|source: the Ekcolir Reality|
|'Dead Hand' - first published in 1945|
|70 years ago: cover art by William Timmins|
The idea that Hari Seldon predicted the future (including the fall of the Empire) by using "Psychohistory" always struck me as absurd. Much later, in Foundation and Earth, Asimov told us that the telepathic robot Daneel had guided the galaxy towards the establishment of the Foundation.
|Asimov: a struggle with aliens|
|1945: The Mule|
Besides Psychohistory, 'Dead Hand' included another interesting bit of pseudoscience. The First Foundation makes both Riose and the psychopathic Brodrig, Privy Secretary of the Emperor, believe that it has the technological ability to transmutate chemical elements. It is amusing that Asimov's Galactic Empire, some 20,000 years in our future, has advanced so little beyond the science and technology of our time: the Empire struggles to keep its spaceships going and the 25,000,000 inhabited planets of the galaxy are just a short step away from falling back on fossil fuels as an energy source.
|The Mule - cover art by Darrell Sweet|
|The Exode Trilogy|
In the Exode Trilogy, the perfect tool for controlling human behavior exists, pre-loaded into each and every human on Earth. About 2,000,000,000 years ago the pek arrived and "seeded" Earth with zeptites. Humans evolved as a dual creature, part cellular and part composed of a zeptite endosymbiont.
I've long struggled with the challenge of finding the best way to introduce readers of the Exode Trilogy to the issue of mind control. At the same time, I get to struggle with my own fears that my own thought have been carefully controlled and guided. In a recent discussion of these matters with Gohrlay, she casually mentioned that there was a good example that she could provide of why it is not worth my time to worry about the extent to which my memories and thoughts are controlled by others.
Arguing with Success
|original art work by Paul Alexander|
Edmund Emshwiller, Gerald Grace
Apparently it was impossible for Anney and Angela to not notice Radhas. In some way, the Atlantis Clones and Radhas were "on the same wave length", so when Radhas grew up she had a certain amount of telepathic contact with the clones. Although she was warned not to reveal what she had learned from her use of the Bimanoid Interface, Radhas could not be dissuaded from telling the secret history of Earth.
|The Dead Widower Society|
|See the original (1962) cover|
art by Johannes Bruck
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