Saturday, 30 January 2016

In 1946

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004), Prologue.

The world in 1946, according to John Rolfe's Chronicle:

Russians in Eastern Europe;
starvation and typhus between England and the Ukraine;
Communists gaining in China;
the French trying to regain Indochina;
the Dutch trying to regain Java;
the Brits having problems in Palestine;
MacArthur lording it in Japan.

Don't you wish you were then?

Having defined his time, how does our hero leave it?

In L Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall as in Poul Anderson's "The Man Who Came Early," being struck by lightning sends a man into the past. In Conquistador, the mechanism is a war surplus shortwave radio set that our hero has thoroughly "fiddled with" but the side effects are a sound louder than thunder and a dazzling flash as a Gate opens into a parallel present. The sound and the flash are parts of the literary tradition, I think. There must be some discharge of energy for such a momentous event as an opening into another world.

This is Alice's rabbit hole and looking glass and Helen Cresswell's Moondial which, I was surprised to learn, physically exists.

PS: And CS Lewis' Wardrobe.

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