Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Successors And The Time Patrol

SM Stirling is:

"Considered by many to be the natural heir to Harry Turtledove's title of King of the Alternate History..."
-Introduction to SM Stirling, "A Slip In Time" IN Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois, Eds., Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds (Burton, MI, 2014), p. 63.

I can see that this is so although I came to Stirling as a successor of Poul Anderson, not of Harry Turtledove. In Multiverse, Stirling's addition to Anderson's Time Patrol series follows Turtledove's sequel to Anderson's Three Hearts And Three Lions.

"In most [Time Patrol stories] , Time Patrolman Manse Everard and his compatriots ride off to keep unscrupulous time-travelers from destroying the proper timeline by changing historic events in the past." (op. cit., p. 64)

Not in most.

"Time Patrol" - Stane tries to change history.
"Brave To Be A King" - Everard rescues Keith Denison.
"The Only Game In Town" - the Patrol changes history.
"Delenda Est" - Neldorians change history.
"Gibraltar Falls" - another Time Patrolman rescues a colleague.
"The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" - a Patrolman risks changing history.
"Star of the Sea" - the Patrol inadvertently nearly changes history.
"The Year Of The Ransom" - Exaltationists threaten to change history.
"Ivory, And Apes, And Peacocks" - another Exaltationist threat.
The Shield Of Time -
the Patrol traps the remaining Exaltationists;
Time Patrolwoman Wanda Tamberly meddles in the past;
history changes without human intervention.
"Death And The Knight" - Everard rescues another Patrolman.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

By and large I prefer Stirling's books to those of Turtledove. I came to think the latter's "alternate history" books somewhat too formulaic to be quite satisfactory. Just a bit too much like painting by the numbers. But I do like Turtledove's Basil Argyros stories.

I also agree that when it comes to alternate universe stories, Stirling has surpassed L. Sprague De Camp and Poul Anderson. My chief criticism being the implausibility of using large numbers of women in combat military units. But he did manage to make that seem doable in the Draka books.

But I don't think anyone has truly surpassed Poul Anderson in straight-forward hard SF and creating plausible non human aliens.

And whoever wrote the introductio to "The Man Who Came Late" should have substituted "some" for "most." That would have been unobjectionable!