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Dec 17, 2016

Superscience

in the Ekcolir Reality
Original cover art by Richard Powers
and digital artist Brad Fraunfelter
Isaac Asimov used to refer to the early stories about interstellar space travel as superscience stories. There is some theoretical discussion of the role of "superscience stories" in the history of science fiction here.

In some sense, I have always felt that science fiction is a literature of imaginary science and imaginary technology and their imagined impact on humans and humanoid life forms. My collaborator, Yōd, has been insisting that in A Search Beyond, chapter 6 and chapter 7 should be stories about the Asimov Reality during the time when Earthlings were just making the transition into an era of interstellar space travel.

Special thanks to Miranda Hedman (www.mirish.deviantart.com) for the DeviantArt stock photograph "Black Cat 9 - stock" that I used to create the green "sedronite" who is in the image shown to the right.

The Trysta Truce
femtobots in Deep Time
 image credits
According to Zeta, within the Asimov Reality, the technology required for interstellar travel was simply given to the people of Earth by alien Interventionists. We might call this audacious act the Superscience Intervention. Such a bold move was certainly a violation of the Rules of Intervention. However, during the period of the Trysta Truce, it had been agreed by both Grean and R. Gohrlay that the Asimov Reality would eventually be "erased", so that universe was used as a kind of workshop for human genetics experiments and nobody cared if Earthlings had been given access to sedrons and faster-than-light space travel technology.

Hierion Crossing
The ultimate aim of the Trysta Truce was to find a special combination of genes and femtobots that could give Earthlings the ability to use the Bimanoid Interface. Those genes and femtobots were to be "carried over" into the next Reality (what I call the Ekcolir Reality), a universe in which Earthlings would NOT be provided with a ready-made means of interstellar travel. However, in the Ekcolir Reality it was important that Earthlings be thinking about aliens who could travel between the stars, because the alien Fru'wu would visit Earth and share with humans some hierion-based technologies.

Asimov Reality
In the mid-20th century of the Asimov Reality, Earthlings were given access to some sedronic matter and that allowed humans to escape from Earth and spread out into the galaxy.

Resh^Ki
According to Yōd, one of the most famous Kac'hin Interventionists who helped shape the destiny of Earth is Resh^Ki. Since I had previously been told that the father of Resh^Ki was a tryp'At, I thought it was not possible for Resh^Ki to have existed in the Asimov Reality. However, apparently Kac'hin hermaphrodites can reproduce using a process that Yōd calls xhogenesis.

XXH chromosomes
Xhogenesis
Sedronite hermaphrodites have an HXX chromosome set. According to Yōd, an egg cell from such an hermaphrodite cannot be stimulated to begin cleavage by a sperm cell from the same individual. However, a way was found to subvert this design feature of the Sedronites. Sperm cells from a tryp'At male can provide the trigger signal that will initiate the cleavage process. If a second haploid Kac'hin nucleus has been inserted into the egg then embryonic development will proceed. In the case of the genetically perfect Kac'hin, that haploid nucleus can be from another egg cell, even allowing production a new diploid individual whose genes are completely derived from the mother. The child will not be genetically identical to the mother because of the many genetic recombination events that took place during production of the two haploid nuclei that that were the source of the chromosomes that constitute the child's chromosome set.

the origins of Resh^Ki (source)
Thus, Resh^Ki is a perfectly normal Kac'hin hermaphrodite who received all of her genes from her mother using the xhogenesis process. According to Zeta, Resh^Ki is a master of disguise. In particular, Zeta suggests that there are probably Resh^Ki replicoids and Selfies that can operate on Earth without ever being detected by the tryp'At Overseers.

Original cover art by Edmund Emshwiller
and also see this cover.




Yōd has described a crazy theory about the involvement of Resh^Ki in the sequence of events that led to humans being given access to sedrons in the Asimov Reality. The basic idea is that the tryp'At were created in the far future of the Asimov Reality. Resh^Ki was born in that far future time and then sent back through time to Earth in the middle of the 20th century.

picohieronics
I agree with Yōd that there are problems with the rather talky chapter 6 in A Search Beyond, but I feel that inclusion of a "story within a story" pulled from Deep Time will have to wait for chapter 7... maybe it will include a cameo for Resh^Ki.

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