Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Arrow Of Time In Wells And Anderson II

Carl Farness meets Jorith in 300 and leaves their surviving great-grandson, Alawin, in 372. So far, this is a linear chronological sequence although Carl has been back and forth to the twentieth century and once to the twenty-fourth century between his experiences in 300 and 372. Only once must he reverse the arrow of time, in the period 366-372. Arriving and enquiring after his grandson, Tharasmund, Carl is stunned to be "reminded" that he had attended Tharasmund's grave-ale...

Manse Everard and Janne Floris follow Veleda back through time:

in 70 AD, Veleda's companion, Heidhin, tells Everard that she and he are of the Alvarings;

in 60 AD, Everard and Janne hear Veleda preach;

in 49 AD, Time Patrol ethnographer Jens Ulstrup tells Everard and Janne that Veleda had arrived by ship on the Baltic littoral five or six years earlier;

in 43 AD, Everard and Janne, hovering on timecycles, scan ships until they see one bearing a woman, jump forward to see where that ship will land and jump back so that Everard, disguised, can meet the ship;

the captain, Vagnio of the Alvarings, tells Everard that his people hold half of an island off the Geatish coast and Janne easily identifies the island as Oland;

tracing Vagnio's journey back to his departure from Oland, the Patrol agents learn that a boy and a girl had walked to his home from a village further south;

making an aerial survey through several months, they leap through a precalculated space-time grid on separate timecycles until they see and become part of the event that had launched Veleda on her vengeful mission against the Romans.

We have come a long way from Mrs Watchett proceeding backwards through the Time Traveller's laboratory.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yet again, your analysis of how Poul Anderson handled the theme of time traveling fills me with amazement at how MUCH thought PA put into it! To say nothing of how amazingly your analysis is!