The Quincunx of Time
Dell Publishing, 1973
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Late in the 21st century, a device called the Dirac communicator  promises instantaneous communication across interstellar distances. This would allow Earth security, headed by one Robin Weinbaum, to keep the peace. Before one of the devices can even reach a far-away system, someone starts producing predictions that suggest they have advance knowledge of Dirac communications.
Eventually it is realized that the new technology incorporates a way of learning about future events. The result is a lengthy discussion of free will versus determinism.
A quincunx can mean a group of trees—and specifically a set of five trees arranged at the vertexes of a pentagon in the manner of the Academy of Plato in Ancient Greece. Robin Weinbaum compares the new technology to being able to look down on time as if it were a set of trees, and determine which one shall grow, and which one wither.
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