Wednesday, 2 August 2017

...And The Dancer From Atlantis

The post, "Conceptual Continuities," links Poul Anderson's:

Time Patrol series;
There Will Be Time;
The Corridors Of Time;
"Flight to Forever" -

- to HG Wells' The Time Machine but does not mention Anderson's The Dancer From Atlantis (London, 1977).

What is to be learnt about time travel from this further novel, which I have previously compared with Doctor Who? See here.

The time traveller, emerging from the crashed temporal vehicle, is:

with a broad, finely molded face;
wearing a prismatic white robe and transparent boots;
carrying two bright metal hemispheres bearing studs, plates and switches;

The vehicle is:

a tapered cylindroid;
ten yards long and four wide;
surrounded by an "...iridescent shimmer..." (Chapter Three, p. 21) or "...shifting mother-of-pearl light-mist..." (p. 27), making it difficult to discern the vehicle itself;
surrounded by a "Protective force field..." (Chapter Four, p. 29).

No door or hatch opens. Instead, the iridescence whirls, then focuses on a point that grows into a circle from which the pilot emerges.

Details that:

we have completely forgotten, however often we have reread the novel;
differentiate this traveller and his vehicle from every other in the Anderson canon.

I will find out what more is to be gleaned from the text.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I was also reminded of how the Thera eruption of circa 1540 BC has been suggested as the origin of the Atlantis legend, with Minoan Crete being that legendary empire. A hypothesis used by Poul Anderson for THE DANCER FROM ATLANTIS. A premise which may well be true.

The Thera eruption caused so much damage to Crete and its navy that the semi barbaric Achaeans were able to invade and sack the island. And, besides the immediate consequences, the longer term results caused so much damage to long established societies that new waves of barbarians poured in. Some of them were among the Sea Peoples Pharaoh Ramses III of Egypt were force to battle.


David Birr said...

I noticed that the future language appeared significantly more Romance-oriented than English. I can't recall now how many times I'd reread Sahir's death scene before I realized even a minuscule knowledge of Spanish let me piece together the meaning of his last words. "Nia! Fabór, Teo, nia, nia!" ("No! Please, God, no, no!")

I do remember that the first few readings, I developed the notion "Fabór" and "Teo" were the names of friends he was calling to for help. I'm embarrassed to have made such a silly mistake.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

And, of course, there was JRR Tolkien, whose passions for languages led him studying real languages, ancient and modern, to inventing new languages of his own, such as the Elvish languages of his Middle Earth mythos.