Jun 24, 2017

Mars 123

Image credits: this image was made using
three images created by Ludovic Celle. See:
Mars canyon 01, Martian Oasis, and
Green Mars 01. This new composite image
(M1A2R3S) depicts an imaginary book cover
and is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.
Mars 123 tells the story of what happens next to the Editor after the events described in Exit Edit. Sadly, there does not seem to be a copy of Mars 123 on Earth.

Today I was discussing time travel with Zeta. Several years ago, back when I was told by Ivory that time travel became impossible sometime late in the 20th century, I was both skeptical and disappointed. It would be wonderful if those of us here in 2017 could be provided with a convincing demonstration of time travel.

Zeta insists that I have been a time traveler and she has consistently encouraged me to make efforts to access old suppressed memories of my trips through time. Zeta keeps telling me that I might not be able to experience those suppressed memories in a normal fashion. Today, when we had again reached that point in our discussion of time travel, Yōd looked up from her tablet and joined the conversation.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Michael Whelan.
Yōd said to Zeta, "You might shake loose some of his suppressed memories if you told him about the Martians."

Zeta muttered, "Ivory got kicked off of Earth for that."

Yōd shrugged, "Don't be such a coward."

I asked, "What about Martians?"

Zeta replied, "One of the stories that the Dead Widowers published was about Mars, but the tryp'At Overseers erased that little publishing effort from history and Ivory got her ticket off of Earth."

Somehow that revelation matched with an idea that was already in my head. I wondered if Yōd had been correct and old memories were being triggered just by me thinking about Mars and the idea of Martians. I tried fishing for information that might be common knowledge on the worlds of the Galactic Core. I asked, "Two billion years ago, when the pek arrived in our galaxy, did they find life on both Earth and Mars?"

Click image to enlarge. (source) image credits
Yōd exclaimed triumphantly, "See!"

I didn't know what she meant. I wondered out loud, "See what?"

Zeta scowled at Yōd, then she replied, "Yes, the pek found life on Mars when they arrived. However, their main interest in Mars concerned extracting the planet's sedrons."

Zeta fell silent and I believe she would have let the matter drop. I was aware of the fact that the real source of Huaoshy power and technological dominance in the universe depended on their sedron monopoly. The main job of the pek was to extract all readily available deposits of sedrons, depriving other life forms of access to naturally occurring sedronic matter.

I was lost in a train of thought about the Huaoshy and sedrons when Yōd added, "According to Ivory, there was a Nereid base on Mars and-"

Zeta complained, "There's no evidence for that!"

Yōd never paused, "...and there will be a future base for Martians."

Zeta was glaring at Yōd, but I hardly noticed. In my mind I could see a strange "dream scene" that has haunted me my whole life. For many years I'd imagined it was a scene set at Observer Base on the Moon, but now I no longer believe that there was ever actually an alien facility under the surface of the Moon.

But what about Mars?

That thought triggered an odd memory fragment to bubble up in my mind. I've long suspected that somehow my family was constructed as a device for inserting a tyrp'At agent into Earth's timeline, an agent who would play the role of "the Editor". Part of that family was my "uncle" George.

I never knew if George had any real genetic relationship to me. The first time I ever met him was right after I had died. I can only remember an image of George and my parents talking; I have no idea what they were talking about... I was just a little kid. However, the last time I ever saw George has returned to my awareness after decades of that memory being blocked. That occasion may have been the only time that George actually spoke to me.

in the Ekcolir Reality
At the time, (I was about 12 years old) what George told me made no sense. I realize now that he was trying to warn me about my future, particularly the fact that Gohrlay would come into my life. George warned me to never think that I could trust a woman and he put it in a strange way: "You never know. A woman who you think you know might actually be from Mars."

When I was 12, I laughed at George's remark about Mars. He looked at me rather sternly, took my hand in his, and asked me to promise to not forget what he had told me. Now I am left wondering if Gohrlay really did "come from Mars" and if she has returned to that world. The tryp'At seem to be enforcing restrictions on who can reside on Earth. It may be that Gohrlay, having originated in Deep Time, had too many bumpha-derived genes. She might be more comfortable on another world.

Lately, I've gone back and forth in my speculations about Gohrlay's fate. Sometimes I have imagined that she is still here on Earth, in hiding. Other times, I feel that she was teleported off of Earth and is now on some planet of the Galactic Core. But now I must wonder if she is on Mars. Ivory tried to tell me the truth and I might have once actually traveled to a future time when I will join Gohrlay on Mars.

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May 26, 2017

Perfection of Joy

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Jack Vance died four years ago. Ever since back in August 2013, I have been doing Vance tribute posts every August (he was born on August 28th; last year) and May (died May 26th; last May).

Perfection of Joy
In Jack Vance's novel Araminta Station, the protagonist is Glawen Clattuc, a young policeman who is sent on a trip away from his home planet in search of the criminals who have been arranging for "Perfection of Joy" outings on Cadwal. The planet Cadwal is a nature preserve, governed by the Cadwal Conservancy. In the interest of raising money, a small tourism industry has been allowed to develop on Cadwal.

The Perfection of Joy excursions have been arranged by Simonetta Clattuc, a renegade member of Glawen's family who hopes to destroy Araminta Station. Simonetta, an outcast from Araminta Station, has taken control of the Yips, a group of 100,000 runaways and their descendants who reside illegally on an island not far from Araminta Station's location on the mainland.

cover art by Boris Vallejo
In need of cheap labor, the administrators of the Cadwal Conservancy, who reside at Araminta Station, have for centuries issued work permits to Yips. These temporary laborers can be granted six month work permits at the Station, but often these permits are extended indefinitely for the trained Yips who perform particularly useful functions.

Vance never mentions the exact population of Araminta Station, but the legal residents of Cadwal number only a few thousand. The Cadwal police are desperate for money to defend themselves against invasion of the mainland by Simonetta and the ever-increasing population of Yips. The leaders of the Cadwal Conservancy also hope to buy passage for the Yips on space transports so that they can be settled on nearby worlds.

One of the islands on Cadwal
One of the tourists who came to Cadwal for a Perfection of Joy "vacation" is a wealthy bank owner. The Araminta Station police threaten him with prosecution and extort a large sum of money from him. Vance never describes in detail the horrible crimes that are committed during Perfection of Joy excursions on Cadwal, but those illegal excursions result in the deaths of several young Yip women.

To investigate these crimes and discover who is behind the Perfection of Joy excursions, Glawen travels to the planets of origin for the tourists who have participated in Perfection of Joy excursions on Cadwal. He discovers the identity of the woman who has distributed Perfection of Joy brochures on those worlds and learns that she is the new wife of one of his own family members. Before he can report this discovery to his superiors at Araminta Station, Glawen is double-crossed by a fellow policeman and thrown into a prison. Eventually, Glawen escapes, returns to Cadwal and takes revenge.

The Sacred Shin
The Sacred Shin by Anney Fersoni
In The Palace of Love, the poet Navarth tries to hide from Demon Prince Viole Falushe in Edmonton. The story takes place about 1,500 years in the future. Edmonton has become a destination for pilgrims who want to gaze upon the Sacred Shin.

I like to imagine that Vance's stories about the Demon Princes and Cadwal reflect actual events from a previous Reality. In my recursive science fiction story A Search Beyond, the replicoid of Isaac Asimov investigates Deep Time and reveals the secret of how new human gene combinations were devised during the far future of the past Reality in which Glawen existed.

Viole Falushe became involved in a study of special gene combinations that originally existed in the Earth girl Jheral Tinzy. Clones of Jheral were constructed and studied in order to explore those unique gene combinations.

Alien Gene Transfer by Ivory Fersoni
I like to imagine that the Sacred Shin was a geological artifact containing evidence that the pek first visited Earth about 2,000,000,000 years ago. The human species arose through a long process of genetic manipulations and alterations imposed on the creatures of Earth by the pek and bumpha.

The Genetics Cluster
Some past related blog posts about genetics in Vance's universe:
Genes of Dar Sai
The Junius Revolution
Alastor Cluster as laboratory for DNA modification

Next: secrets of Mars
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