Friday, 14 March 2014

An Alternative Time Patrol?

Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 1991); The Shield Of Time (New York, 2006).

Manson Everard visits one alternative timeline in "Delenda Est" and two in "Amazement Of The World." These three are alike in that none has a scientific revolution. They have neither Danellians nor Time Patrol but also no time travel of any kind.

In "Women And Horses And Power And War," Shalten outlines another conceivable timeline to Everard:

Antiochus conquers Bactria early in his campaign;
thus, he has resources for outright conquest in western India;
thus further, he is strengthened against Egypt and Rome;
he helps Carthage to survive the Third Punic War;
his descendant succeeds in crushing Judaism despite Maccabean resistance;
thus, no Christianity;
Exaltationist time criminals help Antiochus and later generations of Seleucids;
an alternate Time Patrol guards this timeline. (ST, pp. 75-76)

And Everard tells Wanda that, if another Exaltationist scheme succeeds:

"'There'd never have been a you or a me, a United States, a Danellian destiny, a Time Patrol...unless they organized one of their own to protect the misshapen history they brought into being.'" (TP, p. 718)

Everard never enters an alternate timeline protected by an alternative Time Patrol. That would be a much bigger problem to solve. And, although a history dominated by Exaltationists would be "...misshapen...," some other alternatives might be improvements.

Could time travelers from alternative futures meet in the present to wage war about which of their futures will become real?

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