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Timeline jump in Alastair Reynolds' Redemption Ark

  1. Mar 4, 2017 #1


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    I have been reading Reynolds's space opera Redemption Ark. In it, the villain Skade attempts to have her ship make a "state 4" jump, meaning jump to a faster-than-light speed. At the heart of the jump is a machinery that creates and contains a state 4 quantum vacuum. A state 4 vacuum is exceedingly difficult to contain, and things go awry. The machinist operating the machinery claims she cannot find a co-worker. He was here a minute ago, she claims. But his name doesn't appear on the crew list. Skade gets curious and runs a research on him. He turns out someone with the exact set of qualifications that would have had Skade recruit him to operate the quantum-state machinery on her ship, had he not perished in an accident some years ago.

    The plot's implication is that a quantum instability resulted in a timeline jump, changing history to an extent.

    I remember reading this exact same scene in another book. A complex machinery "disappears" an operator. In the newly-created history, he had not been there working at all. No one can remember him except one co-worker. The story offers an explanation how the lone co-worker happens to remember, but everyone else has forgotten him.

    It was probably by another author, but I cannot exclude Reynolds entirely. Possibly it was a short story. I cannot remember which book and it's driving me crazy.

    It's a long shot but I decided to post it if perchance someone might remember and be kind enough to respond.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2017 #2
    Thanks for the thread! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post? The more details the better.
  4. May 3, 2017 #3
    Something similar to that happened in the book 'voyage to alpha centauri' but i can't think of any book that would fit exactly. Sorry!
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