Friday, 9 September 2016

Original History

A Time Patrol instructor explains that, if he were to change history:

"'...I would retain memory of the 'original' state of affairs.'"
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 10.

William Walker reflects that:

"In the original history, if 'original' meant anything here, Mycenaean civilization was going to go under in another fifty years or so..."
-SM Stirling, Against The Tide Of Years (New York, 1999), p. 8.

Of course "original" means something here. It refers to a second temporal dimension at right angles to the first. Each moment of the first temporal dimension is a different state of the three dimensional spatial universe whereas each moment of the second temporal dimension is an entire four dimensional spatiotemporal universe. A hypothetical observer who successively perceived each four dimensional universe as if its single temporal dimension were a fourth spatial dimension would regard the collapse of Mycenaean civilization as an original state of affairs that had been succeeded by the alternative history caused by the interventions of Walker and his fellow time travelers.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The closest we come to mention of this in ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME and AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS was that the "original" timeline of which Nantucket was once a part continued to exist, was not snuffed out. Rather, the Nantucket sent back more than 3000 years into the past started a separate universe or timeline splitting off from the "original" universe.