Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Gorbachev In Other Timelines
"It was a peculiar feeling to read the headlines and know, more or less, what was coming next. It took the edge off, but added a sadness, for this was a tragic era."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 17.
And in 1987, Everard is told of:
"'...an early example of the glasnost that M. Gorbachev is proclaiming.'"
-Poul Anderson, The Shield Of Time (New York, 1991), p. 75.
Everard's period of the Patrol is 1850-2000 so he would have known of Gorbachev back in 1954 although Poul Anderson did not as yet. (That story was originally published in 1955.) Gorbachev in the Time Patrol timeline does not do anything that he did not do in our timeline.
"The first attempts by the United States to form a CoDominium alliance were defeated by the failure of an attempted Communist Party coup and the consequent deposition of Gorbachev...When a new series of military and political coups resurrected the USSR, the United States was quick to join its former enemy in an alliance..."
-Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling, The Prince (New York, 2002), pp. 865-866.
Thus, writing a new installment of a future history in which the US and the USSR form a CoDominium, the authors cleverly incorporate more recent events involving Gorbachev while saving the CoDominium timeline. Again, this Gorbachev does not do anything in that timeline that he did not do in ours.