Wednesday, 7 December 2016
More On Everard
"'What I'm trying to make you know, not in your forebrain but in your marrow, is that reality never conforms very well to the textbooks, and sometimes it doesn't conform at all.'"
-Poul Anderson, "The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth" IN Anderson Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), pp. 333-465 AT p. 387.
In Everard's career, this statement is intermediate between miserly gods and cosmic capriciousness. He is learning. Later still, he learns more, from a Danellian:
"'In a reality forever liable to chaos, the Patrol is the stabilizing element, holding time to a single course...left untended, events would inevitably move toward the worse. A cosmos of random change must be senseless, ultimately self-destructive. In it could be no freedom.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 435.
Thus, the Time Patrol universe is anthropic. Intelligence exists because intelligent beings, having come into existence, travel into the past to ensure the conditions for their own existence. They are responsible for any apparent synchronicity. Their role is that of "gods," like the far future beings encountered by a single time traveler in "Flight to Forever."