Saturday, 5 August 2017

A Six-Stage Conceptual Sequence

(i) Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee changes Arthurian society but not enough to affect the historical record.

(ii) L Sprague de Camp's Martin Padway changes history enough to prevent the Dark Ages.

(iii) Poul Anderson's Stane and his Exaltationists try to change history but are thwarted by the Time Patrol.

(iv) Anderson's Neldorians do change history but the Patrol changes it back.

(v) The Patrol plants fake evidence to lure the surviving Exaltationists into a stable period when they can be apprehended.

(vi) History changes itself through a quantum fluctuation but the Patrol changes it back!

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Truth to say, I find Twain's premise implausible. You CAN'T change the past without the historical record and the history of the future also becoming DIFFERENT.

What we see in Anderson's Time Patrol stories is him refining and improving on the concepts underlying the series. And if Anderson had lived longer I hope he would have taken into account your arguments for believing that "deleted" timelines were not simply snuffed out but survived, becoming unreachable by the Patrol or time travelers from the time line it guarded.