Wednesday, 2 August 2017

...And The Dancer From Atlantis II

Poul Anderson, The Dancer From Atlantis (London, 1977), Chapter Four.

The Facts Of Time Travel In This Scenario
The energy cost is too great for many time expeditions; they would be environmentally unsustainable.
The anakro, a space-time vehicle, passes over land or water while travelling through time.
Two anthropologists, Sahir and his partner, travelled from Hawaii toward protoman in Africa.
Anakro instruments are "mentated" (p. 33) and "mentate" (ibid.) to the crew.
The anakro's warp fields are supposed to be contained and controlled so that they do not interact with matter en route.
However, because of a defect, the anakro soon pulled a body along.
The mentated instrumentation pulled only higher animals - four human beings, one on a pony.
When the instruments mentated the problem of the first pulled body to the crew, Sahir ordered a halt, which was not immediate because of inertia.
The anakro's pre-set course was meant to pass by a "monstrous energy release"/"terrible catastrophe in this far past...for a boost..." (p. 33)
However, when the vehicle was nearly stopped, faulty insulation allowed the energy release to interact with the warp fields, blowing out the interior power cybernets.
The radiation blast killed Sahir's partner and Sahir died soon after.
The mentator is two helmets. One scans the speech centre of a brain. The other imposes language on the receiver brain.
The four individuals pulled from their periods must attract the attention of extratemporal observers of the catastrophe.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I don't think it's out of place to also comment about the Frank Frazetta jacket illustration for THE DANDER FROM ATLANTIS. It's one of the far too few cover illustrations for Anderson's books which are actually apt and APPROPRIATE!