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Sep 17, 2017

Asmosis

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Exodemic was the first story that I ever wrote that is set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe. In the Exodemic Fictional Universe, there have long been alien creatures visiting Earth and guiding the human species towards the future. Originally, I imagined that alien visitors first arrive on Earth about 7,000,000 years ago and they promptly set about creating we humans from the available genetic material of the great apes.

Several years later, while working on the Exode Saga, I decided that a mere 7 million years in our past was far too recent a time for "first contact" with aliens. For Exode, I assume that aliens had been visiting Earth for about 2,000,000,000 years. Even in that long-ago time when aliens first reached our planet, there two distinct alien factions, each with their own mission on Earth.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
Original cover art by Ray Kalfus.
Pek and Bumpha
One alien faction, the pek, had as their goal the extraction of sedrons from Earth. While spreading outward through the universe from their home galaxy, they routinely impregnated all hadronic matter, including stars and every planet they encountered (including Earth) with zeptites. Pek zeptites are a from of artificial life composed of sedronic matter. Those zeptites were efficient at finding sedrons and it was important to move most of the sedronic matter from its original random location the galaxy in order to make possible long-range teleportation. To this day, everything on Earth remains infected by pek zeptites, including we humans.

The pek are conservative enforcers of the Rules of Intervention, rules designed to protect fragile species like we humans from our self-destructive tendencies. And, of course, the pek don't want any up-start creatures such as tool-using primates to interfere with the smooth workings of the vast intergalactic empire that the pek manage.

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The other alien faction that has long been visiting Earth, the bumpha, constitute the Interventionist faction of the aliens. The bumpha have been constantly tinkering with Earth, working to increase the likelihood of complex life forms evolving. According to Ivory, the bumpha made sure that oxygen became available on Earth. Later, the bumpha did extensive bioengineering of mitochondria, including the development of telastids. Telastids were at the heart of an effort by the bumpha to endow biological organisms with a form of telepathic communication.

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During the long evolution of eukaryotes, they have always been composite organisms: a hadronic shell with a zeptite endosymbiont. Eventually, when tool-using primates evolved on Earth, the pek and the bumpha had two different visions of the future.

Making use of the Grendels, the bumpha drove human evolution on Earth in a similar direction to what the Nereids had experienced on their world. The pek wanted to replace humans with an engineered primate variant, the Preland.

In the middle of the pek-bumpha conflict over the fate of the human species, the first positronic robots were created (as told in Foundations of Eternity). Unexpectedly, positronic robots turned out to have powerful "mentalic" abilities. The pek were driven out of the Solar System by telepathic positronic robots and eventually, pushed out of the entire galaxy.

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With time, the Huaoshy realized that they had made possible both sedron-mediated telepathy and time travel when they had long ago modified the dimensional structure of the universe so as to make possible fast-than-light space travel.

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Although the positronic robots of Earth had a head-start, eventually, the Huaoshy learned how to travel through time and they developed an advanced technology for viewing possible Reality Chains. Given their superiority in sedronic science, the Huaoshy were able to force the positronic robots of Earth to accept a compromise: the Trysta-Grean Pact. Under the terms of the pact, humans would be allowed to spread between the stars of the galaxy.

The Huaoshy knew from long experience that most technology-using species manage to destroy themselves. Using their Reality Viewing technology, a safe path to a human future among the stars was found and the conditions on Earth were established to make possible the long-term survival of the human species. Then the Huaoshy once more modified the dimensional structure of the universe, making further time travel and telastid-mediated telepathy impossible.

One of the "conditions" that was required for the stability of a Final Reality in which humans could spread between the stars was that some warnings about the dangers of hierion and sedron-based technologies had to be provided to the people of Earth. At the same time, not too much information could be provided about the aliens who had long been visiting Earth. Ultimately, it was realized that the critical information could only be provided to Earthlings in the form of science fiction stories.

The tryp'At Solution
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The science fiction genre has to be created and crafted by alien Interventionists, but that in itself was not enough to ensure a glorious future for humans among the stars. The tryp'At were needed as a type of "lubrication" that allows for a successful Trysta-Grean Pact, but making use of the tryp'At created new problems. In particular, (see this blog post) some tryp'At had to be inserted into Earth's timeline. Investigations carried out by the Atlantis Clones have begun to solve the mystery of why Carl Sagan had to be constructed, but that investigation continues.

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In an Asimov Reality..... 
In the various Realities of Deep Time, there have been several different versions of the science fiction genre. In the Asimov Reality, Isaac Asimov was sent back in time. He took that opportunity to create a science fiction genre that was perfectly suited to his own interests in science.

The odd alien invasion of Star Ways
In the Ekcolir Reality, the entire science fiction genre was crafted by replicoids working in the Writers Block. In that Reality, science fiction stories were used to prepare Earthlings for first contact with the Fru'wu. In that Reality, Gina Lucas made a popular film: Star Ways -about an alien civilization on a distant world

In that story, the aliens arrived on Earth by teleportation from the Galactic Core. There were were millions of brief "alien contact" events, at seemingly random locations.

future science
The aliens used infites to communicate and invite Earthlings to teleport to distant planets. Many people accepted the invitation and they teleported off Earth. None were ever reported to return.

Zeta believes that what Gina Lucas described as "infites" were actually a type of femtobot adaptor that could provide Earthlings with a nearly functional Bimanoid Interface.

Women in White
Original cover art by Leo Morey
As told in Star Ways, there was a desperate government project to compile an account of what was going on during this unusual alien invasion. Guided by operatives from a mysterious think-tank (Space-Time Momentum), a team of investigators known as the Women in White was able to piece together a compendium, what became known as "The Guide to Tar'tron". All the infites "given" to humans carried fragments of a story, parts of a book that had been written by an Asimov Replicoid who had apparently visited the planet Tar'tron in the Galactic Core.

In the Ekcolir Reality. Original
Cover art by Edmund Emshwiller
That story was "revealed", one piece at a time, to individuals as they "asked questions" of the "aliens", but contact with Earthlings was soon terminated if no interest in leaving Earth was present in a particular individual. The "aliens" did occasionally appear in human form on Earth, but, frustratingly, no physical evidence of alien technology was ever collected. The title, "Asimov's Guide to Tar'tron" was one of the last parts of the book revealed.

Asmosis
 (image credits)
Eventually, the Ekcolir Reality was terminated and Asimov was taken into the next Reality in order to create science fiction "the right way". According to Zeta, there is a special term used to describe the lingering impact of Asimov on science fiction: Asmosis. At the Writers Block inside Eternity, there are rumors of a Woman in White who had also reached the Buld Reality and who could "summon" the zeptites that reside within all Earthly objects.

Special thanks to Miranda Hedman (www.mirish.deviantart.com) for the photograph "Dauntless - Action Heroine stock 9" that was used to make the image to the right.

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Working with her clone "sisters", Ivory Fersoni was able to learn about events in Deep Time. According to Zeta, Ivory actually published a story in the Buld Reality about a Woman in White. That story included many examples of how zeptites could be harnessed to do "magical" things.

For example, zeptites could be used to create frictionless surfaces that allowed large objects to be easily moved. Dramatically, it was claimed that medical nanites could confer immortality, allowing a few Earthlings to live for millennia.

Sadly, in some of the last alterations to the timeline of Earth, many of the results from Ivory's study of Deep Time were removed from our world.

Next: to Tar'tron and the Galactic Core
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Sep 9, 2017

Dark Nora

Luri
Several years ago, I received some reports from Anney Fersoni about the Interventionist agents who have recently worked on Earth to prepare humans for First Contact with aliens. And when I say "recently", I mean in the Buld Reality, just before the end of time travel, when Space Energy Missions was preparing Earth for the arrival of the Buld.

Buld spaceship on Earth
Among the "employees" of Space Energy Missions were Luri and Betty. Betty was "abandoned" by Luri when the Buld spaceship arrived and she joined the Dead Widowers.

Dark Nora
Most recently, Yōd has been sharing information with me that comes from her replicoid in the Hierion Domain. According to Yōd, Betty is a tryp'At who thinks of herself as Nora.

Zeta's Twist
Betty
I was previously informed that Betty was an artificial lifeform. At that time, I assumed that Betty was a femtobot. Now I must reconcile the ability of Betty to morph her physical structure with the fact that she was tyrp'At. Zeta has been trying to convince me that there is no reason to view a tryp'At composed of hierions as a contradiction. As Zeta put it, "Biological cells composed of atoms or biological cells composed of femtobots... what difference does it make?"

Seeing tryp'At
If the tryp'At are artificial life forms that we Earthlings can never distinguish from true, biological (composed of mainly hadrons; non-hierion structure except for Phari endosymbionts) humans then we must wonder: which residents of Earth have been (or still are) tryp'At?

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While discussing the issue of "hidden tryp'At" with Zeta and Yōd, the unusual case of Carl Sagan popped into my head. Apparently Sagan was constructed and inserted into the timeline of Earth.

Originally, Gohrlay tried to work within the confines of the temporal inertia system that had been put into place "on" Earth by the positronic robots of Eternity. When the Huaoshy "caught up" with Gohrlay and developed their own time travel technology, the Time Travel War began. Because of their overall superiority in sedron-based technologies and zeptites, the Huaoshy were able to force Gohrlay into a compromise: the Trysta-Grean Pact. I've never seen a written description of the Pact, so there is a large amount of guess work and speculation concerning the terms of the Pact.

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Yōd's Report from the Hierion Domain
Under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, the Huaoshy required that human behavior be constrained by a Bimanoid Interface. Gohrlay accepted that, as long as humans were free to spread between the stars and explore the galaxy. This fundamental conflict between the Huaohy demand that humans be under restraint and Gohrlay's wish that humans not be forced into the Sedronic Domain was a major challenge for Grean. According to Yōd, it was Grean who discovered the "tryp'At solution".

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The tryp'At Solution
The tryp'At have a dual nature. The tryp'At cannot be distinguished from normal humans using tools available to we Earthlings. However, the tryp'At have a fully functional Bimanoid Interface. Yōd believes that the behavior of every tryp'At individual can ultimately be controlled by the Huaoshy. A small group of tryp'At have been "installed" as Earth Overseers.

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Apparently Betty played a key role in establishing tryp'At control over Observer Base. When the Buld spaceship arrived at Earth, Betty was "sacrificed" to the old Overseers and taken to Observer Base. When the old Overseers "stepped down", Betty was there, positioned to take control of Observer Base and install the tryp'At as the new Earth Overseers.

Strangely, it was discovered that a stable Final Reality could only exist if the people of Earth were informed of the fact that the tryp'At Overseers were at work, monitoring the technological development of Earth. Within the confines of the Rules of Intervention, there was only one way to inform the people of Earth about their situation: the story of the Secret History of Humanity would have to be told as a fictional account. Apparently, doing so will allow humans to "function" successfully as space-faring hadronic creatures under the terms of the Pact.

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Gohrlay's Twist
According to the information that Yōd has received from Eternity, Gohrlay was very concerned that the tyrp'At would become "the new Prelands" and eventually replace the humans of Earth. Thus, the tryp'At had to be designed with a special limitation: while they are indistinguishable from normal humans, that are not able to reproduce... they can only be "constructed". Yōd does not seem to know what it would mean to construct a tryp'At, but I suspect that there must be a process that can convert a normal human into a new tryp'At. It would be interesting to know who has the ability to make new tryp'At.


In any case, I cannot escape the suspicion that Sagan may have been tryp'At. Yōd insists that, if true, there would be implications of this that are hard to reconcile with history. I suspect that I previously knew more about how the life of Sagan had been designed and constructed -and for what purpose-. That knowledge may have been taken from me when I made my choice to remain here on Earth.

Georgia Miller
In the Ekcolir Reality. Original cover art by Virgil Finlay.
Yōd claims that research by her replicoid points to a set stories that were published in the Ekcolir Reality and which hint at a woman who might have been used as genetic "stock" for creating Sagan in the Buld Reality.

Miller's stories concerned the Grendels and their ability to alter the chromosomes of humans. Zeta suspects that Miller's analogue here in the Final Reality is Georgia Myrle Miller.

Next: Asimov's impact on the science fiction genre
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Sep 2, 2017

Weirdlands

Glisten on Dessimo Beach near Balad.
I've previously blogged about Dessimo Beach, beside the Moaning Ocean, on planet Wyst in Alastor Cluster. That was the place described by Jack Vance as being where the protagonist of Wyst: Alastor 1716 (1978), Jantiff, rescued Glisten from some witch hunters. Jantiff is baffled by Glisten's refusal to speak.

Later, in his book Ecce and Old Earth (1991), Vance made explicit the idea that one way to expand the parapsychic powers of the human brain is to restrict children from using language. When Jantiff Ravensroke first meets Glisten, the young Weirdlands Witch, he observes that she and everyone in her family apparently never speak. Jantiff is not even sure if Glisten understands his own spoken words and he must name her "Glisten". She seems to exist in some parallel reality, one where people such as Glisten are somehow isolated from the types of normal human social behavior that we take for granted.

Glisten, beside the Shard Sea on Zeck, Alastor 503.
Weirdlands
Glisten grew up as a nomadic wanderer, living in the Weirdlands of planet Wyst. According to Anney and Angela Fersoni, Wyst was inhabited by an advanced alien species before the arrival of humans. Anney suspected that those alien were a form of artificial life, composed of hierions and they could easily hide from humans.

Eventually, Jantiff learns that when removed from planet Wyst, Glisten can use spoke language. In the last scene of the novel, Vance allows us to witness Glisten speaking to Jantiff on his home planet, Zeck.

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Before the time period described by Vance in Wyst, the natives of Wyst drove most humans out of the Weirdlands. The so-called "Weirdland Witches" were allowed to remain because they were telepathically in contact with the natives.

According to information gathered by Anney, Glisten functioned as an inter-world agent of the Phari. In some ways, this account of Glisten functioning as a kind of "double agent" reminds me of what I have been told about Flitz and and the creation of  Clonia. Clonia and Glisten may both have been "manufactured" and used as agents (in human form) who could infiltate human society.

A report from the Writers Block.
Original cover art by Harold McCauley
and Howard Brown.
Anney proposed that within Alastor Cluster there was constant competition between Phari endosymbionts and the "regular" endosymbionts that would function to suppress human parapsychic abilities.

Faster-than-light telepathy
I wonder how Vance imagined that telepathy worked. In Araminta Station, Glawen seems to receive a telepathic signal that is coming from several miles away. Assuming that this "signal" is not just his imagination, does it arrive instantaneously? Earlier in the book, it is suggested that Glawen is sensitive to some sort of telepathic signal coming from all of humanity, spread throughout the galaxy.

Time Warps
If there are some things that move faster than the speed of light (such as the spaceships in stories set in Vance's future history) then exactly how fast do they travel?

Google "internet search" results for "Jack Vance"
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While searching for webpages about Jack Vance (and using Google's search feature to restrict my search to pages created in the past week) I came across a 2009 commentary about Star King. Wow... a message in a search engine time warp. In his comments about Star King, Ian raised the issue of there being some very unlikely coincidences that advance the plot in Vance's story about Kirth Gersen hunting down an adversary; Malegate, the first Demon Prince that Kirth can locate. Is Gersen just lucky? Was Vance just sloppy in his writing? Or, did Vance give us an indication that Kirth Gersen had some "parapsychic abilities" that might have guided him towards success?

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At the start of Star King, Kirth and/or his grandfather have been searching for the Demon Princes for about two decades. As famous criminals who the IPCC would be glad to capture, the Demon Princes keep secret their identities and their travels. Malegate the Woe must do quite a bit of traveling. He controls several worlds Beyond and also has a position at a famous university at the core of human galactic civilization.

Hildemar Dasce
When his henchmen hear Teehalt speaking about the wonderful new planet he discovered, how do they contact Malegate and receive his orders for Teehalt: that he should meet Maligate at Smade's planet? Presumably Smade's planet is roughly halfway between Maligate's location and Teehalt's. The communications between Maligate and Dasce must travel quite fast.

Strangely, Vance never provided an account of interstellar communications for those future times when humans had spread among the stars. I suppose that for Vance, he enjoyed imagining a future where travel between the stars was similar to sailing the seas of Earth before the invention of radio.

Is it coincidence that Gersen just happens to learn that Maligate is one of the space pirates he has hunted for years and then at his next port of call, on a planet that is populated by about 20 people, he sees Malagate? By this time point in his career, Gersen has already established a working relationship with the IPCC.  What if Gersen is being used by the IPCC to get at Malegate? What if all the apparent "coincidences" in Star King are actually the result of Gersen being secretly guided towards his goal, which might actually be the goal of the IPCC, or the IPX? If an unseen force is making use of Gersen, some sort of technology-assisted telepathy might be guiding him towards "lucky" encounters such as his first contact with Malegate on Smade's planet.

Next: investigating a tryp'At agent and her activities on Earth
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Good work Google!
I don't usually use Chrome. I recently used it and found that Google is no longer going to make an effort to support my computer with updates for their web browser. Yet, at the same time, their browser software wants me to do an update.

More fun with Google
I often use Google's image search in order to hunt for the origin of an image. Today, when I went to use the image search utility, I got a popup message inviting me to participate a crowd sourcing project (Image Labeler). I followed the link and was asked to select a category of images from a list of categories:

I selected "sky" and was told immediately that there were no images available in that category. Persisting, I clicked that category again and got the image shown to the right, which obviously includes some sky seen through the trees. I suppose they have to first test their "crowd" members to see if they will get a reasonably answer.

I really wonder what they hope to accomplish. Maybe they are training a computer program to label images and they want to use results from human visual processing to train their "AI" system.

My fear is that the poor image search results from Google already reflect their use of the information that they obtain from a "crowd" of volunteer image analysts.