Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Prehistoric Innocence

Poul Anderson, The Corridors Of Time (London, 1968).

In 1827 BC, Malcolm Lockridge's instant translator and artificial memory, his diaglossa, informs him of the lives of the aboriginal Danish Sea People, the Tenil Orugaray:

peace and hospitality;
bouts of hard work separated by long easy intervals of amber shaping, music, dance etc;
friendly rivalry between closely related fisher settlements;
trade, and only trade, with inland farmers;
hunting of wisent, bear and boar;
hard labor to build dolmens and passage graves;
gales, waves, sleet and snow in winter;
pursuit of seal and porpoise;
trading in England and Flanders;
no war, hardly even murder, until the charioteers came.

No war and almost no murder sounds almost Paradisal, although the winters don't.

A persistent theme in Anderson's Time Patrol series is innocence lost. That theme is here also.

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