Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A Comprehensive Series

In Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, we appreciate:

many passages set in fully realized historical or prehistorical periods;
past Patrol bases that become familiar locations;
comfortable twentieth century settings where Patrol agents can safely discuss the problems of the past;
a single passage set on the Moon in 2319;
hints at many other future periods;
glimpses of potential histories that remain unrealized but  nevertheless influence the Time Patrol timeline - in particular, Veleda does not change the Germanic religion but might have done.

Like one facet in a jewel, this series reflects the comprehensiveness of Anderson's fictional canon.

The main past bases are the Academy in the Oligocene and the Lodge in the Pleistocene. The many future periods include the Martian war of 3890, the Second Asteroid War and the Era of Oneness preceding the Danellians. Twentieth century locations include:

Everard's apartment with its polar bear rug and Achaean Bronze Age spears;
the Farness' flat overlooking Central Park in the 1930s;
a Caribbean restaurant in Amsterdam;
Nick's antiquarian bookshop;
Wanda's student apartment in Palo Alto with its shabby furniture and a National Wildlife Federation poster.

Manse and Wanda are in her apartment when the unsuspecting younger Wanda is away. I used to leave a one-room apartment empty at weekends in Merseyside. With a timecycle, I would now be able to make use of that room on all those weekends.

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