Jan 1, 2017

Arthur C. Clarke

See the original cover art.
Arthur C. Clarke was born in 1917. That middle initial "C." was for Charles.

I want to be remembered most as a writer — one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well. -Arthur C. Clarke

in my gloden age
When I was in my personal Golden Age of science fiction and discovering written science fiction stories, I read Clarke's novel The City and the Stars and I was vastly entertained. That was about 45 years ago and I'm still enjoying my relationship with Clarke.

Clarke in Deep Time
Back in the Asimov Reality, the replicoids of Isaac Asimov and Clarke were "brought out of retirement" and given an investigative mission in the far future, when humans were spreading from star to star through the galaxy.

For both Asimov and Clarke their days working together as Investigative Science Fiction writers was a golden second life, made uncomfortable only by the fact that they never knew who they were working for.

According to Zeta, Asimov and Clarke were assigned to their joint mission in the future by R. Gohrlay. Asimov and Clarke were told that they had to simply keep their eyes open and try to figure out how mysterious alien influences were guiding the evolution of the human species and the development of human civilization.

According to Yōd, what Asimov and Clarke were told by R. Gohrlay was just a cover story. R. Gohrlay actually needed to position her agents where they could provide needed assistance to the hapless humans who she was breeding and selecting. Yōd believes that Asimov and Clarke never knew anything about R. Gohrlay's plan to create the tryp'At.

Life 3.0
Clarke's third life is described in A Search Beyond. In an effort at "living history", Lili instantiates a "new copy of Clarke" in the year 2017. This new copy of Clarke contains memories from the Clarke analogue inside the AR simulation of Eternity. Clarke "awakens" and is told by Nivsaham that he has been plucked from Deep Time and now exists in a new Reality. Only upon careful study and reflection does Clarke 3.0 realize that he has been transformed into a nanoscopic artificial life form.

The Frustration of Nivsaham
Upon learning that the "Grean nanites" could be replicated by the virtual reality equipment of Eternity, Nivsaham believed that it should be possible to make many copies of Asimov and deploy them for a rapid search through the AR simulation. Strangely, she found that only one "copy of Asimov" could enter the AR simulation.

Rather desperate for a work-around to this vexing limitation, Nivsaham had next imagined that maybe Clarke had also been equipped with special nanites by R. Gohrlay. However, that does not seem to have been the case.

If Clarke had also been given the "Midas touch" then Nivsaham would have made use of this copy of Clarke to double the rate of exploration of the AR simulation. However, Nivsaham soon determined that Clarke cannot achieve random access to the AR simulation.

Now after bringing them into existence, Nivsaham has these "spare" nanoscopic copies of Asimov and Clarke in the Hierion Domain. Nivsaham decides that these copies of Asimov and Clarke should be allowed to haunt the Writers Block.

Space walk. "Open the parachute door, Dave."
Interior art by William Timmins.
Certainly the replicoids of Asimov and Clarke have a large inheritance of memories from their biological analogues. In 1948, Clarke's story "Inheritance" was published in Astounding. At the beginning of that issue was an editorial from John Campbell lamenting the fact that even science fiction story writers usually take for granted that the people (even space aliens) in their stories are mortal.

In the Ekcolir Reality.
"Inheritance" is about a test pilot named David who believes that he has had a vision of of his own future. The same idea was later used for Captain Kirk. David is comforted during dangerous test flights because he still has not lived through the part of "his life" shown to him in his vision of the future. He knows it is not yet time to die.

In Jack Vance's story Marune, the protagonist is able to retrieve memories from his father. That might be accomplished by some sort of telepathic connection between father and son. But how could anyone view the future? In "Inheritance", David's vision of the future is actually something that will take place later, after his own death, and be experienced by his son.

According to Zeta, in the Buld Reality "Inheritance" was published under the name "Charles Mayfield" and it was quite similar to "Apollo 21" that had been published by Arabella Clarke in the Ekcolir Reality. As Zeta put it, "There can be no doubt that that the Clarke analogue in the Ekcolir Reality was knowledgeable about events that would take place in the Final Reality." Yōd suspects that R. Gohrlay was able to provide information about the coming future of the Buld Reality to members of the Dead Widowers Society and Retrofuturians inside the Writers Block. Apparently Grean had to step in and "retract" the first version of "Inheritance" before the end of the Buld Reality and the transition to the Final Reality.

Reality Viewing
Syfy miniseries
Zeta, Yōd and I also had a discussion about a perplexing question. Would Reality viewing technology continued to work after the dimensional shift that ended time travel?

Possibly such equipment could still provide "recorded" information about the future of the Final Reality. Sadly, nobody seems to know what happened to all that old Reality Viewing equipment in Eternity.
December 2017: celebrating Clarke
In case you missed it: Syfy's Overmind 
Related Reading: "He Wrote the Future" by Andrew Robinson
Next: another retro (1952) Sci Fi story, "Shock Treatment"
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