Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Histories Within Histories

Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series spans prehistory and history. One installment, "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth," is a mini-history because it covers four generations of a Gothic family, from 300 to 374 AD.

Anderson's Psychotechnic History begins with World War III in 1958 and ends fifty thousand years after the fall of the interstellar "First Empire." That Empire existed after the Third Dark Ages, which began in 3200.

Within the Psychotechnic History, "The Troublemakers" gives the sense of a mini-history. The Pioneer leaves the Solar System in 2126 and should reach Alpha Centauri in 2249, although the Chronology does not confirm its arrival. I reasoned in an earlier post that, because of the length of the journey, many who are born and die in the ship should at different times know those who left Earth and those who will reach Centauri.

"The Troublemakers" confirms this. In 2205, the second Captain has ruled for forty three years and begins to train his successor who will complete the voyage. Thus, the second Captain, Gomez, has been born and will die in the ship but, despite this strange life, is sufficiently trained and motivated to do whatever is necessary for the success of the expedition. Gomez applies individual and social "psychology" to his crew but curiously does not refer either to "psychotechnics" or to "psychodynamics."

No comments: