Monday, 18 August 2014

A New Eon VII

Greg Bear, Eon (New York, 2002).

The major nuclear exchange has begun. Patricia Vasquez is inside the orbiting Stone where pictures from Earth are viewed on a wide-screen video but -

"Patricia did not look at the video screen. She had seen satellite and lunar telescope pictures of the conflagration in the Thistledown City library. Somewhere on Earth...copies of those pictures were being embraced by the destruction they depicted, an ouroboros of doom." (p. 200)

Well, not quite. Thistledown City is inside the Stone which has come from the future but also from a different timeline. I use the terminology of "timeline 1" and "timeline 2" for convenience although that terminology is not used in this novel. The war in timeline 2 has started slightly later than the war in timeline 1 and involves the Stone which had not been present in this period of timeline 1 so this war is not identical with the one depicted in the Thistledown City library.

Occasionally, the title of one sf novel appears as a significant phrase in the text of another. Thus, here we have:

"No rest, no end, even after doomsday." (p. 202)

- another Anderson echo.

Patricia realizes that she can access a universe where her parents still live because the war did not happen. However, she would need to find a universe, or timeline, in which her parents lived but she had died if she wanted to step into her own shoes in that universe.

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