Sunday, 16 March 2014

Scattered Through History

Poul Anderson, The Corridors Of Time (New York).

In Norse mythology, Aesir and Vanir fought, then made alliance. In The Corridors Of Time, the Warden Storm, wanting to unite the Aryans invaders with the long established dwellers in Denmark, proposes that the incomers' gods of Sun, Fire and Air wed the natives' goddesses of Moon, Water and Earth and be worshiped alike. I have tried to symbolize this with an image of the Sun above the sea.

Weddings between the high houses of both people will mark the pivotal prehistorical transition from matrilineal to patrilineal descent. Thus, an Aryan chieftain says:

"'...the inheritance goes from their mothers to our sons.'" (p. 175)

And Storm, the Goddess, must build the nation of Jutland almost alone. The Wardens and their rivals, the Rangers, are far more thinly spread throughout history than the Time Patrol complains of being. When the Ranger Director Brann, leading an Aryan band, has captured Storm, she is rescued by an unprecedented group of eight other Wardens leading an English army. After her rescue, Storm, the Koriach of the Westmark, takes charge and delegates a now urgent task to each of the eight:

Jusquo must consider how to develop native armed forces;
Sparian must organize the English as a guard;
Urio must train a few of the English to guard the gate in their country for the few weeks that it will remain open;
Zarech and Nigris must fly to the Warden base in Crete because Ranger agents might detect radio or mindwave;
Chilon must start acquiring detailed information about the region;
Mareth must continue the interrogation of the captured Brann;
Hu must return to the fortieth century with Lockridge by a different route.

But when Hu and Lockridge return, Storm has sent the other seven Wardens back to their base in the sixteenth century because they were of little help when the basic work had been done. Storm remains in Avildaro as the goddess. Hu liaises with the Cretan base and the home era. Lockridge represents Storm among the tribes. Because of political rivalries at home, Storm must work almost alone until she has proved that a strong Warden base can be built in Bronze Age Northern Europe.

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