(urth) Astral travel in time

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Thu Apr 6 12:18:14 PDT 2006

Dan'l quoted and wrote:
>> I agree with Andrew in that I see no evidence in the text to suggest that
>> astral travel also involves time travel.
>This is given to us during the storytelling context. The Narrator
>travels into at least two peoples' stories that have already
>happened -- and at least one of them is quite surprised at it,
>in a way that shows that she perceives that her own past has
>been changed.

I took the apparent changes in the inhuma's story to be the product of
Silkhorn's seeming ability, while awake, to influence her storytelling, not
that he was actually able to change the past, whether he did it
unconsciously or deliberately. To accord Silkhorn the ability to change the
past, as Andrew has already suggested, opens up a Pandora's box that, once
opened, not only can't be closed again, but potentially lets out more
possibilities than the box could ever have held to begin with. Where does
Silkhorn's power to change the past come from, and where does it stop? Why
shouldn't he go back in the past to change any number of outcomes he didn't
like, things that were a lot more important to him and the other humans who
came to the Blue-Green system than the particular inhuma sitting at the

If Silkhorn has the power to change the past, then almost anything becomes
possible, there are no logical rules and we might as well be trying to find
meaning in nonsense rhymes.

I can't explain the appearance of the Silk-like and Oreb-like figures in the
old woman's story, but if Silkhorn traveled back in time to spook somebody,
he not only did it off-stage, he exercised his power, in my opinion, rather
trivially and arbitrarily.


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