Jun 14, 2015

The Writers Block

Astounding Stories, April, 1931
I've been tapping into the vast knowledge of Gohrlay. Her understanding of Earth's history seems to arise from both personal experience and her contacts among the tryp'At. Gohrlay seems to know all the important details about the Reality Chain that gave rise to the world as we know it.

I'm still astonished by the idea that science fiction, as a literary genre, was invented in the Asimov Reality. In the Reality that came before that, the Foundation Reality, Isaac Asimov was a science writer. For the past several years, I've understood the special role that Asimov played in creating the science fiction genre. While growing up, Asimov read all of the stories that were published in magazines like Astounding.

The Exile of Time
Asimov suspected that elements found in all of his own stories could be traced back to the pulp magazine stories that he read as a boy. In particular, Asimov wrote stories that were a reaction against the endless stream of mindless villains that populated the pulp magazines.

Asimov particularly detested all the murderous clanking robots. A good example of the "clanking robot genre" is "The Exile of Time" by Ray Cummings. Cummings included several types of robots in this story, one of which is mistaken for a man until the very end of the story. The Exile of Time is also a time travel story.

According to Gohrlay, in the Foundation Reality, Raymond  Cummings helped Thomas Edison's team develop the first computers. In that Reality, positronic robots were developed on Earth during the 20th century.

Apparently both the Foundation Reality and the Ekcolir reality had slightly faster paces of technological advance than the Asimov and Buld Realities. In the Asimov Reality, Cummings died from a viral infection before he ever had a chance to publish a story. In the Ekcolir Reality, Cummings received special help from his replicoid and he was among the most influential editors and mentors for science fiction writers like Asimov and Vance.

 The Girl in the Golden Atom
I've long known that Asimov was "abducted by aliens" in the Foundation Reality. He became a time traveler and a mentor for his younger self, making it possible for Asimov to become a major player in the creation of the science fiction genre.

During the past year, I have become aware of the special role that has been played in Earth's history by "copies" of a few key science fiction writers. Asimov rose to prominence as a science fiction writer in the Asimov Reality. The Asimov Reality was a true disaster for Earth with a devastating nuclear was during the 20th century. According to Gohrlay, Asimov died in that nuclear war, but his "copy" continued to work with Grean to plan the Ekcolir Reality.

The Writers Block
by Pyracantha
Apparently Asimov was called upon to form a kind of think tank that was tasked with the goal of planning how to make science fiction become the dominant form of fiction on Earth. This was all part of Grean's plan to use science fiction as a controlled outlet for releasing information about the secret history of Earth to humans.

Asimov's think tank existed within the Hierion Domain. Gohrlay says that the science fiction think tank existed within a seemingly endless complex, something that seemed like an endless skyscraper from the perspective of its residents. Asimov accumulated all the world's speculative fiction authors there, or at least their replicoids.

Aura in the Ekcolir Reality (model)
See the original magazine cover
That village of writers became known as "the block" and later, in our Reality, it is referred to as "The Writers Block" by the members of the Dead Widowers. Asimov gave the residents of "the block" explicit orders: they were challenged to plan how to strengthen speculative fiction writing within the coming Ekcolir Reality. Grean's contribution to that effort was to shape the mind of Thomas so that he became a science fiction writer.

Within the Ekcolir Reality, Raymond Cummings was one of the writers who was assisted by his replicoid, an artificial copy of his analog from the Asimov Reality. However, in many ways the science fiction literary genre became too successful in the Ekcolir Reality.

Brigands of the Moon
The main problem was that in the Ekcolir Reality science fiction became to tightly coupled to science and dependent upon scientists and engineers as its major writers. There was not enough diversity and not enough freedom for stories to drift out of the rut of "hard science fiction". For example, faster-than-light space travel was almost a taboo subject for science fiction writers in the Ekcolir Reality.

However, one of the topics that was well-explored in the science fiction of the Ekcolir Reality was nanotechnology, a field that was pioneered by Thomas Edison and boosted by his discovery of the transistor. Next: more science fiction from Deep Time.

Related Reading: The Girl in the Golden Atom
Visit the Gallery of Films, Books and Magazines from Deep Time.

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