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Aug 7, 2016

Land of the Setting Sun

The Phasi Intervention
At the end of the last ice age, Trysta began the process of shaping Western civilization into the form that was required for the Final Reality. The location of her Phasi Intervention became ground zero for a westward migration of a tribe of humans who spread special gene combinations that had previously been deposited on Earth by Ekcolir.

In the Ekcolir Reality
The course of European history was significantly different in the Ekcolir Reality. Ultimately, in that Reality the analogue of what we know as the Etruscan people came to culturally dominate most of Western Europe in the same way that Greek/Roman culture influenced Europe here in the Final Reality.

In the Ekcolir Reality, Eastern Europe came to be dominated by a second cultural group known in that Reality as the Mosivites.

A whimsical version of an early world map of the Ekcolir Reality; mixing in place names from the Final Reality.

Gohrlay
I've previously described some features of the New World as it developed in the Ekcolir Reality. In that reality, the first flowering of science within the Etruscan culture led to a sophisticated understanding of geology and an appreciation for glaciation and evolution. Gohrlay has been expanding my appreciation for how European culture developed along unique lines in the Ekcolir Reality.

When Etruscan and Mosivite cultural influences arrived in Northern Europe, a strong division arose between the indigenous people who retained their rural life style and an almost exclusive urban setting for the encroaching Etruscan and Mosivite cultural influences. One of the segments of the boundary that developed between East and West was in what we know as the region of Belarus where the Dnieper–Bug canal was constructed.

Caterina Vonnegut
In the Ekcolir Reality
In the Ekcolir Reality, Etruscan influences dominated civilization to the west of Brisk while the lands to the East were strongly influenced by the Mosivite culture. According to Gohrlay, the analogue of Kurt Vonnegut in the Ekcolir Reality was a woman named Caterina Vonnegut. Caterina was trained as a biochemist who, like Isaac Asimov in the Final Reality, became well known for writing science fiction. Caterina's aunt, Emmily was a famous fiction writer in Europe where Vonnegut's family was influential in the nicotine industry.

According to Gohrlay, the Vonnegut family purchased tobacco that was raised in Eastern Europe. Using what was for two centuries a well-kept secret process, processing plants in several cities of Northwest Europe would extract the nicotine which was then used as a food additive until that practice was was finally terminated in the early 20th century. In the Ekcolir Reality, after restrictions were placed on the consumption of nicotine, Caterina's branch of the Vonnegut family moved to New England.

Baltic Sea - Black Sea route
Asimov's family arrived at about the same time in New York. I'll continue to use the name "Asimov" here, although Gohrlay insists that the analogue of Asimov's family in the Ekcolir Reality used a different last name. Their family name apparently reflected their employment as owners of an important shipping depot on the Dnieper-Bug canal. However, one of Asimov's uncles established an important publishing business in Kiev which happened to publish translated editions of Emmily Vonnegut's important novels.

in the Ekcolir Reality
original cover art by Edmund Emshwiller
Since some of my own ancestors came from that part of Europe, I asked Gohrlay about my family's analogue in the Ekcolir Reality. Apparently I had a partial analogue in that Reality, although I still don't entirely understand what a 'partial analogue' is. According to Gohrlay, a branch of my family included several members who worked in the shipping industry along the Baltic Sea-to-Black Sea transportation route.

Time Travel
According to Gohrlay, Caterina and Asimov's analogue in the Ekcolir Reality collaborated on a series of stories about the Time Travel War (known collectively as the Peace Reality saga). Ivory and her sisters previously made me aware of how time travel was used to alter the course of the Civil War. Apparently the major struggles in Europe were also primarily economic, with much less actual warfare taking place in the Ekcolir Reality than in other Realities of our Reality Chain.

source
Besides a large number of shorter stories set in the Peace Reality and written by either Caterina or Asimov, there were three major novels. The first of these books, called Playtime, was written by Caterina in 1952 (as the years are counted in our Reality). With Caterina's permission, Asimov followed up with his novel Hidden Centuries, published in 1955, and expanding on many events mentioned in passing in Playtime. Then they collaborated to write Tar'tron, the final book of the Peace Reality Trilogy.

Tar'tron in fiction
The theme of the Peace Reality Trilogy was concerned with free will and the question of if it was possible to create a Reality in which warfare was completely eliminated from a civilization. After much travail, the conclusion was reached that our world (the Ekcolir Reality) was the best of all possible universes because warfare mostly existed in the form of the Time Travel War, which functioned as an optimization process for perfecting human existence on Earth.

One last item that came up in a recent discussion: according to Gohrlay, Trysta died near Blaubeuren, having traveled from the Land of the Setting Sun, near Phasi to the head waters of the Danube.

Next: the link between tobacco and femtobot endosymbionts

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