Friday, 18 March 2016


While we are paralleling future histories, we should include Star Trek. Merseians, kzinti and Klingons are obvious parallels. However, Star Trek has transporters and Known Space has transfer booths whereas the Technic History does not have teleportation.

An alien interstellar empire does have teleportation in Poul Anderson's "Interloper." However, the human societies in his Technic History do not develop such a mode of travel. But this makes the Technic History more plausible. How could a physical object or a human being be transported from one place to another without traversing the intervening space? Is it destroyed at the first place and reconstructed at the second? In that case, it is not transported - and could surely be duplicated at several places?

A civilization with sufficient knowledge and energy to practice teleportation would surely be capable of feats for beyond those that are otherwise displayed in either Star Trek or the Known Space History? In Clifford Simak's City, men in a dome on Jupiter can transform one of their number into an organism that can survive on the Jovian surface, then return him to human form. With that much knowledge and power, why do they huddle (Simak's own word) in a dome?

I think that Anderson's limited use of teleportation as an sf prop is a sign of his carefulness as an sf writer.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I have to conclude from your remarks that teleportation is far more unlikely than a FTL drive. SOME serious scientists do think FTL just MIGHT be possible, after all.

I'll have to reread "Interloper" to see how Poul Anderson handled teleportation in that story. It was his novel THE ENEMY STARS I remembered as using teleportation. And, Anderson being Anderson, he gave careful thought in that book to just how it might work.

We also see Anderson using teleportation in two other short stories: "The Ways Of Love" and "Elementary Mistake."