Friday, 18 November 2016
Moments Of Realization In 13,211 BC And 11 AE
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 238.
This is a moment of realization. Wanda can travel into the recent past. Thus, she can subtly help her friends without breaking the Time Patrol law against changing the course of events. It is already known that the invaders will not settle but will continue to migrate south. Thus, Wanda can cause that continued migration without having to change anything. She has just realized how she will be able do this. But her scheme will not be explained to the readers until we see her doing it.
"A suspicion moved below the surface of his mind. No. Not here."
-SM Stirling, On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000), Chapter Five, p. 98.
Yes, here. Giernas is beginning to realize that a Native American village observed through binoculars is quiet and still because its inhabitants have been killed by smallpox. We gradually realize what is happening as Giernas leaves his companions at a safe distance, enters the village accompanied only by his dog, finds only dead bodies, then methodically burns everything, including his own clothes. Where has the smallpox come from?
These are two moments of realization. As it happens, each of these pov characters is a time traveler to prehistoric North America but how different the narratives are and many such narratives can potentially be generated from the same premises of time travel and alternative timelines.