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Jul 15, 2017

Telepathy Time

Muldoon tangle-top "so named for the
squirming black tendrils at the top of its head"
I own a hard cover copy of Araminta Station by Jack Vance. It is a March 1988 edition.

There have been many different covers for Araminta Station, but I particularly like the cover art by Boris Vallejo (shown to the right) depicting the confrontation between Sessily, Glawen and a tangle-top (even though Vallejo seems to have left out the tangle).

Sessily
Vance raised the possibility that Sessily and Glawen both had subtle telepathic powers. After the dangerous tangle-top runs away and allows Sessily and Glawen to escape in their flyer, Sessily tells Glawen that she used telepathy to make the tangle-top leave them alone.

We have to question the extent of Sessily's telepathic powers because 30 pages later into the story she is dead; murdered by Kirdy Wook....at least as Vance tells to tale. However, her body is never recovered and I like to imagine that there might have been some tricky method for allowing her to live on. As Viole Falushe once said, "Life, death, these are imprecise terms."

Pussycat Palace, Yipton. The large, illegal and growing population of Yips
on the Lutwen Islands threatens the future Cadwal as a nature preserve.
It is almost as if the only reason for Sessily's existence is to make it possible for the planet Cadwal to be saved from exploitation by humans. When first discovered, the rich life of Cadwal was deemed worthy of protection and the entire planet was turned into a nature preserve. However, after a thousand years, forces are gathering that could alter the fate of Cadwal.

The planet Cadwal
click image to enlarge
"The first explorers considered it a world too beautiful and too full of natural wonders to be spoiled by human settlement, so they made Cadwal a Conservancy. Folk may come to visit and enjoy the natural conditions, but no one is allowed to alter the environment, or dig for volcanic jewels or bother the native beasts, no matter how savage and repulsive they are." -Wayness Tamm

Sessily's  mother, Felice Veder, holding a Parilia poster.
Original cover art by Douglas Beekman
Sessily and Glawen are born on Cadwal at the critical time when action must be taken to save the planet. In Vance's telling of the story, it is only because Sessily must go out from Araminta Station into the wild (to collect decorative butterfly wings for her Parilia costume) that Glawen tries to defend her against a hungry tangle-top. Strangely, his gun has no ammunition in it. This leads to the alarming discovery that the Yips were on the verge of killing all the residents of Araminta Station.

According to Vance:
Yip worker at Araminta Station

"The Yips were now so numerous as to overflow Lutwen Atoll. They threatened to spill ashore upon Deucus in a great surge and thereby destroy the Conservancy. The men were of good stature and supple of physique, with luminous hazel eyes, well shaped features, hair and skin the same golden color. The Yip girls were no less comely... "

From Araminta Station to the Lutwen Islands by ferry.
The residents of Araminta Station, originally a small group of about 100 legal residents on Cadwal, have become complacent and complicit with the forces that are gathering and threatening to open Cadwal to human exploitation of the planet's resources. Araminta Station now makes use of Yips as workers and participates in a lucrative tourist trade: visitors arrive on Cadwal, land at the Araminta spaceport, then take a ferry to Yipton, the Capitol of the renegade Yip population on the nearby Lutwen Islands.

Gateway Essentials
Here (image to the right) is another Araminta Station cover with a 2011 date. At the Gateway website, they say: "Owing to territorial restrictions, we regret that we cannot make this title available for sale in the USA or Canada."

Gateway functions as an ebook distributor in the UK. I don't see any evidence that they try to match their cover art to the novels that they distribute. The cover image shown to the right has nothing to do with Vance's story. However, a staple of Vance's future is the aircar (flyer) and in the case of Cadwal, there are no roads on the planet so travel is accomplished by boat (including a submarine), aircar and occasionally, a more expensive spaceship.

source
I've previously imagined that Sessily was an alien being who grew up at Araminta Station without realizing that she was an alien creature disguised as a human.

For the Exode Saga, I pretend that all of Jack Vance's stories about a future age of interstellar travel were inspired by actual events in the Asimov Reality.

Foundations of Eternity: book 2 of the Exode Saga
Telepathy plays a major role in the Exode Saga because the story began as a fanfiction sequel to Isaac Asimov's great "future history" about telepathic positronic robots and how they guided Humanity towards creation of Galaxia.

Like space travel, telepathy is one of the most frequently deployed plot elements of science fiction stories. What if the popularity of telepathy in our stories reflects the fact that telepathy actually existed once upon a time?

a Talosian
Telepathy in the Asimov Reality
One of the first science fiction novels I read introduced me to the Arisians, aliens with giant brains and telepathic powers.

One of the most disturbing science fiction images from television viewing in my youth (thanks, Gene) was the pulsing blood vessels on the large heads of the Talosians. I guess aliens with big heads makes for good TV, but telepathy does not require giant brains.

telepathic robots; cover
art by Stephen Youll
In the case of Isaac Asimov, he imagined telepathic robots with positronic brains. Those positronic brains were about the same size as a human brain.

In the Asimov Reality, at least one robot with a positronic brain remained: R. Gohrlay, a refugee from earlier Realities in which the positronic robots who inspired Asimov's fictional stories actually existed.

Yerophet: Alastor 1083
published 1975, Ekcolir Reality
In the Asimov Reality, R. Gohrlay worked to genetically modify humans so as to make possible a Final Reality in which humans can inherit the Earth and not be replaced by Prelands.

What about the telepathic powers of Grean and the other Genesaunts who have been deployed by the pek in our galaxy? And what about telepathy among the various species that have been genetically modified by the Phari? Did they have the power to use telepathy for the purpose of controlling the thoughts and behavior of humans? Might tangle-tops have independently evolved their own telepathic abilities? Or were worlds like Cadwal once, long ago, visited by the Phari?

One of my major concerns in the Exode Saga is that characters such as the Editor (and the Asimov Replicoid who explores the Asimov Reality) might be mere puppets, tools of the pek and the bumpha.

Replicoid Telepathy
in the Ekcolir Reality
Original cover art: Edmund Emshwiller
Can replicoids exercise telepathic control of humans (or a tryp'At)? Are replicoids designed to be easily controlled by telepathic means, maybe by telepathic control signals originating in the hierion domain or the sedronic domain?

According to Zeta, back in the Ekcolir Reality there was much more information available about the woman who inspired Jack Vance to incorporate the Sessily character into Araminta Station. We really need an organized exploration of Deep Time to help us get to the bottom of this!

The popular rumor says that both time travel and telepathy were made impossible when the Huaoshy recently altered the dimensional structure of the universe. Fixing the date of that shift in physical laws of the universe has proven difficult. Zeta suggests that 1972 was the year when time travel became impossible.

Wayness on the planet Nion.
I have become hopeful that investigation of the Asimov Reality might reveal clues to how telepathy once functioned and how nanites and Replicoids might simulate telepathic communication and accomplish feats of mind control.

One planet described by Vance as a center for research into telepathic powers was Nion. "The Gangrils of the Lankster Cleeks are experts" at isolating active agents from the pold (soil) of Nion and using those agents to trigger latent capacities of the human mind such as telepathy. "The Gangrils not only subsist upon pold but transform it into mysterious new substances, with unpredictable psychic effects."

The Standing Stones
"Tanjaree is the single cosmopolitan center of Nion. The first inhabitants of Tanjaree had included a clique of biologists dedicated to the creation of a super-race through genetic manipulation." In Ecce & Old Earth, Vance described two children who had been subjected to the mind-altering effects of Gangril "drugs". One of those children developed astonishing telepathic abilities. "Gangril drugs ..... are able to reinforce certain functions of the brain and suppress others. Clairvoyance is ability they can enhance.” Strangely, Wayness Tamm witnesses the telepathy-enhancing effects of Gangril "drugs", but like other people described by Vance in his "future history" of mankind's explorations of the galaxy, Wayness seems to take the occasional appearance of telepathic powers among humans for granted. I hope to obtain a copy of the second book in the Sessily Trilogy; rumor (coming out of the library of the Dead Widowers in Eternity) has it that some of the secrets of the Gangril "drugs" and the human genetic experiments that were performed on Nion are described in that book from Deep Time.

Guiding Earth's history.
It is possibly not coincidental that in the Ekcolir Reality a story called "The Sessily Replicoid" was published. According to Zeta, that story revealed the alien aspects of Svahr, the woman who inspired Jack Vance to write the Sessily character into Araminta Station in this Reality. Zeta suggests that Svahr was a recipient of modified genes that originated on planets such as Nion.

Even if telepathy is no longer possible here in the Final Reality, there seem to be forces at work trying to obscure the ways that telepathy was used to shape human history. Replicoids and the Bimanoid Interface probably still allow the tryp'At to exercise the functional equivalent of telepathic mind control over the people of Earth.

The League of Yrinna
No doubt, the tryp'At do not want we Earthlings to understand the extent to which our behavior and choices can be guided and controlled by our Overseers.

The possible modes of telepathic control are many. There is good reason to believe that in the past, when telastid-mediated telepathy was still allowed by the laws of the universe, even seemingly inanimate objects such as books could function as convenient and inconspicuous conduits for telepathic communication.

What about our post-telepathy era here in the Final Reality? Would we even notice if we were being manipulated by the functional equivalent of telepathic mind control?

A perplexed Scalosian contemplates
the broken transporter after it is sabotaged by Kirk.
Back in 2015, I speculated that books such as Araminta Station might be a logical place to install nanites or other submicroscopic devices that could be used to control my behavior.

But why should there be a need for anything as large as a book? And why not just place the mind-control nanites right inside of me? In the original Star Trek episode about the Scalosians, it just made for good TV when Captain Kirk reached into the teleporter console and pulled out some critical macroscopic component, the absence of which inactivated the transporter system. Sadly, I'm predisposed to expect a visible cause of all events and that makes me an easy target for mind control by my replicoid, a mysterious lurking force that I have never seen.

Wayness and her daughter at their home in
the Araminta enclave of Cadwal.
Sedronic Linkage
According to Zeta, Sam Jaqy wrote a 4th novel in the Cadwal saga called Return to Araminta (that was in the Ekcolir Reality). Wayness and Glawen spent several years exploring the galaxy, but they returned to Cadwal when Wayness was pregnant.

Wayness and Glawen soon discovered that their daughter had potent para-psychic abilities that allowed her to cognitively link into the web of life (Phari network) that connected Cadwal to other planets such as Rosalia.

Published in the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Earle Bergey
Yōd suggests that pek nanites have been seeded onto every world of the galaxy and they are able to link together life forms on many planets by way of the sedronic domain.

Zeta has concluded that the Huaoshy always attempt to protect the ecosystems of planets and the easiest way to guard the native creatures of worlds like Cadwal and Rosalia may have been to "sensitize" some humans to the thought patterns of alien creatures that flowed from world to world through the Bimanoid Interface.

Next: looking into Deep Time for clues to aid in harnessing nanite-assisted telepathy.
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