Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Weather And The Seasons

In Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys Tetralogy as in Poul Anderson's "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" and "Star of the Sea," chapters often begin by describing seasonal changes and weather, e.g.:

"Winter descended and then slowly, in surges of wind, snow, icy rain, drew back." (Time Patrol, p. 362)

This is because people in former ages lived with the elements:

"Nature - the wilderness, the mysteries of day and night, summer and winter, storm, stars, growth, death - pervaded [this archaic land] and the souls of the folk." (TP, p. 539)

Time travelers can alternate between archaic lands and modern cities. I mentioned Amsterdam in "Star of the Sea." In "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth," Carl Farness travels back and forth between the fourth century Goths upon whom "Winter descended..." and 1930's New York:

"I came out of the New York base into the cold and early darkness of December..." (TP, p. 407)

"Laurie and I went walking in Central Park. March gusted boisterous around us." (TP, p. 422)

And, on a visit to 1980:

"Winter had fallen uptime. Snow tumbled past the windows of [Everard's] apartment, making a cave of white stillness for us." (TP, p. 385)

First century Germans, fourth century Goths and Ysans, experienced the elements in a very different way from that of modern city dwellers. Nevertheless, the descent of winter and the sight of falling snow unite us across the ages. 

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