Monday, 20 November 2017

More On Maia

On Maia, Kenri and Nivala drive by rented groundcar into the Tirian desert where they are surrounded by:

flamboyantly colored stone and sand;
hills with fantastically shaped crags;
scattered peppery-odored thornbush;
argent dunes;
thin, cool air.

There are at least two moons, one moving rapidly. A creature wails at a distance. Making a fire, Kenri fries savory fish filets purchased at a waterfarm.

Thus, there is after all a little more information about Maia. Like the planet Morgana, the Tirian desert exists only as a setting for further interaction between Kenri and Nivala.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Maia And Morgana In The Kith History

Morgana is not a moon (see here) but a sister planet of Maia;

they orbit 61 Virginis, which is 27.9 light years from Sol, therefore, with time dilation, reachable at near light speeds;

the principle Maian town is Landfall where there are Kith offices and native silvercane with a cinnamon-like odor;

the Terrestrial upper class family, Tersis, acquired large holdings on the humanly uninhabitable Morgana in the pioneering period and still draws income from valuable Morganan biochemicals;

Freelady Nivala Tersis, traveling out in the Kith ship Eagle and returning in the Fleetwing, is the first of her family ever to inspect their Morganan property, although everyone she knew on Earth will be old or dead when she returns decades later;

traveling from Maia to collect Nivala, Kenri Shaun lands at Rodan Spacefield and takes the slideway into Northport;

the transparent tube of the slideway protects him from hot, green, poisonous rain;

in Northport, the Far Frontier Hotel is kept clean by machines but also made shabby by its plantationer clientele.

And that is all the information to be gleaned about the planetary system of 61 Virginis although it is more than I had expected. Poul Anderson created this system only as a setting for the first meeting between Kenri and Nivala.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Fully Realized Planets

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation.

For the second time recently, a recent post has disappeared from the blog. This time it was "Fully Realized Planets" so I will try to reproduce it from memory -

Tolkien's Middle Earth and Stirling's Emberverse are each a single planet whereas Anderson's Technic History encompasses many planets. However, some of the Technic planets are as fully realized as if each of them were the sole setting of a series:

Avalon is presented in three short stories and a novel and an Avalonian visits Aeneas;

Aeneas is presented in a short passage of The Rebel Worlds and in the entire text of The Day Of Their Return and an Aenean was among the explorers of Gray/Avalon;

van Rijn spends an entire novel on Diomedes and Flandry also visits that planet;

Flandry and Kossara march with Merseians on the Dennitzan parliament after spending time in the Kazan and on the Obala.

And so on.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

GENESIS: Environments III

In Poul Anderson, Genesis (New York, 2001), Part One, VII, the reigning intelligence on an extra-solar planet incorporates the Christian Brannock upload, which no longer wants to function as a distinct entity, whereas, in Part Two, I, in another planetary system, the primary aspect of the local node's primary consciousness synthesizes a lesser manifestation of itself which it then releases into separate existence as a second entity and a small facet of that second entity comes from Brannock.

The omniscient narrator, who usually remains in the background unnoticed, instead directly addresses the reader by saying, e.g.:

"Let us make our myth concerning the mission to Earth." (p. 103)

It is a "myth":

that the primary aspect and its manifestations were identified by names - Alpha and Wayfarer;
that they conversed before Wayfarer became a distinct entity;
indeed, that they were already distinguishable individuals capable of any conversation at that stage.

The system is that of an M2 dwarf star about fifty parsecs from Sol. Long ago, an artificial intelligence stopped there to study life on one of the planets. Now the star is orbited not only by planets but also by "...various titanic structures..." (p. 105), resembling gossamer or spiderwebs. The structures are mostly force fields which:

gather and focus energy for Alpha;
study space and the atom;
transmit and receive interstellar messages;
contain Alpha and Wayfarer although not at any specific location - just as consciousness is not located at any Cartesian point in an organic brain?

Alpha is the apex of the structural complexity.

Wayfarer departs in a spaceship containing:

cryomagnetics supporting antimatter;
a matrix with backup for the Wayfarer programs and a database;
sensors, effectors and bodies into which Wayfarer can download an essence of himself;
equipment, instruments and power systems;
a guitar for Brannock.

GENESIS: Environments II

See GENESIS: Environments.

The Christian Brannock upload visits the reigning intelligence of this planetary system. The island-dwelling intelligence can be described on three levels.

What A Human Being Would Perceive
Lightnings and rainbows around a huge, many-faceted jewel;
low domes and high pylons;
the sound of invisible energies.

What Brannock Perceives
We are told only that:
his sensors detect more than human sense organs would;
he notices changes since his last visit, unsurprising because the reigning intelligence is always changing itself, often on the basis of advice from intelligences in other systems.

Intangible And Incomprehensible Even To Brannock
Force fields;
quantum computations;
"...actions far down in the foundations of reality." (p. 87)

How far down? Can the nodes go all the way down? One view in the philosophy of science is that scientific theories can approach but never reach ultimate reality whereas another view is that a Theory of Everything would:

be formulable in a single equation that could be printed on T-shirts;
describe the most fundamental properties of the most fundamental entities, whatever those are;
unify the forces of nature;
explain the already formulated laws of physics and chemistry.

Can the nodes act upon the most fundamental entities?

GENESIS: Environments

Poul Anderson, Genesis (New York, 2001), Part One, VII.

A planet is so far from Earth that Sol is not visible in its night sky;

the day sky is green with red-tinged clouds;

the atmosphere is humanly unbreathable;

the planet's sun is small and dazzling;

low hills are covered with primitive life - purple, ruddy and gold mats, stalks, fluttering membranes and spongy turrets;

Intelligence Prime has studied this life and transmitted information to other intelligences across the known galaxy for seven hundred years;

the furthest intelligence have not yet received the transmissions.

See also:

The Christian Brannock Uploads
Genesis, Part One, Chapter VII
Van Rijn And Brannock
The Christian Brannock Uploads II

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Environmental Stewardship

By "Cosmic Environments," I meant environments elsewhere in the cosmos. However, every environment is part of the cosmos. Earth is not only irradiated by the nearest star, Sol, but also composed of elements generated by stellar fusion throughout the universe.

SM Stirling's Emberversers express a common attitude to their environment but in different ways:

marking out what is rightly the domain of the Lady Flidais;
National Parks;
rights under Forest Law;
the biodiversity of riparian wetlands and watershed maintenance;
God's command to the sons of Adam to be wise stewards;
what White Buffalo Woman says we can take...

Difference without division. Unity without uniformity.