Monday, 10 August 2015

A Fork In Time

See here.

In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, some phraseology about variable time is unique to "Star Of The Sea":

"...if we're to discover how it is that the time stream forks - and which is the right course, which the wrong one, for us and our world." (Time Patrol, p. 506)

"Everard had decided to start with a visit to Civilis several months downtime from the split in events." (p. 516)

"'...we are not at the divergence point yet...We are exploring the background of it.'" (p. 541)

I have discussed such paradoxes often enough before. Here I merely note that these guarded references to a potential temporal divergence add an extra element of mystery to the Patrol agents' discussions of history as recorded by Tacitus and as experienced by themselves.

Some other phrases are more familiar from the rest of the series:

"'...the continuum is especially vulnerable around such moments. As far away as barbarian Germany, reality is unstable.'" (p. 492)

"...this segment of space-time was unstable; the less they from the future moved about in it, the better." (p. 516)

"...till at last [events] were out of the unstable space-time zone and could safely be left to themselves." (p. 629)

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