[PW] Request help tracing Poul Anderson quotation

Ivan Van Laningham ivanlan9 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 14 16:38:35 PDT 2015


;-)  I knew Dennis would have the issue, so I didn't try to excavate the
one I *think *I have.

Metta,
Ivan

On Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 5:24 PM, d-lien University of Minnesota <
d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:

> The "extracted text" as you have it is word for word and punctuation
> mark for punctuation mark identical to the exchange on p.12 (second
> column) of the story in the April 1957 ASTOUNDING.
>
> Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
>
> On Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 3:26 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> > A humorous quotation about complexity has been attributed to the
> > prominent science fiction author Poul Anderson, and I was sent a
> > request to investigate its provenance. Maybe the science fiction
> > enthusiasts on this list can help.
> >
> > Some important reference works listed the following version:
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you
> > looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > These references did not list a citation for a story by Anderson;
> > instead, a "New Scientist" article from 1969 written by William Thorpe
> > was listed. Also, I think that the phrasing of the quotation in the
> > references was slightly inaccurate. The quotation given by Thorpe was
> > probably based on a flawed memory. The contractions in the original
> > were different and the word "in" was inserted in the later version.
> >
> > Using data from Google Books, Amazon Look Inside, and The Internet
> > Speculative Fiction Database I've assembled the following tentative
> > citation and text. Perhaps someone has access to this 1957 issue of
> > "Astounding Science Fiction"? The goal is to obtain a complete and
> > accurate citation, and determine the exact text (especially the second
> > paragraph).
> >
> > This tale has been reprinted often, and I have been able to check the
> > text using recent reprints, but it is desirable to check the earliest
> > published instances on paper or with scans because text in reprints is
> > sometimes altered / revised.
> >
> > If you are unable to check this perhaps you can help with the 1962 or
> > 1969 cites further below.
> >
> > Date: April 1957
> > Periodical: Astounding Science Fiction
> > Editor: John W. Campbell, Jr.
> > Story Title: Call Me Joe
> > Story Author: Poul Anderson
> > Publisher: Street & Smith Publications, New York
> > Start Page 8
> > Quote Page 12
> >
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=dZQnAQAAIAAJ
> >
> > [Begin extracted text]
> > Cornelius followed, wallowing
> > awkwardly. "It is very interesting,
> > no doubt," he puffed. "Fascinating.
> > But really, Dr. Viken, to drag me
> > way out here and make me spend
> > a year-plus waiting for the next ship
> > . . . to do a job which may take me
> > a few weeks--"
> >
> > "Are you sure it's that simple?"
> > asked Viken gently. His face
> > swiveled around, and there was
> > something in his eyes that silenced
> > Cornelius. "After all my time here,
> > I've yet to see any problem, how-
> > ever complicated, which when you
> > looked at it the right way didn't
> > become still more complicated."
> > [End extracted text]
> >
> > The Internet Speculative Fiction Database lists some of the places
> > where the story has been reprinted. Perhaps someone can check the 1962
> > reprint given below. The quotation should be present about three to
> > five pages into the story. Please double check the metadata.
> >
> > http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?55693
> >
> > Year: 1962
> > Title: A Century of Science Fiction
> > Editor: Damon Knight
> > Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York
> > Story Title: Call Me Joe
> > Story Author: Poul Anderson
> > Quote Page 281 (probably)
> >
> > Finally, if you have access to old 1969 issues of "New Scientist" on
> > paper or microfilm perhaps you could determine the context of the
> > quotation given by Thorpe. I'd like to know the sentences before and
> > after the quotation. Scans of the article would be very helpful.
> >
> > Date: September 25, 1969
> > Periodical: New Scientist
> > Volume 43
> > Article Title: Reductionism v. Organicism
> > Article Author: William Thorpe
> > Quote Page 638
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you
> > looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Thanks for any help you can provide.
> > Garson O'Toole
> > _______________________________________________
> > Project Wombat - Project-Wombat
> > list at project-wombat.org
> > http://www.project-wombat.org/
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/
>



-- 
Ivan Van Laningham
God N Locomotive Works
http://www.pauahtun.org/
http://www.python.org/workshops/1998-11/proceedings/papers/laningham/laningham.html
Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours


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