Thursday, 1 September 2016

Learning Some Answers

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Ten.

Holger deduces an answer to a question that I asked earlier:

"The mystics, dreamers, poets, and hack writers of home had in some unconscious way been in tune with whatever force linked the two universes: the corpus of stories which they gradually evolved had been a better job of reporting than they knew." (p. 62)

This was answer (ii) in my post "Myth And Reality." But answer (iii) might retain some plausibility: if every possibility exists, then it is possible that the historical Charlemagne existed in our universe and that the mythical Charlemagne existed in another universe without there being any direct link between the two universes.

Meanwhile, Holger learns some answers about the Carolingian universe that he is now in. The besieging night-gangers withdraw well before dawn because they must get back to their lairs. Is it the actinic radiation in sunlight that harms them? That would explain Alfric's magnesium dagger. Its bone handle and large hilt will protect Alfric but not his opponents if he ignites the blade. Forewarned, he would use his free hand to pull a cloak over his face. Is this magic or alternative science?

Holger wonders how Alianora controls the unicorn that she rides. Well, we know the answer to that even if Holger doesn't yet.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Another possibility, suggested by Poul Anderson in one of his letters to me was that two more universes might share the same historical character, such as Charlemagne, but one or more later events split off separate timelines.