From: Chris Stevenson
Location: Hemet, CA in the Pleistocene
It's taken me years to get up the courage to write this. Please forgive if it's off-topic. I thought that you would surely understand. I miss Poul Anderson, so very, very much. I've been misting up sporadically ever since his passing. You see, His Vigrin Planet was my first intro to SF. After I joined the SFWA back in 1990, Poul and I became correspondants for a bit, sharing at least two dozen letters. He became my mentor, of sorts. I loved his voice and style of writing so much that I wrote like him, learned so much from him. He taught me about mood, color, and atmosphere.
Today I owe my talent, if that is what I have, to my assoication to that wonderful man. He took the time out for this newbie back then--was always a postive charge and delightful person. The impact has stayed with me all these years, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of his wonderful stories, sense of irony and humor.
So, Greg and Astrid, may I say that I share a strange kinship with you via some glorious memories. I just thought that I could release these pent-up emotions by finally telling the ones he loved, and were close to him, just how special he was, and how he affected my life.
To this day, I hope there is more than a little of Poul in everthing I write. A few people seem to think so. I take great pride in saying that he does indeed live on in me, and it all my scribbings.
Thanks for listening.
PS And Greg, what a wonderful talent you turned out to be! You're the second greatest writer in the world.
From: Greg Bear
Many thanks for writing, Chris. We do indeed share a love for Poul, and I was privileged to know him as both a mentor and a father-in-law. Fond memories include having him help me work out orbits while I was writing THE FORGE OF GOD...
And before that, we also exchanged letters and I enjoyed Poul and Karen's company at many conventions. Poul touched a great many lives with his generosity and talent and intelligence. We all miss him.
From: Sean M. Brooks
Dear Mr. Bear, I hope I might be permitted to bug you a bit on a possibly minor point. One of the books I have is
FOUNDATION'S FRIENDS: STORIES IN HONOR OF ISAAC ASIMOV, edited by Martin H. Greenberg (Tor Books: 1989). A collection of stories to honor Isaac Asimov on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first pro publication of an SF story by him.
Many of the stories in this work greatly pleased me. And it aroused the hope a similar volume honoring Poul Anderston would be pub. in 1997 (which was the 50th anniversary of PA's first professional sale of an SF story: "Tomorrow's Children." Alas, I was disappointed not to see anything like that either in 1997 or 1998.
My question: was there such a commemorative volume? Perhaps I merely missed it. If not, I hope SOMETHING like this will be done. Even if posthumously.
Sincerely. Sean M. Brooks
From: Greg Bear
A retrospective collection, GOING FOR INFINITY, was published shortly after Poul's passing, with his own notes on his stories, and there may be another in the works.