|written heptapod language (source)|
In Arrival, the source of the magical future-revealing language is a space-faring alien species called the "heptapods", radially symmetrical creatures as depicted by Rachel Koning in the image shown to the left.
|the needed sequel|
|Hank's mental time travel into the past|
What if it really were possible for humans to be fundamentally transformed by an interaction with aliens? I actually prefer to go a step beyond that and imagine how we humans could have been created by aliens, but for the rest of this blog post I'll content myself with imagining how the basic Sci Fi premise of Arrival could actually be true.
Sadly for us, time travel became impossible at some point in the late 20th century. However, vast stores of information about the past and the future still exist. Angela was able to access some of that information and share it with her clone sisters.
|origins of Angela (source)|
In their role as "curators" of biological life forms, the pek anticipate that tool-using creatures such as we humans will occasionally arise and their expectation is that by making use of their zeptite endosymbionts, such species can be gracefully guided to abandon their hadronic existence and take up residence in the Sedronic Domain as artificial life forms. With the help of the pek, zeptite endosymbionts can be used to begin linking biological creatures into the Sedronic Domain, but until the pek are ready to do this, zeptite endosymbionts actually impose cognitive constraints on their hosts.
|The Kac'hin are not human.|
|cover art by Marcel Laverdet (source)|
I suppose it should come as no surprise that a writer coming from a background in computer science can imagine a poorly programmed computer or artificial life form that can make no temporal distinction between its memories. However, that does not imply that a human could suddenly see the future if provided with the correct language tools.
Related Reading: The Languages of Pao
Next: my non-review of Arrival
|the Gallery of Book and Magazine Covers|