Sunday, 31 July 2016

Asymptomatic Carrier

SM Stirling, Island in The Sea Of Time (New York, 1998).

The small group that went to help the Olmecs included one asymptomatic carrier and most of the group was eaten by Olmecs. Thus, the group, far from helping the Olmecs, has wiped them out. Martha points this out to the group's leader, David Lisketter, on the deck of a ship, then, as she walks away, hears a splash. Has he committed suicide?

This inadvertent wiping out of populations kind of simplifies life. The incomers are spared any further conflict with the Olmecs and now have new territory that they can expand into - whether or not they are about to do so in a hurry. Are twentieth century diseases going to have the same effect in the Old World? Even if not, mutineers from Nantucket are about to overturn civilizations there so it will not be long before the time travelers are no longer operating in the known history of the ancient world.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember the incident about Martha Cofflin and David Lisketter. Frankly, I think Martha was HOPING Lisketter would be so stunned by finally grasping the enormity of what he and his fellow extremists had done that he would commit suicide. Mrs. Cofflin was now a MOTHER and she did not want plausibly crazy people like Lisketter to possibly become a danger to her children if Jared Cofflin had spared him.

I simply don't see HOW the American Indians could have been spared being devastated by Afro/Eurasian diseases once contact with Europe or Asia had been definitively made. Unless, very implausibly, there had been no Asia/European contact with North/South America before the 20th century AD