Saturday, 23 July 2016
Pre-Columbian North America
(i) travel far enough back in time;
(ii) travel sideways into a timeline where Europeans never crossed the Atlantic.
(i) Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series;
Anderson's There Will Be Time;
SM Stirling's Island In The Sea Of Time (New York, 1998);
(ii) Stirling's Conquistador.
Consequently, we should find some similarities between Stirling's Island... and Conquistador.
In Island..., the disclosure of the temporal transition is gradual. First, everything is as it should be. Ian Arnstein arrives at Nantucket by ferry but no one is contemplating a journey through time. Then strange electrical activity covers the sky. When the activity ceases, people start to notice that the sky is not as it should be in March 1998 A.D. There is radio silence except for contact with one nearby ship. Aerial surveillance reveals that:
sea currents are disturbed;
nearly extinct whales are present in large numbers;
Cape Cod has neither roads nor houses;
dense forest grows to the water;
near the shore are a few people with crude shelters and log canoes.
When the astronomer, Doreen Rosenthal, explains to the pilot and a Coast Guard in the plane, we are not told what she says. At this point in a film, the camera would pull back to outside the plane so that we would merely see her speaking through a window - but we would be beginning to realize what had happened.
Some of the differences we realize we should have anticipated:
"The air was not only warm, it was fresh like nothing he'd ever smelled. Closer to the huts it wasn't as pleasant; evidently whoever lived there had never heard of latrines." (p. 26)
Where ancient Native Americans unhygienic? I suppose we don't know. Will these "Indians" suffer the same fate as those in Conquistador?