Sunday, 2 July 2017

Another Analytical Engine

A writer about alternative timelines can echo one timeline in another:

as a joke on his villainous Mersians, Poul Anderson shows us another race of aliens that looks exactly like them in Starfarers;

the planet Lithia, destroyed in 2050 in James Blish's A Case Of Conscience, still exists millennia later in the same author's The Seedling Stars;

the Dirac transmitter exists both in Blish's Okie history and in one of his Haertel timelines;

there is an Analytical Engine both in SM Stirling's Angrezi Raj and in his Emberverse.

Blog readers are cordially invited to think of other examples.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Dang! I had completely forgotten there was an Analytical Engine in the Emberverse books. Was this primitive kind of computer powered using water wheels? The Emberversers certainly could not use steam power or electricity, as we see in the Angrezi Raj.

    Another example that came most clearly to mind was William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE, showing us their speculations on the ENORMOUS consequences from Charles Babbage successfully inventing a computer in 1824.

    Sean

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    Replies
    1. Sean,
      Yes, there is a "hydraulic turbine."
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Ingenious! But how frustratingly slow and weak compared to pre-Change computers.

      Sean

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