Tuesday, 25 March 2014


HG Wells, the seminal sf writer, presents only one single solitary individual time traveler, the Time Traveler, who sets off into the future on his newly invented Time Machine. The title characters of Poul Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early" and "The Little Monster" are also individual time travelers but each is propelled into the past by an accident.

However, the first accident is an extremely rare natural occurrence whereas the second is a mishap involving regularly used time travel technology. Thus, the inventor of the Time Machine is conceptually intermediate between "The Man Who Came Early," with no time travel technology, and "The Little Monster" growing up in a civilization where the use of such technology has become routinized.

Such a civilization ought to generate organizations of time travelers. In previous posts, I have observed that Poul Anderson's time traveling characters include:

a gang of brigands;
a police force;
two sets of warring armies.

I should also have mentioned the Transtemporal Oil Company (Transoco) whose crude oil, extracted in the Jurassic, is sucked from the small temporal unit by the main projector in the twentieth century.

"Project Mastodon" by Clifford Simak is about trade between the sovereign nation of Mastodonia, established by time travelers in the Pleistocene, and the United States.

Wellsian premises; science fictional developments; Andersonian culminations.

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