May 11, 2006

The Time Traveler & the Century War

I found this via Peter Sean. A story from the future by Dan Simmons (who is one of my favourite authours). If you thought I had a dark outlook on what awaits us, he beats me in spades. I don't usually say, 'must read!', but I'm making an exception for this.

A small exceprt:

....I tried to relax. “What do you want to talk about?” I said.

“The Century War,” said the Time Traveler.

I blinked and tried to remember some history. “You mean the Hundred Year War? Fifteenth Century? Fourteenth? Sometime around there. Between . . . France and England? Henry V? Kenneth Branagh? Or was it . . .”

“I mean the Century War with Islam,” interrupted the Time Traveler. “Your future. Everyone’s.” He was no longer smiling. Without asking, or offering to pour me any, he stood, refilled his Scotch glass, and sat again. He said, “It was important to me to come back to this time early on in the struggle. Even if only to remind myself of how unspeakably blind you all were.”

“You mean the War on Terrorism,” I said.

“I mean the Long War with Islam,” he said. “The Century War. And it’s not over yet where I come from. Not close to being over.”

“You can’t have a war with Islam,” I said. “You can’t go to war against a religion. Radical Islam, maybe. Jihadism. Some extremists. But not a . . . the . . . religion itself. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceloving people who wish us no harm. I mean . . . I mean . . . the very word ‘Islam’ means ‘Peace.’”

“So you kept telling yourselves,” said the Time Traveler. His voice was very low but there was a strange and almost frightening edge to it. “But the ‘peace’ in ‘Islam’ means ‘Submission.’ You’ll find that out soon enough”

Posted by Ithildin at May 11, 2006 1:19 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

Thanks for posting this.

Posted by: Daniel Upton at May 11, 2006 6:59 PM

In a word, fascinating. Chilly and eerie too. Interestingly, I tend to agree with the TT in the story, we are indeed not ruthless enough.

Posted by: Bob at May 11, 2006 8:12 PM

The link looks funny. The actual article is at

Posted by: The Thomas at May 12, 2006 5:57 PM


Posted by: Ith at May 12, 2006 6:32 PM