Friday, 12 February 2016

Cross-Time Anachronisms

"The reporter was a photographer too, carrying the latest digital model. To Tom's eyes it clashed horribly with the suit and snap-brimmed fedora and pencil-thin trimmed mustache; it was like a computer terminal in It Happened One Night."
-SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004), Chapter Seventeen, pp. 419-420.

(I had never heard of It Happened One Night and have thought to google it only on the second reading of this novel.)

The reporter's style might be time warp stuff but his camera is an anachronism - wrong time stuff. But this is going to happen if we ever have this kind of cross-time travel.

I read that one Batman TV animated series had styles of clothes, cars etc from the late 1930s when Batman started but also had up-to-date information and computer technology: a synthesis of nostalgic period charm dated-ness with real time cutting edge-ness, easily rationalized by saying that the series is set on an alternative Earth.

Am I lingering too long on the minute details of one novel? Certainly not. A dense and rich text invites total immersion of its readers in its fictional world. It is clear that we have in no way exhausted the wealth of the Commonwealth of New Virginia.


Coley said...

I enjoyed this book,would love some more footnote people's/groups in the Commonwealth,perhaps unhappy Flemish,former Volga German exiles,Argentines Fed up with failure,redlegs from Caribbean,former woodsmen from PacNorthwest.....

Paul Shackley said...

Hi, Coley. Thank you for commenting.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Coley!

Meaning you hope S.M. Stirling will write a second volume set in the CONQUISTADOR/New Virginia alternate world? I agree that would be very interesting! And Argentines fed up with their persistent failure of their naturally rich country to GET IT RIGHT is an interesting thought.