Saturday, 22 July 2017

Carl And Manse III

Heartened by the Wanderer's presence among them for four generations, the Teurings might succeed in their attack on Ermanaric but they must not because that king is known to have died later and in other circumstances. The only way to ensure that the Teurings fail is for Odin, played by Carl Farness, to appear and betray them as recounted in various texts.

What would happen if Carl refused to play this role? The Teurings attacked Ermanaric in 372 (Time Patrol, pp. 450-455) whereas Carl and Manse Everard discuss that attack and its consequences in 1935 (pp. 446-450). Thus, Carl and Manse have their discussion in the twentieth century of a timeline where Carl had already appeared and betrayed his descendants 1563 years earlier. That Carl would return to New York in 1935 and would find there/then the Carl who had refused to do the job. Such duplication is to be avoided. However, that is the only consequence that I can deduce.

Manse says:

"'An incipient causal loop is always dangerous, you know. It can set up a resonance, and the changes of history that that produces can multiply catastrophically. The single way to make it safe is to close it. When the Worm Ouroboros is biting his own tail, he can't devour anything else." (p. 449)

I do not know what "resonance" means in this context. And the loop has already been closed, is no longer "incipient." Otherwise, Manse and Carl would not be there to discuss it.The painful point for Carl, though, is that that job is still ahead of him on his own world line.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I suggest that Poul Anderson may have had this definition from THE RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE mind for how he used "resonance": "4. Physics. a. the state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same as the original frequency of the stimulus." Thus the stimulus given by Carl was what caused the problem in the first place.

Also, Manse Everard, and by extension, the Danellians themselves, worried that if the Teurings were victorious over King Ermanaric that too would be a "resonance" likely to drastically change history.


Paul Shackley said...

Should the definition end "...the original frequency of the system"?

S.M. Stirling said...

If Carl didn't do it, they could always get an identical ringer in, someone else in disguise.

S.M. Stirling said...

The -real- danger would be for the original Carl to show up, and then say something different, like: "Wotan is with his blood -- on to victory!"

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Interesting, this suggestion that Carl might have REBELLED against the Time Patrol. And that he might shown up at the fight King Ermanaric and urge on his great grandsons to "Fight on to victory!"