Sunday, 16 February 2014


Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991).

In Beringia, Wanda Tamberly meets the Tulat, the We, archaic Caucasoids, descended from Western Asians, who:

catch fish by hand or in weirs;
collect shellfish, eggs, nestlings, grubs, roots and berries;
trap birds, rodents and other small animals;
club seal pups on ice floes;
sometimes find larger carcasses still edible;
then use the hide also;
once drove wolves from their bison prey with stones and fire;
thus, are not really hunters;
are scarce;
leave hardly a trace.

Despite her focus on animals, Wanda is drawn into conflict between her We and the Paleo-Indians/pre-Columbian Americans when the latter arrive. Pivotal events might happen even that long ago.

Wanda was in the Patrol Academy in the Oligocene. Now she camps in the Pleistocene in a shelter mainly occupied by her timecycle. Anderson moves effortlessly from Guion contemplating other realities to the We wallowing in warm mud in the autumn.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I have wondered if the archaic Caucasians we see in "Beringia" were of the same people as the Ainu of northern Japan. And I noted the irony in the fact that the first human inhabitants of the Americas may have been Caucasoids conquered or absorbed by the Paleo Indians.