Monday, 17 February 2014


(This 90th post for February might be the occasion for another pause in blogging. I am still reading the Ian M Banks novel, am going to gym and meditation group and need to prepare some Aeneid for next week.)

Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991).

The Shield Of Time, Part Four, "Beringia," is mostly set in the years 13,212-13,210 BC. The first of the four chapters set in that period is subdivided into I, which is Wanda's viewpoint, and II, which is Red Wolf's.

A Tulat reports seeing mammoth much closer to the coast than usual. Aryuk, the Tula leader, and Wanda Tamberly/She Who Knows Strangeness, the Time Patrol paleontologist, go to investigate. The mammoths are being harried by a different breed of men. Wanda realizes that they must be Paleo-Indians arrived from Siberia.

The Horned Men drove the mammoth-hunting Cloud People from Skyhome. The Cloud People include:

Red Wolf, their leader;
Little Willow, his wife;
Answerer, the shaman;
Caribou Antler;
Running Fox;
Broken Blade;
White Water.

They are homeless wanderers whose dead wail on the wind but would help them or even join the Winter Hunters if tended properly. Red Wolf will devise a plan to exploit the Tulat although I question whether such an economic relationship was possible between hunters and gatherers. If the Tulat already barely support themselves, then they cannot continue to survive while also supplying food to the new arrivals.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

Interesting point you raised, that the Tulat were technologically too primitive to both support themselves AND pay a tribute sufficiently large enough to satisfy the Paleo Indians. But, either Wanda Tamberly or Ralph Corwin persuaded the Paleo Indians to teach some of their more advanced methods of hunting/gathering to the Tulat precisely to make it easier for them to collect the tribute.


Paul Shackley said...

I haven't got that far in the story yet but have discovered something else relevant that I might post soon.