Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Future Patrol


" the year 19352 would find a way to travel through time..." (Time Patrol, p. 6)

"The thirty-first millennium far earlier than the development of the first time machines..." (p. 660)


the second passage is thought by Stephen Tamberly who may be mistaken;

the real situation may be as follows -

(i) the discovery of time travel;
(ii) the founding of the Patrol;
(iii) the Patrol ceasing to conceal its existence and beginning to operate openly.

I suggest that, in the timeline defended by the Patrol, (i) and (ii) are simultaneous but (iii) is later.

Incidentally, Tamberly also reflects that Temporal has not only tenses but also verbs to deal with time travel - and that exhausts our knowledge of the language. We see an agent in place on the Moon in 2319 - and that exhausts our knowledge of the Patrol post-twentieth-century. The futuristic framework of the series was merely a device for Poul Anderson to write superb historical sf.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I agree the futuristic framework of the Time Patrol was a device used by Poul Anderson to write truly excellent historical SF. But, in THE SHIELD OF TIME we also see some cosmological speculations using chaos theory on how and why the Patrol came to exist. So, in SHIELD we see both historical SF and what may be called Stapledonian SF.