Friday, 25 April 2014

Time Lag

Poul Anderson, "Time Lag" IN The Collected Short Works Of Poul Anderson (Framingham, MA, 2009), pp. 241-265.

Traditionally, Rome was founded in 753 BC. Some Roman historians counted years AUC, Ab Urbe Condita, "From the Founding of the City." Poul Anderson's "Time Lag" is divided into five sections headed:

522 Anno Coloniae Conditae 
538 A.C.C.
553 A.C.C.
569 A.C.C.
584 A.C.C.

Thus, the narrative covers sixty two years of the human colony on the extra-solar planet Vaynamo which has thirty hour days and natural equivalents of elves.

The Alfavala:

live in nests;
are "...wild little folk...," flitting and twittering, with glowing eyes (p. 241);
have "...long ears, flat nostrils, feathery hair..." (p. 242);
either keep to the forests or serve men like dogs;
can speak a few words and use simple tools;
are more animal than rational;
are safe to be with because sensitive to danger;
but not essential to the story -

- and, although I have read "Time Lag" at least twice, I had completely forgotten these Vaynamoan natives until I reread the opening passage in The Collected Short Works.

No comments: