Apr 12, 2014

Reality Reviewing

Krell brain power boosting
technology from the 1956 film
Forbidden Planet
I often refer to The End of Eternity as "Isaac Asimov's time travel novel". However, in 1947 Asimov wrote a first draft (~40,000 words) of a story in which Joseph Schwartz travels through time from 1949 into the Galactic Era, a future time when humans have spread through the galaxy and established an Empire ruled from the centrally-located planet Trantor. This setting is in the same "future history" as the Foundation Saga that Asimov had been incrementally constructing one story at a time for publication in Astounding during the course of the 1940s.

The story of Joseph Schwartz's adventures in the far future was later published as a 70,000 word version called Pebble in the Sky (first printing in 1950, three years before he started work on The End of Eternity). After arriving in the future, Schwartz is viewed as a hairy and dim-witted evolutionary throwback and given a "brain boost" with an experimental synapsifier, a high tech device created by Affret Shekt.

cover art by John Bunch
The Stars Like Dust, which became the first novel of the "Empire Series", was originally published in the first three 1951 issues of Galaxy magazine under the title "Tyrann". I read The Stars Like Dust in novel form about 40 years ago and before today I'd never seen the illustration that is on the January issue's cover.

After 4 decades it is interesting to note the scenes from The Stars Like Dust that stayed in my memory...Biron's departure from Earth and preparation for a "jump" through hyperspace, the "spirited wench" Artemisia's skill at horrifying her father...

Asimov introduced the Visi-Sonor in 1945 (The Mule) as another high tech device, one that could interact with -and amplify- "brain waves". In Tyrann, Asimov introduced the inventor of the visi-sonor, Gillbret, who is part of Artemisia's extended family. After being subjected to the influence of the visi-sonor, Biron becomes intensely aware of a strong desire to posses Artemisia.

page 45 illustration for Tyrann
With the help of Gillbret and his visi-sonor, Biron escapes arrest. Artemisia has been desperately resisting a political marriage to an elderly and repulsive Tyranni and she wants Biron to pilot a spaceship and help her run away. Biron and Artemisia begin a search among the stars for a long-lost document that can save Humanity from the tyrannical war lords who seem to endlessly exercise power over the human-settled worlds of the galaxy.

In the Exode Trilogy, Asimov is a character who is in the "wrong place at the wrong time". He find himself caught up in a mysterious struggle between positronic robots and space aliens. Asimov is invited to give a talk about science fiction at the Triversity. This is part of an effort by Thomas to make Asimov accept the idea that the Earth has long been visited by Genesaunts. In particular, Peter carries genes that originated in selective breading projects carried out on distant worlds by the pek.

Asimov as a character
After his speech to the Triversity science fiction club, Asimov takes an interest in Toni Killian and starts flirting with her. Asimov's playful behavior ends up creating the conditions under which "the editor" of the Exode Trilogy can be "discovered" and eventually, many years later, be given the task of telling the story Exode.

"Asimov to some extent cultivated an image of himself as an amiable lecher." Along with Artemisia in Tyrann, Asimov populated several of his science fiction stories with young girls who were dodging the unwelcome advances of older men.

In "--And Now You Don't" (later published as Part 2 of Second Foundation: Search By the Foundation) 14 year old Arcadia Darell is confronted with the prospect of becoming the First Lady to a soldier, the belligerent Lord of Kalgan.

To the discomfort of some (including the long-suffering Trevize), Asimov later elaborated a romance between the 52 year old Janov Pelorat and the youthful Bliss, who was only in her early 20s. Trevize can't figure out what Bliss sees in Janov.

More of Asimov's Characters
Joseph Schwartz is 62 when he steps into the future and through his exposure to the synapsifier he develops a kind of telepathic ability called "Mind Touch". Affret Shekt's daughter Pola, is a university student and assistant in Affret's lab. Pola is impressed by Dr. Arvardan's seemingly heroic fight against an Imperial officer. With time, Arvardan decides that Pola is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, so he'll do anything for her, even unseat the Emperor.

Trysta in orbit
In The End of Eternity, Andrew Harlan, an Eternal who is married to his work, falls in love with Noÿs Lambent and becomes her tool, eventually destroying Eternity, Earth's time travel device. Similarly, Dr. Arvardan has never been in love before meeting Pola.

Asimov had fun playing with the idea that telepathic abilities might provide a selective advantage if they could be used to control the emotions of others. In Nemesis, Marlene inherits "mentalic" abilities from her father Crile. Crile is like Raych, able to use his mentalic powers to make other people like him. Raych's daughter Wanda is able to "read minds" and along with Stettin Palver, with whom she can share thoughts and a strong emotional bond, she founds the Second Foundation.

Trysta viewing Realities
I imagine that positronic robots with telepathic powers were helping Noÿs maneuver Andrew into helping put an end to Eternity. Any time we see one of Asimov's characters suddenly having a strong and uncharacteristic emotional outburst be have to wonder if mentalic abilities and/or devices like the visi-sonor are involved.

When I saw John Bunch's cover illustration for Tyrann I was reminded of the cover I had made for Trysta and Ekcolir. I've made several previous attempts to depict the viewing of Realities and even the use of the Prime Radiant.

In The End of Eternity,  Noÿs explains to Andrew how using their advanced technology, people of her time, some 10 million years in our future, could view alternative Realities. When Noÿs is living out her life in the Primitive, I imagine that her nanorobotic symbiont endows her with a limited capacity to view Realities. When she collaborates with Grean, she is provided with advanced Reality Viewing technology that even allows for the exploration of Reality Chains.

Prime Radiant
In the Primitive, Noÿs uses the name Trysta Iwedon. Trysta must look for an alternate Reality Chain in which the human species is not replaced by the Prelands. Sadly, almost all Realities in which humans are allowed to develop a technological civilization on Earth and spread outward to the Stars result in a dramatic catastrophe for Earth.

Asimov described the fate of Earth in his Foundation Saga: Earth is rendered uninhabitable because of high radiation levels. Trysta and Grean are frustrated in their attempts to find a Reality in which nuclear disaster is avoided on Earth. They find that Earth is in the sway of a strange attractor. If the course of history is altered so as to keep radiation levels on Earth low, some other disaster then occurs, usually involving anthropogenic climate change and catastrophic sea level rise.

Trysta and Grean view the Buld Reality
A related "future technology" is the Bimanoid Interface. Fundamentally, this is an interface between a brain and the Sedronic Domain, a kind of cognitive amplifier that might at first seem similar to the Visi-Sonor. However, the Bimanoid Interface does not amplify telepathic or "mentalic" abilities. Rather, the Interface allows a connection to be established between our mundane world of three dimensional space and the higher dimensional Sedronic Domain.

The Huaoshy use the Interface to make contact with the Kac'hin. The Kac'hin are a special type of human that was designed by the pek to allow the Huaoshy to exercise some control over events on Earth. However, the Interface is really a two-way communications conduit, so people with the right combination of Kac'hin or Asterothrope genes can use the Interface to tap into the vast information content of the Sedronic Domain.

My current conceptualization of the technology for Viewing Realities is that it is an advanced variant of the basic Bimanoid Interface that is made available to Earthlings like Angela through the meddling of Nereids in the history of Earth.

Diagrammatic depictions of the dimensional structure of our Reality
When Grean first notices the Buld Reality thon pays little attention to it. Grean is looking for a Reality Chain that will allow multiple Reality Changes, as needed, to remove the influence of Gohrlay from Earth and return control of Humanity's fate to the pek. Grean is at first puzzled as to why the Buld Reality has no connections into Reality Chains. Slowly, Grean realizes that in the Buld Reality the Huaoshy alter the dimensional structure of the universe and make further time travel impossible.
The Reality Chain that leads to the Buld Reality, the world as we know it.
original cover art by Dirk Schulz

Reality Reviewing
Once the Buld Reality was established and further time travel was made impossible, the technology for viewing alternative Realities could only be used to observe previous Realities. That was what Angela did, using her limited command of the Bimanoid Interface. At first, the information that she accessed from previous Realities was very confusing to Angela.

What Angela could "see" in Deep Time only started to make sense in light of key information that was provided in the form of infites. Thomas and Izhiun gave their infites to "the editor". Thus, the true depth and meaning for the story of past Realities could only be told after Ivory began to function as a communications channel between "the editor" and Angela.

Next: the end of the world
More magazine and book covers.



    Is water baptism an outward sign of an inward grace? Yes, in order to accept God's free gift of salvation men must be immersed in water.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The outward sign is the immersion in water. The inward grace is the forgiveness of sins we receive by following the command of Jesus to be baptized in water. There is no inward grace granted until men are immersed in water baptism. Baptism is not a sign that we have already been saved. Baptism is a sign that believers in Christ are being saved.

    1 Peter 3:20-21 ....safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace is that baptism saves through an appeal to God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If men do not confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, believe that He is the Son of God and believe that God raised Him from the dead, and make the commitment to turn from sin and turn to God, then, of course your baptism will not save you. Baptism is the final step before receiving forgiveness of sins. Water baptism is the point that the blood of Jesus washes away your sins.

    Colossians 2:12-13 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgression and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

    The outward sign is being buried with Jesus in the watery grave of baptism. The inward grace is being made spiritually alive with Christ, having our transgressions forgiven. We are dead in our transgression before we are buried with Christ in water baptism. We are made alive and have our transgressions forgiven after baptism, not before.

    Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace is being clothed with Christ. You are not baptized into Christ because you have already been clothed with Christ. The clothing does not precede, being baptized into Christ.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    The outward sign is water baptism. The inward grace of salvation follows believing and being baptized in water.


    1. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    The outward sign is confession. The inward grace is salvation.

    2. WATER IMMERSION: Mark 16:16....has been baptized shall be saved...

    The outward sign is baptism. The inward grace is salvation.


    What must I do to be saved? FAITH John 3:16 REPENTANCE Acts 2:38 CONFESSION Romans 10:9-10 BAPTISM Mark 16:16

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)


    1. Steve- Your "comment" (above) was posted here one minute after my blog post went live, suggesting either a bot at work or time travel.

      The Exode Trilogy is actually all about salvation. In this science fiction story, I imagine that the entire human species was conceived, designed and allowed to play itself out (evolve semi-naturally on Earth) for a million years with the intention of ultimately replacing our species with another primate variant that would be more worthy of its Creator.

      Then a Neanderthal woman tossed in a monkey wrench. One of the challenges facing Humanity is avoidance of global warming and catastrophic sea level rise. Picture Trysta going back in time and talking to our ancestors about 10,000 years ago and telling them about the danger of meting the ice caps. Trysta has seen that happen (by both looking into the future and viewing alternate Realities), so she can give a rather dramatic telling of Flood stories. Strangely, Trysta sees that in order for we humans to have our chance to explore the Stars we must go through our ritual βάπτισμα (baptism) of melting the ice caps and flooding Earth's coastal plains.