Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Time Travel In The Books Of Magic II

See here.

In Neil Gaiman's The Books Of Magic, Book IV, The Road To Nowhere (New York, 1991), of the Trenchcoat Brigade, only Mr E can travel into the future but, when Tim Hunter has gone with E into the future and not returned, the remaining three manage to send Tim's owl to the rescue because of its affinity with Tim.

Doctor Occult tells the owl:

"Wherever [Tim] is...wherever he might be. Find him. Protect him. Help him." (p. 25)

This is a joint magical effort because Occult asks the Stranger for strength and Constantine for will and faith.

The owl must understand Occult. "Wherever..." should be something like, "Whenever he is now traveling to and will need help..."

At the end of time, Death tells E to walk all the way back, and it will take him a lot of subjective time to "walk" step by step through a hundred billion years, whereas she sends Tim "instantaneously," i. e., without any subjective duration experienced or endured by him. That might explain why the Stranger did not detect Tim's return but there is still E to be accounted for. At the end, the Trenchcoat Brigade speak as if they have lost E because he is "...making his own way back from the end of time..." (p. 44), whereas, of course, if he successfully returns from the future to the present, then he is now in the present, not still making his way back.

On the other hand, E said something to Tim which suggests that he might make it back to his starting point, then continue walking for a few decades more. In his childhood, he was taught how to walk through time by an old, blind man...

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