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Gibraltar Falls


The job of an agent of the Time Patrol is to keep anyone from changing the past, whether for good motives or ill, and thereby changing the future. But when a patrolman has lost someone in a disaster, someone who means more to him than either the Patrol or the security of the known future, and he might save her by breaking the rules, what will he do?

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Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was one of the most prolific and popular writers in science fiction. He won the Hugo Award seven times and the Nebula Award three times, as well as many other awards, notably including the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America for a lifetime of distinguished achievement. With a degree in physics, and a wide knowledge of other fields of science, he was noted for building stories on a solid foundation of real science, as well as for being one of the most skilled creators of fast-paced adventure stories. He was author of over a hundred science fiction and fantasy novels and story collections, and several hundred short stories, as well as historical novels, mysteries and non-fiction books. He wrote several series, notably the Technic Civilization novels and stories, the Psychotechnic League series, the Harvest of Stars novels, and his Time Patrol series, represented here by “Gibraltar Falls.” The basic assumption was that, if time travel is possible, and the past can be changed, thereby changing the present, then necessarily a patrol will have to be established to insure that no one, be they would-be dictator or misguided idealist (if there’s a difference), meddles with the past. Starting from this “what if?” notion, Poul Anderson wrote an impressive number of short stories, novelettes, and novellas, which have been collected in a massive volume as Time Patrol, (currently available as a Baen e-book), and a novel, The Shield of Time. I would say that all are worth seeking out, but then, they were written by Poul Anderson, so that really goes without saying.

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