Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Time Travel Synthesis

In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, the Danellians appear in different forms. At the beginning of his Patrol career, Manse Everard sees a blazing shape. Much later, he meets a benign humanoid being of indeterminate race, age or sex. In Doctor Who, the Time Lords periodically "regenerate." They are rejuvenated and their appearance changes, i.e., a different actor plays the part. Both groups are masters of time travel. Thus, could they be the same group? See here.

Is the Doctor's humanoid appearance a mere appearance? On TV, he once said that the TARDIS's appearance was here but that its real being was outside time. Another character commented, "Ah, you are a true philosopher!"

On its original publication in Tales Of The Knights Templar (New York, 1995), edited by Katherine Kurtz, the last Time Patrol story, "Death And The Knight," was doubly introduced by editor and author. Kurtz wrote that, if time is fluid and mutable, then we must hope that there are or will be Time Lords to perform policing tasks:

"...to make certain that crucial aspects of our past are not changed, so that all our yesterdays will unfold into our desired tomorrows...
"Poul Anderson writes of the Time Lords thus:..." (p. 273)

Anderson does not use the term "Time Lords" but, in this passage, he does not name the Danellians either. He writes of "...the superhumans who dwell in the ages beyond..." (p. 274)

There is much scope here for creative sequels.

The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
-copied from here.


Sean M. Brooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I deleted my previous comment because I made a maddening mistake which contradicted what I truly wished to say.

Before time travel can be seriously considered in the real world two questions need to be answered: is it POSSIBLE and is the past mutable or immutable? If the former then we darn well better hope a reasonably decent Time Patrol exists!

But SF writers can examine the idea of time travel from all possible angles, including immutable or mutable pasts. Poul Anderson did exactly that in many of his works. THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS and THERE WILL BE TIME examines time travel using the past is immutable concept. The Time Patrol stories goes the other way, the past can be changed.


Paul Shackley said...

If, in timeline 1, we have existed until 9 Nov 2016, then it is impossible that, on 9 Nov 2016, we should cease to have existed until 9 Nov 2016. If, in timeline 2, we were prevented from existing until 9 Nov 2016, then that need not concern us in timeline 1.