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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Sci-fi master Anderson dies
Cover of Poul Anderson's Genesis
Genesis won a 2000 SF book of the year award
Award-winning science fiction writer Poul Anderson has died at his home in California, aged 74.

Anderson, who wrote futuristic tales with a moral edge, was a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and winner of three Nebula Awards and seven Hugo Awards.

Many scientists have told him that they got their start by reading not just science fiction, but his science fiction

Karen Anderson

Last month his novel Genesis won the John W Campbell Award for the best science fiction novel of the year for 2000.

He was remembered by his wife Karen Anderson, who wrote with him, as a writer of books that expanded from simple observation of the world.

"They showed the importance of honour and courage, the wonder of the universe and knowing about it through science," she said.

"Many scientists have told him that they got their start by reading not just science fiction, but his science fiction."

He was known for his scientific accuracy, but had not embraced technology himself, according to his wife.

"He used a typewriter up until last fall, always being too busy on the next story to learn how to use computers," she said.

Three Hearts and Three Lions
Three Hearts and Three Lions: A work he wanted to be remembered for
Anderson developed story sequences over the year, exploring future histories for the Earth in the aftermath of nuclear war or the first forays into time travel and space exploration.

One of his first efforts, the novel Brain Wave, imagined what would happen on Earth if humans and animals all experienced a sudden evolution in intelligence.

Other noted works included Tao Zero, Midsummer Tempest, The Boat of a Million Years and The Enemy Stars.

In a 1997 interview Anderson said he sought to push the notion of what is possible.

"So much American science fiction is parochial - not as true now as it was years ago, but the assumption is one culture in the future, more or less like ours and with the same ideals, the same notions of how to do things, just bigger and flashier technology," he said.

"Well you know darn well it doesn't work that way."

Anderson was born in Pennsylvania in 1926, grew up in Minnesota and Texas and published his first story in 1947 which a student at the University of Minnesota.

He moved to the San Francisco area in the 1950s and has since been a prolific writer of novels and short stories.

Anderson was a Grandmaster of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and in 2000 was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

A memorial gathering is planned for Saturday.

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