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John Quixote
March 25th, 2011, 02:35 PM
I'm trying to find this book and would appreciate any help or pointers.

About 20 years ago I read the first 50 pages or so of a novel about two policemen who travelled back in time to the 1930s. It was written in the first-person from the viewpoint of one (or both?) of the future cops, in the imagined style of the far future, using their language and references. Whilst in the 1930s they see a picture of Hitler on the front of a newspaper and one of the cops says to the other, "He's alive now."

That's all I remember! I don't remember what the plot was about or what the cops were doing back in the 1930s. I think they were on the trail of a fugitive from their own time (TimeCop-style), but not 100% sure.

The unusual way the novel was written was pretty exceptional for sci-fi in my experience, and would make it stick out in the memory of those who have read it. Similar to A Clockwork Orange, there was a whole new far-future idiom and language framework to absorb and constuct for yourself as you read. It was all too much for me at the age of 16 and I took the book back to the library mostly unread.

Twenty-odd years later, having come back to my first love, sci-fi, and with some Joyce and Burgess under my belt, I now feel ready.

I've tried Googling using my meagre recollections as search terms, but no luck. (And the Hitler reference does skew search results a tad.)

I'm betting that if anyone here has read it they would remember it.

Any ideas?

March 25th, 2011, 06:51 PM
One of Poul Andersons "Time Patrol" novels or short stories? I've only read a couple of the short stories but there are many.

John Quixote
March 25th, 2011, 07:47 PM
One of Poul Andersons "Time Patrol" novels or short stories? I've only read a couple of the short stories but there are many.

Thanks for the suggestion, which I've just checked out and no, it's not any of the Time Patrol books. It was a good shout though, as Anderson had a tricksy interest in languages.

That's the key thing about this book I'm trying to find out about - that it was written in a very 'experimental literature' kind of style. It was meant to be the narrator's own time's language and diction and ways of looking at things - as strange to us, reading it now, as ours would be to somebody several hundred years ago. Like I said, the book was too much for me as a young lad, but I'd love to get my hands on it again now.