Sunday, 17 August 2014

A New Eon V

Greg Bear, Eon (London, 2002).

While reading Greg Bear's Eon, I learn that it is the opening volume of a trilogy. While exploring inside the Stone, the characters in Eon learn that this mysterious artifact's seventh chamber extends indefinitely beyond its external length. These experiences are curiously parallel.

The explorers of the Stone find records indicating that a nuclear war will start very soon on Earth. This puts them in a position similar to that of some time travelers in Poul Anderson's short story, "Wildcat." The difference is that the Wildcatters have reason to believe that they inhabit a single immutable timeline whereas the records in the Stone come from a future in which no Stone had entered the Solar System! If the Stone originated in timeline 1 but arrived in timeline 2, then the war is not inevitable in timeline 2.

POV shift: a guard looks towards Olmy who, however, is sure that his camouflage remains effective (thus, Olmy's POV); investigating more closely and glancing at the papers which Olmy had disturbed, the guard sees symbols "...reminiscent of the matrix symbols he had studied in flight school..." (p. 120) (thus, the guard's POV). I usually notice POV shifts because there is general agreement that each continuous narrative passage, e.g., at least each chapter or, sometimes, chapter section, should be written from a single POV. A narrative that jumps between POV's does not describe anything that could have happened. Any sequence of events is experienced in its entirety by each participant from his point of view but no POV moves back and forth between the participants.

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