Time Patrol

Time Patrol

by Poul Anderson

But Manse Everard, the Patrol's finest temporal trouble-shooter, bears a heavy burden.

The fabric of history is stained with human blood and suffering which he cannot, must not do anything to alleviate, lest his tampering bring disastrous alterations in future time.

Everard must leave the horrors of the past in place, lest his tampering-or that of the Patrol's opponents, the Exaltationists-erase all hope of a better future, and instead bring about a future filled with greater horrors than any recorded by past history at its darkest and most foul.

  • Series: Time Patrol
  • Language: English
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Rating: 3.73
  • Pages: 765
  • Publish Date: February 1st 2006 by Baen
  • Isbn10: 1416509356
  • Isbn13: 9781416509356

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Aunque no estoy muy de acuerdo con la promoción asociándolo con la serie de televisión que se inspiró en el libro, para los que les gusta este género, encontrarán una lectura obligatoria y entretenida.

-Cerca de lo kitsch, sin serlo, respecto al género pero llamativo en cuanto a los cambios de línea temporal sobre los que trabaja.- Género.

Al principio todo muy bonito, acompañas al protagonista descubriendo los viajes temporales pero con cada nuevo relato el viaje en el tiempo es una mera excusa para adentrarse en una época histórica y explicarla al detalle.

This compilation of Anderson's Time Patrol stories is great. The longer pieces were my favorites - Star of the Sea, The Year of Ransom, and the Sorrow of Odin the Goth.

Seremos testigos de su reclutamiento, formación en la Academia y le seguiremos (a él y a otros) en varias de sus misiones que nos llevarán a la Persia de Ciro, a detener a los exploradores mongoles en América del Norte, a la Britannia postromana, a conocer las consecuencias de un final diferente de la Segunda Guerra Púnica, a una Tiro bajo amenaza, al Londres del Blitz y al Perú de los Incas, entre otros lugares (y tiempos).

Collected herein are the nine stories -- one is of short-novel length and most of the rest are novelettes/novellas -- in Anderson's famous series; missing is the 1990 novel The Shield of Time, but this is already a very long book:458 pages may not seem so much, but the pages are large and the type is small, and a lot of the prose is pretty soporific, lurching haphazardly between a sort of relentless drab utilitarianism, an affected cod-epic poesy, and a clumsy impressionism. Since there's no real sensawunda either -- the time cops ride around on their sort-of-motorbikes in a very business-as-usual way -- and since it's difficult to care too much about the fates of characters who are, with very rare exceptions, little more than named cyphers . In the mid-20th century Manse Everard answers a job ad and gets hired as a time cop. It's easy to get the impression that Anderson's initial aim was to make Everard a sort of time-travelling Holmes -- he gives him the pipe to go with the role -- but changed his mind. A Time Patrol friend of Manse's, Keith, has gone missing in 6th-century Iran, and Keith's wife begs Manse to go find him. In "Delenda Est" (1955), another fairly good entry, Manse and a friend return from a holiday in the Pleistocene to their own time, only to discover it considerably changed; clearly there's been an unauthorized change to history. Here a history prof, Carl Farness, has allowed himself to become the personification of the god Odin to a 4th-century tribe of Goths; he has also allowed himself to become far too personally involved with the people whom he's there to study, marrying one of them (with the knowledge of his 20th-century wife) and keeping an eye on the usually somewhat messy fates of his children, grandchildren, etc. Manse gets involved because incarnations of gods are the kind of thing that cause history to be altered; in fact, as Carl points out, all kinds of Goth tribes were convinced they'd been visited by various deities, and their stories were usually quickly dismissed as myths, then forgotten. At an early moment in the story "Time Patrol" Anderson casually sideswipes the pretensions of Heinlein's "All You Zombies" and Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself: "You could not be your own mother, for instance, because of sheer genetics. (p420) And some that are, er, less elegant: Don't ask me why they weren't "always" wiped out; why this is the first time we came back from the far past to find a changed future. (The Year of the Ransom) An ongoing irritation with the text, aside from the problems I have with the writing style, as mentioned above, is a frequent palavering about the difficulty the English language, like all other ordinary languages, has with the tenses required to talk about events along timelines -- like those of era-hopping Time Patrollers -- that don't match the world's standard timeline. Often enough someone will interrupt their own narrative to bewail the difficulty they're having expressing past and future in English, and what a good thing it is that the Time Patrollers' own invented language, "Temporal", has extra tenses to deal with this sort of stuff. (Of course, there are other good reason why Time Patrollers from different cultures and eras should have a common language to use; my point is that the tenses problem isn't one of those reasons, yet Anderson is tiresomely insistent that it is.) I'd initially planned to read The Shield of Time immediately after this book, but in the event I couldn't face it.

A fun book, especially if you like history, although I take all the historical "facts" with a grain of salt, because I'm not sure how much was fictionalized for the story, and some of it definitely reflects the author's worldview biases.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He was a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America, a loose-knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, some of whose works were anthologized in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords!