Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 4

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 4


  • Gregory Markham cycles to the Cavendish Laboratory and meets Renfrew and Peterson.
  • Markham, a theoretical sort, explains to Peterson that the proposal and experimental technique are sound. Whether they can actually communicate with the past or not is a gamble, but he believes they could save millions of lives eventually.
  • Peterson explains it's all a matter of priorities. In fact, the World Council has been meeting since that morning, discussing the dieback in North Africa and the algae bloom in South America.
  • Although the King promised funding for scientific experiments as a top priority, Peterson says that was to look good for his coronation. In truth, money is short and decisions must be made carefully.
  • Markham drops some hints about potential paradoxes, but Peterson says he'll want to discuss those later.
  • Peterson leaves to return to London with the proposals. Markham and Renfrew walk him out.
  • Markham gets the feeling that Renfrew and Peterson are two opposite men. Renfrew is a good man but dull, while Peterson is anything but dull, and certainly not a good man.