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To Say Something of the Continuity Error - Connie Willis Fans

About To Say Something of the Continuity Error

Previous Entry To Say Something of the Continuity Error Dec. 23rd, 2005 @ 02:04 pm Next Entry
I've been down with a killer flu for the last few days, and have been listening to To Say Nothing of the Dog on tape. I've read it many times, but something just stood out to me, cut for spoilers.

During the croquet match, Verity hands Ned a note. When he opens it (in the lilac patch while looking for a croquet ball), it's a letter written by Maude to her younger sister, describing meeting Terrence on the railway station, a meeting Ned has messed up by being at the station himself and spooking Maude's aunt into hiring a cab.

The problem: Verity should not have been able to bring the note back through the net, since it (either the original, an historical document which Verity shouldn't have been able to take, or a copy) couldn't exist in the year Ned is in Victorian England. The net isn't supposed to open up to anything incongruous! She could have written a note herself, but Ned describes the letter, including the handwriting, and why would Verity have transcribed, from memory, the whole letter, when she could have just explained the problem in a few words?

These kinds of things almost always show up in time travel books. I like Connie Willis' in part because she does a really good job of weeding them out, but they still slip through.
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From:pendragoness
Date:December 23rd, 2005 10:56 pm (UTC)
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:-( What a shame.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)

I have enough problems...

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...trying to figure out how Delphi Sharpe was THERE in one timeline, and NOT there in another. I mean, the way everything was working the whole novel, history is corrected 'immediately' from the standpoint of anyone in it at any time because you only see 'the most current version' of it. For example -- when you-know-who goes back and steals the you-know-what (trying to avoid overt spoilers here), she sees someone behind her, but since the person chasing her is 'from the future' (our main character), then that implies that this is all occuring in one timeline.... gosh this is harder to explain without spoiling it. To say nothing of all the other questions Verity brings up (but I guess those are answered by TJ's last remark!)... alright it's late i'd better go to sleep now ;) looking forward to ALL CLEAR!
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From:verrucaria
Date:October 31st, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)

(Spoilers Included)

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It's been a while since I last read To Say Nothing of the Dog, but I was under the impression that the note wouldn't have been able to pass through the net if it was going to cause an actual incongruity. I got the impression that the whole plot of the book (particularly, any apparent incongruities) was part of a future (with respect to Ned's, Verity's, Finch's, etc., "native" time) incongruity correcting itself. That's something of a "cheap trick" on Connie Willis' part--but it's still an excellent book.
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