|in the Ekcolir Reality|
The Power of Mathematics
|equations projected by the Prime Radiant|
|Lanarck visits a virtual reality world.|
|the alien World-Thinker, Laoome|
However, I suspect that by casually mentioning equations in Lanarck's adventure story, Vance was using the correct bait for any author seeking to attract the attention of Campbell and get published in Astounding. Physics was one of the subjects studied in college by Vance, so why not try to interest Campbell in a story?
|Escape from Laoome's virtual reality world of Markavvel|
|in the Ekcolir Reality original cover art by|
Earle Bergey and Milford Hunter
While in school, John Campbell met people such as Norbert Wiener (known for his equation describing Brownian motion) and he earned a B.S. degree in physics. Here is how Campbell thought of the power of equations: "I am leaving with you today the completed calculations and equations of the time field, the system used by the Thessian invaders in propelling their ships at a speed greater than that of light." The great science myth of the Golden Age of Science Fiction was "equation today, super technology tomorrow". Einstein's E=MC2 was quickly linked to science fiction's need for a super power source and then, soon enough, there were atomic bombs.
|1955 in Fantastic Story|
|in the Hierion Domain|
Vance included mysterious equations in "The World-Thinker". For the 1955 publication of "The World-Thinker" in Fantastic Story magazine, in the midst of the Cold War, the story was teased on the contents page with reference to the "atom equations", equations which described the dangerous secret of how to turn nuclear power plants into bombs. Our hero, Lieutenant Lanarck, must recover these "atom equations" before they fall into the wrong hands.
While in pursuit of the "atom equations", Lanarck meets the mysterious alien creature, Laoome, who can use a set of miraculous "hypostatic equations" to instantiate entire new worlds of his own design.
|The Skaña Intervention|
Related Reading: the Hierion Mass Equation
Next: investigating the Alternate Asimovs
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