At a Glance
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) was, among other things, undeniably fair. He made a conscious effort in all of his novels and stories to show both sides of a conflict equally. Even the antagonists are revealed to be complicated characters that have valid reasons for their behavior. Best known for his science fiction and commentary on society and politics, Anderson based many of his stories on real scientific beliefs. Not surprisingly, he was a vocal advocate of space exploration and felt that it was essential to human freedom. Throughout much of his work, Anderson wrote about characters facing difficult decisions that would end in a tragic conflict.
Facts and Trivia
- Anderson was president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America beginning in 1972.
- Anderson’s daughter, Astrid, is married to fellow science fiction author Greg Bear.
- Anderson’s work in the 1970s was greatly influenced by historian John K. Hord’s theories about empires and the patterns they follow.
- Anderson wrote an essay titled “There Will Be Time” that criticized the American Left for not addressing the Soviet Union’s human rights violations and for ignoring Israel’s unfair treatment of Palestinians.
- Anderson loved a challenge. He once said, “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become more complicated still.”
(The entire section is 510 words.)