anyone read Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card?
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I've just finished Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. I thought the book was great and I definitely recommend it if you haven't read it yet. But if you have, I was a little confused by Umbo's power. I'm not sure how the speeding up of the perception of time is allowing him to leave messages in the past or even time travel. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
Yes, I've read it as well but it was long enough ago that I don't remember specifics like character names.
Umbo is the boy from the same village as Rigg whose brother gets killed in the beginning of the book. He accompanies Rigg, gets separated later when Rigg gets arrested and then joins him later together with Loaf, the tavern owner. It turns out he has some abilities to affect time as well.
I think it goes like this: Rigg sees paths from the past. With Umbo's help, who can either slow down time itself or speed up a person's perception of time (which have the same effect) Rigg can have time slowed enough to see an individual moment along those paths and even interact with a person who is making the path. However, this is happening in the present, because he is not actually time travelling. So they can affect the future by interacting with people from the past. And if they need to hide something, they slow down one of their own paths, tell it to hide something, then retrieve it later. It's been a while for me to so I might have some details slightly wrong.
Thanks for your response! I agree that this would work for Rigg, since he can somehow see all time (at least when it's connected to a living person) at the same time. So when Umbo slows down time (or speeds up perception), he can interact with them. But how does Umbo's ability to slow down time allow him to interact with the past?
Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Rigg sees all of time at the same time. Somehow Umbo makes it possible for him to concentrate on one particular time. So maybe Umbo is actually the one who interacts with the past, or lets others do so, but with Rigg it works best, because he can see the past.
I have to think about this...
Yeah, I remember Umbo struggling to learn to interact with the past because he can't see any of it, but it's there nonetheless. I wish I could remember whether or not they actually go into the past themselves or just interact with the people they see, which sometimes includes themselves (?). Blast! if only I had access to that book. I'm going to be way to confused when the second book Ruins comes out next year. Maybe you can refresh my memory on that point.
Umbo actually goes into the past. At some point, he and Loaf (the tavern owner and ex-soldier who helps them) go back into the city to get the jewels they hid there before. They take one out and put the rest back. This because the first time they went back to get them (without travelling to the past), there was one missing and Umbo realized that in the future he would learn to interact with the past and at that point would take one of the jewels. Later, when they are escaping from rioters, Rigg finds that Umbo and Loaf are arrested. He finds an old path of Umbo and waits for Umbo to do his slowing thing from a distance. At that point, he warns them to not go to their rendez-vous and he pushes his sister into the past, so she will be safe. In the end, they also go into the past to travel across the wall.
Thanks, I remember those parts now, they were kind of confusing. Maybe you can also remind me how Rigg's sister manipulated time to become invisible. I should have taken more time to ponder the time issues when I read the book. He was very precise about how he laid out the rules, but I just rushed through it. And when he explained some of the rules in the afterword, it only confused me more, so I skipped the description :)
She takes microleaps into the future. She moves a very tiny bit into the future, say a second, and is only present for a very small part of the time. That means that when she moves, she is only present at each location for a small amount of time, so you don't see her, since there is not enough light bouncing of her that strikes your eye in comparison to the other light. If she does this, she ages less than other people, since she's only there part of the time. And if she moves what seems like a normal pace to her, in the real world she moves much slower, since her movement is spread out over a longer time period. I hope I remember all of this correctly and that I explain it well!
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