Saturday, 19 July 2014

People From The Future IV

I am now scouring Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series for Everard's interactions with Patrol members from periods later than his own. Here is a good one. The timeline has been changed. Hannibal has sacked Rome and the Carthaginians have won the Second Punic War. Patrolmen have met in the Pleistocene lodge.

"A man from the Scientific Renaissance had another point to make. Granted, the survivors' plain duty was to restore the 'original' time track. But they had a duty to knowledge as well. Here was a unique chance to study a whole new phase of mankind. Several years' anthropological work should be done before - Everard slapped him down with difficulty. There weren't so many Patrolmen left that they could take the risk."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), pp. 220-221.

With difficulty? Might the Patrol have records of other timelines that were systematically studied for years before deletion? Keith Denison, having spent four years as a prisoner in an altered timeline, says:

"'In due course I may write a book or two.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 365.

- to which Wanda Tamberly replies:

"'We need that...We'll learn things about ourselves we never would otherwise.'" (ibid.)

Everard having to argue his case in a meeting of Patrol members reminds me of the King of Ys having to argue his case in the Council of Suffetes. Meanwhile, we are not told when the Scientific Renaissance is or anything more about that troublesome Patrolman.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I can see Manse Everard's point, tho! I think there probably WERE too few Patrolmen with the appropriate skills still available who could have studied the "Carthaginian" timeline before re-altering it back to the "original' timeline.

And I would have liked to have known more about the timeline where the Church absorbed the state (or the Frederick II "reality" where the state dominated the Church). From what Keith Denison said about him in THE SHIELD OF TIME, Archcardinal Albin wasn't such a bad guy, by his own lights.