Post by Quadibloc Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Science Fictional Rulers, from Undying Emperors to Starlike Sovereigns
Yet again, the mighty James Nicoll dazzles us with with his scintillating
There's nothing wrong with sarcasm, I employ it on occasion myself, but I've
noticed that it played a central role in the last few columns mentioned here. If
you always say the opposite of what you mean, eventually people will start
As for the last novel mentioned: I haven't seen it. But based on your
description, it would not surprise me if the supreme ruler of the future age is
Vivian Liao's alternate-future self: the premise being that rebels with a time
machine decided to do a ghost-of-Christmas-future thingy with their dictator
just before she gained power, to show her what a nightmare it became, and
prevent their present... but they hadn't counted on her getting noticed.
And so the supreme ruler needs to send her back, but erase her memory first, to
prevent the time paradox that would unseat her.
Maybe this book will not resort to such a tired old science-fiction cliche as
this (original in the ring-the-changes sense, but that's about it) however.
James' review was nearly passed over by me, until you alerted me to the
sarcastic lulz within. ¡Muchas gracias!
The _Continuum_ show spawns lots of fanfiction.  The show's central
premise is that of a controlling old man named Alec Sadler, a business
tycoon along the lines of Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, who regrets his past
decisions and wants to change things.
Older Alec Sadler:
I speak to you not as who you'll become, but as an old
man who knows you best. You and I were given a gift
from our father. He died young, but he imparted in us
a passion for technology and innovation. What you need
to know, what I tried to do... Listen to me carefully,
Alec: I have gone down a dangerous path and I have
taken the world with me. Only you can prevent this
future from happening. 
He wants to excise his own timeline, in other words.
Excising is what you do when you bounce back and talk
yourself out of something - when you go back and undo a
Plutocrat Alec Sadler outsources his excise to a group of others; an odd
decision that exponentially increases the probability of unintended
consequences. Perhaps older Sadler doesn't feel that his worn out body
can survive the trip.
A terrorist cell named Liber8, a couple of cops known as Protectors,
and Sadler's son are sent back into time. It happens during the group
public execution of the Liber8 cell. At least one member of the cell is
sanctioned to kill young Alec Sadler if all else fails. Some of the time
travelers are sent back unawares, without the benefit of a prior
briefing. Some belong to a shadowy free-lancer cell; travelers aware of
the existential multi-verse who police their own 'verse to protect the
That last statement is a paradox. When you travel through time you
potentially become part of the problem rather than the solution. Time
travelers threaten the continuum.
It all feels so mystical. Did we just bump up against Ouspensky's
six dimensions of time yet again? It's easy to comprehend five
dimensions of time (three spacial dimensions, arrow of time, decision
tree). It's the sixth dimension that causes conceptional difficulty.
 _The Man Who Folded Himself_ (Gerrold)
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'