The Dancer from Atlantis - Poul Anderson

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature: Best Novel nominee (1973).

They were four strangers from different ages and lands, snatched up by a time machine and stranded in 1400 B.C.!

Duncan Reid was standing on the deck of an ocean liner in the North Pacific when something suddenly seized him like a whirlwind of black thunders, and before he had a chance to cry out he was taken from the world of the 20th Century.

When he regained consciousness he found himself standing on the rock-strewn ground of a barren land bordering a sea, and he was not alone! Nearby was a yellow-bearded man in a spiked helmet and chainmail; a short, leather-coated rider on a rearing pony; and a tall, slender woman wearing a long white dress.

Each seemed as terrified as he was and the presence of a strange, glowing cylinder added to their fear. With no common language between them, they were forced to use signs and gestures to communicate. But that problem was soon overcome when a man stumbled out of the cylinder and collapsed on the ground.

Badly injured, the man carried two helmets with him and he freely indicated to Duncan to put one on. Somehow the helmet enabled Duncan to understand his language and Duncan learned the fantastic story of how they had all come to this place.

The man's name was Sahir, a time traveler whose vehicle had raced out of control and swept up Duncan and the others. They had been deposited in a distant past, and Duncan was warned that a monumental natural disaster was about to occur. But before Sahir could tell Duncan how they might return to their own eras, he died.

Was there no way back? With the aid of the helmets they learned each other's languages, and Duncan discovered who these strangers were. The bearded man was named Oleg, a medieval Russian; the other man was Uldin, a pre-Attila Hun. But when the origins of the woman were revealed, Duncan was stunned.

Her name was Erissa and apparently she had been thrown back only a few decades from her own time. Although she now lived on Crete, once she had lived in another land that had been totally destroyed in a great cataclysm – Atlantis!

Did the destruction of Atlantis cause the wreck of the time machine and, more importantly, could the key to their return rest in that country? Hugo Award winner Poul Anderson has written a fascinating, action-packed adventure that takes Duncan Reid and his companions on a perilous journey through the ancient world to reach Atlantis, the most fabled land in all history.

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Release date: 1971
Genres: science fiction
Updated: April 11, 2011