Saturday, 12 July 2014
Multiverse: The Lingering Joy
In Stephen Baxter's sequel to "The Long Remembering," as in Harry Turtledove's sequel to Three Hearts And Three Lions and in Terry Brooks' sequel to "The Queen of Air and Darkness," a generation has passed. In "The Lingering Joy," the daughter of Anderson's protagonist mentally travels to the period of the gradual extinction of the "goblins"/Neanderthals. The story raises theological issues familiar from other Anderson works. A seminarian seeking meaning, our heroine sees a Neanderthal male child in a crib below a supernova.
In the heroine's home period, Baxter introduces events that, initially, seem like intrusions. An alien "Artefact" has been found in Clavius on the Moon. 2001? But a space battle is being fought for possession of the Artefact and, by the end of the story, the space war is moving closer to Earth. Suddenly, this might explain why temporal psycho-displacement has been possible along the world-lines of ancestors but not of any descendants.