Friday, 21 July 2017

In Central Park

Carl and Laurie Farness walk in Central Park in 1935 (Time Patrol, pp. 422-425).

Laurie tells Carl that she lies awake, afraid of what he might blunder into. He reflects that, if he changes events back in Roman times, then he will return to a twentieth century in which neither his civilization nor Laurie had ever existed. But Laurie is walking, talking and sometimes lying awake afraid in a timeline where events had not been changed back in Roman times. Therefore, if Carl does change ancient events, he will generate a divergent timeline. Travelling to the twentieth century of that timeline, he will not find Laurie and it will indeed be true that she had never existed in that timeline but it will not be true that she had never existed period. She does exist, and is conversing with Carl, in the Central Park of the original timeline.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And this reminds me of how you have argued, both here, and in correspondence with Poul Anderson, that "deleted" timeline did not simply cease to exist. Rather, they continued to exist but became inaccessible to the Time Patrol and other time travelers from the timeline it guarded. Which means Manse Everard failed to make sure there was a Cyrus the Great who ruled Persia in Keith Denison's place in "Brave To Be A King." With all the consequences this meant to that "deleted" timeline!