May 22, 2015

Spectral Analysis

Assassination By Subtraction
About six months ago I became aware of a small cadre of experimental Interventionists: the Dead Widowers. The founding member of that group was apparently born into the Ekcolir Reality and brought over into our universe.

Writing under the name "John Doe", it did not take long for founder of the Dead Widowers to attract attention, particularly the attention of the tryp'At Overseers. Assassination by Subtraction is a fast-paced mystery/adventure story that does not shy away from providing details about the involvement of aliens in the death of President Lincoln.

The effort in 2014 to publish Assassination by Subtraction was an experiment aimed at learning the terms of the Trysta-Grean Pact. Something in that story crossed the line and pushed the tryp'At into action: publication of Assassination by Subtraction was blocked.

Original artwork by Johannes Bruck
Published in the Ekcolir Reality
Beyond the mere content of Assassination by Subtraction is the hidden identity of its two authors. There are two strong authorial voices at work telling the story of Lincoln's assassination. It is easy to imagine that two writers had set out to mimic the writing styles of Jack Vance and Isaac Asimov and they simply used the pen names "John Doe" and "Saul Greek".

50 covers
The truth is more interesting. "John Doe" was born in the Ekcolir Reality as John Vance, twin brother of Jack. John and Jack both wrote science fiction stories, so it is no surprise that John Vance continued writing when he arrived here, in the Buld Reality, the universe as we know it.

The Atlantis Clones have been gradually educating me about the writing careers of Jack and John within the Ekcolir Reality, stimulating me to write a series of blog posts about their stories that exist in Deep Time (most recently).

Temporal Amplification
Original artwork by John Schoenherr
Published in the Ekcolir Reality
I'm still struggling to understand how it was possible for the same people to be present in each Reality of Earth's Reality Chain. Back when time travel was still possible, temporal momentum, as a fundamental property of Time, was one of the major influences on the shape of successive Realites. In some sense, the Sedronic Domain contains an "echo" or "copy" of every Reality that ever existed. Someone like Angela, who has control of the Bimanoid Interface, can search through the information content of the Sedronic Domain and reconstruct the timeline of events in past Realities.

Temporal Momentum also made possible Reality Viewing. In particular, Trysta and Grean were able to View possible new Realities and they selected the Buld Reality as the Final Reality. The fact of temporal momentum made it possible to identify the exact conditions of the Reality Change that could bring into existence the Buld Reality (our universe).

Published in the Ekcolir Reality
As a natural force, temporal momentum is quite weak. However, R. Gohrlay long ago created an Inertial Amplification system for Earth. 

Vance vs Asimov
The invention of science fiction as a literary genre began in the often-forgotten "Asimov Reality". The time-traveling Isaac Asimov took the place of John Campbell and mentored his younger self as a science fiction writer. Sadly, that Reality quickly resulted in a devastating nuclear war.

In the Ekcolir Reality, Grean arranged for Asimov's replicoid to travel back in time to the mid-20th century. Grean had conceived the idea of using science fiction as a way of introducing the people of Earth to the aliens who had created the human species. Asimov's replicoid began the process of sneaking stories about the hidden history of humanity past the Overseers, a process that I call "Experimental Interventionism": discovering what story content can pass as fiction while telling truths about reality.

Urbanites vs Institute
Published in the Ekcolir Reality
In the Ekcolir Reality, Asimov was a relentless promoter of what we can call the "Urbanite" view of Earth's future: human population expands, human-generated technology destroys Earth, some form of artificial life replaces humanity.

Gohrlay was appalled by such a future for humanity. R. Gohrlay had originally conceived an alternative future in which Asterothropes inherited Earth, but she could find no way to avoid damage to Earth's ecosystem. Then, the Trysta-Grean Pact formed around a new compromise position that would allow Earth to satisfy both the Huaoshy directive that Earth not be destroyed as a garden world and Gohrlay's desire that humans, not Prelands, inherit the Earth.

Published in the Ekcolir Reality
In the Buld Reality, Asimov's replicoid made use of Jack Vance as the champion of an alternative view of Earth's future, one in which human technological advances were modulated and Earth was able to avoid environmental catastrophe. Anney suggests that Vance was selected by R. Gohrlay as the only available force that could shift science fiction out of the pattern that Asimov had created and take Earth in the direction required for the Buld Reality. Anney adds, "In the end, even Asimov changed is ways and became more Vance-like."

The Spectrum of Science Fiction
Vance: transformations through time...
from the Historical Institute to the Institute
"Jack Vance is the best writer in science fiction . . . .  You will notice that I don’t say that he is the best writer of, but the best writer in science fiction..." -Jean Cox (source)

"My stories deal with the development of humanity in various environments." -Jack Vance (source)

Within the the literary genre of science fiction, Asimov can be seen as the writer who, as a trained scientist, established the parameters of "hard" science fiction. When Asimov stepped outside of his role as a science fiction writer he was most well known for his works of science popularization. In contrast, Vance has dedicated fans of both his fantasy and his science fiction stories and he was never comfortable being labeled simply as a science fiction writer.

"Is it conceivable that the Institute
wields more control over the human psyche
than we suspect?
" - Jan Holberk Vaenz LXII
Asimov placed science fiction on a trajectory of imagined futures in which science would change everything, allowing the human species to replace itself with a new successor life form. Anney feels that we should view that sort of trans-humanistic vision of the future as a stimulus that drove Vance in another direction. If the human spirit is to survive and spread among the stars then what sorts of human institutions will make that possible? Vance invented the Institute, a social force for putting limits on science and technological advancement.

In the Exode trilogy, I simply imagine that the Institute was required for creation of the Buld Reality and I have fun imagining that it was Asimov's replicoid that had to make sure that Vance's invention was known to the Editor.
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