Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Pivotal Moment

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

I have identified the pivotal moment in all of history. In the later fortieth century, there is a short period after Storm has departed to the twentieth century but before Brann has counterattacked down Storm's new corridor from the twentieth century. That is the period during which Malcolm Lockridge must travel to Brann's headquarters and inform him of the new corridor.

When they speak, Brann says of Storm:

"'...she disappeared some time ago, undoubtedly on a major mission.'" (p. 148)

This suggests an elementary security measure. Storm should not be gone for "some time" but should return as soon as possible after her departure in order to minimize the period during which her antagonist can learn that she has disappeared and infer that she is on a major mission. But she must avoid returning before her departure because the time travelers do not want their future actions limited by foreknowledge.

In this case, Storm will not return to the fortieth century. She flees from the twentieth century to 1827 BC when, captured by Lockridge, then bound by his men, she is strangled by the dying Brann, who has just been freed by Lockridge - the agent of destiny.

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