Saturday, 3 September 2016

Explaining It All

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Ten.

How can Holger Carlsen leave a beach during World War II and arrive on an Earth that corresponds to Carolingian mythology? Holger presents two explanations on one page.

"Given a large enough number of such universes, one of them was bound to fit any arbitrary pattern, such as that of pre-Renaissance European legendary." (p. 62)

On this hypothesis, the sheer number of universes explains the similarity between real events on one Earth and legends on another. However, Holger goes on to reflect that:

"...matters couldn't be quite that simple." (ibid.)

Of all the universes that he might have traveled to, he has entered one that has a parallel astronomy, geography and history. Thus, he thinks, there is some connection between these two particular universes. He therefore hypothesizes that poets and writers on his Earth have tuned into the force that links the two universes. In that case, it is not the sheer number of universes that explains the parallels. See here.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And, of course, since the Carolingian world of THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS was Holger's birth home, he might already have been "attuned" to that world. Enough so that something happened to get him sent back to that world. In fact, I think that idea can be found in THREE HEARTS.