Cover of the first edition
|Cover artist||Edward Gorey|
|June 16, 1961|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
Three Hearts and Three Lions is a 1961 fantasy novel by American writer Poul Anderson, expanded from a 1953 novella by Anderson which appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction .
Holger Carlsen is an American-trained Danish engineer who joins the Danish resistance to the Nazis in World War II. At the shore near Elsinore, he is among the group of resistance fighters trying to cover the escape to Sweden of an important scientist (evidently the nuclear physicist Niels Bohr). With a German force closing in, Carlsen is shot – and suddenly finds himself transported to a parallel universe, a world where northern European legend concerning Charlemagne ("The Matter of France") is real. This world is divided between the forces of Chaos, inhabiting the "Middle World" (which includes Faerie), and the forces of Law based in the human world, which is in turn divided between the Holy Roman Empire and the Saracens. He finds the equipment and horse of a medieval knight waiting for him. The shield is emblazoned with three hearts and three lions. He finds the clothes and armor fit him perfectly, and he knows how to use the weapons and ride the horse as well as speak fluently the local language, a very archaic form of French.
Seeking to return to his own world, Holger is joined by Alianora, a swan maiden, and Hugi, a dwarf. They are induced to follow the seemingly attractive elvish Duke Alfric of Faerie, who in fact plots to imprison Holger in Elf Hill, where time runs differently. Holger learns that Morgan Le Fay, his lover in a forgotten past life, is his ultimate adversary.
They escape and, after encountering a dragon, a giant, and a werewolf, reach the town of Tarnberg, where they are joined by a mysterious Saracen called Carahue, who has been searching for Holger. Based on the advice of the wizard, Martinus Trismegistus, they set out to recover the sword Cortana. The sword is in a ruined church, guarded by a nixie, cannibal hillmen, and – most dangerous of all – a troll.
While on this perilous quest, Holger and Alianora fall deeply in love with each other. However, Holger avoids physically consummating this love – though Alianora wants him to – as he intends to return to the 20th century world he came from. But with the perilous Wild Hunt on their tracks, Holger and Alianora pledge their love and he promises, if surviving the ordeal ahead, to remain always with her. However, the decision would be taken out of his hands.
Once the sword is recovered, Holger discovers he is the legendary Ogier the Dane, a champion of Law. He vanquishes the forces of Chaos and is transported back to his own world, right back to the battle in Elsinore – and with a burst of superhuman strength, vanquishes the Nazi troops and enables Bohr to escape and play his part in the Manhattan Project; thus, in two worlds Holger/Ogier has fulfilled his destiny of fighting evil forces and preserving Denmark and France. The magical forces involved have no consideration for the hero's love life, leaving him stranded away from his beloved Alianora. Desperately wanting to return to the other world, he seeks clues in old books of magic. His enduring affinity with the medieval world in which he met her is expressed by a decision to convert to Catholicism.
The novel is a pastiche of interwoven stories. It draws on the corpus of Northern European legends, including Ogier the Dane, the Matter of France, Arthurian romance, Oberon (Duke Alfric in the novel), Germanic mythology, and traditional magic. It uses related literary sources such as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene , William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream , Robert Burns's Tam o' Shanter , and Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court . It also shows influence of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit with references to Mirkwood and wargs. It has some similarity to C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe .
The dividing line between the Empire in the West and threatening Faerie to the East seems to mirror the Cold War dividing line between the West and East blocs, running through the real Europe at the time of writing.
This story makes reference to the perceived connection between science and magic during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. The protagonist, Holger Carlsen, is introduced as a mechanical engineer in the preface titled "Note." Occasionally, he makes use of his knowledge of science as a way to make sense of the magical world in which he finds himself, and as a way to solve problems. For example, The Rubber Handbook, "The Burning Dagger" (made of magnesium, Bertrand Russell's Theory of Types, the experiments of Rutherford and Lawrence experiments with radioactivity, among others. Thus, it also taps into 20th century modernism.
Holger later appears as a minor character in Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest , where he is seen in a mysterious "Inn Between the Worlds" - having managed at last to leave the 20th century and wander the various alternate timelines by using the spells from a Medieval grimoire, but having little control over where he would get and a small chance of locating the one he wants. At the inn he encounters Valeria Matuchek - a character from another Anderson book, Operation Chaos who instructs him in the sophisticated scientific magic of her world and giving him a better chance.
In addition, Holger appears (with many other classic science fiction characters, despite Holger being a classic fantasy character) in the tournament at the end of Heinlein's The Number of the Beast .
In 2014 Harry Turtledove wrote, as his contribution to Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds , edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois,a short story entitled "The Man who Came Late". The story takes place thirty years after the events of Three Hearts and Three Lions. Altogether it has taken Holger Carlsen that long to get back to Alianora: first, magic took him to Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943, where he was a member of the Resistance; at the end of the war, it took him five years to find a Medieval spell which would take him across the timelines; then he spent a lot of time in blundering blindly from one timeline to another; after getting better instructions from Valeria Matuchek, he still had to overcome the magical opposition of the Chaos forces, which did not want him back in their world; and when at last reaching the right world, he still had to travel on foot across the continent of Europe, seeking for her in town after town and village after village. When at last they come face to face, it is too late. When he had not come back from his battle, and had clearly disappeared from the face of the Earth, Alianora was deeply heartbroken - but eventually accepted the proposal of a village smith, a good and solid man even if not very exciting, settled into the life of a rather prosperous village housewife and gave birth to two sons and a daughter - to the last of whom she passed on the magic May Swan magic tunic. Thus Holger became "The Man who Came Late" (a title is derived from an unrelated Anderson story, "The Man Who Came Early"). Though still having a strong feeling for him, Alianora has no intention of abandoning her family and the life she had built. At the end of the story Morgan la Fay reappears, seeming poised to catch Holger on the rebound.
Michael Moorcock cited Three Hearts and Three Lions as one of the works which greatly influenced his own fantasy, similarly set in a universe where the forces of Law and Chaos are pitted in an eternal war with each other. Specifically, Anderson's theme of a man snatched suddenly from our world to a fantasy world where he is regarded as a great hero of that world's past and expected to perform new heroic acts - while himself having only the most vague memories of that past life - is shared with the otherwise very different 1970 Moorcock novel The Eternal Champion .
Floyd C. Gale in 1962 rated the novel version of Three Hearts and Three Lions four stars out of five.
The novel influenced the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons , especially the original alignment system, which grouped all characters and creatures into "Law" and "Chaos". The game drew from the novel's depiction of the troll, whose body “regenerates”, healing itself extremely quickly when wounded.Other creatures from the game that were influenced by the novel include the swanmay and the nixie. The novel also inspired the paladin character class.
The 1953 novella is a Retro-Hugo nominee.
Alternate history or alternative history, sometimes abbreviated as AH, is a genre of speculative fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events occur differently. These stories usually contain "what if" scenarios at crucial points in history and present outcomes other than those in the historical record. The stories are conjectural but are sometimes based on fact. Alternate history has been seen as a subgenre of literary fiction, science fiction, or historical fiction; alternate history works may use tropes from any or all of these genres. Another term occasionally used for the genre is "allohistory".
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career in the 1940s and continued to write into the 21st century. Anderson authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and short stories. His awards include seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards.
Elric of Melniboné is a fictional character created by Michael Moorcock and the protagonist of a series of sword and sorcery stories taking place on an alternative Earth. The proper name and title of the character is Elric VIII, 428th Emperor of Melniboné. Later stories by Moorcock marked Elric as a facet of the Eternal Champion.
Warhammer Fantasy is a fictional fantasy universe created by Games Workshop and used in many of its games, including the table top wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) pen-and-paper role-playing game, and a number of video games: the MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the two Total War: Warhammer strategy games Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer 2 and the two first-person shooter games in the Warhammer Vermintide series, Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide and Warhammer: Vermintide 2.
Ogier the Dane is a legendary knight of Charlemagne who appears in many Old French chansons de geste. In particular, he features as the protagonist in La Chevalerie Ogier, which belongs to the Geste de Doon de Mayence. The first part of this epic, the enfance[s] of Ogier, is marked by his duel against a Saracen from whom he obtains the sword Cortain, followed by victory over another Saracen opponent from whom he wins the horse Broiefort. In subsequent parts, Ogier turns into a rebel with cause, seeking refuge with the King of Lombardy and warring with Charlemagne for many years, until he is eventually reconciled when a dire need for him emerges after another Saracen incursion.
The Matter of France, also known as the Carolingian cycle, is a body of literature and legendary material associated with the history of France, in particular involving Charlemagne and his associates. The cycle springs from the Old French chansons de geste, and was later adapted into a variety of art forms, including Renaissance epics and operas. Together with the Matter of Britain, which concerned King Arthur, and the Matter of Rome, comprising material derived from and inspired by classical mythology, it was one of the great literary cycles that figured repeatedly in medieval literature.
The High Crusade is a science fiction novel by American writer Poul Anderson, about the consequences of an extraterrestrial scoutship landing in Medieval England. Poul Anderson described the novel as "one of the most popular things I've ever done, going through many book editions in several languages."
The Sword of Shannara is a 1977 epic fantasy novel by American writer Terry Brooks. It is the first book of the Original Shannara Trilogy, followed by The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara. Brooks was heavily influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and began writing The Sword of Shannara in 1967. It took him seven years to complete, as he was writing the novel while attending law school. Ballantine Books used it to launch the company's new subsidiary Del Rey Books. Its success boosted the commercial expansion of the fantasy genre.
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Holly Black. It was published in 2002 by Simon & Schuster, who recommended it for "ages 12 up". Sequels--Valiant (2005) and Ironside (2007)--completed a trilogy that is sometimes called [A] Modern Tale of Faerie, the subtitle of volume two.
Operation Chaos is a 1971 science fantasy fixup novel by American writer Poul Anderson. A sequel, Operation Luna, was published in 1999.
Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, is a young adult urban fantasy novel by Holly Black. It was published in 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, who recommended it for ages "14 up". Valiant is a sequel to Black's debut novel Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, and the second in a trilogy that is sometimes called [A] Modern Tale of Faerie (2002–2007).
Operation Luna is a science fantasy novel by American writer Poul Anderson, published in August 1999; it is the sequel to the 1971 fixup novel Operation Chaos by the same author.
A magician also known as a mage, warlock, witch, wizard/wizardess, enchanter/enchantress, sorcerer/sorceress, or spell caster is someone who uses or practices magic derived from supernatural, occult, or arcane sources. Magicians are common figures in works of fantasy, such as fantasy literature and role-playing games, and enjoy a rich history in mythology, legends, fiction, and folklore.
A Midsummer Tempest is a 1974 alternative history fantasy novel by Poul Anderson. In 1975, it was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award for Best Novel and won the Mythopoeic Award.
Sources and influences on the development of Dungeons & Dragons include fantasy fiction, mythology, and wargaming rules, among others.
The Broken Sword is a fantasy novel by American writer Poul Anderson, originally published in 1954. It was issued in a revised edition by Ballantine Books as the twenty-fourth volume of their Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in January 1971. The original text was returned to print by Gollancz in 2002.
The Well of the Unicorn is a fantasy novel by the American writer Fletcher Pratt. It was first published in 1948, under the pseudonym George U. Fletcher, in hardcover by William Sloane Associates. All later editions have appeared under the author's actual name with the exception of the facsimile reprint issued by Garland Publishing in 1975 for its Garland Library of Science Fiction series. The novel was first issued in paperback in 1967 by Lancer Books, which reprinted it in 1968; subsequent paperback editions were issued by Ballantine Books. The first Ballantine edition was in May 1976, and was reprinted three times, in 1979, 1980, and 1995. The most recent edition was a trade paperback in the Fantasy Masterworks series from Gollancz in 2001. The book has also been translated into German.
The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is a novel by American writer Harry Turtledove, published by Baen Books in 1993. While having some aspects of an alternate history, it is mainly a work of science fantasy depicting a world where spells, pragmatically used by some to achieve the same results as the use of technology, call upon a spectrum of major to minor deities of the present to the past that are functioning when called upon or omni-present and restricted to local use or having a greater area of influence. Spells are not toxin-free and can have an ill effect on the environment when the appropriate deities and if certain practices are not considered, disaster can follow.
The following is a list of works by science fiction and fantasy author Poul Anderson.
Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds is a gedenkschrift honoring science fiction and fantasy author Poul Anderson, in the form of an anthology of short stories and tributes edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois. The book also includes cover art and interior illustrations by Bob Eggleton. It was first published in hardcover in May 2014 by Subterranean Press, with simultaneous paperback and ebook editions issued in June 2015 by Baen Books. All but one of the pieces are original to the anthology; the remaining one, Tad Williams's "Three Lilies and Three Leopards ", was originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of the ejournal Subterreanean Online.