Nov 20, 2016

Alternate Arkady

First Fiction
The Exode Saga is recursive science fiction in which alien visitors to Earth conspire to shape the science fiction genre as a tool to serve their purposes. The writing of science fiction by humans began back in the First Reality, shortly before the scheduled demise of the human species. Later, after the invention of time travel, the science fiction genre took on unique tones and flavors in each successive Reality of Earth's Reality Chain.

In the First Reality, science fiction became a speculative outlet for a small cadre of writers (the Escapists) who realized that those residing at Observer Base were confined to an artificial society, in fact, a kind of experimental laboratory.

alternate Asimov
in the Ekcolir Reality
Alternate Arkady
I've previously blogged about the alternate versions of Isaac Asimov who existed in Deep Time. Here in the Final Reality, the Iron Curtain divided Eastern Europe from Western Europe and created an alternate universe for science fiction writing in the Soviet Union.

Arkady Strugatsky and Asimov were born just a few years apart in Russia. Asimov's parents moved from Russia to New York. Asimov created a fictional universe (the Foundation fictional universe) in which humans were the only technologically advanced biological species in our galaxy.

In the Asimov Reality.
Original cover art by Dominic Harman
and from the 1987 published version
of a story with the same title
by the Strugatsky brothers,
translation by Antonina W. Bouis
The Strugatsky family remained in the Soviet Union. Arkady and his brother Boris created a fictional universe (the Noon universe) in which there is a mix of both non-humanoid species and humans on various exoplanets of our galaxy. One of the novels set in the Noon universe is Hard to Be a God. This is a story in which agents from Earth go to a distant world and live among the more technologically primitive inhabitants of an exoplanet.

I'm fascinated by stories about collisions between peoples who have differing levels of technological advancement. The Exode Saga is concerned with alien beings who view we Earthlings as primitives, but science fiction has a long tradition of exploring in the other direction with many stories about advanced Earthlings who can travel between the stars and upon arriving at another planet they must deal with a local society that is still developing as a pre-space age culture.

Zeta and Yōd
Today, Zeta, Yōd and I were discussing the efforts that had been made to suppress technological development in the Asimov Reality. I confessed that I knew very little about Asimov's writing career in the 20th century of that Reality.

I had known that there were "two copies" of Asimov on Earth in the 20th century of the Asimov Reality, one a few years older than the other. Through interactions with Kac'hin agents, that older Asimov had learned about the future of the galaxy in the Foundation Reality.

However, Yōd mentioned that much of what Asimov had learned about the First and Second Foundation came from the writings of Arcadia Darell, who grew up on the planet Terminus in the 4th century of the Foundation Era. According to Yōd, the analogue of Asimov who was born into the Foundation Reality was given access to a special collection of books (including several written by Arcadia) by Many Sails.

by Thomas Iwedon
A few years ago, when I received a set of infites from Thomas Iwedon, I learned about one of the books that Asimov was given access to by Many Sails: The Legend of Uvadekoto. That story purports to be an account of how First Contact occurred between two biological species that eventually gave rise to the Huaoshy. As such, The Legend of Uvadekoto might be be among the oldest known stories, dating back billions of years into the deep past of the First Reality.

"Arcadia" cover art by
Hubert De Lartigue
According to Yōd, Asimov was also given access to books from the future. At least one such book about the future was written by a woman (Arkady) who we, here in the Final Reality, know by the name "Arcadia Darell". Both Zeta and Yōd agree that "Arcadia" was not her actual name, but there is no point in worrying about that. Here is how Zeta put it: "By the time when Asimov wrote his account of the Second Foundation in the Final Reality, her name had effectively become "Arcadia Darell".

According to Zeta, when Asimov became a time traveler, he was not allowed to do whatever he wanted to do on Earth. He was constantly monitored by his replicoid. However, Yōd believes that the Asimov replicoid became an additional source of information about the far future, information that was passed to Asimov on Earth. Apparently, within the Hierion Domain, the Asimov replicoid was able to interact with the replicoid of "Arcadia Darell" who had been brought into the Asimov Reality by Grean. Thus, both by having read at least one book written by "Arcadia Darell" and through many years of interactions with the replicoid of "Arcadia Darell", Asimov had a very good understanding of her writing style and he wrote a series of novels with the cover stating: "by Isaac Asimov writing as Arkady".

in the Asimov Reality
original cover by Philippe Bouchet
According to Yōd, within the Asimov Reality, the Iron Curtain never really got built. With the help of R. Gohrlay's positronic robots, a quantity of sedronic matter was accumulated on Earth in the middle of 20th century and it was quickly used to "decapitate" all of the militaristic governments of Earth (in particular, this resulted in the disintegration of the Soviet Union). In that Reality, Arkady Strugatsky went to Japan in the early 1950s and was part of the team that negotiated increasing cultural and economic ties between Japan and Russia.

In the Asimov Reality, the analogue of Boris Strugatsky was born female and named Biriuta. She became a famous artificial intelligence researcher and developer of robots, one of many such who professed to having been influenced by Asimov's stories about positronic robots. According to Zeta, Biriuta had a minor interest in writing science fiction and collaborated with the Asimov Reality analogue of Marvin Minsky to write a series of novels about humanoid robots, including The First Turing Century.

In the Ekcolir Reality. Original
 cover art by Adrian Chesterman
and Frank Freas
In the Ekcolir Reality, the analogue of Jack Vance was born as twins who often collaborated on writing projects. Among the various pen names that they used was "Sam Jaqy". Just as the Asimov analogue in the Asimov Reality could write in the style of "Arkady", a writer from the future of the Foundation Reality, so too could Vance write in the style of people from the future of the Asimov Reality.

Neither Yōd nor Zeta can explain how a Vance replicoid of the Asimov Reality was able to investigate the human genetic experiments that were performed in Alastor Cluster, but it is clear that "Akadie the Mentor" was well know to "Sam Jaqy", the author of Cluster Observers. Yōd believes that "Junius Farfan" and "Janno Akadie" were both residents of Alastor Cluster in the Asimov Reality and that the replicoid of one or both of them, along with the replicoid of "Arcadia Darell" played important roles in establishing the Writers Block.

Pheni in the Ekcolir Reality
According to Zeta, the story told in Cluster Observers is similar in scope to The League of Yrinna. Cluster Observers was a book from the Ekcolir Reality that was well known to Gohrlay's analogue (Roben) in that Reality.

the Sessily Trilogy
I've previously investigated the case of a fictional character (either originally named 'Cecilie' or 'Sessily') who ended up being brought into existence as a living, breathing woman. Yōd has suggested that Arkady Strugatsky was a similar creation, a newly constructed human who was linked to an Arkady ("Arcadia Darell") replicoid from the Foundation Reality.

Fixed Points
Zeta has suggested that "the original Arkady" existed all the way back in the First Reality, as was the case for Gohrlay. Were "versions" of Arkady (and also Cecilie?) present in every Reality, perhaps shifting through time; some living in the far future, one existing in the 20th century, and maybe a few who found themselves instantiated in the past? Yōd suggests that the "original Arkady" of the First Reality lived on Tar'tron and that is probably where Gohrlay and Arkady first met.

It now seems likely that some "Fixed Points" in Time were generated by R. Gohrlay's tribe of positronic robots.

Other Fixed Points in Time (such as Arkady?) may only be accounted for by the efforts of the Huaoshy to shape the structure of Time.

More investigation of Arkady in the Asimov Reality

Speculative Fiction in Translation

Next: networks of teleportation terminals
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