Time Travel discussion

There Will Be Time
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Book Club Discussions > THERE WILL BE TIME: July 2016

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message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited Jul 06, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod


(You can spot the spine of this book on our group's masthead picture).

Book Blurb
Time travel is impossible! There is no machine that can take you into time, past or future. But what if you are born a time traveler?

Jack Havig did not know how he could cross the centuries merely by willing himself to. But the fact remained, he could. And, thought Jack, if I can travel through time, there must be others!

So Jack Havig, human being extraordinaire, set out to see the world--the world of ancient Rome, of the Byzantine empire, of the American Indian tribes & ultimately the world of the future.

Seeing the future, Jack found meaning in his life and a reason for his gift. He must seek out others like himself throughout the centuries and together they must try to affect the future of humankind. For that future threatened the extinction of humanity's entire civilization...


Poul Anderson is one of the names in sci-fi that has been forgotten, but he was once quite well-known. Don't let the 1970s publish date turn you off. This is quite a gem of a time travel novel and still in my top 5. It has been recently re-released as a Kindle book for today's generation of time travel fans.

Where to Buy
Kindle ($6.15): https://www.amazon.com/There-Will-Tim...
Amazon Used Paperbacks (from $1): https://www.amazon.com/There-Will-Tim...
Amazon Hardback (from $1): https://www.amazon.com/There-Will-Tim...

Pre-Reading Questions:
1. Have you read or heard of Poul Anderson before now? If so, what are your favorites of his books and what are your sentiments?
2. If there were one event in all of human history that you would expect to find time traveler tourists, where would you expect it be?


Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 431 comments My library does not carry this one, so I am going to skip this months read. Still looking forward to reading the discussion.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments 1. Heard of. Undoubtedly have read some of, but not sure which at this later date....

2. Several - to choose one: off the top of my head I vaguely recall several plausible references to the execution of Jesus Christ.

I do love me some classic SF and am looking forward to reading my library's copy (and, yes, I have that blue cover of the first message).


message 4: by Amy, Queen of Time (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Heather(Gibby) wrote: "My library does not carry this one, so I am going to skip this months read. Still looking forward to reading the discussion."

Have you ever tried inter-library loans through World Cat? If you're interested, that might be an option. https://www.worldcat.org/


message 5: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
(You can spot the spine of this book on our group's masthead picture).

Which one is it Amy?


message 6: by Amy, Queen of Time (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
The one with the man'said head.


message 7: by Amy, Queen of Time (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Man's head. My phone has a strange sense of autocorrect.


message 8: by Dean (last edited Jul 07, 2016 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dean | 163 comments I'm about to start reading this, as i need a break from the final Dark Tower book. In answer to the two questions above.

1) I hadn't previously heard of the author
2) I would imagine the time and place where time travel took place for the first time would be popular... but of historic events, i'll go for Sir Isaac Newton sitting under the tree to see if that apple really did hit him on the head.

On a personal level, I would settle for going back less than 50 years to 1969 to be around for first time man walked on the moon.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Dean, " I would imagine the time and place where time travel took place for the first time would be popular" ... I have never thought of that, but it seems kinda obvious now. Good one, & thank you!


message 10: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments I really like that idea of travelling back to the first time travel destination, a sort of Time Travel Flash Crowd with thousands from every era arriving spontaneously at one spot. Could explain how the Tudor warship the Mary Rose sank in the Solent.

I'm reading Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series at this moment, all the novellas, short stories and the novel 'Shield of Time'. Amazing historical research. (For one of the most original science fiction shorts read his 'Epilogue'.)

My personal date to set on the time machine would be 802701 AD, and visit the Eloi and Morlocks...


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Ian, be sure to bring plenty of matches... ;)


message 12: by Fabien (new)

Fabien Roy | 43 comments I`ve jut started reading this novel wanting desperately to take part in a conversation since I joined this group a couple of months ago. I`m not a big fan of reading on a tablet or e-reader, so I have been ordering the books online, and they arrive too late, or I do not have the time to read them. That is one of the things that amazes me, is the time that you all have to read. I`m jealous.

I did get A Tale of Time City on time, but there were too many colours in first few chapters. Too many coloured pants!!!

Well, I`m not the best book critic, I like everything I read, and so far I`m enjoying There will be time even though the writing seems a bit dated. Poul must have been writing while smoking Mr Anderson`s pipe. I`m not too far along, but I just came across the most interesting character so far.She does not have a name yet...

`She was nearly as tall as he, sturdily built, with broad shoulders and hips, comparatively small bust, long smooth limbs. Her face bore high cheek bones, blunt nose, large mouth, good teeth save that two were missing. Her hair thick and mahogany was not worn in today`s style, but waist length. Her eyes were brown and slightly almond under heavy brows. Her skin, sun-tanned, was in a few places crossed by old scars. She wore a loose red tunic and kilt, laced boots, a Bowie knife, a revolver, a loaded cartridge belt and, on a chain around her neck, the articulated skull of a weasel.`

I hope we get a back story on the weasel.

Have a great weekend everyone !!!!


message 13: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments I too fear that by the time I get around to reading There Will Be Time you will all have finished it and moved on to another book. I read it so long ago that the spine of my paperback copy is bleached white but I remember I enjoyed it so much I was keen to read his excellent Boat of a Million Years which I think is the finest example of Immortals in literature.

I think because of his attention to historic detail I've always considered the late Poul Anderson as one of the senior and more academic New Wave writers in the science fiction genre and as such have a lot of admiration for his output. However, he's certainly more interested in the historic environment than in the means by which the traveller is conveyed. His travellers either have the mental ability to project themselves, sit on rather unconvincing and rather improbable flying motor cycles (Time Patrol) or live through the entire history of man (Boat of a Million Years). The magic of his writing is that he can put you right back to a historic period in full detail, sounds, smells, weather and environment until you are convinced this must be the closest experience next to being there.

By the way, Cheryl, I shall avoid the Safety Matches that need the box to light. On second thoughts I'll take a Davy Miners Lamp that burns vegetable oil.


message 14: by Cheryl (last edited Jul 09, 2016 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments (Ian, hah! ;)

What I'm appreciating (not liking, exactly, no) so far is the social commentary. We really do still face the challenges that Anderson foresaw almost half a century ago. For example, near the end of chapter 5:

"The well-off whites will grow enough aware that we have distressed minorities, and give them enough, to bring on revolt without really helping them...." (Then he mentions environmental issues) "At first Americans will go on an orgy of guilt. Later they'll feel inadequate. Finally they'll turn apathetic. After all, they'll be able to buy any anodyne, and pseudo-existence they want. I wonder if, at the end, down underneath, they don't welcome their own multimillionfold deaths."

Then again, I can't give Anderson too much credit, as he's certainly not the only author to postulate our doom by altered states of consciousness. Huxley's soma. Bradbury's TV walls. E.M. Forster's Machine. Etc. And, of course, irl, consider all the ppl commuting and playing Angry Birds at the same time....

Is Rome going to burn again, have we gotten that decadent? Or will we rise to the challenge, should a true challenge face us? For that matter, is there a 'we' - ? Or are authors just self-centeredly assuming that the self-absorbed & soft masses are the majority?


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments For that matter, is artificial happiness such a bad thing? Google "hedonistic imperative" or "paradise engineering" or go to www.bltc.com if you want to explore an off-topic tangent.

(This is the first time I've heard of those terms; I know no details, and I am not recommending their strategies. It's just interesting that a search to confirm that soma was the name of the drug in Brave New World got me there....)


message 16: by Fabien (new)

Fabien Roy | 43 comments Ian wrote: "I too fear that by the time I get around to reading There Will Be Time you will all have finished it and moved on to another book. I read it so long ago that the spine of my paperback copy is bleac..."

I like the way he explains time travelling in there will be time... `But I suspect there`s some kind resonance-- or something--in those enormous molecules: and if your gene structure chances to resonate precisely right, you`re a time traveller.


message 17: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments I think, Fabien, that Fred Hoyle suggests something like this in his October the First is Too Late, but only within our own life time. Our lives seen as a sequence of pigeon holes, one to maybe a hundred in a mailing room, where each hole contains things of the moment. They can be visited out of sequence and many times but we will never remember we have visited them before. It would appear we have lived linearly when in fact we have experienced our lives totally out of sequence. Explains Déjà vu and those times when a memory becomes so real it's as if we were back there. And interestingly it makes sense in Einsteins concept of time having no arrow of direction. From an immortal view point our lives have no ending as after we have visited the final pigeon hole we may simply return to an earlier pigeon hole. It's around page 50 of the paperback edition.

(This is the pigeon hole where it's almost ten on an English summers evening and I'm writing a post on a Time Travel group. I've probably written it a thousand times before and you've read this a thousand times but neither of us will remember and it will always seem like the first time!)


message 18: by Fabien (new)

Fabien Roy | 43 comments Ian wrote: "I think, Fabien, that Fred Hoyle suggests something like this in his October the First is Too Late, but only within our own life time. Our lives seen as a sequence of pigeon holes, one to maybe a h..."

Come again?


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Yeah, Hoyle's pigeon holes are interesting, but I don't think they have much, if anything, to do with Anderson's TT. Not even if we consider the term "resonance" broadly.


message 20: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments True. I was thinking along the idea we are all time travellers, sans time machines.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments :smiles:


message 22: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments On rereading There Will be Time, to be honest because I have grown sceptical of machine driven time devices and favour mind voyages, I was amazed to discover it appears to be part of his Maurai series, or rather a spin off of the Maurai Federation stories. Fits nicely between 'Progress' and 'Windmill'.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Are those short stories? This Series page for Maurai doesn't list them: https://www.goodreads.com/series/1262...


message 24: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments Progress appears in his To Outlive Eternity; Windmill in The Dark Between the Stars. I think all the Maurai short stories are in Maurai and Kith, though not his Orion Shall Rise which is also a Maurai story.


message 25: by Amy, Queen of Time (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Oh, nice. I didn't realize this book was in a series. When I read it the first time, I remember wishing to read more. One thing that impressed me about this novel was that it does focus more on history. That's what got me interested in time travel novels in the first place, but it's interesting how few time travel novels feel the need to have their characters really live history.

I've still not gotten back to reading this a second time, as I've had too many reading responsibilities and gone off on too many reading tangents lately. But your comments are drawing me in that direction. If I remember correctly, I read this one in a couple of sittings the first time around.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Yes, it can be a quick read. To understand it thoroughly enough to discuss, I think I should have either worked harder to immerse myself more deeply in it, or have slowed down and thought more about what I was reading.

It's short. It seems like it's got a lot going on. But, I'm having a hard time remembering anything significant about it, even though I only read it a couple of days ago. Yet, I open it, and I don't see anything I've forgotten.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments So, any more questions to help us get more out of this? I haven't returned my copy to the library yet and so I can refer back to it.


message 28: by Dean (last edited Jul 16, 2016 10:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dean | 163 comments I'm about 75% through this, and have struggled to really get into it. There's nothing that's really engaged me about the story and although I thought it had promise early on, that has fizzled out. Maybe i'm a bit shallow in some regard and don't appreciate the historical content or maybe TT stories aren't as magical to me as they once were as I have read quite a few over the last couple of years.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments It is easy to get burnt out on a genre or motif.


message 30: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments It's an argumentative suggestion that Poul Anderson may be more of a historian than a science fiction author even though his degree is in physics. Often his conveyance through time is elementary, undefined, simply a reason to put his protagonist into a richly detailed and researched milieu. Even his future cultures like the America in No Truce With Kings which is a mix of medieval feudal systems and 19th century Civil War, and his Maura Federation which is the Polynesian culture of the pre Columbus Pacific, reflect a more historic than imaginative foundation.

His Time Patrol series examines how history would be changed if events in our time stream were altered. The concentration is on the historic events and the Danellians, the culture of the far distant future that created the Patrol to prevent time tampering that could wipe out their very existence, are omnipotent gods totally without description.

His short story Epilogue is probably the only science based time travel story of his. Due to time distortion a space faring crew have returned to an Earth of the distant future where biological life has been replaced totally by an evolving cybernetic culture where forests, soil, life is synthetic.

And where does this place There Will Be Time in his library of temporal muses? It's a novella of meanderings through time, a visit to his Maurai culture, an escape from the mundane of the present.

I think that's why he wrote so much researched historical material. It's an escape for all of us to another time where conflicts and concerns of our moment can be temporally forgotten.

I wonder what his son in law Greg Bear, who is the most hardcore of science fiction writers, thinks of his novels?


message 31: by Michele (new) - added it

Michele | 144 comments Ian wrote: "I wonder what his son in law Greg Bear, who is the most hardcore of science fiction writers, thinks of his novels? "

Wait, what? Did not know that!


message 32: by Dean (last edited Jul 17, 2016 01:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dean | 163 comments Well, the one Greg Bear book I read was a little bit too hardcore for me (though still enjoyable), while this was all bit... meh.

Having just finished it, I can't really find much to comment on; it was all a bit mundane, and I didn't really get on with the writing style particularly well. For such a short book, it felt like hard work. I found the characters uninteresting on the whole, and also thought parts come across as a little preachy.

2 out of 5 for me.


message 33: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments Greg married Astrid, Poul and Karen's daughter, back in the early 80s and lives on your side of the pond in Seattle. Karen's maiden name is Kruse. She collaborated with her husband on The Last Viking trilogy. (At least I think it's a trilogy.) Greg wrote Eon after he married and it's a pretty impressive time travel story. The sequel does have an interesting parallel earth where Alexander the Great didn't die so maybe his father in law did influence him.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Reading our selection as a wandering through history might be a little less frustrating for me, thanks Ian.


Michael Yourshaw (myourshaw) | 4 comments Cheryl wrote: "Are those short stories? This Series page for Maurai doesn't list them: https://www.goodreads.com/series/1262..."

'Progress' and 'Windmill' appear as bonus stories on the Kindle edition of There Will Be Time.


Glynn | 276 comments So I finished this today. Can't really say I liked it. I liked it before he discovered other travelers but for some reason then it got kind of dull. I know that I've read other things by Poul Anderson. I think short stories, but not really sure being so long ago.


message 37: by Dean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dean | 163 comments I only finished it a couple of weeks ago, but after reading Glynn's comment, already struggled to remember much about the book. However, when my muddled mind finally cleared, I agree, that for me also it wasn't bad (3* anyway) until he encountered the other time travellers, then it went downhill.


message 38: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha Glasser | 210 comments I'm about halfway through. I got really excited when he went to the crucifixion but then disappointed when he never even told the doctor about it. Hearing this story through someone else is a bit frustrating because a lot of details are withheld.

Did anyone else get a sense of Time's Twisted Arrow from the big organization that strategically gains power through the years?

I never heard of this author before and his writing strikes me as adequate.

As far as where a lot of time travelers would gather, I imagine they would go to places of disasters and/or events surrounded in mystery like Pompeii, the Titanic sinking, the Kennedy assassination, September 11th, etc.


message 39: by Celso (new)

Celso Almeida | 44 comments Dear Samantha, the time travelers could never witness 9/11, because the book was written a long time before this event.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Sure, but Amy's Reading Question didn't specify that answers had to be relevant to the book - it was a general question.

Samantha, I think you make a good point. Even very recent history, history that we think of as well-documented, becomes suspect over time, as reports get filtered by those with biases.


Steven | 40 comments There is a problem with time travel, I'm sure dealt with elsewhere, that it cannot ever exist. if you think about it the crucifixion of Christ would be attended by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of viewers from the future and the locals would surely have commented on this. The same goes for other events and disasters.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 918 comments Maybe travellers exist on a hand-wavium alternate plane, or are visible only as infraread or uv?


message 43: by Landis (last edited Aug 06, 2016 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Landis (Sokolik) | 38 comments Cheryl wrote: "Maybe travellers exist on a hand-wavium alternate plane, or are visible only as infraread or uv?"

"Hand-wavium alternate plane"-- as happened with "Interstellar". And the physics of that story were thoroughly-vetted by a well-regarded-worldwide physicist.


message 44: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand-...

"The fictional material "handwavium" (a.k.a. "unobtainium", among other humorous names) is sometimes referred to in situations where the plot requires access to a substance of great value and properties that cannot be explained by real-world science, but is convenient to solving, or central to creating, a problem for the characters in the story. Perhaps the best known example is the spice melange, a fictional drug with supernatural properties, in Frank Herbert's far-future science-fantasy epic, Dune."


Landis (Sokolik) | 38 comments O! Do I feel foolish! Thank you for setting me straight, and especially for citing an example.


message 46: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Duerden | 58 comments I didn't know either; just curious and looked it up on Wiki, and copied that quote from the site.


message 47: by Nathan, First Tiger (last edited Aug 16, 2016 10:11AM) (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
I think time travel tourists would be most heavy in locations that have been destroyed. Pompeii would likely be high on the list. The Library at Alexandria, the World Trade Center. Same principle as going to see the dinosaurs. We're all a bit sentimental about our losses plus we suffer from FOMO, or fear of missing out. I suspect time travel tourists would all want to have seen the big events firsthand. But that means there would also have to be branch of time travel hipsters who go find things off the beaten path so they can say they found them before it was cool. I think they would come up with some sort of system to prove they got there first. Then once other tourists caught on they could rub their noses in it. It would be tough though because everyone could claim they got there first.


Landis (Sokolik) | 38 comments Nathan wrote: "I think time travel tourists would be most heavy in locations that have been destroyed..."

Agreed. Thank you for your comprehensive yet concise analysis, Nathan.


Landis (Sokolik) | 38 comments Ian wrote: "True. I was thinking along the idea we are all time travellers, sans time machines."

Ian, it's true: recently one morning I awoke to find I am 61 y.o. I had to shake my head and cry out, "Where did 1973 go?!?"

Then I went and watched a couple of eps of "Life on Mars", and i was fine.


message 50: by Celso (new)

Celso Almeida | 44 comments It must be hard to decide who gets there first when you're dealing with time travel... Well, anyway, about tourists from the future, there's this movie, "Thrill Seekers" (1999), that deals with just that: tourists from the future that come back to watch the Titanic sink, or the Hindenburg falling in flames from the sky. It's surely worth a peek.


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