Monday, 6 January 2014

Gadling

Hob Gadling does not time travel. He is able to meet Dream of the Endless once a century starting in 1389 and ending in 1989 simply because he does not die. For a time traveler, the meetings would not have to be in chronological order.

The attached image shows the 1689 meeting in which the conversation is overheard.

1989 is the last regular meeting. Shortly after that, Dream visits Hob in a dream to warn him that he might miss their next meeting. Although Dream does survive his invasion of Hell, and even meets Hob once more in another pub shortly afterwards, he then enters Death's realm when the Furies attack the Dreaming. Next, Hob meets Death, who confirms Dream's death, but he declines her offer. Hob has no agreement with the new aspect of Dream, Daniel, so there will be no meeting in 2089.

We also see Hob/Rob on a sailing ship, which he owns, in the early twentieth century and with everyone else at Dream's Wake. Hob is one of several characters in fiction who survive unaged for several centuries but who move around, changing their names and identities. The object of the exercise becomes to gain in experience and understanding and also to prepare for longer term security by accumulating wealth and concealing it in diverse locations.

Poul Anderson's The Boat Of A Million Years is about a small group of mutant immortals surviving and changing their identities through recorded history. Anderson's There Will Be A Time is about a small group of mutant time travelers, able to establish identities for themselves in earlier periods. Anderson systematically considers every option and, here again, parallels Gaiman. 

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