Thursday, 4 August 2016
Bureau, Service And Patrol
The Temporal Bureau in Robert Heinlein's "'-All You Zombies-'" operates in an immutable timeline;
the Service in James Blish's "Beep" also operates in an immutable timeline;
the Service reconsidered in Blish's The Quincunx Of Time operates in what its members usually assume is an immutable timeline;
Poul Anderson's Time Patrol operates in a mutable timeline.
The Service is an "Event Police" because it ensures that future events occur on schedule;
the Patrol is also an Event Police because it protects past events from either extratemporal intervention or quantum fluctuation;
the Bureau does not have to be an Event Police because its events are fixed - the Bureau can prevent a war if the war was prevented but not if it was not prevented;
the Patrol and the Bureau are time travel organizations.
Three Similarities Between Bureau And Patrol
Guion invites Everard to dinner:
"Superficially the offer meant little. An Unattached agent of the Time Patrol drew on unlimited funds. Actually it meant a great deal. Guion wanted to spend lifespan on him."
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 4.
"...if you based yourself in a milieu before the technology to overleap space-time was developed, you didn't keep any future stuff around that you didn't absolutely require, and you kept it hidden or well disguised." (pp. 177-178)
"...I reopened the case, took out a packet of hundred-dollar bills, checked that the numbers were compatible with 1963. The Temporal Bureau doesn't care how much you spend (it costs nothing) but they don't like unnecessary anachronisms."
-Robert Heinlein, "-All You Zombies-" IN Heinlein, The Unpleasant Profession Of Jonathan Hoag (London, 1980), pp. 126-137 AT p. 134.
So far, two similarities: unlimited funds and dislike of anachronisms. A third is ways of dealing with miscreants. The Patrol has an "'...exile planet...'" (Shield.., p. 43). The Bureau practices temporal exile:
"...a general court-martial will exile you for a year in a nasty period, say 1974 with its strict rationing and forced labour." (ibid.)
Remember that? (I was still at University so I must have missed the rationing and labor.)