Tuesday, 29 July 2014

How Many Temporal Catastrophes?

(Delay and possible cancellation of Lake District trip.)

Guion refers to a temporal "'...catastrophe...'" (The Shield Of Time, p. 262) that involved the Second Punic War. Everard asks, "'How many others have there been?'" (ibid.), to which Guion replies:

"'That is a problem inherently insolvable. Think about it.'
"Everard did." (ibid.)

Why is it insoluble? The Patrol must know how many divergent timelines they have records of - although they never know how many they are yet to experience. This is the central paradox of the series. Anyone traveling into his past and returning to his present can find that he is in an altered present and this can happen at any stage of a Patroller's career.

Wanda is shown records of "'...time gone awry...'" (p. 253). How many records is she shown? Those alternative timelines can affect the current timeline. Guion tells Wanda:

"'...think of the countless world lines intermeshed throughout the cosmos as a spider's web. A touch on one strand trembles through many. A disruption somewhere changes the configuration of the whole...There are occasions when we know only that the web is troubled, not where or when the source of the disturbance lies; for that source perhaps does not exist in our yet, our reality. We can only try to trace it back up the threads -'" (p. 135)

An interesting use of the word "yet." Wanda says that she does not scare easy but allows to herself that this could do it.

Lake District trip delayed but on.

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