Tuesday, 9 May 2017

"Star Of The Sea" II

When I listed good points in Poul Anderson's "Star of the Sea," I should have highlighted a particular time travel paradox. Manse Everard and Janne Floris need to discover what event transformed Veleda into an inspiring anti-Roman war prophetess. In search of this event, they track Veleda and her companion, Heidhin, back through space and time. Spatially, they approach her as yet unknown birthplace. Temporally, they approach the as yet unknown pivotal event.

At last, on timecycles that are one- or two-person aircraft as well as space-time vehicles, the two Time Patrol agents fly above the island where Edh, the future Veleda, was born and grew up. Now they must find the event that caused Veleda to leave her island and to travel among the Northern tribes preaching war. Jumping around in space and time above the island, they at last see a young woman being raped by Roman sailors. And it is Janne's spontaneous attack on the rapists, perceived as the intervention of an avenging goddess, that inspires the young woman, Edh, to dedicate herself to war against Rome.

However carefully the Patrol agents avoid interference in the events that they observe and however cautiously they approach the event that is the object of their search, the unalterable fact remains that, when they do find that event, they are and always have been part of it.

3 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Ironically, it was a Time Patrol AGENT, Janne Floris, who inspired Edh to become Veleda, a prophetess preaching war against Rome. Her INSTINCTIVE, automatic intervention was the pivotal event. If Janne had remained coldly self possessed, it is not likely the victim of rape, Edh, would have become a prophetess of war.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
Edh would have been killed. But, if Edh had not become a prophetess, then Janne would not have tracked her back through time.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

You're right! No wonder I find it so hard to get a grip on time traveling. (Smiles)

Sean