May 10, 2014

Doctor Asimov

Whimsical depiction of Dr. Asimov
bringing Noÿs from the 111,394th to
the primitive 20th century.
Isaac Asimov apparently read every science fiction magazine of the 1930s. He suggested that many plot elements for all of his science fiction stories could be traced back the works of others that he had read. 

Isaac Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity was published in 1955. Sydney Newman, one of the developers of Doctor Who, claimed to have read every science fiction book that had been published up until about 1957 or so. In 1962, ITV adapted one of Asimov's stories for television (Armchair Theatre). At that time, plans were being made at the BBC for a new television show that might be based on the novels of science fiction authors like Asimov.

A few years ago there were rumors that The End of Eternity might be turned into a film. I wonder if we already have films that, without our knowing it, owe their existence to inspiration from Dr. Asimov. What if Doctor Who started out with the idea of adapting the type of time travel used in The End of Eternity to an educational BBC program? Doctor Who was from the 49th century and the show began with a trip back through time to observe a "primitive Stone Age society". Asimov's main character, Andrew Harlan, was from the 95th century and Cooper was from the 78th.

A pulpish vision of Noÿs Lambent (source)
The most interesting character in The End of Eternity is Noÿs Lambent. Noÿs, from the mysterious Hidden Centuries some 10,000,000 years in our future, is on a mission to put an end to time travel. At the end of the story, Noÿs and Andrew begin a new life together in the primitive 20th century.

In my fan fiction sequel to The End of Eternity (Foundations of Eternity), I imagine that Noÿs and Andrew adopt the names Trysta and Merion Iwedon when they settle down to raise a family in Wales. As described in my previous blog post, Asimov is a character in Foundations of Eternity.

Foundations of Eternity is part of the Exode Trilogy. I'm still struggling to discover the facts of Asimov's life in each Reality of the Reality Chain that connects from the Malansohn Reality to the Buld Reality, the universe as we know it.

In The End of Eternity, Asimov showed the Eternals struggling to understand why the evolution of the human species seemed to have crawled to a stop. Their hypothesis was that the mere existence of Eternity caused human evolution to stagnate. "We bred out the unusual."

Noÿs in the role of
Aunt Mayness
Andrew is haunted by a nightmare. What if humans of the far future, in the Hidden Centuries" have evolved into "supermen"? For the Exode Trilogy, I imagine that Noÿs, who Asimov depicted as a woman from the 111,394th century, is not human. She is an Asterothrope, a primate species that evolved from we humans. Or, rather, the Asterothropes were designed as a successor to we humans.

I don't know what an Asterothrope looks like. I imagine that Noÿs carried a swarm of femptobots in her body. During her embryonic development those femtobots shaped her morphology so as to make her structurally indistinguishable from a human of the Primitive Era. Further, those femtobots could morph her face into any convenient form, allowing Noÿs to create her own disguises as needed.

I imagine that Noÿs wanted Andrew to believe that she was human. During the period of time while he is believing that she is some mind-bending super-being from the Hidden Centuries, Andrew almost blasts her.

With considerable effort, Noÿs convinces Andrew to change his mind, that he can trust her and they can live happily ever after in the Primitive. It is rather eerie watching Andrew transformed from a man determined to kill the invading creature from the Hidden Centuries: after a short time along with Noÿs, he is putty in her hands and his fear that she can control his thoughts is forgotten. How convenient.

Trysta and Isaac
Trysta Iwedon and Isaac Asimov
I've been imagining that Trysta's son, Thomas, has a long-lasting relationship with Janet Asimov. They first meet when Thomas is in need of psychiatric care. Later, Thomas tries to make use of Janet as a way of gaining Asimov's trust and influencing his writing.

Asimov can't escape the obvious conclusion: Thomas is out of his mind. However, with Janet's help, Thomas does recover his sanity. Thomas lures Asimov to a meeting with Peter in an attempt to get Asimov to believe that there is a secret history of Earth that involves visitors from other planets. Asimov shares Peter's enthusiasm for computers, but there is no clear evidence that Peter is anything more than a very bright boy.

I've imagined that Trysta feels it it not safe to have contact with her son. She believes that there is a danger that she could alter his behavior and disrupt the future of the Buld Reality. However, I can't resist the temptation to allow Asimov to meet Trysta in Exode

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