Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Peaceful Times

An unageing time traveller, i.e., a Time Patrol agent, knowing history, can opt to live through several peaceful years or decades and then move to another peaceful era before the next war or other time of troubles is scheduled to begin. Thus:

Carl Farness, recruited to the Patrol in 1980 and believing that US society has disintegrated quickly and obviously since the 1964 election, moves to New York in the 1930s;

Herbert Ganz likes to remain in the Berlin of the 1850s but will have to move elsewhere "'...before Western civilization begins self-destruction in earnest...'"  -"The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" IN Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), 1858, p. 400;

Unattached agent Shalten maintains a large, luxurious flat in Paris in the first decade of the twentieth century...

By contrast, Unattached agent Manse Everard, needing a base in the twentieth century, remains in the New York apartment to which he has become attached right through the 1950s, '60s and '70s and into the decay of the '80s. We last see Everard, in the twentieth century, in 1990.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I also remember reading somewhere in one of the Time Patrol stories that agents were discouraged by the Patrol from living too long in peaceful or pleasant eras. Because they were expected to give much of their life spans working for the Patrols on tasks or in milieus assigned to them.


S.M. Stirling said...

As I pointed out to Poul once, Manse's downtown area had gone right through a cycle of decay and right back to gentrified peacefulness -- NYC now has a very low crime rate and the prices in that area of town are astronomical.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Yes, but that was, at least in part, due to policies instituted by Republican mayors like Rudy Giuliani. The current mayor, De Blasio, is a Democrat who seems to want to reverse those policies. In other words, bad ideas and bad policies might well bring back the pre-Giuliani decay.