Time Patrol as
The Patrol does not change what has been. It preserves it.
— Poul Anderson, “The Sorrow of Odin the Goth”
The preceding six chapters have discussed the alternate history. This chapter, however, concerns itself with the Time Patrol works of Poul Anderson and holds these works up against the alternate history, which is why this chapter appears last. Anderson creates anti-alternate histories. I do not find that Anderson's writings are much different from true alternate histories. He is intimately concerned with the historical process, as my discussion will show. However, Anderson does not desire to create an alternate history or even a series of parallel worlds all existing simultaneously. For Anderson, there is a right history and a wrong history; he wishes to lay out and enforce the right path.
The last two chapters discussed the teleological and entropic models of history, respectively. Anderson's Time Patrol works are fundamentally eschatological in nature. The eschatological view of history is one concerned with final events or ultimate destiny. Many eschatological texts deal with death or the end of the world; although some alternate histories do this, Anderson's texts do not. Whereas Brian Aldiss's The Malacia Tapestry (1976) was focused on the running down of history as entropy took over evolution, Anderson chooses to move humankind to an ultimate
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Publication information: Book title: The Alternate History: Refiguring Historical Time. Contributors: Karen Hellekson - Author. Publisher: Kent State University Press. Place of publication: Kent, OH. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 97.
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