Post by Dan Goodman Post by Jack Linthicum
One of my favorite "time travel" stories involved two scientists that
need "balance" to switch places in time, they had to grab two bodies
out of Rome to replace their arriving bodies. They were killed in the
arena and the two Romans, after they figured out things like traffic
signals, ruled the lower levels of the Manhattan underworld.
Three, actually. One is a prostitute who sort of goes legit; one goes
into politics; only one becomes a Mob leader.
I think it was by Poul Anderson, under the name of Sanders (Winston P.
It does sound like Anderson. "The Man who came Early" is another
example of the ISOT concept where the transplanted "hero" from the
future (an army engineer IMS) is not able to achieve anything useful.
In fact having high-technological types underestimate the intelligence
of less advanced cultures is a common theme in Anderson's work (_The
High Cruscade_ and "The Nest" both use this theme).
As for an ISOT which wouldn't develop into a military take-over of the
past, how about transplanting the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1908
with the same territory from 1992.
In 1908, the parts (or whole) of several east european countries and
Austria are probably militarily capable of defending themselves, but
with their industry ground down after years of communism and Austria's
concentration on being neutral, they are unlikely to stage an invasion
of the surrounding territory. They could make a nice income out of
selling knowledge - particularly in the fields of science and
engineering. There would also be a lot of interest in "historical"
documents dealing with the rise and fall of communism, fascism and the
In 1992, Austria-Hungry will of course be somewhat backwards
technologically speaking, but should have no major trouble dealing with
an EU that is interested in peaceful expansion and is willing to invest
in infrastructure improvements. There will of course be some disputes
about borders to sort out (e.g. in Galicia), but hopefully these
shouldn't be insoluble. Also, there is a certain young artist living
in Vienna that some people might like to talk to.