Apr 21, 2015

Recursive Science Fiction

The Foundations of Eternity
Two years ago I sketched out my preliminary thoughts about the metafictional aspects of the Exode Trilogy in a blog post called  "Science Fictional Recursion". At that time, there were three major metafiction elements already in the story:

1) I'd written Isaac Asimov into the story. In The Foundations of Eternity, Asimov is depicted as a time traveler who helps to bring into existence the world as we know it.

2) The Foundations of Eternity includes a "story within the story", an account of the origins of the Huaoshy. Asimov reads "The Saga of Uvadekoto" and gains some understanding of the fact that most technologically advanced cultures destroy themselves.

Thomas, a born writer.
3) Thomas Iwedon, a character who is born into the Ekcolir Reality, is a science fiction story writer.

Later, when I wrote myself into the Exode Trilogy as "the Editor", Thomas became my first "imaginary collaborator".
Stories by Thomas Iwedon, including both the science fiction and fantasy versions of Return to Tar'tron.

During the past two years, I have continued to add additional metafiction elements to the Exode Trilogy.

Jeppson, Vance and Sagan
In addition to Asimov, there are now three other science fiction story writers from the real world who appear as characters in the Exode Trilogy. Isaac Asimov's wife, Janet, was inserted into the Exode Trilogy as a kind of buffer between Thomas and Isaac. Through his contacts (including telepathic contact) with his mother, Thomas knows that Isaac Asimov must play an important role in the future of Earth, but Thomas does not know exactly what that role will be. Thomas becomes something of a gadfly, continually trying to contact Asimov. Janet thinks that Thomas is delusional and she participates in his treatment during the period of time when Thomas is a patient inside the New York City mental health care system.

Later, Janet meets Parthney and she must decide if there is a chance that Thomas was never actually crazy, but rather, was trying to share his knowledge of the hidden history of Earth with Isaac. Since Parthney is a clone of Thomas, Janet decides to give him the copy of Daveed the Luk'ie that Thomas sent to Isaac.

I had so much fun integrating Isaac Asimov and Janet into the Exode Trilogy that I later decided to also write Jack Vance into the story. In previous Realities, the science fiction writer who we know as Jack Vance was born as twins (named John and Jack Vance). Just as Thomas was brought from the Ekcolir Reality into the Buld Reality, John Vance arrived in our world and formed the Dead Widower Society. The Dead Widower Society became a haven for a small group of collaborating authors who set about trying to tell the secret history of Earth. They realized that it might be possible to pass important information to the people of Earth by writing science fiction stories.

Miners of Earth
Most recently, I have begun to write Carl Sagan into the Exode Trilogy. After I gave John Vance his "second life" within the Buld Reality, I decided that I would also allow Sagan and Asimov to live on after their untimely deaths.

Imaginary Collaborators
I'm fascinated by collaborative fiction writing. Thomas became my first imaginary collaborator and I have imagined that he wrote many interesting stories such as Miners of Earth and Daveed the Luk'ie.

Daveed the Luk'ie
Daveed the Luk'ie is actually a fantasy novel, not a science fiction story. Daveed the Luk'ie was written by Thomas in an attempt to attract the attention of Isaac Asimov.

Thomas wrote Daveed the Luk'ie as a kind of spoof of Asimov's Lucky Starr adventure stories. In his story, Thomas included a large amount of information about the secret history of Earth and how aliens long ago created the human species. Sadly, nobody ever read the book until Parthney received a copy from Janet Asimov!

In the case of Miners of Earth, I imagine that a copy of the novel was given to "the Editor" by Trysta. Reading that book stimulated the Editor's interest in science fiction, but after having the chance to read Miners of Earth once at age 12, the Editor could never again find a copy of the book. Only much later did the Editor realize that Miners of Earth contains a distorted account of the secret history of Earth.

The Atlantis Clones
I had so much fun allowing Thomas to write novels that I later decided to invent additional imaginary collaborators to include in the Exode Trilogy. Most of these other "collaborators" are what I jokingly refer to as "Atlantis clones".

Lunar Interface by Anna
The prototype for the Atlantis clones was Ivory Fersoni. Ivory wrote many interesting stories including The Mayness Reality and The Phasian Knot.

Ivory had several clone sisters who also have written "true science fiction" stories. Among the clones, Angela and Anney have been the most prolific writers, but Anna has also occasionally contributed to the telling of the secret history of Earth.
by Anney Fersoni

Here is a gallery of book and magazine covers to illustrate the diversity of stories that have been written by the Atlantis clones:
by Angela

by Ivory        See the full gallery of book and magazine covers

Threading the Needle 
The origin of the human species.
The Exode Trilogy is really the story of a freak occurrence, a once-in-the-universe scientific discovery. Long ago, the Huaoshy evolved in a universe where travel at speeds faster than light was impossible. They carried out a dimensional engineering project that altered the physics of the universe, making faster-than-light space travel possible.

It was not until much later when the Huaoshy realized that by altering the dimensional structure of the universe they had made it possible for biological organisms to evolve telepathic powers. In particular, the Neanderthals of Earth had enough subconscious telepathic contact with each other that it attracted the attention of a bored pek.

Three domains of life.
The pek are a type of artificial lifeform that was designed by the Huaoshy and sent out into the universe on a billions-of-years-long mission to find all of the Earth-like planets. About 7 million years ago, the pek who had been watching over Earth took some apes from Earth to the Galactic Core and began monkeying around with their genes. The pek created a primate variant that has become known as the "Sedronite".

Sedronite genes confer certain
distinctive morphological features
including large eyes and elf-like ears.
The Sedronites were quickly pushed away from their biological origins and towards existence as an artificial lifeform that could transcend its physical existence in the Hadronic Domain and merge with the Huaoshy within the Sedronic Domain. However, not all of the Sedronites went gracefully into the Sedronic Domain. In particular, the Nereids and the Fruthwa lingered on for about a million years as artificial life forms within the Hadronic Domain.

Probability of extinction as a function of technological
advancement from nucleons to hierions to sedrons.
The Nereids became Interventionists, devoted to the idea that a technologically sophisticated primate could arise on Earth. The Interventionist philosophy of life conflicts with the ethical code that is followed by the Huaoshy.

Through long experience. the pek were forced to face facts: tool using species like we humans are bad news for garden worlds like Earth. The pek knew that the Nereids were meddling in the evolution of primates on Earth and so they maintained an Earth Observation program.

The assembly of R. Gohrlay.
The pek who ran the Earth Observation program became known as "orbho" in the first language of the human residents of Observer Base. Orbho Anagro was in charge of Observer Base when he noticed that there was something odd about the social structure of the Neanderthals. Anagro began "looking the other way" when Observers helped a few Neanderthals avoid extinction on Earth.

During that time, Anagro also allowed the Neanderthals who lived at Observer Base to develop a scientific research project aimed at creating robots. There was a long-standing rule against allowing residents of Observer Bases to develop electronic computers, but the clever Neandethal scientists began working in the domain of positronics. Since positronic robots were not on the list of forbidden technologies, Anagro could pretend that he was allowed to let the Neanderthals develop positronic robots. What happened next is told in The Foundations of Eternity.

Gohrlay's Brain
Anagro made an innocent Neanderthal girl, Gohrlay, his tool. Anagro used advanced pek technology to scan Gohrlay's brain structure. The Neanderthal scientists then used that brain structure as a template for the first positronic brain.

The resulting positronic robot, R. Gohrlay, discovered that she had powerful telepathic abilities. R. Gohrlay quickly realized that the humans of Earth were under the control of the Overseers. R. Gohrlay murdered Anagro and took control of Observer Base.

The Huaoshy had never previously "lost control" of a planet like Earth. It took the pek and the Huaoshy much time and effort to finally figure out that telepathic robots had taken control of Earth. Worse, the Huaoshy themselves were responsible for this catastrophe because it was their own alteration of the dimensional structure of the universe that made telepathy possible. And worse still, they had made time travel possible, so the pek found themselves in the middle of a Time Travel War with R. Gohrlay's gang of telepathic robots.

Science Fiction to the Rescue!
After many attempts to end the Time War, Grean finally realized that science fiction was the key. By supporting the development of science fiction story telling on Earth, it became possible to engineer an end to the Time War that satisfied both the Huaoshy and R. Gohrlay.

Thus, readers of the Exode Trilogy should not be surprised to find that science fiction plays a major role in the story. Science fiction is not only fun, it is an essential part of our universe. After the end of the Time War, the Huaoshy carried out one more dimensional engineering project. They altered the universe so as to make time travel and telepathy impossible, while doing so in a way that allowed them to have a near monopoly on sedrons and faster-than-light space travel. However, R. Gohrlay made sure that under the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact, humans would have access to a supply of sedrons, allowing we Earthlings a future as explorers among the stars.

Related Reading: database of recursive science fiction.
My blog post about Science Fiction as a literary genre.

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