Tuesday, 12 August 2014


The Time Patrol's pre-Polynesian Hawaiian resort exists for thousands of years. (Could a Patrol member be based there for all that time?) Carl and Laurie Farness get a cottage there for a month. This makes no difference to the rest of their lives. They can return to 1930's New York at the moment they left it. He is in the Patrol; she is not - but presumably she also benefits from future anti-age treatment.

"We sat on a deck which abutted the building. Dusk gathered cool and blue in the garden, across the flowering forest beyond. Eastward, land dropped quickly to where the sea glimmered quicksilver; westward the evening star trembled above Mauna Kea. A brook chimed. Here was the peace that heals." (Time Patrol, pp. 459-460)

It was indeed. It will never be possible to quote all such worthy passages from Poul Anderson's works. This paragraph, like many others, deserves to be included in an illustrated collection of quotations from the Time Patrol series.

Everard, visiting the Farness' cottage, tells Carl:

"'Since the rest of your career seems free of any more disarray than is normal for a field agent, I couldn't justify spending lifespan and Patrol resources on further investigation.'" (p. 460)

Time Patrollers are usually not allowed to know their own futures although Everard has just given Carl a general impression of his. But the word "seems" is important. It is always possible that Everard will return from a mission to the far past into a timeline where Carl's life is indeed in disarray.

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