleton, a multiple Hugo award winner himself, did the cover, a great astronomical in the style of Chesley Bonestell. Anderson, born in PA, won seven Hugos and three Nebulas over the span of his 50 year career. He was also one of the co-founders of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).
Anderson came up through the field during the time now known as the golden age of science fiction. As such he wrote all kinds of short stories, veering from space opera to interplanetary epics to fantasy and back again, always placing solid emphasis on story over subject. Time and again, Anderson plays with ideas in the realm of humanity, or, to be more politically correct, he investigates how being human is impacted by the introduction of the new, whether it be technology, alien intervention or just plain avarice and greed.
Tom Easton in his introduction points out that writing is, in a sense, nothing more than a conversation between the writer and the reader (and sometimes the writer and other writers). Writers shamelessly steal from each other and I suppose it is a declaration of ability to note that Anderson had a lot of his ideas stolen by others. As with all NESFA books this one is a beauty. From the acid free paper to the wonder cover to the chosen content. Highly recommended. And, as a final note, it appears that there will be between 6 and 8 total volumes of Anderson's short fiction, somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words. Now that's a conversation.