Monday, 17 July 2017

Fiction In The Past

Poul Anderson's time travel fiction, including his Time Patrol series, presents authentic-seeming accounts of past ages but also projects a lot of historical fiction and science fiction into the past:

in the fourth century, Ulfilas, Christian missionary to the Goths, met the mysterious Wanderer, the source of some of the Eddaic stories about Odin;

in Berlin in 1858, two Time Patrolmen watched a holographic recording of the meeting;

one of the Patrolmen, Carl Farness, was the Wanderer but Carl thinks -

"Was it truly me looming over [Ulfilas], lean, gray, cloaked, doomed and resigned to foreknowldge - yon figure out of darkness and the wind? On this night, one and a half thousand years after that night, I felt as if it were somebody else, Wodan indeed, the forever homeless."
-Poul Anderson, "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), pp. 333-465 AT 1858, p. 403.

And when the Roman general Cerialis makes peace with the Northern rebels, their intermediary is another Patrolman, Everardus/Manse Everard.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Very eery and somber indeed, these reflections of Carl Farness. He was in danger of becoming lost in myths and legends, of becoming ABSORBED by them.

And Carl had only wanted to be a simple, unobtrusive investigator of the Goths!