Sunday, 16 March 2014

Differences Between Timelines II

Poul Anderson, The Corridors Of Time (London, 1968).

Each corridor is a maximum of six thousand years long.
Each gate or portal is twenty five years wide.
The gates must be at least two hundred years apart.

So there can be a maximum of twenty six gates to a corridor?

If a corridor passes through a given quarter century but there is no gate corresponding to that quarter century, then it is impossible to time travel to or from that particular quarter century. However:

"'The gates are made to overlap time, so that by going from one passage to another a time traveler can find any specific year he wishes.'" (p. 35)

Even if he can find any specific year, can he find any specific part of the year? Granted that:

"'Emergence cannot be precise, because the human body has a finite width equivalent to a couple of months." (p. 34)

- but is it possible to emerge in any part of any year?

Storm and Lockridge travel from 1964 AD to 1827 BC along a corridor in Denmark. In the corridor, they encounter and kill two Rangers. In 1827 BC, Storm hopes to get passage on a ship from Avildaro to Crete where she can use a corridor to return to the fortieth century. However, other events intervene. Brann of the Rangers attacks Avildaro and captures Storm and Lockridge but Lockridge escapes and travels back up the same corridor to 1535 AD from which year he brings Wardens who rescue Storm and capture Brann.

The Warden Hu, returning to the fortieth century with Lockridge, takes the latter on his third journey through the Danish corridor, this time exiting it in the seventh century in which period they fly by gravity belt to Germany where one of seven local corridors takes them to the twenty third century when they transfer to a corridor reaching into the fortieth century. Conveniently, in the twenty third century, a single physical passage connects gates to two different corridors.

Lockridge wonders why Storm:

"'...didn't figure to head back from Neolithic Denmark by this route, instead of via Crete.'" (p. 134)

Hu replies that, having encountered Rangers in the Danish corridor, she thought that this was too likely to happen again but it is safer now that Brann is captured. What does "now" mean when comparing events within and outside of corridors? Could they not encounter Rangers from earlier or later in the fortieth century who have traveled between and along corridors on a mission related to some earlier or later phase of the time war?

I need to think more about this and post again.

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