Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Terminology Of Temporal Displacement

Mark Twain: transposition of epochs.
HG Wells: time traveling.
Later sf writers: time travel or chronokinesis.

Poul Anderson made several significant contributions to time travel fiction -

time corridors
psychic time travel
the Time Patrol
the quantum mechanical explanation of causality violation
random fluctuations in space-time-energy (the real reason for the Patrol)
a personal causal nexus -

- but did not need to modify the Wellsian terminology.

In SM Stirling's Island In The Sea Of Time (New York, 1998), the astronomer says:

"'The...the transition event must have included a body of water around the island...'" (p. 24)

- and the Coast Guard captain says:

"'We were near the edge of the, uh, phenomenon...It evidently, ah, transposed an ellipse of ocean as well as the island, reachin' several miles offshore...'" (p. 37)

These expert observers pause before the words "transition," "phenomenon" and "transposed." And maybe "transposed" is a faint echo of Twain's "transposition..."?

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