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Poul William Anderson


Country:United States

Lifetime: 1926 - 2001 Passed: ≈ 21 years ago

Poul William Anderson was an American fantasy and science fiction author from the 1940s until the 21st century. Anderson wrote fantasy novels, historical novels, and short stories. His awards include seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards.

Poul Anderson was born on November 25, 1926, in Bristol, Pennsylvania to Scandinavian parents. Soon after his birth, his father, Anton Anderson relocated the family to Texas, where they lived for more than ten years. After Anton Anderson's death, his widow took the children to Denmark. The family returned to the United States after the beginning of World War II, settling eventually on a Minnesota farm.

While he was an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, Anderson's first stories were published by editor John W. Campbell in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction: "Tomorrow's Children" by Anderson and F. N. Waldrop in March 1947 and a sequel, "Chain of Logic" by Anderson alone, in July. He earned his BA in physics with honors but became a freelance writer after he graduated in 1948. His third story was printed in the December Astounding.

Anderson married Karen Kruse in 1953 and relocated with her to the San Francisco Bay area. Their daughter Astrid (now married to science fiction author Greg Bear) was born in 1954. They made their home in Orinda, California. Over the years Poul gave many readings at The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore in Berkeley; his widow later donated his typewriter and desk to the store.

In 1954, he published the fantasy novel The Broken Sword, one of his most known works.

In 1965, Algis Budrys said that Anderson "has for some time been science fiction's best storyteller". He was a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) in 1966 and of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), also during the mid-1960s. The latter was a group of Heroic fantasy authors organized by Lin Carter, originally eight in number, with entry by credentials as a fantasy writer alone. Anderson was the sixth President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, taking office in 1972.

Robert A. Heinlein dedicated his 1985 novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls to Anderson and eight of the other members of the Citizens' Advisory Council on National Space Policy. The Science Fiction Writers of America made Anderson its 16th SFWA Grand Master in 1998 and in 2000's fifth class, he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame as one of two deceased and two living writers. He died of prostate cancer on July 31, 2001, after a month in the hospital. A few of his novels were first published posthumously.


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