Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Corridors And Time

Greg Bear, Eon (London, 2002).

It had not occurred to me to compare the cosmic corridor in Greg Bear's Eon with the temporal corridors in Poul Anderson's The Corridors Of Time. However, there is a clear parallel:

"'She said the corridor moves forward in time about one year every thousand kilometers.'" (p. 322)

Thus, a spatial interval inside the corridor corresponds to a temporal interval outside it, e.g., leave the corridor through a gate and emerge in 2000 AD; return to the corridor, travel 1,000 kilometers north to another gate and emerge in 2001 or south and emerge in 1999. In Corridors..., the width of a human body corresponds to a couple of months, with is not the relativistic space-time equivalence.

In Corridors..., many two thousand year long corridors stretch in straight lines along a single, immutable timeline on Earth whereas, in Eon, a single (so far) apparently infinite corridor extending from one end of a slower than light interstellar spacecraft curves between universes. Although the spacecraft pulling the corridor behind it has returned to the Solar System of a different timeline, the characters still speak as if people encountered in the past are direct ancestors of the spaceship crew, not analogues of those ancestors.

Another Parallel
Poul Anderson's There Will Be Time also combines slower than light interstellar travel with time travel: time travelers moving futureward, then pastward, within an STL ship can report the outcome of the journey before the ship's departure.

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