Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Few Loose Ends

Poul Anderson, The Boat Of A Million Years (London, 1991).

In Chapter XIII, Anderson sympathetically treats yet another religion, in this case Quakerism. Edmonton's Biblical quotations about deliverance of captives are socially and politically relevant and appropriate.

"'...I who have been seeking over all these li, all these years.'" (p. 208)

The Wikipedia article gives several Chinese meanings of "li" but I am not sure which is meant here. The speaker is an immortal who calls herself "Li." We are told that:

"In her pronunciation, it could mean the measure of distance." (p. 205)

"...wondering whether the vaquero had gotten clean away." (p. 275) This one is easily googled.

"...pronghorn, peccary, jackrabbit ran everywhere..." (p. 278) Of course, I have seen rabbits but how does a "jackrabbit" differ? And I had never heard of the other two species, except maybe to guess wrongly that pronghorn were a type of cattle.

" years after Appomattox." (ibid.) I can deduce that Appomattox is a place but what happened there? The Battle of Appomattox Court House was in 1865 so seven years after Appomattox is 1872, which is listed in the Chronology on p. 601 as the year of Chapter XIV. The Civil War is over but the " terror..." (ibid.) (!) is still being quelled.

We soon recognize Jack Tarrant and Rufus Bullen as Hanno and Rufus and deduce that they seek a Native American immortal. Maybe at last the handful of immortals are beginning to come together? When Jack Havig sought fellow time travelers, he went to the presumed day of the Crucifixion but how can immortals find each other in the here and now?

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