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Feb 28, 2016

X-Clones

2016 X-Files angst
As someone who does not like to be rushed, I have some sympathy for Chris Carter. Apparently when the 2016 X-Files revival got the green light, there was only a narrow window of opportunity for making the 6 episodes. The finale was still being created and patched together right up to the last minute, and it showed.

Still, I don't think it is possible for Carter and his crew to do a bad job of turning out X-Files episodes. I was entertained by "season 10" and  I hope there will be even more episodes in the future.

Change Is Good
do something about it
I wish that Carter could move The X-Files ahead by making some daring choices. First, he could declare that his role will be that of an executive producer and occasional story editor/consultant. It would be great if he could find a new and innovative show runner who Carter was comfortable placing in control of a new season with a new direction (such as).

Second, there should be a graceful way to allow David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (and even Mitch Pileggi) to keep playing their roles in the show while at the same time turning most of the screen time over to a new generation of main characters. I was amused by Agents Einstein and Miller, but why not get serious about cloning Mulder and Scully?

we can re-build him
In need of stem cells.
One of the science fiction elements of The X-Files that was introduced back in the 90s was human cloning. Along with half a dozen other science fiction themes, the various clones that briefly appeared were treated like disposable "monsters of the week" by Chris Carter.

cast a 12-year-old Fox clone
The source of stem cells.
As a science fiction fan, I'd like to see those dropped threads knitted together into a coherent backstory for The X-Files. Carter will never do this, hence the need for another show runner who would. Right at the end of the season 10 finale, with Mulder dying, Scully desperately imagines the possibility of saving him with stem cells obtained from William. But what if there is an even better source of stem cells: a young clone of Mulder? And rather than simply keep the old and injured Mulder alive, why not do something exciting such as use alien-derived technology to transfer Mulder's memories into the body of the younger clone?

Former FBI Agent Reyes
We have been teased with the question of what Monica Reyes has been doing for the past 15 years. I like to think that the CSM got her involved with taking care of William and a flock of clones.

cast a 10-year-old Dana clone
Camp Croft
In season 11, we could learn that Reyes has been caring for multiple Fox clones, Dana clones, clones of other Syndicate members and their children at a secret community located in what was once Camp Croft, the place where the Spartan Virus was developed.

on to Season 11
With the help of German prisoners of war, techniques for human cloning were developed long ago at the secret Camp Croft labs. In a Season 11 of my imagination, Molly and Kyle rally the troops and liberate the clones. Mulder is saved by stem cells from a 12-year-old clone of Fox.

Dana meets her 20-year-old clone.
In addition to a 10-year-old clone of Dana, there is also a 20-year-old clone; they have grown up almost as sisters to William and the Mulder clone who all lived together with Monica at Camp Croft.

I wish Chris Carter would do something risky such as create a character who is the "clone" of president Kennedy. Also, I'd still like to see a science fiction backstory for all the paranormal abilities of folks like William, Molly and Kyle. I put "clone" in quotes, above, in this paragraph, because the Kennedy character could be a part-nanite and part-biological construct containing some of John Kennedy's memories of his attempted agreement with the Syndicate.
Extracting a nanite endosymbiont.

I'd still like to see some sort of role for space aliens in future episodes of The X-Files. That role need not be large and intrusive. I'd be willing to let Chris Carter play out his idea of alien technology being "handed off" to a cadre of Earthlings. With the help of Molly and Kyle, some of that alien-inspired technology should now be revealed to Fox and Dana even if the telepathic rebels stay as mysterious and shadow-cloaked as the CSM.

Space Nanites
genetically engineered human variants
If the only aliens who ever arrived on Earth from a distant star were composed of nanites (black oil) and they long ago became involved in directing human evolution and cultural development then all of the "alien biological entities" previously hinted at in The X-files could be the result of experiments on humans. The rather lame spacecraft and ARVs of season 10 are all human-manufactured aircraft, inspired by alien technology.

X-Files the Next Generation?
In season 11, Skinner should help Agents Scully and Einstein set up a Center for Advanced Studies within the FBI where telepathy, nanites and ARVs can be studied. Agents Mulder and Scully need only appear briefly, as their acting and family schedules allow.

If Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell are also too busy to work full-time on The X-Files then there is no barrier to hiring new and unknown actors to do most of the episode-to-episode slogging for the show. Maybe there could be partially GCI-generated clones of Dana and Mulder.

blog posts in February
Previously on the X-Files
"Just keep saying 'alien DNA'!"
Dec. 29: anticipating new X
Jan. 24: pre-season 10 expectations
Jan. 25: reaction to 'My Struggle I'
'Founder's Mutation'
Jan. 31: waiting for the Were-monster
reaction to 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster'
Feb. 10: 'Home Again'
Feb. 16: reaction to 'Babylon'
Feb. 23: the miniseries finale
____________________________
Next on The X-Files
2017: moving towards Season 11
____________________________
Next: the origins of human society in Deep Time
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Feb 27, 2016

Gohrlay vs Thomas

The Foundations of Eternity
Gohrlay has merrily informed me that my account of her capture and punishment by Orbho Anagro is distorted in a way that speaks loudly of the deficiencies of my information sources. I'd previously felt confident about the details in that story because they were seemingly confirmed by Thomas Iwedon.

Back when Gohrlay started explaining to me about the errors that exist in my version of her life, I had some hope that I might be able to learn from Thomas how it was that his version of events was so far off the mark and so substantially wrong. That hope has slipped away.

Gohrlay recently explained to me the origins of the Ek'col. I now suspect that the tryp'At Overseers objected to Thomas being on Earth because he was a carrier of non-pek nanites. According to Gohrlay, she is not privy to Rules of Observation that the tryp'At are operating under, so all we can do is guess that a strict ban on alien technology is being enforced upon we Earthlings. If so, then it seems likely that Thomas was finally removed from Earth, even though he tried to stay.

origins of the Ek'col
Gohrlay's suspicions prompted me to enter into a new round of self-doubt and inner turmoil. I've long suspected that I carry information nanites from Thomas, so it seems possible that I'm also contaminated by alien technology.

However, Gohrlay suggests that even if I did at one time carry non-pek nanites, their information content could have long since been handed over to neurons and/or pek nanites, leaving by body free of all signs of alien contact.

I must add that Gohrlay is not worried about the possible presence of non-pek nanites inside of my body. She believes that I am a tryp'At operative and therefore exempt from any rules pertaining to Earthlings. When I objected to Gohrlay's suggestion that I am tryp'At by insisting that I was born on Earth to human parents, she claimed that nothing prevents a human woman from giving birth to a tryp'At.

Last year, Gohrlay outlined for me her path of entry into the Final Reality. With Gohrlay's "help", I have tried to piece together the story of my own origins. I was given an opportunity to research our origins in the Ekcolir Reality. I do fear that I might have been "fed" some false information about Deep Time, but I must use the information that is available to me.

First Life
original cover
I've long known that Gohrlay's first life began with her role as an Observer, operating out of a secret base "on the Moon". I must place "on the Moon" in quotes because it is only the entrance to that base that is in some way linked to the Moon. Observer Base is apparently "in" the Hierion Domain.

According to Gohrlay, Observer Base was created and run by the Grendels. Those Grendel Overseers took on human form and played various "games" to mollify the pek. In particular, by using developmental control nanites, the Overseers made sure that the Observers (such as Gohrlay) had Preland-like features such as nanite-assisted feeding and artificially-controlled reproductive behavior.

original cover
First Contact with Grendels
Gohrlay's discovery of evidence of artificial gene insertion into the remaining human population of Earth (humans were being displaced by Prelands) was carefully orchestrated so as to provide a pretext for destructively scanning Gohrlay's brain structure.

We know that Gohrlay was somehow able to survive the destructive brain scan, but it is not clear to me that either Gohrlay or Thomas had/has access to the facts about how Gohrlay ended up on Many Sails.

According to Gohrlay, my "Thomas Nanites" were programmed to provide me with the basic outline of the story of her "first life", but I was expected to invent additional details while writing the story. Gohrlay feels that I can either just stay with the original story or re-write it as I see fit, but she's not interested in writing her version.

Next: The X-Files Season 11
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Revelations

Twitter revealed
Three weeks ago I was amused by a tweetstorm that erupted over rumors about Twitter changing the behavior of their timelines.

I can't avoid wondering what happens in the secret corporate burrows and warrens of Twitter. I don't expect too much.... just lotsa scheming about how to make $$$$.

I can't even bring myself to complain about the bugs in Twitter software and inexplicable "features" such as the lack of an edit button for tweets. Why not allow users to set a 1 minute delay on their own tweet going "live", just long enough to see that idiotic spelling error and fix it? We will never know.

opt-in for the chance to find out if Twitter's bot can read your mind
I also can't say that I am surprised to learn that folks from corporations lie to their customers. Nor was I surprised to find that Twitter did change their software in the way that the rumor from three weeks ago said they would. For now, you have to "opt in" so that you can experience the changed timeline, but the wording of the description of this "feature" (below) strongly suggests that the original plan was for us to be forced to opt out.

life in the Twitterverse
Maybe some day I'll experiment with Twitter's software and see if it can really predict which tweets I want to read first. If I knew something about the algorithm that they use, then I might be tempted to opt in.

I don't feel much pressure to opt in because I don't get very many tweets in my timeline. I tend to follow people who only post a few thoughtful tweets.

Update: March 16th. 40 days ago we were told that Twitter would put an end to the user timeline. Today Twitter flipped the switch:
So for me, this new "feature" became opt-out. Having no information about their algorithm for selecting "the best Tweets", I opted out.

Next: two conflicting versions of a story

Feb 23, 2016

X-aliens

the Third Doctor
I usually describe The X-Files as television that requires you to turn off half of your brain. Towards that end, tonight during the season 10 finale, some fans were playing an X-Files drinking game: drink a shot every time someone says "alien DNA".

Carter's Struggle to Get to Season 11
I can't fault Chris Carter for trying to build a bridge towards a third X-Files movie or a season 11. I was only paying attention to season 10 because I've long fantasized about ways to turn The X-files into a fun science fiction show with interesting aliens.

Dr. McCoy: the First Doctor
I had no expectation that Chris Carter might share that dream. Rather than tell us something interesting about aliens, Carter concocted a conspiracy in which a secret cabal uses a biological weapon to exterminate humanity.

I'm pretty sure that Chris Carter lifted the plot for his finale from a Star Trek episode. Maybe it was 'Miri' or 'The Deadly Years'; it doesn't matter. We got Dr. McCoy Scully magically finding the cure with 2 minutes left in the episode.

the Fourth Doctor
No Nomination for You!
Every year I do a Search for Interesting Hollywood Aliens (SIHA). For season 10, Carter essentially wrote aliens out of The X-files. I had a fantasy about the possibility that Carter would link the paranormal abilities of people (such as William) to aliens, but I now suspect that Carter holds the paranormal themes of the X-files in a different compartment of his brain, far away from the lobe that is obsessed with the conspiratorial "mythology" of The X-Files.

24 and You
the Second Doctor
The "science" in the season 10 finale was used to suggest that Scully has a small amount of "anomalous DNA" that can protect her (or anyone) from the bioengineered plague that caused traffic jams in the finale.

Mulder's morning face
Clearly, Scully's special fragment of DNA is miraculous: it even allowed her to drive across Vancouver while everyone else in town was carefully blocking the streets with their parked cars.

Global Contagion
There's no explanation for how Carter's zombie apocalypse is suddenly triggered. Or how Mulder suddenly becomes an expert in had-to-hand fighting. And discovers how to find the CSM.

The Far Fringes of Accepted Science
watch Chris Carter make
the aliens disappear
Sadly, the "Scully Vaccine" arrives too late to save Mulder, so Scully announces that he can only be saved by stem cells from William.

Light in the Sky
zombie patient #1
William was born under a bright light in the sky and at the end of the finale, an ARV arrives to put a spotlight on Scully. Has the god-like CSM arrived just in the nick of time to save his son (Mulder)?

the star of our show
In the middle of 'My Struggle II", Scully states our predicament. Scully: "I hope that there is an explanation for this, but right now we are in deep trouble." Carter has painted himself into a corner where even Hollywood "science" can't rescue us from muddled plots.

Darth CSM
More importantly, is there anyone who cares about (or wants to believe in) Carter's latest conspiracy theory?

the Chosen
One of the charms of the original X-Files was that fans could pretend that Scully and Mulder existed within our world. With 'My Struggle II', Carter jumped the shark and left our world behind. Unless we learn in season 11's 'My Struggle III" that the immune system-destroying plague of the season 10 finale was all just a dream.

Reyes: "I just called to give you a backstory exposition dump."

The magical morphing Scully
a global conspiracy of graffiti
I was particularly annoyed by the "Superbowl teaser" that showed Scully morphing into an alien-like form. I suppose we are expected to accept this as a visual metaphor for Chris Carter's fear mongering about the mystery of Scully's anomalous DNA.

Spartan Virus
Scully: "It's a virus within a virus."
Well, that explains everything.
It's a conspiracy within a conspiracy to find the "vaccine", the protective "alien DNA" that lies near the centromere of Scully's chromosome 17.

Scully is sciencing the shit out
of the zombie apocalypse
tune in next time....
All we need to do is extract enough of Scully's alien DNA. Wait, that's not all! Einstein: "We have to centrifuge it." Thank god for Einstein.

I can see season 11 in which Monica leads us to William and Mulder is saved. But if everyone in the world is saved by Scully's DNA "vaccine" and stem cells then what new conspiracy will Chris Carter come up with? Tune in for season 11...

As they say in Hollywood
Chris Carter: "We go out with a whimper."

Previously on the X-Files
Jan. 24: pre-season 10 anticipation
Jan. 25: reaction to 'My Struggle I'
'Founder's Mutation'
Jan. 31: waiting for the Were-monster
reaction to 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster'
Feb. 10: 'Home Again'
Feb. 16: reaction to 'Babylon'.

from a discussion on io9
Next: evidence for aliens on Earth.
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Feb 21, 2016

Science Fiction in Deep Time

original cover art
The Exode Trilogy is an exercise in recursive science fiction: the science fiction genre must be crafted and brought into existence in order to allow Humanity an opportunity to spread among the stars. In a sense, science fiction itself is the protagonist of the story, so it is natural that I have begun to think about a suitable antagonist.

Amplifying Science Fiction
I've spent decades developing my concept of what constitutes science fiction. As a relatively new literary genre, science fiction means different things to different people.

For Exode, I imagine that science fiction was brought to its greatest flowering in the Ekcolir Reality. In that Reality, science fiction remained in the hands of a small cadre of scientists and engineers. Still, it was proof of the concept that Earthlings could be prepared for First Contact. The roots of science fiction may never fully be known, but they can be traced into the First Reality (see also).

2008 edition
In the Final Reality, the universe that we reside in, science fiction needed to be amplified and brought to the attention of the masses. Science fiction could not remain a high-brow literary genre; it had to spread across the world via mass media in advance of First Contact with the Buld. That spread of science fiction among the people of Earth functioned as a vaccine, creating protection from the truth and it turned the truth about the arrival of the Buld into just another silly story about alien visitors to Earth, just one story among many.

If it was the analogues of Gernsback, Asimov, Vance and Clarke who created science fiction in the Ekcolir Reality, then who were the architects of the type of newfangled science fiction that arose in the Buld Reality?

last and first science fiction
One important twist of the Buld Reality was provided by John Campbell's turn towards parapsychology. Also, there were many efforts made to popularize science fiction and distribute it to a mass audience by way of radio, television and film including the work of Gene Roddenberry and his creation of Star Trek. Another part of warping science fiction into a new form involved the creation of Carl Sagan.

Even while science fiction was just being invented, some writers such as Olaf Stapledon were setting the foundation for what would become the "second wave" of science fiction, what we can think of as the pop culture domain of "anti-science fiction". Writers such as Stapledon, with no background in science, were able to spread the memes of science fiction to a wider audience. In the Exodemic Fictional Universe, both science fiction and anti-science fiction were carefully created and crafted for the great purpose of getting Earth out of its "trap" and liberating humans from the dead end existence that had been our original fate.

1971 - cover art by Edward John Jones
Worlds we won't live to see
My preference is for stories that show a high degree of interest from the author in science, but many people are happy to avoid the fussy constraints imposed by nature. An example: after the character was depicted on TV in 1954, many science fiction authors took Ian Flemming's James Bond into science fictional settings, often with only a minimalist's tip of the pen towards science. Vance's mature equivalent of Bond was Kirth Gersen. Marion Zimmer Bradley imagined her own version of the interstellar secret agent man.

1983 edition
In her introduction to The Door Through Space, Bradley wrote that she had grown tired of writing "straight science-fiction", which she seemed to view as a fad.

Apparently there is supposed to be future/alien science behind the psychokinetics in The Door Through Space, but Bradley could not be bothered to explain the fine details. In the story, the protagonist (living in a future with interstellar travel) is baffled by the question of how television signals might be sent to the far side of a planet. Bradley was no Arthur Clarke.

Lord of the Toads
1979 - cover art by Walter Velez
The Door Through Space reminds me of The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, which from a science nerd's perspective is about the invention of the ansible. The Door Through Space is about obtaining the secret of teleportation technology, but in both of these books there is little science, which should surprise nobody, given the background and interests of the authors. Ultimately, what really mattered for science fiction themes such as First Contact was simply getting it "out there" into the widest possible domain of public consciousness.

A story from the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Swen Papenbrock
Previously, I'd imagined that science fiction was first introduced into Earthly culture of our Reality when Ekcolir went back into the past.

However, Gohrlay just informed me that science fiction was popular at Observer Base during her first life.

The science fiction game has probably been popular among Interventionists since the very beginning.

Related Reading: The Escapists

Next: The X-Files Season 10 Finale

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