Jan 3, 2015

Asimov Duplicity

Two Asimovs. The "older Asimov" traveled
back through time to help his younger self.
I've been trying to make sense of what Anney has been telling me about the Dead Widowers. She keeps wanting to talk about time travel, so I guess the two topics are necessarily linked.

Two Asimovs
I've long understood the idea that Asimov was duplicated both by time travel and by teleportation. Also, in some sense that I've never understood, we were all "duplicated" when the Buld Reality came into existence.

According to Anney, the fact that Asimov wrote The End of Eternity and in that novel he described the key features of time travel (including Reality Changes) can be accounted for by three converging influences. First, Asimov apparently had some capacity to use the Bimanoid Interface and communicate with his replicoid in the Hierion Domain.

March 1939
Second, Thomas spent ten years "working through Campbell" to shape Asimov as a writer. Thomas had transferred his nanite endosymbiont into John Campbell and I have to assume that afforded Thomas with significant influence on Asimov's literary development.

Thirdly, just before Asimov's death, he was duplicated by teleportation. I've begun to suspect that duplication is inherent in the teleportation process, possibly an unavoidable feature of the technology. Apparently it is because Asimov was duplicated that he (or, at least his duplicate) can be alive today, although nanites are also involved somehow.

September 1939 - cover art by
Harold Winfield Scott
When Anney was listing these "reasons" I asked her how #3 (above) could have influenced Asimov back in the early 1950s when he was writing The End of Eternity. She claims that in the 1990s, the "duplicate Asimov" had extensive contacts with his replicoid. Further (either through the wonders of time travel or by means of access to the Sedronic Domain) information available to Asimov's replicoid during the 1990s (and during this century) was shared with his replicoid during the 1940s. Someone with access to the Sedronic Domain, someone living here in this millennium, has been able to send information back to Asimov in 1940s.

Of course, I asked Anney who that "someone" is and she changed the subject. I have a hunch that it is Anney herself. My hypothesis is that Anney can (or could) use the information available to her in the Sedronic Domain to inform the early Asimov about things (such as time travel) that he experienced in previous Realities. Thus, what Asimov knew about time travel from his experience as a time traveler in previous Realities was able to become grist for his fiction writing mill in this Reality.

Original cover art by Ronald Turner.
A Grendel supervises lunar farming.
The Origin of Replicoids
Gohrlay's positronic robots set up a population of replicoids in the hierion domain in order to "anchor" the people of Earth during Reality Changes.

I miss having Ivory around. As a trained scientist, she would usually investigate the questions that I wanted answers to. In contrast, Anney just takes for granted that there is a "Momentum of Time" that causes the same people to exist in different Realities.

As far as I can tell, the first use of time travel had a specific and urgent purpose: to save the artificial life of R. Gohrlay. When they first started traveling through time, the positronic robots who developed time travel immediately confronted the problem of how to change their timeline while not erasing the humans who they were trying to serve.

Their solution was to make use of their access to the Hierion and Sedromic Domains so as to "stack the deck" in favor of genetically identical humans being born in closely related Realities. Their technique involves "bookmarking" each human who is born. Such "bookmarks" (when allowed to exist in the Hierion Domain and when information streams about those replicoids are allowed to proliferate in the Sedronic Domain) amplify the temporal momentum of each individual and create a very high probability that the same people will exist in any two closely related Realities.

Later, in the Galactic Core, the pek modified and extended the human bookmarking process so that it would include human variants that had been designed by the pek. Eventually, this created the opportunity for "cross-overs" of human replicoids (such as Resh^Ki's) from the Galactic Core virtual reality to Earth's virtual reality of replicoids.

1978 cover art by Rowena Morrill
The Thomas Edit
I've long known the story of how Thomas tried to influence Asimov. According to Anney, Thomas spent years trying to get Asimov to write more fantasy and less science fiction. His major success in that effort came in the early 1940s when Asimov wrote a fantasy story that he submitted to Unknown magazine.

Asimov's story included a fairly detailed account of how magical teleportation provides a duplication method for making multiple copies of people. The idea of a fantasy story about duplication by teleportation was initially hatched and the details hashed out during conversations between Asimov and Campbell. Of course, the presence of Thomas' nanite endosymbiont within Campbell was the ultimate driving force behind the story. However, the publication of that fantasy story by Asimov resulted in a major shift in his story writing career from an emphasis of science fiction to a predominance of fantasy, a shift which eventually had disastrous consequences for the entire course of human history.

by Rowena Morrill
As part of the process by which the Buld Reality was brought into existence, a time travel mission to 1942 was carried out in order to "edit" the events leading up to publication of Asimov's story.

By the time our timeline was successfully edited in 1942, Unknown magazine was on its way out of business and Asimov's disruptive fantasy story had a significantly different character. After the timeline edit, Asimov remained as a science fiction author rather than switching to fantasy. In the universe as we know it, the Campbell-inspired Asimov-written fantasy story of 1943 ended up being published as the innocuous Author! Author!
Next blog post: I've made some progress in understanding the fate of Angela, the missing Atlantis Clone.
More book and magazine covers.

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