Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Never Gave It Much Thought Until Now

I decided to reread Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, and was struck by something that I'd never pondered before... the action of the novel begins with protagonist Holger Carlsen, a member of the Danish resistance, involved in a covert operation to allow an important figure to escape from Nazi-occupied Denmark. I'd never given this portion of the book much thought, but came to the realization (after seeing the excellent BBC documentary Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, about indie-rock musician Mark Everett of The Eels trying to find out more about his father, quantum mechanics researcher and "many worlds interpretation" promulgator
Hugh Everett III) that the operation described in the book involved the escape of physicist Niels Bohr to Sweden, and ultimately to the West. While it's never spelled out in the book, I can't imagine any other possibility, especially since Anderson explicitly mentions quantum mechanics in the introduction to the novel.

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