Saturday, 30 July 2016

Harvesters' Lunch II

If fictional characters are to experience a North America uninvaded by Europeans, then they can travel either pastward or sideways in time:

Poul Anderson's Time Patrolmen, Manse Everard and John Sandoval, travel pastward to 1280 A.D. (before Columbus);

SM Stirling's John Rolfe travels sideways to "New Virginia" (there never was a Columbus);

Stirling's Nantucket travels pastward to 1250 B.C. (long before Columbus) but also travels sideways because the Nantucketers initiate a divergent timeline.

Time Patrolmen visiting past periods either spend time in well equipped prehistorical bases, like the Academy or the Lodge, or take their high technology into the wilderness with them, e.g., on another expedition, when Everard is with Janne Floris:

"Two one-person shelters rested side by side in soft radiance, and savory odors drifted from a cook unit, technology futureward of his and her birthtime." (Time Patrol, p. 539)

The Nantucketers, stranded with dwindling technology, must accept back-breaking agricultural toil and a welcome lunch:

thick brown pork and lobster stew;
half a loaf of rough dark bread;
cool water.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

But I have wondered if Everard and Floris had to take with them rather bulky packages of unprepared for that futuristic cooking unit to then make ready for eating. I don't recall any mention of how future millennia in the Time Patrol stories processed food meant to be taken on expeditions into the past. Or were the Time Patrol agents expected to buy locally available foods?