Thursday, 11 February 2016


SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004).

How does the Earth of New Virginia differ from the Earth of FirstSide?

" quiet it was here - no background hum of machinery and traffic and aircraft and voices, so the sound of the harvester echoed distinct and solitary." (p. 378)

This passage states that Tom noticed again how quiet it was. Although I do think that there was an earlier reference to quietness, I have not found it when looking back through earlier chapters but have found several other differences between the two Earths.

"...the air held virtually nothing of the hydrocarbon stink you'd get in this area on...
"FirstSide , he thought. Get used to the terminology." (p. 249)

"'The baby boom never stopped, here; it always hits me when I go back FirstSide, how few children there are. Our average family is about four kids -'" (p. 252)

"'...'diversity' wasn't a priority in recruitment? Yeah, it's white-boy heaven here.'" (p. 261)

"'I always get the sensation my body's flushing out poisons after a spell FirstSide.'" (pp. 392-393)

(Tom feels the same.)

"...I've never seen an Indian whose people haven't been in contact with us for a century at least." (p. 394)

- but, in New Virginia, Tom notices a disturbing feral quality to a man's gaze and subtle differences in the way he squats and holds himself.

"...the basic geography would be the same as FirstSide, minus the draining and damming and clearing of the past three hundred years - there might be differences in the details, the course of rivers and so forth." (p. 393)

The Commission keeps its maps up to date.

Life swarms. See here. And, of course, there are the time warp moments.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I can think of at least one major river whose course will be different from that of its First Side equivalent: the Mississippi. That river has FREQUENTLY changed its course in our timeline. And this must apply to many other rivers as well.