Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Thirty Second Century

Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series is complete in two volumes, an omnibus collection, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), and a long tripartite novel, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), although I have expressed disagreement with the order in which the works are presented. For example, the last story in the collection should instead be published at the end of the novel.

I have now found a possible link between the very first short story, "Time Patrol," and Part Six of the novel which is the third main part because the very short Parts One, Three and Five are a prelude and two interludes.

"...the assistant - a white-skinned, completely hairless man of indeterminate age, with a heavy accent and no facial expression..." (...Patrol, p. 4).

Does "white" mean white or pink, paper white or just very pale pink? If the former, then the assistant may be from Saturnian orbit in the thirty second century:

"...the pianist tonight was born in the thirty-second century Anno Domini, in orbit around Saturn...The hairless alabaster-white head - not albino; a healthy product of genetic technology..." (...Shield..., p. 296).

This possible link helps to establish the unity and integrity of the timeline guarded by the Patrol.

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