Saturday, 23 July 2016
Not A Museum
"He picked up a flint scraper somebody had abandoned beside a raw deerhide. Not a museum piece, he realized suddenly. It was still warm from the hand of whoever had left it."
-SM Stirling, Island In The Sea Of Time (New York, 1998), pp. 26-27.
This reminded me of:
"This was the first moment when the reality of time travel struck home to Everard...Now, clopping through a London he did not know in a hansom cab (not a tourist-trap anachronism, but a working machine, dusty and battered), breathing an air which held more smoke than a twentieth-century city but no gasoline fumes, seeing the crowds which milled past - gentlemen in bowlers and top hats, sooty navvies, long-skirted women, and not actors but real talking, perspiring, laughing and sombre human beings off on real business - it hit him with full force that he was here. At this moment his mother had not been born, his grandparents were young couples just getting settled to harness, Grover Cleveland was President of the United States and Victoria was Queen of England, Kipling was writing and the last Indian uprisings in America yet to come...It was like a blow on the head." (p. 24)
-copied from here.
The past was real so, if we went then, we would experience it as real.
Island..., Chapter One, ends with the suicide of the Executive Officer. His captain thinks:
"God damn you, Roysins...I needed you, dammit." (p. 32)
Never commit suicide. We always have responsibilities to someone else - even if it is just to whoever would have to clean up our mess.