Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sailors On The Seas Of Time

"...his shipmates, his friends - they died and their kin mourned them, as would be the fate of seafarers for the next several thousand years...and afterwards spacefarers, timefarers..."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 325.

A fascinating progression - from sea to space to time. Are time travelers mourned by their kin? And the faring has come full circle because the time travelers are now back among the Phoenician seafarers of the tenth century BC.

"'...something made me stop by the temple of Tanith on my way back and put oil in a lamp - not for them, understand, but for all poor mariners, on whom rests the well-being of Tyre.'" (p. 302)

Anderson describes space travel in many other works, including one novel entitled Starfarers. In his Time Patrol series, the linking of sea travel with time travel makes it appropriate that two important meetings involving time travelers occur on sea shores.

"Right and left the strand reached..." (p. 570)

I would like to quote this descriptive passage in full but it is too long. Everard and Floris of the Patrol, tracking the pagan prophetess, Veleda, back through time, know that she will disembark on this beach in 43 AD so they wait... Another passage worthy rereading is the prayer to Mary on pp. 639-640. She is asked to lay her gentleness on the seas...

Finally, Manse and Wanda walk along a beach where a Danellian appears and tells them the meaning of the Patrol.

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