Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Extraordinary Time

Referring to his wife, Laurie, Time Patrol Specialist Carl Farness reflects:

"...she spent most of her life in ordinary time, sixty seconds to the minute. As a field agent, I'd go through days, weeks, or months between saying good-bye to her in the morning and returning for dinner - an interlude during which she could pursue her career without me underfoot." (Time Patrol, p. 345)

Sometimes months between breakfast and dinner? That implies some psychological dislocation. Farness continues:

"My cumulative age was approaching a hundred years.
"Sometimes it felt like a thousand. That showed." (ibid.)

Again I wonder: how old is the oldest Time Patrol agent? And do some of them become the Danellians?

Time seems to accelerate as we age. How would this work in an indefinitely extended lifespan? Especially for a time traveler? I read somewhere the speculation that the apparent acceleration would slow down some time in the second century but where did I read this? Was it in a work by Poul Anderson?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

IS it possible for men to have indefinitely extended life spans in this world? I am extremely skeptical of that. Also, I think you and Poul Anderson may have missed another possibility: beyond a certain span of years, sheer WEARINESS might make an indefinitely extended life intolerable. I do not mean, here, memory overload.

I'm reminded of various passages in the works of JRR Tolkien which touches on this, esp. in THE SILMARILLION. One bit being this text from pages 148-49: "...but at last Beor the Old died when he had lived three and ninety years, for four and forty of which he had served King Felagund. And when he lay dead, of no wound or grief, but stricken by age, the Eldar saw for the first time the swift waning of the life of Men, and the death of weariness which they knew not in themselves, and they grieved greatly for the loss of their friends. But Beor at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them."