Friday, 14 March 2014


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

Squire Jesper Fledelius serves the Warden Storm, who appeared to him from a dolmen on his land. His only duty is to be in the Inn of the Golden Lion, Viborg, on every All Hallows Eve from 1521 to 1541 and to direct anyone who seeks help "' the Sabbath where they might find strong arms and magical engines.'" (p. 107) Mareth the Warden, presiding at the Sabbath, responds when Fledelius brings Lockridge who relates that Storm has been captured by the Ranger Brann in an earlier age.

Thus, hiring Fledelius for that one task works. Storm may have expected Fledelius to remain neutral in Danish national conflicts. However, because of his involvement and consequent outlaw status, he misses many of the All Hallows Eves in the Golden Lion - but is there for the crucial one.

Viborg in 1535 is a walled city approached by a rutted, muddy dirt road. Although there is gunpowder, Earth has been circumnavigated and Copernicus is a contemporary, towns with wooden houses, straw roofs and a limited water supply are often burned and fear enemy arsonists. Streets are lanes with stepping stones through ripe offal rooted by pigs. Lockridge, Auri and their captors pass a workman, a serving maid, a leper and an ox-drawn cart.

The Inn room is small, with low ceiling, sooty rafters, a rushes-strewn dirt floor, flickering lamps and a smoky clay stove: yet another inn colorfully described by Anderson although, this time, his characters are not able to relax.

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