Saturday, 24 September 2016

Without Technology

Space Travel Without Spaceships
The Galactics in Poul Anderson's "The Chapter Ends."
The Black Nebulans in Anderson's "Sargasso of Lost Starships."
Joel Weatherfield in Anderson's "Earthman, Beware!"

Time Travel Without Time Machines
There Will Be Time.
"The Man Who Came Early."
"Missing One's Coach."
A Connecticut Yankee.
Jack Finney's two novels and most of his short stories.
Richard Matheson's Bid Time Return.
Audrey Niffeneger's The Time Traveler's Wife.
L Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall.
Alison Uttley's A Traveler In Time.
Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden.
SM Stirling's Nantucket Trilogy.

As usual, more than you might think.


David Birr said...

To the second list, I'd add the *1632* or *Ring of Fire* series, which is much like the *Nantucket Trilogy* except the people of Grantville, West Virginia didn't bring anyone REMOTELY as bad as Walker or Hong with them.

Also, there was a book, *The Ship That Sailed the Time Stream* (1965) by G.C. Edmondson about a U.S. Navy research sailing ship with a device aboard that nobody INTENDED as a time machine. As the back-cover text said:
"The purpose of the "christmas tree" was to detect enemy submarines, it wasn't very good at that, but when lightning struck it proved itself highly efficient at...something else. For when the smoke cleared, there off the port bow was a long-ship. Full of Vikings. Throwing things."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

You included three of Poul Anderson's stories in your "Space Travel Without Space Ships" list. I note how these are all very EARLY Anderson stories. I don't recall Anderson using that idea in his later works--most likely because of the sheer implausibility of anyone traveling thru space simply by an act of will.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

I have read Flint's 1632: THE RING OF FIRE and I agree, we don't see anyone remotely as bad as Walker and the "Lady of Pain" in Grantville. One you've mentioned it, I have to wonder how plausible that was. Out of several thousand persons, there must have been SOME capable of being as bad as they were. Perhaps what was lacking was any of them having Walker's sheer ABILITY and driving energy and ambition?


David Birr said...

The Grantviller most resembling Walker in terms of ability and energy is Mike Stearns ... who's devoted to the principles of liberty and democracy. Slavery? Torture? Absolutely not in his playbook. Machine-gunning soldiers who've violated discipline to commit rape and murder? Yes; he's not SOFT.

The next most capable "uptimer," it seems to me, was Mike's political archenemy in the 1st book, John Simpson. Later books, though, showed he wasn't vicious enough to be a Walker -- Stearns points out that Simpson and his wife are conservative by 20th-century standards, but compared to 17th-century German aristocrats, they're flaming, "Kumbaya"-singing liberals. By the end of the 2nd book, Mike and John are allies, on a 1st-name basis even. A few books later, Simpson tells himself, "You're actually starting to like the man!"

Basically, anyone arriving with Grantville who WOULD'VE been willing to act like William Walker lacks the skills, and often the determined energy, to rise to real power. That was good luck for Grantville and the lands around.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, David!

Thanks for your comments! But, I did not in the least have any idea of comparing Mike Stearns to William Walker. I agree Mike was as ABLE as Walker, but he did not have the willingness to be as EVIL.

I remember John Simpson. If my memory of him is accurate, I would hesitate at calling him a PHILOSOPHICAL conservative. That is, a man having no illusions about human nature and believing in things like natural law, the limited state, a mostly free enterprise economy, etc.

Truth to say, I didn't really like the first RING OF FIRE book. Mostly because I detected intimations of anti-Catholicism in it, which irritated me. Let me hasten to add I don't think that was the intention or wish of Eric Flint himself. I did enjoy the later ROF book THE GALILEO AFFAIR (by a different author, true).