Image of Poul William Anderson


Lifetime: 1926 - 2001 Passed: ≈ 22 years ago




United States

Poul William Anderson

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.

Books by Poul William Anderson

Star Ship Cover image

Star Ship

Fiction Science
Starship Adventure Court Science Fiction Loyalty Space

The strangest space-castaways of all! The Terrans left their great interstellar ship unmanned in a tight orbit around Khazak—descended, all of them, in a lifeboat to investigate that weird, Iron Age world—and the lifeboat cracked up! This story is Po...

Lord of a Thousand Suns Cover image

Lord of a Thousand Suns

Fiction Science
Love Science Fiction Space Stars Life

A Man without a World, this 1,000,000-year-old Daryesh! Once Lord of a Thousand Suns, now condemned to rove the spaceways in alien form, searching for love, for life, for the great lost Vwyrdda.

Tiger by the Tail Cover image

Tiger by the Tail

Fiction Science
Science Fiction Space Planets Alien Strategy

The haughty, horned aliens from the planet Scotha had very well organized intentions of conquering the Terran Empire—and Captain Dominic Flandry, Terra's ace saboteur, suddenly found himself in a strategic position to louse up the works. How? Well, A...

Swordsman of Lost Terra Cover image

Swordsman of Lost Terra

Science Fiction
Gods Science Earth

Proud Kery of Broina felt like a ghost himself; shade of a madman flitting hopelessly to the citadel of Earth's disinherited ... to recapture the resonant pipes of Killorn—weapon of the gods—before they blared forth the dirge of the world. A great on...

Witch of the Demon Seas Cover image

Witch of the Demon Seas

Fantasy Fiction
Love Pirates Life Fun

"Guide a black galleon to the lost, fear-hauntedCitadel of the Xanthi wizards—into the very jaws of Doom? Corun, condemned pirate of Conahur, laughed. Aye, he'd do it, and gladly.It would mean a reprieve from the headsman's axe—a few more precious mo...

Snowball Cover image


Science Fiction Novel
Power Mankind Economy Science

The story follows the adventures of a group of people living in a post-apocalyptic future who must find a way to survive in a harsh, hostile world. It explores themes of trust, loyalty, and friendship, and examines the effects of technology on societ...

Industrial Revolution Cover image

Industrial Revolution

History Science
Twentieth Century Revolution Exploration Industrial Journey Technology Historical

It is a thought-provoking exploration of the historical phenomenon that transformed the world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Written by one of the most celebrated science fiction authors of the 20th century, the book provides a unique perspective on...

The Golden Slave Cover image

The Golden Slave

Fantasy Adventure Science Fiction Novel
Morality Mystery Speculative Thriller Exploration Philosophical fiction Struggle Humanity Human Nature Ethics Consequences Intriguing

Originally published in 1960, this timeless science fiction classic continues to captivate readers with its blend of adventure, romance, and thought-provoking ideas. Set in a distant future, "The Golden Slave" introduces us to a universe where humani...

Inside Earth Cover image

Inside Earth

Science Fiction Novel
Challenges political Life Conflict Greed Humanity Earth Secret Existence

Beneath the familiar surface of our world lies a realm of mystery and adventure, a hidden world teeming with life and secrets waiting to be unraveled. In Poul Anderson's thrilling novel "Inside Earth," we embark on an extraordinary journey to the dep...

The Sensitive Man Cover image

The Sensitive Man

Science Fiction Novel
Crime Narrative Planets Humanity Earth Experiences Human Spirit Refuge

In the year 2100, humanity has colonized the galaxy, and telepathy is a common ability. However, some people, known as sensitives, have heightened telepathic abilities that make them outcasts from society. One such sensitive is Eric, who is forced to...

Security Cover image


“Security” tells the story of a compartmentalized government physicist ordered by secret police to complete experiments aimed at developing a new weapon. He is brought to a hidden space station and put in charge of the project but there are many ques...

Chapter Ends Cover image

Chapter Ends

Far, far in the future the Earth is still spinning around the Sun, on the edge of the galaxy, dozing in obscurity, forgotten by it's trillions of progeny and completely irrelevant. But this doesn't matter to the few millions who still live there in s...

Sentiment, Inc. Cover image

Sentiment, Inc.

The way we feel about another person, or about objects, is often bound up in associations that have no direct connection with the person or object at all. Often, what we call a "change of heart" comes about sheerly from a change in the many associati...

Out of the Iron Womb! Cover image

Out of the Iron Womb!

Behind a pale Venusian mask lay hidden the arch-humanist, the anti-tech killer ... one of those who needlessly had strewn Malone blood across the heavens from Saturn to the sun. Now—on distant Trojan asteroids—the rendezvous for death was plainly mar...