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Thursday, November 25, 1926
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
Geographic Connection: 

August Derleth Award; British Fantasy Society; Gandalf Award; Grand Master of Fantasy; Hugo Award; J.R.R. Tolkien Memorial Award; John W. Campbell Memorial Award; Mythopoeic Award; Nebula Award; Science Fiction Writers of America; University of Minnesota; World Science Fiction Convention


Prolific science fiction author Poul Anderson was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 1926. He began his writing career with the story “Tomorrow’s Children” in 1947 and continued writing at a tremendous pace, completing over 80 novels. Anderson received every major award the science fiction genre had to offer before his death in 2001.


Poul Anderson was born on November 25, 1926, in Bristol, Pennsylvania. His parents were Anton William and Astrid Anderson. In 1953, Anderson married Karen J.M. Kruse, with whom he had a daughter named Astrid May.

Anderson attended the University of Minnesota, where he received a BS in physics in 1948. Anderson’s first short story, “Tomorrow’s Children,” was published in 1947 by Astounding SF, which was a year before he completed his degree at the University of Minnesota. Anderson’s first novel, Vault of the Ages, was published in 1952.

Many believe Anderson’s career started to take off after the publication of The High Crusade (1960). Anderson published a string of novels that began to gain him notoriety in the world of science fiction. In 1959, Anderson received the First Annual Cock Robin Mystery Award for his novel Perish by the Sword (1959). His most renowned novel came 11 years later when Tau Zero (1970), a simplistic story about a space ship steadily gaining speed and the complications on the ship, was published. Anderson wrote 86 books in his career.

Anderson received several awards during his career including seven Hugo Awards by the World Science Fiction Society for best short fiction and three Nebula Awards by the Science Fiction Writers’ Association for excellence. Other awards included the First Annual Cock Robin Mystery Award, the August Derleth Award from the British Fantasy Society, Mythopoeic Award, J.R.R. Tolkien Memorial Award, Gandalf Award, and Grand Master of Fantasy. In 2001, he received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science fiction novel of the year for Genesis (2000). He was also a founding member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a society devoted to the researching and re-creating of arts and skills of pre-seventeenth-century Europe. His book Going for Infinity was posthumously published in 2002. In 2009, he posthumously won the Hall of Fame Award for the Libertarian Futurist Society for his work No Truce with Kings (1964).

Poul Anderson passed away July 31, 2001, in his Orinda, California, home after a yearlong battle with prostate cancer. He was 74-years-old.



  • Vault of the Ages. Philadelphia: Winston. 1952.
  • Brain Wave. New York: Ballantine, 1954.
  • Tau Zero. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
  • Hrolf Kraski’s Saga. New York:Ballantine, 1973.
  • A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. New York: Doubleday, 1974.
  • Going for Infinity. New York: Tor Books, 2002.

Short Story Collections

  • Time and Stars. New York: Doubleday, 1964.
  • Trader to the Stars. New York: Doubleday, 1964.
  • The Trouble Twisters. New York: Doubleday, 1966.
  • The Queen of Air and Darkness and Other Stories. New York: New American Library, 1973.
  • Guardians of Time. New York: Ballantine, 1981.
  • Alight in the Void. New York: Tor Books, 1991.
  • “The John W. Campbell Award.” The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. 22 Sept. 2004. 29 May 2005. <>.
  • “Poul William Anderson.” The Gale Literary Database: Contemporary Authors Online. 12 Aug. 2010. 6 Dec. 2011.
  • “Poul William Anderson.” Spacelight: Science Fiction and Fantasy Biographical Data. 2001. 17 Oct. 2001. <>. Page content replaced. 
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Literary Note: 

Poul William Anderson, a well-known and prolific author, was named a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1978, 1997 and 1998.

7 Hugo Awards & 3 Nebula Awards
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