Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Terminologies And Concepts

Mark Twain, writing before HG Wells had coined "time travelling," used the term, "transposition of epochs." In SM Stirling's On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000), Odikweos (Odyyseus) is canny enough to deduce that the Nantucketers:

"'...are from the days that are yet to come.'" (p. 464)

He has overheard Walker say not " my land," but " my time." He knows that there have been historical changes and therefore can be more. The new people know where iron can be mined and have maps of the land so they must be gods, demigods, seers or "'...from years yet unborn.'" (p. 465) Thus a Homeric hero discusses time travel from the future.

When Poul Anderson wrote his Time Patrol series, he inherited the Wellsian terminology of "time travel" and "time machine" but added some more:

causal vortices
a quantum fluctuation in space-time-energy
a personal causal nexus


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I rather like Clemens/Twain's "transposition of epochs." And observing how some of Walker's time travelers were weak and foolish, and others were wicked, should convince anyone they were not gods or demigods!


    1. Sean:
      You're forgetting what the Greek gods, especially, were like. "Weak and foolish" and "wicked" are all adjectives that often applied, so long as "weak" is understood as the SPIRITUAL weakness of very POWERFUL jerks. Human evil and stupidity writ large. It'd be reasonably convincing evidence that Walker's crowd WERE deities.

    2. Kaor, DAVID!

      Very interesting points. I should have thought of how absurd, foolish, weak, and wicked the Olympian and other pagan gods often were. They were allegedly powerful BEINGS, but hardly moral paragons.

      Hmmmm, it might be more plausible to say Walker and his followers were thought to be magicians or sorcerers, instead of gods. That was how some Albans and Babylonians thought of the Nantucketers and Walker's faction.