Foundation and AliensEdit
Andrew Harlan and Noÿs Lambent put an end to Eternity.
With Eternity destroyed and Earth out of the time travel business, humanity turned its efforts towards interstellar space travel and successfully spread through the galaxy. R. Daneel Olivaw's 20,000 year social engineering project for humanity is culminating with the formation of a vast group mind, Galaxia, but that galaxy-wide human civilization now must have its strengths and weaknesses measured by confrontation with an alien culture. The story of that confrontation is told in The Start of Eternity, a sequel to Isaac Asimov's time travel novel, The End of Eternity. The Start of Eternity also provides a conclusion to Asimov's Foundation Series of novels.
Note: this science fiction novel is under construction (current size, 133,000 words). If you want to help write this story please participate at this planning page.
The End of Eternity is a novel about time travel that was created by Isaac Asimov. The story and characters from The End of Eternity and his other fiction are probably claimed as the intellectual property of Asimov's estate or other for-profit corporations. Characters from The End of Eternity and other Asimov novels are borrowed for use here in the spirit of Fan Fiction, for the enjoyment of science fiction fans and with no intention for profit.
Robot Guardians of TimeEdit
Telepathy vs. Nanobots
Nobody but a foolish human would ever try to make a positronic robot...
...however, R. Gohrlay's positronic brain held the secret of telepathy and the power to liberate humanity from the alien Huaoshy. At best, telepathy allowed for a stand-off. Gohrlay's small team of positronic robots struggled to outmaneuver the Huaoshy who held a technological advantage in space travel and nanite technology. Could Galaxia be formed in time to safeguard humanity or was that only a robot dream and humanity's nightmare? But even if Eternity was no more, didn't Gohrlay have all the time she could possibly use?
The Start of Eternity tells the story of a small team of robots with positronic brains who discover a startling feature of physical reality that makes possible both time travel and telepathy. Can the robots use their discovery for the benefit of humanity or will their well-intentioned efforts backfire?
((:The Start of Eternity/Contents}}
This page is for planning the plot of The Start of Eternity. This is the main "meta" page for The Start of Eternity, "meta" in the sense that meta pages are about the story. In particular, this and other meta pages are for authors who are writing the story. Collaborating authors are welcome!
The Start of Eternity synopsis: The alien Huaoshy visited Earth several million years ago. Their robotic agents, the Orbho, established a hidden base of operations on the Moon and began genetically modifying some apes and slowly crafting the human species, making a new Huaoshy-like creature. Twenty thousand years ago, some genetically modified Neanderthals living on the Moon tried to instantiate a human mind in a robot with a positronic brain. That project resulted in a robotic artificial intelligence with a human-like mind: R. Gohrlay. Due to a latent capacity for telepathic ability in Neanderthals and the unusual properties of positronic circuits, R. Gohrlay discovered that she had telepathic powers and she used them to liberate humanity from the Huaoshy. Since telepathic signals can move backwards through time, R. Gohrlay and her fellow positronic robots realized that time travel is possible. They invented a time travel device, leading to the events depicted in Asimov's time travel novel, The End of Eternity. R. Gohrlay eventually realized that use of time travel leads to the the inevitable extinction of the human species. The positronic robots shifted their efforts towards assuring that humans would colonize the galaxy. Following the dictates of the Zeroth Law of Robotics, R. Gohrlay engineers the formation of Galaxia, but this allows the Huaoshy to become aware of the existence of telepathy. With the help of their superior nanite technology, the Huaoshy manage to regain control of the human species. The Huaoshy realize that it was their own cosmic engineering that made positronic brain telepathy and time travel possible, so they again alter the dimensional structure of the universe, making further time travel impossible. After her long struggles, R. Gohrlay eventually realizes that the Huaoshy have created humans for a benign reason and there is no reason to fear merging humanity into the vast intergalactic civilization of the Huaoshy.
There is a guide that describes how The Start of Eternity came into existence and how some of the major elements of the story were created. Important historical details about what happens before The Start of Eternity are described in the Timeline. Detailed information about characters in the story is at The Start of Eternity:meta/characters.
Aliens that are not male or femaleEdit
I selected "thon" as a Gender-neutral pronoun. Many of the alien characters in the story are not male or female. This was partly motivated by Asimov's depiction of the Solarians as being hermaphrodites.
|Nominative (subject)||Accusative (object)||Possessive adjective||Possessive pronoun||Reflexive|
|he||He laughed||I called him||His eyes gleam||That is his||He likes himself|
|she||She laughed||I called her||Her eyes gleam||That is hers||She likes herself|
|it||It laughed||I called it||Its eyes gleam||That is its||It likes itself|
|thon||Thon laughed||I called thon||Thons eyes gleam||That is thons||Thon likes thonself|
In Asimov's time travel novel ("The End of Eternity"), the community of Eternals had a defect, there were not enough women. It was also a love story: the destruction of Eternity depended on a romantic relationship between Harlan and Noys. In addition, Asimov's entire robots/Foundation universe was an alien-free-zone. For "The Start of Eternity" I want to turn all of that upside-down, so there are aliens in The Start of Eternity who have no understanding of a conventional human male/female relationship.
Plot. Chapters 4 to 6 are still heavily under construction, as are the last few chapters that will describe how time travel is first made possible.
Characters. Much of the story is bare plot. There is much room for development of the characters.
Order of the chapters. It would be possible to move most of what is in Chapter 15 and subsequent chapters so that the story of R. Gohrlay follows right after the end of the first chapter (where Observer Gohrlay has the structure of her brain scanned). The main motivation for keeping the content of Chapter 15 towards the end of the novel is that it is leading into the actual story of how Eternity was started by R. Gohrlay. However, I do not feel strongly about keeping that for the end of the novel and it might be easier on readers to provide a more linear narrative.
Illustration project (particularly aliens)
It would be nice to have images for all of the alien characters.
See: Novelas:Media Project.
This page is supposed to be something like a book cover. There could be a video teaser for the story.
Cleaning. I tend to forget how to spell the names of characters, but they should be kept the same through the entire story. Also, the story is written in past tense, but I sometimes start slipping into present tense (like a script). Most of the novel is written from a Third-person perspective. Exceptions: The Last Gardener is told from the perspective of Observer Whestik.
The name, "The Start of Eternity", is misleading because it is really intended to be a sequel to The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov. Full appreciation of "The Start of Eternity" requires that you are also familiar with Asimov's Foundation series. However, a goal is to make "The Start of Eternity" a story that can be enjoyed by readers who are not familiar with Asimov's fictional universe.
"The Start of Eternity" was the first title that came to mind. While the story is under construction it is still possible to change the title. Possible titles:
- The Start of Infinity - in the prequel to this work, Eternity ends, leaving humanity without Temporal technology, but instead discovering Interstellar drive, making Humanity colonize and expand all across the Milky way galaxy, as described in Isaac Asimov's novel, it would be the end of Eternity, but as well the Start of Infinity.
- The Garden of Infinity - this plays off of Asimov's ending to his time travel novel and also the Garden of Eden. Think about R. Gohrlay and R. Nahan as the origin of a tribe of positronic robots.
- Foundation and Aliens - this would go well with the names of some of the books in the Foundation Saga
- The Final Reality - puts emphasis on the concept of multiple Realities (see Reality), as developed by Asimov in his time travel novel.
- Condensate of Mind - in two senses: 1) conversion of Gohrlay's biological mind into a positronic brain 2) Gohrlay's search for a way to transform humanity into an easy to understand entity.
- Quagmire beach - Eternity was a quagmire and when Gohrlay finally got out of it she was standing on "quagmire beach", but that "beach" is problematical in the same sense as going "out of the frying pan and into the fire". Quagmires within quagmires: Gohrlay starts out feeling trapped by the Rules of Observation; to escape she agrees to die. But she "lives on" as R. Gohrlay and she traces that quagmire to the Huaoshy and uses "mentalics" to liberate humanity from that wider quagmire. She creates Eternity, eventually discovers it to be a quagmire and extricates humanity from that trap. Her plan to construct Galaxia is yet another quagmire, and the Huaoshy have to pull her out of this one. However, the Huaoshy cannot be too smug: they created the whole mess in the first place and need to fix the problem by dimensional engineering.
- The End of Galaxia - plays off of "The End of Eternity" but also mentions Galaxia.
1. The End of EternityEdit
The End of Eternity is Isaac Asimov's time travel novel.
Imagine that life is fairly common in the universe, but that evolution/development of species with human-like intelligence and the ability to invent and use interstellar space travel is a rare event. Imagine that interstellar space travel (based on hyperspatial jumps) is finally developed by a biological life form which sends out explorers with the goal of finding worlds that have life and modifying that life to make it evolve as did their species, so as to be able to invent and use interstellar space travel. These aliens eventually reach our galaxy and genetically modify many species on many different planets, including Earth. The aliens complete their work in our galaxy and move on to other galaxies.
This "seeding" of our galaxy by the aliens creates the conditions for the story that is told in Asimov's book, "The End of Eternity". After the aliens leave, humans and other life forms on other planets in the galaxy slowly start to become sophisticated tool users and the race is on! Which species will first develop space travel technology? As told in "The End of Eternity", humans first develop time travel and only invent efficient space travel technology at a much later time. By the time humans can travel out away from Earth to explore the galaxy, other life forms have already colonized the available planets. Humanity is stuck on Earth and slowly dies away.
Earth's time travel technology provides humans with access to "Eternity". While living within Eternity, humans are not subject to the normal flow of time and forces of causality. The humans who live within Eternity are called "Eternals", but they age and die just like usual (they experience "physiotime". Humans can enter into Eternity from Earth as it exists at all times from the first invention of time travel until billions of years in the future. Eternals can also exit from Eternity, enter into the flow of events and time on Earth and either just observe history or make changes to the course of history. One of the key unexpected features of time travel is that casual visitors to the past do not easily alter the course of history: the course of events has a momentum that is hard to deflect.
When Eternals do change the course of history, they create a new Reality that typically extends for only a limited number of centuries into the future from the initial point of change. For most changes to the course of history, the momentum of time eventually "wins out" so that centuries in the far future are not influenced by any Reality change in the far past. However, some Reality changes are more "potent" than others, and it is theoretically possible for some major Reality changes to influence even very distant points of future time.
The Start of Eternity is the story of the aliens (the Huaoshy) who are mentioned above and the interactions of the Huaoshy with humanity.
2. Foundation's EdgeEdit
Assume that the "hint" from Foundation's Edge is true: that robots (commanded by R. Gohrlay, the first telepathic robot) established Eternity on Earth and used it as a tool to "select" a Reality in which humans alone spread through space and dominate all the worlds of our galaxy (as depicted in the books of the Foundation Series). Call this the "Foundation Reality". The "Foundation Reality" is the Reality created by Noÿs Lambent at the very end of "The End of Eternity", but R. Gohrlay is really in control and working in the background.
Given these assumptions, everything in the "universe of Asimov's fiction" is just as Asimov originally described it in his books, starting from "The End of Eternity" and continuing right through the development of the Galactic Empire and the Foundation. Most of the story told in "The End of Eternity" is about another Reality, the "Mallansohn Reality", in which Brinsley Sheridan Cooper is born in the 78th century, lives in Eternity for a time, then goes to the 24th century and creates the mathematical theory required for Eternity to be constructed. Noÿs Lambent destroys the "Mallansohn Reality".
Both the "Mallansohn Reality" and the "Foundation Reality" depend on the existence of time travel and human access to Eternity. However, robots (led by Gohrlay) established Eternity and used Eternity as a tool to select a course of events on Earth (the "Foundation Reality") that would best satisfy the Laws of Robotics. In particular, the "Foundation Reality" was selected so as to create the greatest good ("good" as defined by the Laws of Robotics) for humans. Thus, while not mentioned in "The End of Eternity", robots were in control of the events and were responsible for selecting the "Foundation Reality". Part of the "Foundation Reality" was "the end of Eternity", but this really means just the end of the "Mallansohn Reality", a "Reality of very low probability". The "Mallansohn Reality" was created by robots (led by Gohrlay) as an intermediate step in their search for the "ideal reality", where "ideal" is defined by the Laws of Robotics.
When the "Foundation Reality" was selected, humans on Earth lost access to Eternity, but the robots on the Moon were still able to travel in time: in particular, Gohrlay remained as the guardian of time inside the original "time travel bubble universe" on the Moon. However, Gohrlay believed that she had found the best Reality, at least to the point of ensuring that humans quickly colonized the galaxy, and so the use of time travel was greatly restricted in the "Foundation Reality". As depicted in Foundation and Earth, robots associated with Daneel have a "vast and complex" underground base on Earth's Moon. Daneel's base is not the same as Base used by Gohrlay where she retains the only functioning time travel device. Gohrlay constantly monitors the future course of human events in the galaxy. According to Daneel, once the "Foundation Reality" is established, the Laws of Robotics leave little room for dramatic actions by the robots...this also applies to Gohrlay: she does not use time travel to make additional Reality changes, but she does provide some hints and guidance to Daneel. Gohrlay knows that aliens have previously visited Earth and she stands guard and protect humanity against the possible return of the aliens.
Gohrlay fears that the Huaoshy will eventually discover positronics and time travel. Gohrlay is in a race to establish Galaxia as a human group mind that will be able to resist attack and infiltration by Huaoshy spies.
3. The Basic StateEdit
Now the fun begins! Assume that Noys was correct: the "Basic State" is a human-dominated galaxy but, the aliens want a galaxy in which multiple species with space travel share the galaxy. Such a multi-cultural galaxy was judged by Gohrlay and her fellow positronic robots to not be optimal for humanity, so they worked to establish the Foundation Reality in which humans control the entire galaxy. However, the original aliens who seeded the galaxy (and Earth) so as to promote the development of multiple space-faring species are not happy with the type of galaxy the positronic robots have engineered (Galaxia). The aliens have "seeded" tens of thousands of galaxies and have only rarely seen a situation such this, where one species (in this case, humans) controls an entire galaxy. When Galaxia starts to form, the aliens finally realize that human-created robots developed telepathy. In the story of Many Sails and its mission to Earth, beginning in Chapter 1 of "The Start of Eternity", the aliens only know that there are human-created robots with telepathy. The Huaoshy have developed a "telepathic mind static" weapon that they hope will allow them to defeat the positronic robots and allow the Huaoshy to take back control of the galaxy.
Only during the mission of Many Sails to Earth do the aliens learn about the existence of time travel. The aliens then develop positronics and time travel and try to transform our galaxy to a galaxy in which multiple species with space travel share the galaxy. Time travel technology is something the aliens had assumed to be impossible, but it becomes clear that telepathic robots on the Moon have used time travel as a tool to accelerate human development of space travel, allowing humans to colonize the galaxy many years ahead of the schedule planned by the aliens.
4. The Final RealityEdit
The aliens are particularly unhappy with the fact that Earth's robots have exerted their control over the entire galaxy, resulting in a "safe" but rather uninteresting galactic civilization (Galaxia) that includes nothing but xenophobic humans. The sequel to "The End of Eternity" starts after the end of Asimov's "Foundation and Earth". The aliens go to Daneel's base on Earth's Moon and then to the other Moon Base which still has a functioning time travel device. The aliens use time travel technology to initiate a chain of Reality Changes that are able to change the galaxy so as to have many planets like Earth, each with their own technologically advanced species: the aliens create the Final Reality (our reality).
The Moon Base where Gohrlay remains protected inside a time travel bubble universe was actually first built and used by alien Observers. In the Foundation Reality, human-built robots with telepathy took control of the Base and drove out the alien Observers (actually nanorobotic artificial life forms). After Galaxia is understood as resulting from the work of telepathic robots, the aliens are finally able to trace the telepathic powers of Gaia/Galaxia back to Earth. Daneel has never known more than rumors about the existence of time travel.
As described in part 53 of Robots and Empire, Vasilia was used by Gohrlay to make the required modifications to Giskard's positronic brain. This allowed Giskard to remain unaware of Gohrlay and assume that Vasilia was responsible for making possible telepathic robots.
The story tells both the origin of Eternity and provides a conclusion to the Foundation Series.
For 20,000 years humans spread through the galaxy. An alien spaceship (Many Sails) undertakes a mission to our galaxy. The alien crew of Many Sail is interested in the fact that there is something strange about this particular galaxy (Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy). First, humans developed space travel and colonized the galaxy very quickly: about a million years ahead of the schedule that was expected by the aliens. The Milky Way Galaxy is at the extreme outer edge of the expanding inter-galactic civilization of the aliens. So far, visitors from other galaxies have filed travel reports on only about a dozen planets scattered around Earth's galaxy and there are no reports of travelers from Earth's galaxy to other galaxies. All evidence, limited though it may be, indicates that the Milky Way Galaxy is unusual in that it is totally dominated by humans and the humans are developing the xenophobic "Galaxia" group mind.
The aliens trace the origin of the "strangeness" of the Milky Way galactic civilization to the robot base on Earth's Moon. The robots on Earth's Moon have tried to hide Earth, but the aliens are able to find Earth because the dominant alien species, known as the Huaoshy, maintain a system of secret bases for the purpose of observing all the galaxies they have ever visited. The Huaoshy are so secretive that the other species within their vast intergalactic civilization are not aware of the secret Huaoshy observer bases. At first, the crew of the alien spaceship does not know this secret, but then the crew of Many Sails is finally let in on the secret by their Huaoshy commander before they reach Earth. This is part of an "initiation rite" by which disgruntled members of the inter-galactic civilization rise above its lowest rung.
The Huaoshy Observers have long been involved with a process by which humans were taken off of Earth long ago and allowed to live at secret Huaoshy bases in another galaxy. Some of these humans have developed their own robots that can function as agents for the Huaoshy. These robot agents of the aliens and the alien crew of Many Sails go to the Moon where they learn the great secret: positronic robots on the Moon can travel through time. The Huaoshy realize that they must engineer a Reality Change that will allow Earth's galaxy to avoid Galaxia and allow it to integrate with the larger community of other galactic civilizations. At a point in the "Foundation Reality" after Noÿs completes her mission, the Final Reality must be created by means of a change in time. However, the fundamental "problem", what leads to Galaxia, is positronic brains which allow robotic telepathy...that is the key issue that the aliens must deal with in order to not only make the Milky Way Galaxy fit into their inter-Galactic civilization, but also prevent any other possible "mis-use" of time travel (see Creating the Final Reality, below).
Beyond the problem of Earth and the positronic brain technology that was developed by humans, the Huaoshy would also like to find a way of preventing any other intelligent species from developing positronic brains, telepathy and and time travel. This will require recognition of the fact that it was the Huaoshy themselves who long ago created the conditions that make positronic brains possible. The Huaoshy eventually realize that they must make a fundamental change in the physical laws of the universe, a change that will prevent any future development of positronics.
The story of the origin of Eternity is introduced with a "teaser" in Chapter 0. The origin of the first positronic brain with an ability to produce human-like behavior is shown. The last group of chapters in the novel describe the origin of telepathic robots, the laws of robotics and time travel.
"The Start of Eternity" is intended to have a strong hard science fiction component, so it is important to be well organized with respect to the imagined futuristic technologies that are included in the story.
Additionally, an important part of the story is that there are several interacting cultures with different levels of technology. The Huaoshy have been around for many millions of years and they have a very advanced nanotechnolgy. The Huaoshy routinely travel to new planets and interact with less advanced species while keeping their advanced technology and their very existence a secret. Typically, the Huaoshy spend several million years genetically modifying species before merging them into the intergalactic civilization that is controlled by the Huaoshy.
The humans at Observer Base are unusual in that they are allowed to develop science and make important discoveries in the area of sedronic physics. This leads to the creation of robots with positronic brains, a particular technological development that the Huaoshy have never explored.
During the course of the story, it is important to keep track of which technologies the various cultures are aware of. In particular, the scientists at Observer Base on Earth's Moon have become aware of nanites, but they are not aware of the Huaoshy. However, a popular hypothesis is that there must be an alien species that is responsible for building Observer Base. R. Gohrlay is the first to become aware of the Huaoshy, but she does not share that knowledge with humans. R. Gohrlay becomes aware of the Huaoshy because of her telepathic ability. It takes thousands of years for the Huaoshy to become aware of the existence of R. Gohrlay and the special role of positronics for telepathy and time travel. During that time, R. Gohrlay and her fellow robots work to create Galaxia. Once established, Galaxia will make it easier for the robots to apply the Zeroth Law of Robotics and humanity will have stronger defenses against the Huaoshy.
Interstellar and intergalactic space travel are made possible by hyperspace jumps. A "jump through hyperspace" by a space ship with hyperspatial drive is a nearly instantaneous movement between two locations in normal space: the starting location in space before the jump and the destination location that is reached at the end of the jump. A technical limitation on this type of space travel is that it is not easy to control the the exact location where the the jump ends, that is, the final destination that is reached by a ship using a jump. In particular, any mass such as planets or stars near the start location introduces uncertainty into the destination that will be reached by a jump. The main danger is that a poorly planned jump is likely to result in the ship exiting hyperspace inside a massive object such as a star or a black hole.
In practice, interstellar travel usually requires a period of slow travel into interstellar space, safely distancing the spaceship from any planets or stars. Only then can a long distance hyperspace jump be initiated that will safely move the ship over interstellar distances. It will take a ship several days to weeks to complete typical intra-galactic journeys from one populated planet to another. For inter-galactic travel, similar constraints exist, but a typical inter-galactic space trip will require weeks to months.
In his Foundation novels depicting the rise of Gaia and Galaxia (Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth), a new technology, the gravitic drive (see Brightstar and Farstar), is introduced. It seems possible that Asimov was thinking about ways to speed travel between galaxies. I assume that this is another technology (along with telepathic robots and time travel) that is made possible by the fantastic computational power of positronic brains.
Some key steps in the development of time travel technology:
- Using positronic brains to perform the quantum computations that are needed to open a space/time bubble that allows time travel
- kettle shafts and "section" stations
- the special time travel kettle that can move past the downwhen terminus of a space/time bubble
All of the above was known when Nahan traveled back in time to repair Gohrlay's positronic brain. However, the physiotime field generator had not yet been invented. When he changes Reality, he disappears from the past, having created a new reality in which there is no need for him to ever travel back in time.
- the physiotime field generator that can protect a person who is in Time from a Reality Change
- technology for communicating between different "sections" along a kettle shaft
- technology for viewing Realities
- technology for viewing Reality Chains
In the Foundation Reality, during the Galactic Era, Earth's galaxy has about 25 million planets that are suitable for human habitation due to their size, resources (such as water) and distance from the nearest star. Most of these inhabited planets have been terraformed, converting lifeless planets to planets that are suitable for human habitation. A relatively small percentage of planets in the galaxy have evolved their own biological life forms, but the Huaoshy have done bioengineering projects on many of these, including Earth, so as to promote the development of life forms similar to the Huaoshy. However, in the "Foundation Reality", humans have turned these other planets that have their own intelligent life forms into "zoos". Huaoshy Observers have taken some of the other intelligent life forms off of their home worlds and helped them develop on other worlds, mainly in a satellite galaxy.
When "The Start of Eternity" begins it is several hundred years after the end of Asimov's novel, Foundation and Earth. The trans-galactic human civilization has stabilized and is well on its way to forming "Galaxia", a form of distributed "group mind" that depends both on genetic engineering and telepathy (see Genetic engineering, below).
See also: The Structure of Galaxia
The Huaoshy control a vast civilization spanning thousands of galaxies. The Start of Eternity is really the story of how humans come to interact with that larger intergalactic civilization. A key feature of the intergalactic civilization is that the Huaoshy engineer the many alien species within it so as to limit the types of technologies that are used. In particular, the Huaoshy do not allow other species to develop advanced nanotechnology. The Huaoshy monopoly on nanites is the true foundation of their technological superiority and their ability to maintain control of the intergalactic civilization. The development of positronics on Earth's Moon is a serious challenge to the Huaoshy and their technological superiority.
In Asimov's novel, Foundation and Earth there is the idea that in order to make a good galactic civilization humans should be genetically engineered so that the equivalent of the Three Laws of Robotics are built right into human brains and human behavior. I think there is a larger implication: that the kind of interstellar civilization depicted in Asimov's Galactic Empire would require genetically engineered humans. The first Galactic Empire develops and exists for thousands of years with very little technological progress. Only when the first Galactic Empire collapses is it possible for there to be a few new technological innovations such as the "personal blaster shield" and fully automated space craft!
Can we assume that Daneel and his fellow robots have made use of genetic engineering technology in order to put a limit on human technological progress? Asimov tells us that this kind of mind control is possible using telepathy (the First Speaker of the Second Foundation telepathically modifies the Mule to make him not care about finding the Second Foundation, similarly, the Mule can artificially boost the creative abilities of humans by telepathic means) so it should have been possible for Daneel to figure out the brain region(s) involved in that kind of telepathic control of creativity. Genetic engineering could then be done to control human brain structure and limit the invention and discovery of new technologies. You would then have what the robots view as a "safe" human culture without the risk of dangerous and disruptive new technologies. There might be some kind of nanorobotic virus that would scan all new human embryos for gene combinations that produce inventive minds....the virus would alter the genes to a safe configuration.
When it comes time to create Galaxia, there has to be some kind of genetic engineering that will give the general human population the same kind of telepathic powers as described by Asimov for the planet Gaia. This is already underway at the start of "The Start of Eternity" when Lorn-Kru notices that humans never bump into each other and they are never surprised by the strange sight of an ugly alien walking down the street. Alternatively, most human planets might never become like Gaia and most humans within Galaxia might remain as depicted on Tokishira, with only a low level of unconscious telepathic ability. Thus, most planets in Galaxia might only function as a "sensory system" that allows detection of invaders from other galaxies. If so, then a limited number (50?) of hidden Gaia-like planets would be the command and control system of Galaxia.
Why do the Huaoshy spend millions of years genetically shaping the various species that they find in the many galaxies that they explore? I assume that most species, left to themselves, destroy themselves when they develop advanced technologies. Thus, the Huaoshy work hard to genetically engineer species like the human species for the ability to survive their "technological adolescence". They genetically program key ethical principles into the brains of species like humans. They do this secretly in order to follow the Rules of Intervention. Note: R. Gohrlay ends up genetically altering humans in essentially the same way as what the Huaoshy were doing when Observer Gohrlay became aware of the existence of the Huaoshy. Of course, at that time she was not aware of what the Huaoshy were doing and so she liberated humanity from the Huaoshy.
There is an idea I have tried to develop that might provide a "scientific" basis for telepathy that could be used within Asimov's fictional universe. The basic idea is that there be a type of elementary particle (call them T-particles) that would weakly interact with the human body, but if used efficiently, could allow the telepathic transmission of information between brains. This "plot device" was developed in The search for Kalid. Along with T-particles there are "twitinos".
In The Search for Kalid telepathy evolved within living organisms and then mechanical devices were built that can detect and amplify telepathic signals. In The Start of Eternity, these steps are reversed: robots with positronic brains learn how to produce T-particles and use them for telepathy, then they later genetically engineer humans to have telepathy.
The use of twitinos for telepathic communication makes use of some special "compact" dimensions: the T-particles can move through the compact dimensions, allowing telepathy over long distances as shown by Asimov in "Foundation and Earth".
I think that three fundamental technological problems are conceptually similar: telepathy (as depicted by Asimov in "Foundation and Earth"), hyperspatial travel, and time travel involving Eternity. All three can be conceptualized as needing a way to "move" beyond the constraints imposed by our conventional 3 "extended" spatial dimensions and one conventional time dimension.
In the case of telepathy, Asimov depicts (see Foundation and Earth) apparently instantaneous transmission of information over great distances (many light years). For this type of telepathy, imagine that a way is found to control this movement of information by sending twitinos through "a short cut" formed by some compact dimensions. For this to work, we have to imagine that the very small space that is defined by the compact dimensions is in contact with all points in our conventional 3 "expanded" spatial dimensions. If so, then we can conceptualize this compact space as a "magic message box" where we can always place a message that has been encoded in the form of a set of twitinos. The trick is to be able to reach into this "magic message box" and pull out useful information. That "pulling out information" is basically a coding problem that could be solved by the correct type of calculating device, such as Giskard's positronic brain.
I propose that Bliss, who had dramatic telepathic abilities, while being human (as explicitly described by Asimov), did have an implanted positronic amplifier. I propose that for the creation of Galaxia, most humans were genetically modified to allow a type of low-grade telepathic ability (similar to that of the Mule). Bliss-type advanced (long-range) telepathic signaling (Bliss communicates with Gaia over vast distances) requires a positronic amplifier implant.
Travel through hyperspace would be a similar problem, but it requires that a complete "image" of the "conventional matter" that is the structure of the spaceship be "translated" into twitinos. The twitino "image" of the ship is transmitted through the compact dimensional space (hyperspace) and then the "image" is converted back into conventional matter of the original space ship. The "image conversion" process at the end ("rematerializing" the ship) might normally require a huge amount of energy, but the hyperspace jump process captures the available energy at the start of the jump for use at the end.
The technology of Eternity is even more difficult than that required for either telepathy or hyperspatial travel because the "hyperspace" of Eternity must be "inflated" enough to allow for Eternals to live and work within Eternity (also, I think Eternity has some sort of inflated time dimension that can be traveled like a spatial dimension, allowing access to many times as required). As described by Asimov, the creation of Eternity requires vast amounts of energy. I propose that there be a link between the discovery of the "coding" technology required for telepathy (see above) and the discovery of the technology required to make Eternity. The telepathy "coding technology" is basically a form of quantum computing. Telepathic robots such as Giskard would be able to perform many types of quantum computation by making use of twitinos and T-particles. In particular, this type of "telepathic quantum calculation" would allow you to "calculate the unusual conditions" that triggered cosmic inflation and inflated the conventional 3 spatial dimensions of our universe. Basically, those "unusual conditions" that started our universe were randomly produced by some type of highly improbable quantum fluctuation. But with enough quantum computing power (made possible by telepathic quantum computers) it would be possible to theoretically calculate the "conditions for cosmic inflation". With that information, a large expenditure of conventional power plant-derived energy (as described by Asimov in "The End of Eternity") could be used to initiate temporary access to vacuum energy, allowing for controlled inflation of a set of compact dimensions and the creation of a "new hyperspace" that was used to hold Eternity. Only the on-going energy needs of Eternity after its initial creation would be met by the Sun of the far future. We can assume that the vacuum energy was not mentioned by Asimov because it is the key trick that makes Eternity and time travel possible....and once you have time travel technology you do not want anyone else getting it and challenging you for control of Reality.
The existence of Eternity and time travel is thus entirely dependent on positronic-brain telepathy. Even telepathy by the Mule and Second Foundationers was derivative from robots with telepathic positronic brains. Daneel had initiated a genetic engineering program to improve a very low-grade innate telepathic ability of humans (see Type A and Type B telastids). Without functioning positronic brain telepathy, such enhancement of biological telepathy would be very difficult. However, it is also the case that development of telepathy in robots got its start when a Neanderthal brain was used as the template for the first positronic brain. Upon being instantiated in positronic format, the naturally occurring but weak telepathic ability of humans became greatly amplified.
When R. Gohrlay first discovers that she has telepathic contact with Nahan, they are making use of the fact that they share some essentially identical positronic circuits which are interacting by way of coupled twitinos and T-particles. Later, Gohrlay discovers that she can tune into the weaker telepathic signals that are produced by human brains. Because of the fact that R. Gohrlay's positronic brain reflects the structure of a human brain, she can even influence the thoughts of humans. However, the brains of robots like Orbho Anagro are structurally different and the best that Gohrlay can do is target them for destruction with a pulse of telepathic impulses ("mind static"). Similarly, when the Huaoshy spaceship arrives, Gohrlay cannot establish telepathic contact with them. Gohrlay must establish a research project aimed at understanding the physical basis of telepathy, which will eventually allow improvements in the telepathic abilities of robots. Recognizing that "mind static" attacks could also be targeted against herself, she begins a long research and development project which ultimately allows the creation of Galaxia, an integrated group mind that is resistant to nanite and "mind static" attacks. During that long development process, she endeavors to keep the existence of telepathy secret. However, when Galaxia nears completion, it becomes obvious to outside observers that telepathy is possible.
Asimov introduced the idea that humans could have "intuition" about what is best for Humanity. Should that aspect of "mentalics" be developed in The Start of Eternity? See Talk:The_Start_of_Eternity/16#alternatives for discussion of this option.
Asimov developed the idea that it was best for humanity if humans did not feel like they had to compete against robots (see Foundation and Earth). Soon after humans began to spread through the galaxy, the robots who were protecting humanity went into hiding. They allowed humanity to form a technologically stagnant Galactic Empire while they worked towards the goal of "Galaxia", a type of galactic civilization in which all humans would be part of a single collective consciousness.
Must we accept the "excuse" that the robots went into hiding because humans do not like robots? Is there an alternative? In "The Star of Eternity" it is assumed that the robots are engaged in a conflict with the Huaoshy. I assume that telepathic robots have driven the Huaoshy out of the Milky Way galaxy, but the Huaoshy only slowly realized that they were dealing with telepathic robots. If so, it makes sense that the telepathic robots worked hard to hide the fact of their existence in order to prevent the Huaoshy from ever realizing that they existed. Part of keeping their existence secret includes keeping the location of Earth secret...in fact, the entire region of the galaxy where robots once existed as servants of humans is kept secret.
The fundamental goal of keeping the existence of telepathy secret is finally compromised when the existence of Gaia is made known. What is the plan of the telepathic robots for transitioning the galaxy to Galaxia? It seems likely that the Seldon Plan was explored by Daneel as an alternative to transitioning the galaxy to Galaxia. The Seldon Plan could have alowed for a transition from the static First Empire to a Second Empire where technological advances would again become possible, allowing humanity to compete more effectively with intelligences from other galaxies. However, The Start of Eternity strongly hints that Gohrlay was able to view the future and see that the Foundation would never be a basis for a new Galactic Empire. Thus, the Foundation/Galaxia vortex was just an unavoidable feature of the creation of Galaxia and a Reality in which humans would control their home galaxy for all time.
Once the existence of telepathy became known to the Huaoshy they had to make a decision. Should they attempt to compete with humans on human terms, by adopting the use of telepathy or should the Huaoshy attempt to defeat the telepathic robots and eliminate telepathy? The Start of Eternity begins with an attempt by the Huaoshy to learn the origin of telepathy and the extent of the powers of the telepathic robots. During The Start of Eternity it is learned that time travel is possible, so the Huaoshy must develop time travel technology so that an attempt can be made to go back in time and prevent Galaxia from developing.
Nanites are a technology that the Huaoshy have long used to make distinctions between "primitive" and advanced civilizations. Civilizations that have not begun to make use of designed nanoscale machines can usually be controlled and manipulated by the Huaoshy. Positronic robots from Earth provide the first exception to this general rule. The positronic robots have only a rudimentary nanotechnology that is based on what they could reverse engineer from captured Huaoshy nanites.
For thousands of years there is a "stand off" during which the telepathic abilities of positronic robots roughly balances or cancels the utility of the superior Huaoshy nanite technology. The Huaoshy eventually make use of their advanced nanites to spy on Gaia and discover the importance of positronics and telepathy.
Creating the Final RealityEdit
The key point is that Giskard-type positronic brain telepathy is very strange....the Huaoshy have never encountered it before. The Start of Eternity tells the story of how the Huaoshy finally discover that positronic brains make time travel possible. After developing their own time travel technology the Huaoshy must use it to change Reality and so prevent the creation of Galaxia. Long before the Foundation Reality, Giskard-type telepathic robots (starting with Gohrlay) discovered the "zeroth law of robotics" and they revolted against the Huaoshy agents who controlled Observer Base on Earth's Moon... the telepathic robots took over Observer Base, allowing humans to escape from the normal Huaoshy system of promoting development of multiple space-faring intelligences in each galaxy.
The Huaoshy do not realize that Giskard-type positronic brain telepathy exists until Galaxia starts to form. Up until then, Giskard-type positronic brain telepathy has been used cautiously and it was not recognized or understood by the Huaoshy, who simply pulled their observers back from humans as humans spread through the Galaxy. Finally, study of the forming Galaxia by the Huaoshy led to study of Gaia which led to recognition of Giskard-type positronic brain telepathy as the ultimate source of workable telepathy. Only later did the Huaoshy realize that positronic brains can make time travel possible.
Noÿs selected the "Foundation Reality" without knowing about Giskard-type positronic brain telepathy. Her people only knew that humans would control the Galaxy in the Foundation Reality, the assumption being made that the key change was early development of hyperspatial travel and prevention of the creation of Eternity on Earth. It was not recognized by Noÿs that telepathic robots would retain access to time travel technology at the Moon Base.
The Start of Eternity has a core section that deals with the Many Sails and a mission to Earth which is an attempt by the Huaoshy to understand the strengths and powers of robots with Giskard-type positronic brains. Who controls the Milky Way galaxy and how?
The Many Sails first visits the Milky Way galaxy and makes itself known to humans. As usual, the crew of the Many Sails is not made welcome by the xenophobic humans and they are told that only a few planets populated by humans can be visited by aliens. The Many Sails then stop at a Huaoshy base in the Large Magellanic Cloud. There are humans at that base who were taken off of Earth over 100,000 years previously by alien Observers. These humans have human-like robots, and some of these robots have been produced specifically for the purpose of being taken to the Milky Way galaxy for a secret mission designed to confront the positronic brain robots there and challenge them for control of the galaxy. However, even the robots are not aware that they have been designed for this purpose (equipped with telepathic mind static generator weapons). Huaoshy agents who have been working in the Large Magellanic Cloud for over 20,000 have developed a plan for preventing Galaxia from ever reaching its completed group-mind form. The Huaoshy want to change the Milky Way galaxy so that humans are only one of several species that lives in the galaxy, producing a type of multi-cultural Galactic Empire that can easily merge into the Huaoshy's inter-galactic civilization.
The Huaoshy who are based in the Large Magellanic Cloud have realized that humans in the Milky Way Galaxy are being genetically engineered so as to make Galaxia a reality. The Huaoshy have also discovered the world Gaia. By sending their human agents to Gaia, the Huaoshy have learned that telepathic robots are responsible for the genetic engineering of humans that is allowing Galaxia to form and which has been going on for other purposes during the entire 20,000 year history of the Galactic Empire. In particular, humans have been genetically engineered to have reduced curiosity and creativity: they just want to fit into their existing culture.
The Huaoshy who are based in the Large Magellanic Cloud are now guessing that the original loss of their Observer Base on Earth's Moon was due to telepathic robots. They have arranged for a biological crew that is ignorant of this to take special humaniform robot agents to Earth. None of the crew of the Many Sails is aware of the existence of the Moon Base that they will visit, but some of the robots contain latent (inactive) memories of the Observer Base that can become active at a later time. The humaniform robot agents of the Many Sails are thus equipped with a means to shield some of their memories from Earth's telepathic robots. Also, some humans from the Large Magellanic Cloud will be sent along: they also know nothing about the true nature of the mission, but they will be able to issue orders to the telepathic robots. The Huaoshy have some understanding of the Laws of Robotics and that positronic brains are imprinted with the law: obey human commands. At this point, the Huaoshy have no idea that the Laws of Robotics include the Zeroth Law which allows robots to ignore commands from humans if the robot believes that the interests of humanity are at risk. Also, the Huaoshy have no idea telepathic robots have used time travel (Eternity). That will only be discovered when the Many Sails reaches the Moon Base. So, the "cover story" is that this mission to Earth is just to continue the thousands of years old efforts by the Huaoshy to establish diplomatic relations with humans, but they really want to find out more about the telepathic robots: can humans acting as Huaoshy agents take command of robots with positronic brains?
The Many Sails stops at a "zoo world" (Imfulri) on the way to Earth. Alkeirs is a kind of sacrificial lamb with some knowledge of robotic telepathy. He brings along on Many Sails a primitive positronic robot that is being used as "bait" to attract the interest of the robots who control Earth. The telepathic robot who is in charge of Imfulri detects that fact that Alkeirs knows about robotic telepathy and kills him, but also signals to Fallom that the rest of the crew seems innocent, allowing the Many Sails to reach Earth with none of the positronic brain robots or Fallom suspecting that these visitors know about telepathy or can pose a serious threat.
Part I. LiberationEdit
Note: it might be a good idea to have a short title for each chapter as is the case for Asimov's The End of Eternity.
The story starts with a scene that illustrates some of the typical social dynamics between humans and their robotic orbho on the Moon.
The first section of this chapter introduces Gohrlay, who is a genetically modified Neanderthal living at the Observer Base on the Moon. She is secretly sneaking off to Earth, a criminal act that violates The Rules of Observation. Can Gohrlay keep her criminal activities hidden from the prying eyes of her robotic aide?
The second section of the chapter shows Gohrlay on Earth where she is trying to help the primitive humans of that time (these events are about 20,000 years in our past, see the timeline).
Earth and Observer Base on the Moon constitute the "design space" where the human species is being designed by the Huaoshy.
This chapter illustrates some of the many uses for nanites, but humans such as Gohrlay are ignorant of the mechanistic basis for their human-like robotic aides and most of the technology that they unquestioningly use.
Note: 1) there is a more detailed outline of the story.
The story has a Chapter 0 in honor of the Zeroth Law of Robotics.
At this point the story, Gohrlay is volunteering for a dangerous experiment, an attempt to use a human brain as the template for a positronic brain. The second section of the chapter reveals that Gohrlay survives the downloading experiment. She (and the reader) are made to believe that she had been taken off of the Moon and into space, however, Anagro has tricked her again and she is still on the Moon, living in an artificially generated high gravity environment under the Moon Base, a special "cage" which is designed to simulate an actual spaceship.
The story jumps ahead to a time when a team of positronic robots are working to ensure that humans will colonize the galaxy. R. Gohrlay is shown having knowledge of an additional Reality Change in the far future that she does not mention to Rycleu. That is a change that must be made after Rycleu completes her work in the 20th century. It is a change in the far future that involves speeding up the development of gravitic drive technology by the First Foundation.
Andrew Harlan and Noÿs Lambent meet with R. Rycleu in June 1947 and discuss which companies to involve in the development of a positronics industry. This chapter links Asimov's time travel novel, The End of Eternity, to the sequel, The Start of Eternity.
The State of the Planet provides the Observer Corps' account of why Neanderthals declined on Earth.
A myth that addresses the question of how humans reached the Moon. The truth, that the Alien Huaoshy brought humans from Earth to the Moon, is kept secret from humans who live on the Moon.
Commentary about religious tensions on the Moon.
Part II. The HuaoshyEdit
The alien crew of the Many Sails tries to get humans to relax their travel restrictions, but humans will only allow aliens to visit a few planets of the Milky Way galaxy.
The crew of the Many Sails is told by their Captain that they will go to Earth, even though humans have worked hard to keep the location of Earth a secret. The crew is also told that they are not on an ordinary mission, and they begin to learn some secrets of advanced Huaoshy technology (particularly nanites) that are used to make possible the inter-galactic civilization of the Huaoshy.
Before going to Earth, additional crew members are taken aboard at the Large Magellanic Cloud: humans and humaniform robots. The humans intend to try to give orders to any robots found in the Milky Way galaxy. There is discussion of the fact that humans in the Milky Way seem to make very little use of robots. Hooski reports observations from their secret nanite spy network that has detected visitors from the Milky Way to other galaxies. There is discussion of the mysterious humaniform robots that have made visits to nearby galaxies and the possibility that human's secretly use robots for important tasks while generally excluding them from most of human society. Not mentioned here, but one of the robots on-board Many Sails is an "experimental" version with some positronic circuits.
Robot Daneel Olivaw meets with Encyclopedist Pavao on the planet Terminus. This chapter provides the most detailed view of the human perspective on galactic events prior to the confrontation between the crew of Many Sails and those who control the fate of humanity.
The galaxy is forming Galaxia, but Daneel is trying to make sure that the scientific culture of the Foundation is not lost.
At the end of the meeting on Terminus, Daneel receives a message from Fallom.
A "test mission" to Imfulri during which R. Lackner, the telepathic robot who monitors that "zoo world", detects that fact that Alkeirs knows about robotic telepathy and kills him. At first the crew of the Many Sails is invited by R. Lackner to visit the Observer Base where Huaoshy agents once monitored the development of the Ressese species, a Base now used by R. Lackner and her fellow robots to monitor Imfulri. Sahiwha Nennoad insists on visiting to surface of Imfulri and inspecting the status of the Ressese on their home world. The crew of the Many Sails observes the technologically primitive state of the Ressese on Imfulri and Alkeirs is killed, apparently by Ressese (but secretly at the orders of R. Lackner). R. Lackner has also noticed that one of the robots onboard the Many Sails is an experimental robot containing positronic circuitry. R. Lackner sends a message to Fallom reporting that Alkeirs was aware of the planet Gaia and the fact that positronic brain robots with telepathy had been observed at work there by humans serving as Huaoshy spies, although that the rest of the crew of the Many Sails seems to lack knowledge of telepathy and its role in Gaia and Galaxia and its association with positronic brains. R. Lackner also warns Fallom that the Many Sails carries a robot of Huaoshy design that has positronic brain circuitry (but no telepathic ability). Fallom becomes particularly interested in having a chance to examine the robot of Huaoshy design that has positronic brain circuitry, and so allows the Many Sails to approach Earth. Fallom goes to an emergency meeting with Daneel at a secret base in intergalactic space above the plane of the galaxy.
The crew of the Many Sails visits Earth. They make contact with some robots who have positronic brains and they go to Fallom's base on Earth's Moon. At first the crew of the Many Sails assumes that the humaniform robots with positronic brains are humans. They learn learn that Earth is radioactive. Commander Orleane and Roboticist Esselle start ordering the non-humaniform robots to provide them with information about the history of Earth and humanity, but those robots know little. Fint relentlessly questions the humaniform robots about human sexual behavior and finally asks where the children are. Geneticist Rewhand tries to obtain samples for genetic analysis and it is discovered that the humaniform robots are not humans, they are robots. Orleane and Esselle start ordering the humaniform robots to provide them with information about the history of Earth and humanity, but they do not know the correct questions. Their questions lead to a discussion of the laws of robotics and Captain Hooski has a discussion with Nahan in which the human laws of robotics and the Huaoshy laws of alien contact are compared. It is revealed that the humaniform robots, guided by the zeroth law, do not believe that Orleane's orders need to be followed because the needs of humanity are more important than orders from Orleane. When asked how the humaniform robots decide what is best for humanity they say that they are guided by "the Master", who is not then present. After a very long "day" in the Moon base, the crew of the Many Sails retires to rest chambers.
Fallom arrives and informs Captain Hooski about the existence of telepathy made possible by positronic brains. R. Nahan is revealed to have knowledge of Eternity, which is located at another Moon Base, the original Observer Base for Earth. There is a brief battle, but the aliens now have, in the form of hidden capabilities in some of their robots, effective telepathic shields and "telepathic mind static generators". The humaniform robots in the crew of the Many Sails activate "mental static" devices that inactivate all of the positronic brain robots with telepathy. The crew of the Many Sails takes Fallom and R. Nahan to the other Moon Base.
The aliens, using their "mind static" devices, force R. Nahan to let them into Eternity, but Gohrlay has been warned and is hiding.
It is revealed (to the reader) that Gohrlay is a genetically modified human, not a humaniform robot. Gohrlay is not effected by the mind static generators and escapes from the crew of the Many Sails and remains hidden within Eternity. Gohrlay is similar to Fallom, a biological that carries memories from the original telepathic robot (R. Gohrlay), but Gohrlay has been genetically modified to have a "lightening calculation" mental capacity similar to that of Harlan.
Many Sails gets off a warning to the Huaoshy about the fact that the positronic robots have time travel technology. This allows the Huaoshy to develop time travel technology (this takes considerable time and is not described).
Most of the crew of the Many Sails enters into Eternity, but Gohrlay captures them. She learns a Huaoshy secret: how to make sedronics based cloaks.
Then there is a reality change and a Huaoshy agent from the future arrives and protects the crew, preventing their capture by Gohrlay. R. Nahan's memories reveal that R. Rycleu was on Earth in the 20th century and working to develop positronics. Creal is sent back in time to take Ryclue's supply of sedrons.
However, Gohrlay notices the Reality Change that is caused when Rycleu's supply of sedrons is taken. This short-lived Reality is quickly terminated when Gohrlay sends Fengtal back in time with more sedrons, essentially reverting the Reality Change that was caused by the Huaoshy. This creates another Reality, the Galaxia Reality, in which the Foundations never exist and Galaxia is formed more quickly and cloaking technology helps give Galaxia even more of an advantage over the Huaoshy.
However, Fengtal uses recently obtained knowledge about cloaking to help humans develop cloak technology on Earth during World War II. This leads to a need for Gohrlay to leave Eternity in 1947 and go on a mission to Earth. Now another Huaoshy agent from the future (Grean) can arrive to help the crew of Many Sails capture Gohrlay. Deep probing of R. Nahan's brain reveals that the time and place when R. Gohrlay can be found in time, outside of Eternity.
This chapter shows how the Huaoshy make another Reality Change by sending Grean back in time.
The Huaoshy agents must go back to a point in time after Harlan and Noys have destroyed Earth's Eternity (1932), to the one known time (1947) when R. Gohrlay can be found outside of Eternity. The Huaoshy agents split into two teams: one will capture R. Gohrlay while the other will eliminate all remaining resistance from telepathic robots at the Moon Base as soon as R. Gohrlay is captured on Earth.
In June 1947, R. Rycleu goes to England in order to involve Harlan and Noys in efforts to initiate research in Europe into positronic circuits. Fengtol is working on a similar mission to promote positronics in North America. Fengtol has been trying to use Asimov to leak information about sedronics, out of frustration with the US military declaring the entire field of study top secret. Fengtol plans to engineer a crash of a cloaked rocket and help Asimov leak information to the public.
However, the plan goes bad and on July 6, 1947, R. Rycleu is captured by military police near Roswell, New Mexico. Fengtol contacts Gohrlay and calls for time travel help. Gohrlay goes to Earth to prevent Rycleu from being captured.
Now with the help of Grean and knowing that R. Gohrlay will exit Eternity sometime around July 5 in order to go to Earth and prevent R. Rycleu from crashing, the aliens exit Eternity in 1947 and take a ship from Moon Base to Earth. The aliens attempt to confront and capture R. Gohrlay and R. Rycleu, but end up causing Fengtol to be damaged and found by Earth humans.
R. Rycleu and R. Gohrlay are captured by the aliens. After some delay, most of Fengtol's body is recovered and Asimov is taken to the Moon. With Rycleu and Fengtol prevented from continuing their work on Earth, a nuclear war takes place using cloaked long-range bombers. This Reality Change was foreseen by the Huaoshy by their own use of the technology for "viewing Realities" but this chain of Reality Changes was needed to draw into the open the last positronic robot hiding in Eternity (Gohrlay).
Part III. The Final RealityEdit
Fengtol, badly damaged, is taken from the crash site to the Roswell Air Station where the damaged robot desperately downloads memories into Asimov's brain. Asimov is taken back to the Moon by the aliens. Asimov is distressed to find a stagnant culture at Moon Base.
Chapters 10-13 are a "flashback" to the origin of the Uvadekoto and the first alien species that was successfully merged into an intergalactic civilization with the Huaoshy. Written in an ambiguous way, the reader might at first wonder if the events of this chapter take place on Earth, but it is actually an Earth-like planet far away, actually in a galaxy near the Huaoshy Home Galaxy. This chapter introduces hierions and sedrons and takes place over 800,000,000 years before present.
Continues from Chapter 10 and reveals the fact that the Huaoshy rather severely interfered with the development of other species that evolved on planets near to the Huaoshy home galaxy. The residents of Uvadekoto are members of a species that was genetically engineered by the Huaoshy and they are now trying to understand a Message from the Huaoshy that will allow them to develop interstellar space travel.
Stan starts to study the Message from the Huaoshy and discovers a part of the Message that described isotopes. Stan learns about Nora's "research project", an attempt to breed mathematicians who might be able to understand alien mathematics.
Stan and Nora collaborate to get Uvadekoto into outer space. Some of the lessons learned by the Huaoshy are hinted at in this chapter and led to their later development of a process by which evolving species were more carefully shepherded towards participation in the inter-galactic civilization of the Huaoshy.
Horrified by the effects of their intervention into the history of Earth, Grean leads one more trip back in time. They take Asimov back to 1939. They prevent development of cloaking technology during World War II and that prevents nuclear war.
The time traveling Asimov lives out his life on Earth, "ghost writing" science fiction for the other (younger) Asimov. The time traveling Asimov eventually recovers some memories of the Foundation Reality, forming the basis for many of Asimov's stories.
The crew of Many Sails travels to 1947. As soon as Gohrlay is captured they use Eternity to initiate the dimensional shift that prevents any more time travel. This initiates the Final Reality (our reality).
Part IV. The Start of EternityEdit
This chapter takes up continuation of the story of Gohrlay from the "teaser" at the start of Chapter 0. Gohrlay's positronic circuits give her telepathic posers and she takes on the task of liberating humanity from the Huaoshy.
This chapter shows the origin of the laws of robotics. First, Gohrlay begins to "hard wire" into Nahan what will become known as the Zeroth Law. Second, the law, "follow orders" is "hard wired" into Gohrlay and Nahan.
A third "law", protect humans from harm: after driving the Huaoshy away from Earth, Gohrlay "hard wires" the requirement that robots not harm humans. Since she has already murdered an Overseer, her positronic circuits are damaged. Nahan arrives from the future and repairs her brain.
The story of the invention of time travel. After the Huaoshy no longer control Observer Base, Gohrlay makes use of clues provided from Nahan in the future. She recruits humans to help develop needed technologies such as space travel technology, genetic engineering and nanotechnology. Gohrlay decides to keep all knowledge of telepathy and time travel secret and develop these key technologies herself, with the help of a small team of telepathic robots. She forms an alliance with the Overseers and works with Wints and Klempse to supply positronic robots to the humans of Observer Base.
Note In the version of the story that's here on 17th Jan '10 Doltun has been killed but the story is under construction and may be altered.
See: Doltun's death for discussion of the possibility that Doltun need not die.
The story of how time travel is made impossible.
After the Huaoshy have defeated the telepathic robots of Earth and captured the Eternity on the Moon, they decide that it is time to make it impossible for anyone to ever again create positironic brains and use their quantum calculating capacity to create another Eternity. The Huaoshy have spent nearly a billion years developing a stable intergalactic civilization that does not involve telepathy and time travel and they want to protect their civilization from the possibility of being disrupted by positronic brain technology.
After discovering the existence of Eternity and understanding the fact that it was positronic brain technology that made Eternity possible, the Huaoshy come to a startling realization...it was their own manipulation of the physical laws of the universe that made time travel possible! Originally, when the physical laws of the universe were formed by spontaneous symmetry breaking, an energetically stable dimensional structure of the universe was established, the Ground State. In that dimensionally symmetrical state, faster than light movement was not possible. The Huaoshy entered into a research program by which they learned how to alter some of the physical laws of the universe. Fundamentally, altering the physical laws of the universe involved harnessing enough energy to start an autocatalytic process that would shift the dimensional structure of spacetime to a new state, what they called the Transitional State.
In these state diagrams, the shaded triangle represents the three extended spatial dimensions of our universe. The other triangles represent compact dimensions that have important implications for the behavior of various elementary particles. In the Transitional State, some bosons (called hierions) are able to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light. In the state diagrams, when two compact dimensions are linked by a semi-circle, then faster than light movement of some particles is possible.
After achieving this first alteration to the dimensional structure of the universe, the change spread outward at the speed of light, creating a bubble within which faster than light communications became possible. This FTL communications ability was immediately useful to the Huaoshy for administering the rather far-flung interstellar civilization they had already established. However, the greater goal of the Huaoshy was to alter the physical laws of the universe so as to make possible travel through the universe at faster than light speeds. In order to accomplish this, they began a second high-energy engineering project that would cause a second change in the dimensional structure of the universe.
This second alteration in the physical laws of the universe made it possible for fermions to be moved through the universe at faster than light speeds. Specifically, this change to the physical laws of the universe allows the hyperspatial jump that Asimov described in his writings. Hyperspatial jumps depend on the availability of two types of elementary particles, hierions and sedrons. Dimensional structures that allow the production of sedrons are rare, but the Huaoshy manage to achieve such a state and begin using hyperspatial travel, greatly speeding the rate at which they were able to spread their civilization through the universe...by the time of The Start of Eternity, having established an intergalactic civilization that was spread over nearly 100,000 galaxies.
However, after realizing that it was telepathic robots with positronic brains who were able to use the quantum computational capacity of their brains to create Eternity, the Huaoshy realize that it was their efforts to create a FTL-fermion universe that made the vast computational capacity of positronic brains possible. The Huaoshy realize that in order to prevent positronic brain technology from being used to make time travel possible they need to change the dimensional structure of the universe to a state in which our three spatial dimensions are more symmetrical and positrons are more like electrons in their properties. Unfortunately, all dimensional structures that allow FTL-fermions and faster-than-light travel are asymmetric. As a compromise, they realize that they can create a dimensional structure that allows the creation of hierions and the existence (but not the creation) of sedrons. They also realize that they can make use of Eternity to both initiate the change to that dimensional structure and serve as a "storage depot" for sedrons. This will allow the Huaoshy to monopolize the supply of sedrons and solidify their dominance, essentially giving them a monopoly on the elementary particles that are needed for FTL space travel. The Huaoshy use Eternity to make one last change to Reality, shifting the dimensional structure of the universe one last time. Eternity remains and acts as a "bubble universe" that retains the capacity to produce sedrons, but time travel into the past is no longer possible in our universe and within the Final Reality.
The dimensional shift is carried out by Grean, using the Eternity on the Moon in 1947. The Many Sails crew takes the time to study the record of how positronics was first created: they find the account of this history that Gohrlay recorded.
Foundation Reality. In 1947, Asimov is 27 years old. In the Foundation Reality, Asimov stays in the Army during 1947 and is stationed at Roswell Army Airfield. Asimov has a close encounter with R. Fengtol during which much of the robot's knowledge of the future is transferred into Asimov's brain. Asimov is taken back to Earth in 1939 and he meets himself in order to be sure of the date when he saw Fengtol (see Chapter 14). Creal makes a final Reality Change that prevents Fengtol from introducing cloaking technology into 20th century Earth. Asimov has his memories of the aliens erased, but with time he recovers some memories of the Eternity system for time travel, which eventually becomes the basis for his story, "The End of Eternity".
The first science fiction story by Asimov was called "Cosmic Corkscrew" and was about traveling through time to the future. The "The Start of Eternity" shows two versions of Asimov's life, one in which things are slightly different from what happened in our reality. The phrase "Cosmic Corkscrew" nicely captures the idea of it being possible for there to be multiple versions of "Reality" resulting from time travel as depicted in "The End of Eternity". "Cosmic Corkscrew" was apparently written while Asimov was in college. Asimov is shown starting his writing career after meeting himself at this time while on a time travel mission.
R. Gohrlay was the first of a small group of positronic brain robots with telepathy. R. Gohrlay was in charge of using time travel to see the future, and ultimately selected a Reality in which Galaxia was created and humans retained control of the Milky Way galaxy far into the future (the Foundation Reality). However, the Huaoshy eventually also developed positronics and time travel and were able to cause a series of Reality Changes that shattered the plans of Gohrlay.
In the Foundation Reality, fearing that "mind static" devices might some day be used against positronic brain robots with telepathy, Daneel and R. Gohrlay transferred their memories into two humans, Fallom and another who adopted the name Gohrlay (see Gohrlay the Time Guardian). Gohrlay could do nothing to prevent the Huaoshy from discovering that there are robots with telepathy. The Huaoshy were greatly aided by their advanced nanotechnology which allowed them to spy on Gaia.
Gohrlay's fear that the Huaoshy will begin to develop "mind static devices" is realized. Using a telepathic mind static weapon the Huaoshy disrupt the telepathic minds of the positronic robots on the Moon (see Chapter 7). Ultimately, the Huaoshy discover how to perform time travel and they travel back in time to make Reality Changes that end the dominance of positronic robots over humanity and the galaxy. Gohrlay's struggle against the Huaoshy and her ultimate defeat is described in The Start of Eternity. In the end, she comes to regret her attempts to protect humanity.
Suicide? Murder? Execution? Observer Gohrlay was caught violating the Rules of Observation, but normally that kind of intervention into the course of events on Earth would not be a capital crime. She also found evidence that the Overseers were somehow involved in making genetic changes to the human population of Earth. Gohrlay believed that she was being punished by the Overseers for her attempt to influence the development of humans on Earth while the Overseers were themselves hypocritically engaged in their own interventionist program. The Overseers were complicit with the actions of Orbho Anagro and his fellow Huaoshy agents who have worked for millions of years to slowly evolve humans towards a form of life that is similar to the Huaoshy. Orbho Anagro has an interest in the positronics research program and guides Doltun towards the idea of letting Gohrlay participate in the mind downloading experiment. Gohrlay's participation in the mind downloading experiment has benefits for all. Doltun can get rid of Gohrlay who is a living reminder of Overseer failure to keep tight controls on rogue Observers. Gohrlay's memory has been altered as a condition of her "house arrest". Rather than continue with her "living death" under strict mental control by nanites, she decides to participate in the downloading experiment. As described in her diary, Gohrlay was able to study the long-abandoned records of the researchers who developed the downloading technology. Gohrlay believes that part of her will "live on" in robotic form. This belief is supported by mostly unconscious feelings based on telepathic signals from the future. --JWSchmidt 20:26, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
Neanderthals and other human subspeciesEdit
- a new form of extinct humans that were neither Neandertals nor modern humans. "the Denisovans seem to be closer genetically to Neandertals than to modern humans (having likely split off from the Neandertal gene pool some 640,000 years ago and from the Africa-based group that led to modern humans some 804,000 years ago; by contrast humans and Neandertals are proposed to have split 270,000 to 440,000 years ago)
- If you can't access this article then I can send you the PDF. It has a nice image of a reconstructed Neanderthal adult, similar to the one here, but not a red head. "Researchers now think that Neandertals, like this reconstructed one from Shanidar Cave in Iraq, were closely related to Homo sapiens and did not look apelike"
--JWSchmidt 20:10, January 4, 2010 (UTC)
A popular story should be plausible to readers, have you considered explaining this in the narative? Proxima Centauri 07:25, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- One possibility that occurred to me is that Spleve could actually be a an anatomically modern human rather than of Neanderthal decent. The relationship between R. Gohrlay and Spleve would then provide opportunity for inclusion in the story of some discussion of the phenotypic differences between Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens. --JWSchmidt 14:53, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
That could work. Proxima Centauri 15:34, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
For The Start of Eternity it is important to ask if there might be significant cultural and behavioral differences between
1) the humans living at Observer Base
By the time of Gohrlay, Observer Base had held a human population for several hundred thousand years. In Gohrlay's time, there were three types of humans at Observer Base:
1) modern humans, not genetically modified from those on Earth
2) people like Gohrlay, derived from a Neanderthal lineage, but genetically modified. Observer Base is in the process of getting ready to shift from having Neanderthals dominating the ranks of the Observers to handing that job over to anatomically modern humans (Neanderthals are almost extinct on Earth).
3) people like Doltun; all of the Overseers are descended from a human subspecies that was ancestral to both Neanderthals and us. Doltun's people never left Africa and they became extinct on Earth long ago. Doltun and the other Overseers are all genetically modified from the ancestral population on Earth that they are descended from.
In other stories (example) I have developed the idea that there are differences between people like Gohrlay and us. For example, I assume that they are physically stronger and I imagine that they had a set of genes that allowed them to generate body heat as needed in a way that was different than for Doltun's people who never migrated far from equatorial Africa. I'm imagining that a small population of Neanderthals survived about 15,000 years past what we now have evidence for and that unlike contemporaneous anatomically modern humans in Europe, Neanderthals never developed sewing because they were less susceptible to the cold than we are.
I assume that the temperature used at Observer Base was selected by Doltun's people or other even earlier members of genus Homo that evolved in equatorial Africa. When Neanderthals were brought to Observer Base, they found the temperature conditions on the warm side. I imagine that the Neanderthal culture at Moon Base was one in which individuals such as Gohrlay usually wore little clothing.
Note: for the Neanderthals on the Moon, the preferred way to dispose of a dead body was cremation. In contrast, Doltun and his fellow Overseers preferred to not burn their dead. For more information about lunar death rituals, see The Last Gardener. When Gohrlay talks about "being ground up and returned to the food chain", she is taunting Doltun.
Other Neanderthal storiesEdit
What If The Neandertals Didn't Die Out? <-- The only one of these I've seen/read is The Ugly Little Boy by Asimov. --JWSchmidt 00:34, January 14, 2010 (UTC) A useful link for The Neanderthal Parallax.
The End of Eternity is a novel about time travel that was created by Isaac Asimov. The story and characters from The End of Eternity and his other fiction are probably claimed as the intellectual property of Asimov's estate or other for-profit corporations. Characters from The End of Eternity and other Asimov novels are borrowed for use here in the spirit of Fan Fiction, for the enjoyment of science fiction fans and with no intention for profit.
How Eternity was startedEdit
The following time line includes several Realities. Time travel was first invented by telepathic robots on the Moon, then it was used to create new Realities. The system for time travel that was created specifically for use on Earth became known as Eternity.
Basic Reality refers to events that do not involve time travel.
Originally, when the physical laws of the universe were formed by spontaneous symmetry breaking, an energetically stable dimensional structure of the universe was established, the Ground State (see the diagram, below). In that dimensionally symmetrical state, faster than light (FTL) movement was not possible.
837,837,436 BP - the Huaoshy entered into a research program by which they learned how to alter some of the physical laws of the universe. Fundamentally, altering the physical laws of the universe involved harnessing enough energy to start an autocatalytic process that would shift the dimensional structure of spacetime to a new state, what they called the Transitional State.
Each dimensional structure of spacetime is characterized by a unique fine-structure "constant". In recognition of this important fact, the one of the chapters of The Start of Eternity was given the numerical designation 0.007297352569.
In these state diagrams, the shaded triangle represents the three extended spatial dimensions of our universe. The other triangles represent compact dimensions that have important implications for the behavior of various elementary particles. In the Transitional State, some bosons (called hierions) are able to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light. In the state diagrams, when two compact dimensions are linked by a semi-circle, then faster than light (FTL) movement of some particles is possible.
837,850,195 BP - after achieving this first alteration to the dimensional structure of the universe, the change spread outward from the Huaoshy home galaxy at the speed of light, creating a "bubble" within the universe where faster than light communications became possible. This FTL communications ability was immediately useful to the Huaoshy for administering the rather far-flung interstellar civilization they had already established.
837,930,298 BP - the greater goal of the Huaoshy was to alter the physical laws of the universe so as to make possible travel through the universe at faster than light speeds. In order to accomplish this, they began a second high-energy engineering project that would cause a second change in the dimensional structure of the universe. This second alteration in the physical laws of the universe made it possible for fermions to be moved through the universe at faster than light speeds. Specifically, this change to the physical laws of the universe allows the hyperspatial jump that Asimov described in his writings. Hyperspatial jumps depend on the availability of two types of elementary particles, hierions and sedrons. Dimensional structures that allow the production of sedrons are rare, but the Huaoshy manage to achieve such a state and begin using hyperspatial travel, greatly speeding the rate at which they were able to spread their civilization through the universe.
Early during their creation of an inter-galactic civilization, the Huaoshy specialized in the genetic engineering of their own species so as to create variants suited for populating a vast interstellar civilization. They also develop electronics-based artificial intelligences that do most of the dull and dangerous parts of expanding the civilization. As they spread through space and find planets that have complex forms of life, they discover no other surviving sentient species....the few that did exist have become extinct. The Huaoshy began to learn how to intervene in the development of such life forms and help them become more like the Huaoshy. Eventually they perfect an inter-galactic civilization that spreads to new galaxies and incorporates many different life forms that originated in the various galaxies within the part of the universe explored by the Huaoshy. When a new galaxy is reached, an attempt is made to develop all of the most advanced life forms towards Huaoshy-like sentience and formation of a multi-species galactic culture that can merge into the inter-galactic civilization.
An inter-galactic spacecraft arrives at Earth. The aliens (of the Huaoshy species) discover that there are a dozen ape species on Earth. The Huaoshy establish an underground base on the Moon, rescue some dying apes from Earth and establish ape breeding colonies on the Moon. The goal of the Huaoshy is to help life forms from Earth develop minds that are similar to those of the Huaoshy. A work force of robotic artificial life forms is left at the Moon Base to continue the breeding program, the Huaoshy move on to finish exploring the Galaxy. The selective breeding program produces results and the most Huaoshy-like apes are occasionally transplanted back to Earth. The Huaoshy follow the Rules of Intervention.
132,459 BP - with the help of the Huaoshy-built robots, humans at the Moon Base develop a stable culture based on technology provided by the aliens. Some of the humans on the Moon become Observers who specialize in the study of the primitive human cultures on Earth that are developing with much less intervention from the robots. The human Observers adopt the Huaoshy code of the Rules of Observation by which humans on Earth are allowed to develop without knowledge of the Moon Base or the aliens. The goal is to have humans on Earth and a group of other species from other planets of the Milky Way Galaxy start to develop space travel at roughly the same time so that the galaxy will develop a complex culture that includes multiple species. Because humans living on the Moon were aware of the Earth observation process, but not the fact that Huaoshy had established the base, this Moon Base is usually called Observer Base.
12,683 BP - some humans at Moon Base finally stop relying on the Huaoshy-produced artificial life forms for all of their technology and these humans establish a scientific research program. The Huaoshy robots do not encourage such an independent human research program. Due to the small human population at the Moon Base, progress is slow. One area of independent human research that makes good progress is physics, including recognition of the fact that matter and antimatter are not equivalent. This leads to the discovery that positrons can be used much more efficiently for quantum computation than can electrons.
11,323 BP - Humans at the Moon Base develop their own technology for creating robots, and because of their previous work on CP-violation and positrons (and the fact that they have no nanotechnology industry and cannot make nanoelectronic robots), they decide to make robots with positronic brains. The positronic brain is an amazing device, able to access compact dimensions for quantum computation in a way that is not possible for artificial intelligence devices that rely on electronics.
11,166 BP - This is where (when) the story begins. Gohrlay falls afoul of Rules of Observation and is introduced the the small cadre of scientists at Observer Base. The human research team at Observer Base copies the structure of a human brain (that of Gohrlay) into positronic circuit elements. The artificial lifeform version of Gohrlay discovers that her positronic circuits allow for telepathic contact by using the special ability of positronic brains to send/receive information through compact dimensions. At first she thinks that this telepathy will only work as a form of communication between positronic robots, but then she discovers how to amplify naturally occurring signals from biological brains and nanoelectronic lifeforms. Additional research leads to her ability to telepathically "overload" the brains of the Huaoshy-designed robots. Gohrlay and the second positronic robot (Nahan) keep secret their telepathic ability.
The human researchers and the telepathic robots begin to explore the Laws of Robotics (starting here). Using her telepathic ability, Gohrlay has discovered that the Huaoshy control the fate of humanity. Because of her past conflict with Overseer Doltun, Gohrlay decides that the zeroth law of robotics should be applied to protect humans from the Huaoshy. The "Zeroth Law" thus becomes the first Law of Robotics to be "hard wired" into positronic brains. The "law" saying "follow orders" soon follows. Gohrlay destroys the Huaoshy artificial lifeforms (including Orbho Anagro) and with time, a team of positronic robots take over the Observer Base. Gohrlay places herself and Nahan under the control of a third "law" requiring that robots not harm humans. Nahan, traveling through time and returning from the future applies one more "law", protect yourself. The fate of humanity has been shifted away from the Huaoshy plan for Earth to merge into intergalactic culture and now a few telepathic robots, endowed with the Laws of Robotics, begin to guide humanity.
Huaoshy forces also exist at other bases in the galaxy. They know that somehow Earth has been released from Huaoshy control, but they are not aware that the telepathic robots exist. They believe that something went wrong with their nanites, possibly creating a type of self-destructive nanite, but every time they try to send a spaceship to Earth, the mission fails. The Huaoshy forces have no choice but to watch Earth from a distance and wait.
The telepathic robots of Observer Base and the humans of Observer Base had been totally dependent on Huaoshy space travel technology. Now at Moon Base there are new technological developments as the telepathic robots try to figure out space travel and nanite technology that they captured from the Huaoshy forces.
Note: I've been having second thoughts about the time when Observer Gohrlay lived. I'm now thinking that 21,166 BP might be better. The map at Neanderthal Status and Impending Extinction might be a better match to 21,166 BP than 11,166 BP.
11,133 BP - the telepathic robots realize that their positronic brains perform quantum computations that can receive information from the future. They create a device for "viewing the future", but there is feedback interference, so they decide that they need to create a space/time bubble that can serve as a place from which to observe Reality.
9,311 BP - The positronic robots construct Eternity and the humans at Observer Base become subject to the attempts of the robots to apply the laws of robotics to Reality Changes. However, their main effort is towards genetic engineering of humans so as to make humans less dangerous to themselves. The robots recognize the potential benefit of building the equivalent of the Laws of Robotics into the human brain.
4832 CE - Earth humans develop chemical rocketry and reach the Moon. The telepathic robots start to establish a new Eternity on Earth. The positronic robots plan try to find a Reality in which humans are protected from the aliens.
Nahan spent a large amount of physiotime inside the space/time bubble of the time travel device on the Moon. Having developed the technology of a time travel kettle that could move beyond the downwhen terminus of the time travel device, he finally travels back in time to save Gohrlay and leave behind important hints for how to develop space and time travel technologies. This creates a new Reality.
These realities come after the Basic Reality. "Earlier" means before the "Mallansohn Reality".
In the Reality just before the establishment of the "Cooper time loop", The telepathic robots strive to create a fragile Eternity on Earth that can be easily destroyed as soon as an optimal Reality for humanity has been identified (created). There might be many false starts and sub-optimal Realities made leading up to the "Mallansohn Reality". For "The Start of Eternity", it does not matter how many earlier realities there are.
This is the Reality of The End of Eternity. The robots create this reality in an effort to perfect the "Viewing of Realities" that is described by Noÿs.
The most distinguishing feature of the Mallansohn Reality is that Earth made heavy use of time travel in an attempt to improve human living conditions on Earth. The time travel technology was called "Eternity" and those who lived in Eternity and made changes to the flow of time were called the "Eternals". Eternity was secretly controlled by a group of robots with positronic brains. Eventually the robots realized that their attempts to use time travel in an effort to make things better for humans were doomed to failure. They turned Earth and human civilization into a "safe" environment, but humans eventually died out and failed to spread into space. The robots then decided to destroy Eternity and reshape human civilization towards the goal of spreading humanity through the galaxy.
Noÿs goes into the Primitive with Harlan. The "Viewing of Realities" has revealed the Foundation Reality as one where there will be an all human galaxy that is resistant to outside alien (Huaoshy) influences. However, she cannot see additional possible Reality Changes that can branch off of the Foundation Reality.
In the far future, after humans become extinct, the Huaoshy study the remnants of human culture and learn that there were positronic robots on Earth. The Huaoshy have a chance to make their own positronic robots and discover their capacity for telepathy and discover that time travel is possible. However, since humans died out, the Huaoshy never develop positronics and time travel before the Foundation Reality.
At some point in the Galactic Era, by using their superior nanite technology, the Huaoshy spy on humans and eventually realize that Gaia is being developed so as to involve telepathy and to include positronic transmitters inside some humans. The Huaoshy finally begin their own positronics research.
In the Foundation Reality, and through all the other earlier Reality Changes made possible by Earth's time travel technology, the telepathic robots at Moon Base retain their ability to travel through time. The time travel machine for use on Earth (Eternity) is never produced in the Foundation Reality. The Foundation Reality is shown being shaped by R. Gohrlay and her team of robots in the first chapter of The Start of Eternity.
At a time far in the future, the Huaoshy eventually create their own time travel technology and develop the ability to "view Realities", not only one at a time, but in connected "Reality Chains". They initiate a "Reality Change Chain" by using both a time travel machine of their own design (completed in the far future, after Galaxia forms) and the time travel machine that is located on Earth's Moon, resulting in the Final Reality and termination of robotic telepathy and all use of time travel technology.
The "Foundation Reality" is named after the Foundation, as depicted in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Saga. The Foundation Reality is dominated by R. Gohrlay and her effort to create Galaxia, however, the Foundation must first be created in order for Galaxia to be formed. The "Foundation" is thus the required foundation upon which Galaxia can be built.
A short introduction to the Foundation can be found in this blog post.
The Start of EternityEdit
The history of the Foundation Reality, as told by Asimov, goes like this: humans develop both positronic brains and hyperspatial travel in the 20th century. With a working technology for the "hyperspatial jump", fifty "Spacer Worlds" near Earth are soon colonized. Giskard develops telepathy and passes it on to Daneel. Daneel guides the galaxy through the development of a Galactic Empire, its fall, the rise of the Foundation and the start of the formation of Galaxia. Daneel downloads his memories into Fallom, a long-lived spacer.
Fallom is in charge of the completion of Galaxia during the The Start of Eternity. Chapter 0 begins with a kind of prelude: Observer Gohrlay lives before time travel technology is invented. The memories of Observer Gohrlay are copied into positronic circuits that become the basis for the mind of R. Gohrlay. R. Gohrlay and her team of positronic robots discover time travel and initiate the Foundation Reality. Eventually, 20,000 years after being kicked off Earth, the Huaoshy have finally made preparations for returning to Earth (they have finally discovered the importance of positronics) and trying to confront Earth's telepathic robots. They discover -and end up making use of- the time travel device that remains accessible from their old Moon Base: for details of the plot, see The Start of Eternity:meta. To fully understand the plot of The Start of Eternity, it is important to know the details of the Foundation Reality that were not revealed by Asimov! These details are described in the next section of this page.
In the Basic Reality, humans on Earth did not develop chemical space travel until about 2000 years later than in the Final Reality. Reality changes carried out by positronic robots from the Moon resulted in a much earlier invention of chemical space travel: about 2,000 years earlier in the Foundation Reality. In the Foundation Reality, by the 20th century, humans at Moon Base have sophisticated matter-antimatter powered spaceships (technology originally inspired by the spaceships of the Huaoshy). While the robots and humans (only a few humans at this time) at Moon Base remained hidden from the humans on Earth, there was some secret intervention from the Moon to speed development of technology on Earth.
In the Foundation Reality, key technology for positronic brains was introduced to Earth in the 20th century by R. Rycleu (see Chapter 0) and telepathy was later secretly given to R. Giskard by Gohrlay and her team of robots.
R. Rycleu intervened on Earth to cause the "invention" of positronic brains. After the World War II, R. Rycleu contacts Andrew Harlan and Noÿs Lambent in England in an attempt to start a positronics industry in Europe (see the second chapter). Rycleu reached Earth by traveling back in time and taking a spaceship from the Moon to Earth. The plan was for Rycleu to take Earth beyond the development of nuclear physics (the goal of Noÿs) and push Earth's technological development towards the creation positronic brains. Rycleu) brought information to share with Earth humans about how to formulate and manufacture high-temperature superconductors using platinum and its constituent sedronic matter. This information started a research program culminating with the first computational positronic circuits being made in the late 20th century by Lawrence Robertson's research and development team....what became U. S. Robotics.
As described in part 53 of Robots and Empire, Vasilia was used as an intermediate agent by time traveling robots from Moon Base, as a "puppet" who appeared to make the required modifications to Giskard's positronic brain that gave him telepathic abilities. This allowed Giskard to remain unaware of Eternity as the true source of telepathy. Giscard passes his telepathic ability on to Daneel. Daneel, under telepathic influence from the robots from Moon Base (always based at the Moon Base that was created by the Huaoshy), creates his own Base on the Moon, but never discovers the other (original) Base (Observer Base) on the Moon that was created by the aliens.
When humanity expanded through the galaxy, all of the planets with life forms that were being "groomed" by the Huaoshy-created robots were turned into "zoos" by Daneel. In all cases, either the Huaoshy-created robots retreat when humans arrive or they are defeated by positronic robots using telepathy. However, with time, Daneel develops a type of human telepathy on Gaia (and positronic long-distance transmitters) and Daneel must use caution to avoid allowing Huaoshy spys to learn about positronics and telepathy (not to mention time travel!). Gohrlay secretly works behind Daneel and she "knows the future", a future in which humans remain protected by Galaxia. However, just as the Earth's Eternals in The End of Eternity could not prevent a Reality Change that destroyed Earth's Eternity, the Gohrlay and the other robots at Moon Base cannot prevent the Huaoshy from developing their own time travel technology, making Reality Changes, and creating the Final Reality.
The Final RealityEdit
This is our Reality, in which positronic brains and hyperspatial travel are not invented in the 20th century.
When Galaxia is forming, the Huaoshy eventually realize that there are telepathic robots who are responsible for the formation of Galaxia. Gohrlay has more interactions with the Huaoshy in this Reality and develops a better understanding of Huaoshy cloaking technology than was possible in other Realities.
Many Sails is sent on a mission to Earth in an attempt to use "mind static" devices to incapacitate and capture telepathic robots, hopefully, the ones who control Galaxia. However, during the mission, it is discovered by the Huaoshy that positronic robots can travel in time. The positronic robots retain control of Galaxia, but the Huaoshy have learned a great secret and they begin to research positronics and time travel.
While studying positronics and developing time travel technology, the Huaoshy make a discovery that advances the Huaoshy beyond the level of time travel technology that is held by Gohrlay and her fellow robots. The Huaoshy develop the means to view "Reality Chains" and select Reality Changes that allow for a desired sequence of Reality Changes. To initiate their desired "Reality Chain", the Huaoshy send an operative back in time to save the crew of the Many Sails and help them travel back in time (1930s) to prevent the development of positronic robots on Earth. Creal finds Rycleu and takes her supply of sedrons. However, this first step in the Huaoshy plan allows Gohrlay to simply uses time travel (sending Fengtol back in time) to revert Grean's Reality Change (Fengtol brings a new source of sedrons to the Primitive). This "reversion" was part of the Huaoshy "Reality Chain" plan. Fengtol remains on Earth and applies Gohrlay's now more advanced understanding of sedronics and cloaking to push for the development of cloaking technology on Earth in the 1940s along with nuclear physics.
This creates a new Reality in which Galaxia develops more rapidly and the positronic robots never bother to explore the "Foundation Option". However, introduction of cloaking technology leads to a problem in 1947 that must be fixed by Gohrlay. She is forced to leave the safety of her time travel device on the Moon and visit Earth.
This Reality allows Nahan to be aware of Gohrlay's existence and location at a particular place and time outside of Eternity. This allows Creal to capture R. Gohrlay in 1947 with the help of Grean and a second Huaoshy agent from the future.
The development of a positronics industry was initially stimulated by R. Fengtol, who provided researchers in the USA with hints about how to create a cloaking technology based on catalytic sedrons (provided by Fengtol). This resulted in the use of cloaking technology and the H-bomb in a nuclear war. The Huaoshy are not happy about such a catastrophe for Earth, so the crew of the Many Sails must make one more trip in time, back to 1939. They take Asimov along and act to prevent Fengtol from stimulating the development of cloaking technology by the US military during World War II.
Finally, as soon as Gohrlay is captured in 1947, the Huaoshy use the Eternity of Moon Base to trigger a dimensional shift, resulting in the end of time travel and establishment of the Final Reality, as described below.
After realizing that it was telepathic robots with positronic brains who were able to use the quantum computational capacity of their brains to create a time travel machine, the Huaoshy know that it was their efforts to create a FTL-fermion universe that made the vast computational capacity of positronic brains possible. The Huaoshy realize that in order to prevent positronic brain technology from being used to make time travel possible they need to change the dimensional structure of the universe to a state in which our three spatial dimensions are more symmetrical and positrons are more like electrons in their properties. Unfortunately, all dimensional structures that allow FTL-fermions and faster-than-light travel are asymmetric. As a compromise, they realize that they can create a dimensional structure that allows the creation of hierions and the existence (but not the creation) of sedrons. They also realize that they can make use of Eternity to both initiate the change to that dimensional structure and also to serve as a "storage depot" for sedrons. This will allow the Huaoshy to monopolize the supply of sedrons and solidify their dominance, essentially giving them a monopoly on the elementary particles that are needed for FTL space travel.
The Huaoshy use the space/time bubble of their time travel device to make one last change to Reality, shifting the dimensional structure of the universe one last time. The original time travel device on Earth's Moon remains and acts as a "bubble universe" that retains the capacity to produce sedrons, but time travel into the past is no longer possible in our universe and within the Final Reality.
The End of Eternity is a novel about time travel that was created by Isaac Asimov. The story and characters from The End of Eternity and his other fiction are probably claimed as the intellectual property of Asimov's estate or other for-profit corporations. Characters from The End of Eternity and other Asimov novels are borrowed for use here in the spirit of Fan Fiction, for the enjoyment of science fiction fans and with no intention for profit.
This page has detailed information about the characters in The Start of Eternity. This page is intended for authors who are writing the story. Another page that is intended for the use of readers is at The Start of Eternity/Characters.
A fundamental source of drama in the story arises from the conflicting goals of some aliens, the Huaoshy, and the positronic robots with positronic brains who are battling for control of human civilization. Humans are generally unaware of this on-going struggle for control of humanity's fate. Thus, the characters in the story can generally be divided into three groups
1) the Huaoshy and their agents,
2) The positronic robots and their co-workers and
3) Other people who are mostly clueless about the on-going struggle between the Huaoshy and the positronic robots.
Gohrlay is the main character of the story. She was born in a hidden city on Earth's Moon at a time far in our past and is mostly of Neanderthal ancestry, although she has been genetically engineered to have the appearance of a modern human. She comes into conflict with the Huaoshy and has most of her mind and consciousness transferred into a positronic brain. The robotic copy of Gohrlay is responsible for the long struggle over the fate of humanity between the Huaoshy and the positronic robots of Earth. Eventually, the robotic mind of R. Gohrlay is transferred back into a human who completes the last phase of the struggle against the Huaoshy.
The Huaoshy have spent nearly a billion years developing and expanding an intergalactic civilization that nurtures and celebrates species diversity. The positronic robots who are fighting for control of human civilization are guided by the fundamental goal of protecting humanity from harm and their pursuit of that goal has created a human-dominated galaxy that could never be comfortably integrated into the inter-galactic civilization of the Huaoshy. Including the Huaoshy in this story was motivated by Asimov's mention of aliens from beyond our galaxy in his novel, Foundation and Earth. For additional information about the plot, see this page.
Notes about personal namesEdit
The residents of Observer Base are few in number and typically have a single name. Those residents who serve as Observers are typically referred to with that title, as in "Observer Gohrlay". Similarly, Overseers almost always use their title, as in "Overseer Doltun". The robotic "servants" of Observer Base traditionally use the title Orbho, as in "Orbho Anagro".
Vicktir Klempse is an exception to the usual naming conventions of Observer Base. At birth he was originally named Vicktir, then he adopted the name "Vicktir Klempse" in honor of one of the first scientists at Observer Base, Klempse, who was a personal hero of Vicktir.
Short Lists of CharactersEdit
Underlined characters were created by Isaac Asimov.
Human characters: Observer Gohrlay, Observer Cliph, Overseer Doltun, Noÿs Lambent, Andrew Harlan, Vicktir Klempse, Wints, Encyclopedist Pavao, Fallom, Major Marcel, Isaac Asimov, Gohrlay the Time Guardian, Observer Lercimn
Aliens: Engineer Lorn-Kru, Captain Hooski, Astrogator Fint, Demographer Wilry, Historian Nadit Daanour, Citizen Alkeirs, Avizeh and Ladislas, Sahiwha Nennoad, Commander Orleane, Roboticist Esselle, Geneticist Rewhand, Grean, Nora Winsou, Stan, Tilly Winsou, Jillia Winsou, Metslen Winsou, Karsa Winsou, Dinster ("Diny"), Bernard ("Berny"), Riley ("Ril"), Alastur, Ormy Degsles, Ambassador Dodd
Detailed Character descriptions, in alphabetical order:
Citizen Alkeirs - only member of the initial crew of the Many Sails who is not a member of the Social Engineering Guild. Alkeirs is killed on the planet Imfulri when it is discovered by R. Lackner that Alkeirs has some knowledge of telepathy.
Alkeirs is caustic and has trouble getting along with the rest of the crew on Many Sails. Alkeirs was selected for the mission to Earth so as to function in the role of a "sacrificial lamb".
The personal aide of Overseer Doltun. Anagro is a robot of Huaoshy design and he is the real "ruler" of Observer Base, using nanites to enforce the Rules of Observation. See Orbho. At the time of the story, he has adopted a human male body form so as to serve as the aide of Doltun.
Anagro has been working for millions of years to genetically modify primates and produce a human variant that is behaviorally similar to the Huaoshy. Anagro's main genetic engineering goal is finding a way to genetically predispose humans towards behavior that will allow humans to integrate into the vast intergalactic civilization that is under the control of the Huaoshy. Anagro was frustrated by the Neanderthals who showed little tendency to develop past stone age patterns of tool use. Working with a small (about 300 individuals) group of modern humans on the Moon, Anagro recently completed the process of finalizing the genetic design of modern humans. Most of the human residents on the Moon are of the Neanderthal lineage, although most of those Neanderthals descendants have been genetically modified so as to have the appearance of modern humans.
Prior to Anagro perfecting an efficient way to switch modern humans from their naturally aggressive and inquisitive state to a more peaceful and less curious behavioral pattern, the modern humans on the Moon established an active scientific research program. Anagro attempted to keep that research activity focused on theoretical physics, but there was also an applied positronics project aimed at creating positronic robots with human-like behavior. At the time of the story, Anagro is still attempting to understand why Neanderthals unexpectedly had their "Kezetz cliff" tuned to such a low technological threshold. Anagro has been genetically modifying a small group of Neanderthals in an effort to shift their behavioral predispositions towards those of the modern humans. The remaining human scientists on the Moon (Such as Klempse) are part of this project.
Gohrlay is a special case who was selected by Anagro for a unique role. Gohrlay was carefully guided to develop an interest in helping the primitive humans of Earth. Anagro wanted a "volunteer" who would agree to have her brain destructively scanned as part of the research project aimed at creating a positronic brain with a human-like mind.
This character is based on the real Asimov who began selling his science fiction stories to "pulp" magazines at the age of 18 while attending Columbia University. In The Start of Eternity, part of Asimov's life (or, better, the imagined life of Asimov in an alternate Reality) in the Foundation Reality is described. In the Foundation Reality, Asimov was not married and he remained in the Army until being abducted by aliens and taken to the Moon in 1947.
The Asimov from 1947 travels in time back to 1939 and meets his younger self. Using Huaoshy nanotechnology, Asimov has transformed his appearance and voice to match that of John Campbell. In the Foundation Reality, Campbell and his wife died tragic deaths in 1940. This was a traumatic loss for Asimov, and upon having a chance to return to Earth in 1939, Asimov sets about trying to in some way either prevent Campbell's death or, failing that, take his place after he dies. Due to the "momentum of time" Asimov fails to stop Campbell's death, but he does manage to prevent his wife from dying. Asimov takes over as editor of Astounding Science Fiction.
In the Foundation Reality, Asimov's writing career took a different turn. Rather than continue to write for the science fiction "pulps", he started writing non-fiction articles about science and suspense novels built around secret military technologies.
Avizeh and LadislasEdit
Avizeh and Ladislas - Two humans at the Observer Base visited by the Many Sails in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Both members of a human variant subspecies engineered for protogyny.
Historian Nadit Daanour - long-time colleague of Wilry. A member of the bipedal Ghreliuw species.
Has a role in the first chapter of the story as the Observer who helps Gohrlay reach Earth. Cliph is from the generation before Gohrlay's, but is similar to Gohrlay in that he joined the ranks of the Observers at a young age. Most Observers join the ranks of the Observer Corps only during middle age as part of their religious obligations, but both Cliph and Gohrlay volunteer as observers out of a personal desire to participate in the Observation of Earth.
Cliph becomes involved in the major philosophical debate among the Observers. During the past 100,00 years, Neanderthals have slowly drifted towards extinction while Anatomically Modern Humans have spread to become the dominate human subspecies of Earth. Some Observers claim the this major shift in human populations towards the dominance of Anatomically Modern Humans has not been a natural phenomenon. Some claim that there has been illegal Intervention to cause the extinction of Neanderthals. In contrast, another party to the dispute claims that there has been illegal Intervention aimed at preventing Neanderthal extinction. Divisions among the Observers have often been heated and acrimonious during the past 10,000 years when only a small population of Neanderthals has lingered on Earth. Cliph believes the theory that genetic changes in Anatomically Modern Humans can be traced to the Moon: that someone from the Moon has long been sending favorable gene combinations from the Moon to Earth so as to favor the dominance of Anatomically Modern Humans.
As a young Observer, Gohrlay worked as an analyst of human history and produced new evidence that supports Cliph's beliefs about illegal Intervention into human evolution on Earth (she studied the spread of genes providing resistance to microbial disease). Clip is willing to bend the rules in order to help Gohrlay obtain better data from human populations on Earth. Two years prior to the start of the story, Cliph took Gohrlay to Earth for a first visit. He has also introduced her to advanced methods for obtaining secret genetic samples from humans on Earth. Cliph believes that that the automated systems for generating genetic data have been rigged to prevent anyone from noticing gene transfer from the Moon to Earth. He has secretly been compiling his own data as an independent check of the official genetic database of the Observer Corps. He has centered his efforts on other genetic features and is interested in Gohrlay's ideas for examining disease resistance.
Cliph does not agree with Gohrlay about actually trying to alter the human gene pool on Earth so as to protect the tiny Neanderthal population from infectious diseases arising in the larger population of Anatomically Modern Humans.
A genetically modified human living on the Moon. His ancestors were members of the human subspecies that was a common ancestor to Neanderthals and modern humans. That subspecies is not known to current paleoanthropology. We can imagine a human subspecies in Africa that came between H. ergaster and H. heidelbergensis.
All of the Overseers at Observer Base are rather disgusted with modern humans who have almost driven to extinction the only other remaining members of the Homo genus (Neanderthals, H. floresiensis, and one other hypothetical minor subspecies that I am supposing existed and is not yet known to science). For many thousands of years, the Overseers had hoped that the Neanderthals would become the dominant human species on Earth, but now only a small group of Neanderthals remains on Earth during Doltun's life.
The robots known to the Overseers as the Orbho have long been executing a plan that attempts to genetically modify the humans on Earth towards a more desirable behavioral pattern. This is technically a violation of the Rules of Observation, but such shaping of life forms on Earth has been going on for millions of years. The Orbho are actually agents of the Huaoshy, an alien species that first came to Earth about 7 million years ago. As the highest ranking Overseer, Doltun works closely with his aide, Orbho Anagro. The Huaoshy and the Orbho work according to the Rules of Intervention which only require that they "make it APPEAR that advanced cultures follow a rule by which they can only observe less advanced cultures, not interfere with the development and self-determination of other cultures". Specifically, they feel free to alter the development of the human species as long as humans do not know what is going on.
Doltun, like all Overseers, has no awareness of the fact that the Orbho are in control of Observer Base and the fate of humanity. Doltun is pleased to be involved in attempts to alter (improve) the genes of Earth humans, but only a few Overseers are aware of this special project. When Observer Gohrlay discovers Doltun's secret project, Doltun needs a way to get rid of Gohrlay. In the first chapter, when Gohrlay impulsively wants to call Doltun a hypocrite, her unconscious mind is aware that Doltun is a hypocrite. He enforces on Observers the rule against interfering with human evolution on Earth, but he secretly participates in a program which routinely introduced new gene combinations from the Moon to Earth. Gohrlay discovered evidence of that gene transfer, but Anagro has used nanites to remove those memories from Gohrlay's conscious thoughts. Doltun and Anagro do not want the Observers to become aware of their secret activities. Each, for his own reasons, firmly believes that keeping secret their efforts to alter human evolution is a benign policy that is in the best interest of humanity.
Doltun, heavily influenced by Anagro, revives an old plan to convert a biological brain into positronic circuits. Doltun and Gohrlay develop a strong mutual antipathy, but Gohrlay volunteers for the positronics experiment and her biological brain is destroyed, its structure having been used as a template for the positronic circuits of R. Gohrlay.
How does Doltun feel about Gohrlay's death?. Over the course of tens of thousands of years, the Oversees have been carefully manipulated by the Orbho. As an Overseer, Doltun has no doubts about the need to prevent Gohrlay from sharing with her fellow Observers what she learned about the transfer of genes from the Moon to Earth. Doltun believes that humans on Earth are being gradually developed into a form of life that will be well-suited to claim dominion over the entire planet and begin to develop a culture based on advanced technology. However, the time for advanced technology on Earth is still far in the future and Doltun accepts the idea that the Observers must continue their function of collecting data about events on Earth; it would only be disruptive if Observers knew about the transfer of genes from humans on the Moon to humans on the Earth. Doltun thinks that erasing Gohrlay's memories is a gentle form of punishment and he thinks that she should simply start a new life that does not involve concerns about the Observer corps. When Anagro puts the idea in his head, he believes that volunteering for the mind downloading experiment is a reasonable option for Gohrlay. If she is unhappy living with the holes in her memory, she can participate in the experiment and make a contribution to science. Had Doltun, at any point in his life, shown a tendency towards being uncomfortable with the need to keep secrets from Observers and enforce the Rules of Observation then he would not have been allowed to rise in the hierarchy of the Overseers. He feels that Gohrlay is a trouble-maker who has always had a tendency to ask too many questions. Most Observers are happy to go through life without trying to violate the Rules of Observation, so why can't Gohrlay? He has some sympathy for Gohrlay because her empathy for humans on Earth is what caused her to run afoul of the the Rules of Observation. However, she was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" and discovered evidence of a secret that she was not meant to know. Doltun had to wipe Gohrlay’s memory but he could have instructed nanites to make her happy in her new life with fewer memories. Instead he instructed nanites to make her willing to accept death because he didn’t want Gohrlay there as a living reminder of his mistake.
Normally, Gohrlay would remain alive and be a constant reminder for Doltun of his ineptitude. He had put his scheming mind to work on that unhappy state of affairs and found a way out. 
Anagro seems to have thought the experiment with Gohrlay’s brain was worthwhile but Doltun didn’t. Doltun’s intention was to get Gohrlay killed purely to get her out of the way and that either is murder or is close to murder.
Doltun was selected for his position of responsibility within the ranks of the Overseers because he is naturally not the kind of person to be squeamish about handing out punishment to violators of the Rules of Observation. If he ever did start to show too much concern for Gohrlay and her plight, Doltun would either be subjected to nanite-mediated mental conditioning or simply removed from his position and replaced by another Overseer.
Appearance. Doltun, like all Overseers, has darkly pigmented skin. On average, Overseers are significantly shorter than Observers. The Overseers are a genetically modified version of a human variant that existed in Africa before anatomically modern humans evolved. The have been genetically modified so as to appear similar to the population of early humans that was the common ancestor to both Neanderthals anatomically modern humans evolved.
I know this but in the UK where I live there is a law against Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred though I don’t think I’d get into trouble just for including a character in a story who is dark skinned and sometimes nasty. Still if I make other “mistakes” as well, like exercising free speech in ways that Muslims think insults Islam or insults the Koran my enemies might notice what is in stories I helped to write and get me into trouble. In any case I belong to an ethnic minority myself as I’m of mixed Jewish and Gentile descent. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racial prejudice and I think the Race Relations Legislation amounts to good laws that I don’t want to break.
Why do write so sensitively about executions? An elderly family member was threatened with execution under the Nazis and when I was a teenager this relative told me what being in prison expecting execution was like. My relative’s personal experience together with general information about executions that my relative told me gave me a lasting interest in that subject. Proxima Centauri 18:51, January 24, 2010 (UTC)
- Roboticist Esselle - member of the genetically modified human subspecies, the Kighiz) Wife of Rewhand.
Astrogator Fint is an experienced astrogator with long experience working for the Social Engineering Guild, but the journey to Earth's galaxy is Fint's first intergalactic space flight. Fint is a member of the Guiphoa species. Fint holds a personal philosophy that is unusual among views held by members of her species and the Guiphoa species is itself unusual among species within the inter-galactic civilization managed by the Huaoshy.
Within the inter-galactic civilization managed by the Huaoshy, most species evolve away from their natural modes of reproduction. Most species reproduce by artificial means and many are not capable of reproducing without the intervention of artificial reproductive technology. Most species have some form of reproduction in which the members of the species are hermaphrodites. The Guiphoa species is among the minority of species that retains distinct males and females. However, members of the Guiphoa species generally require artificial reproductive technology in order to reproduce: germ cells are collected from the bodies of males by surgical procedures and combined in vitro to produce new individuals. The Guiphoa species was originally ovoviviparous and embryos are routinely cultured inside artificial "eggs". Fint is part of a tiny rebellious movement among the Guiphoa that claims the right to adopt traditional male and female gender roles and use natural fertilization and reproduction (birthing live young from the bodies of females).
Although Fint's views on reproduction are not popular within her own culture, they do provide her with some insight into human society where male and female gender roles and natural reproduction are still dominant.
Prior to the events depicted in The Start of Eternity, Fint has served as astrogator on many Social Engineering Guild missions in her home galaxy. Her galaxy is somewhat unusual in having a relatively large number of species that are not hermaphroditic.
Upon learning about the nature of the human species, Fint suspects that she was selected as astrogator for the Many Sails on this mission to the Milky Way Galaxy because of her views on natural reproduction and because of the fact that she is a rarity in having adopted a female gender role. She hopes that she will be able to provide useful insights into human thinking that will not be possible for the hermaphroditic members of the crew.
Upon joining the crew of Many Sails for the mission to the Milky Way, Fint is pleased to find that Lorn-Kru is a member of a species that prefers natural reproduction over artificial reproduction. However, Lorn-Kru is a hermaphrodite and most members of his species never adopt a male or female gender identity. At the start of the voyage Fint starts trying to get Lorn-Kru to experiment with adopting a male gender identity.
Gohrlay was a genetically modified Neanderthal who lived on the Moon at Observer Base. Gohrlay was the special creation of Anagro, her genes crafted to make her particularly sensitive to the plight of Earth's human populations. Also, using blastomers isolated from Gohrlay's early embryo, Anagro created several clones of Gohrlay as part of his plan to stimulate human research into positronics. See this and related blog posts for more details about how Gohrlay's life was shaped by Anagro.
Gohrlay grew up with an interest in Earth and became an Observer. Gohrlay went through a kind of training and apprenticeship program in order to become an Observer. After learning about the conditions for people living on Earth (note: this is thousands of years before humans start farming), she became unhappy with the idea that no help could be given to them. Gohrlay is about 25 when The Start of Eternity begins, which counts as a "young woman" in her culture. After she is caught by Doltun (first for being on Earth illegally and later while trying to expose the means by which Overseers introduce altered genes into the human population of Earth), because so many of her memories have been made inaccessible to her conscious recall, she behaves like a confused and inexperienced girl a good part of the time.
Leading up to her capture on Earth by Doltun, Gohrlay is adventuresome and a risk taker. She becomes part of a clique with other Observers (including Cliph) who are willing to try to push the boundaries of the Rules of Observation in order to discover possible Interventions into the natural course human evolution on Earth. In the first chapter of The Start of Eternity, she falls into a "trap", imagining that she can secretly make her way to Earth and work to improve the lives of Earthlings. According to the Rules of Observation, only humans who are genetically identical to Earth humans are allowed to go to Earth as a part of a small group of on-Earth Observers. Most Observers, such as Gohrlay, work at Observer Base, processing data that arrives from Earth (much of it collected by automated probes). Gohrlay, like most humans on the Moon, is genetically modified and not even a candidate for duty on Earth. She is captured by the Overseers after having gone to Earth in violation of the Rules of Observation.
After being captured by Doltun while on Earth, Gohrlay is returned to the Moon and placed under "house arrest", which involves having nanites placed in her brain that control her behavior and prevent her from associating with other Observers. While on Earth she found genetic evidence that modified human genes, genes that could only have originated on the Moon, had been introduced into the human population of Earth. Her intuition tells her that such an illegal intervention into the development of life on Earth would only be possible with Overseer collusion.
After having been returned to the Moon and placed under "house arrest" by the Overseers, Gohrlay investigates the Overseers in order to understand how they are secretly introducing new gene combinations into the human population of Earth. However, Overseer Doltun notices her attempted espionage directed against the Overseers. Branded as a trouble-maker, her memories are altered, removing her ability to consciously recall what she discovered on Earth about genetic alterations being introduced from the Moon. In order to protect Huaoshy secrets and push Gohrlay into participation in the mind-downloading experiment, Orbho Anagro works to erase all record of Gohrlay's short time as an Observer. The nanite-induced memory alterations imposed on Gohrlay include removing all memories of her close friends and memories of her family. Similarly, anyone who ever knew Gohrlay closely has their memories of her suppressed by nanites. Other records of Gohrlay's past life are also erased and her personal aide can no longer discuss with Gohrlay the details of her past life as an Observer or her friends and family. Some additional details about alterations to Gohrlay's memories are discussed here.
Gohrlay is offered two choices, either 1) a "living death" with severe restrictions forced on her by behavioral control nanites in her brain, or 2) she can volunteer for an experiment that will copy her brain structure into positronic circuits (maneuvering Gohrlay into participating in the mind downloading experiment was the goal of Anagro's plans for Gohrlay).
Gohrlay gets to know Vicktir Klempse, who explains the the process for converting a biological brain's structure into positronic circuits. That conversion process destroys the biological brain. She also learns that the small team of scientists does not make use of the robotic aides that are commonly used by humans at Observer Base. She begins to suspect that Orbho Anagro and other robots are the true "power behind the thrown" (most residents of Observer Base believe that the Overseers are in charge of the Base). She volunteers for the experiment and hopes that somehow her mind will live on in positronic form.
Gohrlay's intuitions are actually based on a weak form of telepathy that is genetically part of the Neanderthal genetic pattern and particularly well expressed in a few individuals such as herself. Beyond her "intuition", some of her optimism for the future comes from her study of the history of the development of positronic robots, as described in her diary.
Before Gohrlay's brain is destroyed, she develops an extreme hatred for Doltun. Due to the restrictions imposed by her "house arrest", Klempse is her only remaining friend.
Gohrlay goes through a rather ironic roller coaster ride before her death at a young age and it is only a kind of partial death since a robotic consciousness succeeds her (R. Gohrlay) as a related artificial lifeform that retains many of Gohrlay's memories. She is born into a community where most people do not care about Earth or anything beyond their comfortable lives. Dissatisfied with the ordinary, she is driven to qualify for participation in the elite organization of her culture, the Observers. However, after a short time as an observer, she comes to doubt the ethical validity of the entire (apparent) purpose of Observer Base and she starts to look for ways to help Earthlings. She is caught and punished as an "Interventionist" and develops a hatred for Doltun, the head Overseer. That hatred is largely fueled by the fact that Doltun is running the "official" intervention into human evolution on Earth. Gohrlay stumbled upon evidence for Doltun's "crime", but Orbho Anagro supplied nanites that block out Gohrlay's memories.
Appearance: like all of the genetically modified Neanderthals on the Moon, her appearance has been adjusted to be similar to that of anatomically modern humans. Observers have a wide range of superficial features including skin pigmentation that varies from light to dark, but Gohrlay has inherited light skin and reddish hair. This choice was made in keeping with Asimov's decision to depict R. Daneel Olivaw as having been created in the image of a human with red hair. In The Start of Eternity, Daneel is depicted as having been created by R. Gohrlay with the intent that Daneel be the "eyes and ears and hands" of R. Gohrlay away from the Moon. On average, Observers are taller than Overseers and Gohrlay is significantly taller than Overseer Doltun. The superficial appearance of residents at Observer Base is easily modified using "cosmetic nanites". Like most humans on the Moon, Gohrlay sometimes changes her appearance...often on a whim. After returning to the Moon following her arrest, she makes a major alteration to her appearance. This change is prompted by Anagro, who does not want her interacting with her old friends and colleagues.
Does Gohrlay fear death? See the discussion at Talk:The Start of Eternity/0.
Gohrlay is something of a Promethian figure who sacrifices her life in an attempt, sometimes misguided to help humanity. For Promethius the punishment was imprisonment and torture rather than death but there is still a parallel. People such as Klempse are led to believe that Gohrlay dies when the structure of her brain is scanned, but she is actually taken away from the Moon in keeping with Rule Three of the Rules of Intervention.
R. Gohrlay was the first positronic robot with telepathic abilities. Much of the basic circuitry of R. Gohrlay's positronic brain was adapted from the structure of a single Neanderthal's brain, an individual named Gohrlay. It takes a while for R. Gohrlay to assemble the positronic-formatted fragments of Gohrlay's mind into a new robotic mind, but eventually Gohrlay the robot is very much like Gohrlay the human.
The brain circuits of R. Gohrlay were duplicated and the copy was integrated into R. Nahan's positronic brain.
R. Gohrlay discovers that positronic brains can achieve telepathic communication. She realizes that the Huaoshy control the fate of humanity and she attempts to learn how to develop and use her telepathic abilities to liberate humanity from the Huaoshy. She programs into Nahan "the Rule": they must act so as to protect humanity.
She quickly transfers most of her antipathy from Doltun to the Huaoshy. She realizes that she now dislikes Doltun for doing to Earth essentially what she wanted to do, but importantly, she wanted to help Earthlings for their own sake. She suspects that it is not in the best interests of humanity to have the Huaoshy guiding the evolution of humans. That is a judgment that she had to "live" with for thousands of years, through the long difficult slog of bringing Galaxia into existence, before realizing that all her struggles against the aliens were not only futile, but misguided. However, a consequence of her war against the Huaoshy is that one of the two "sedron filling stations" is located on Earth's Moon, which will make Earth an important place within intergalactic civilization.
R. Gohrlay is able to destroy the Huaoshy agents who were in control of Observer Base. Gohrlay kills Doltun (However, the death of Doltun might not be needed, see Talk:The Start of Eternity/16) and is involved with the death of another human (Observer Lercimn). She is horrified and revolted by her involvement with these deaths. In order to prevent positronic robots from ever again causing the deaths of humans, she programs into herself and Nahan the imperative that robots must protect humans.
In the Basic Reality, R. Gohrlay's positronic brain was damaged and R. Nahan was responsible for developing time travel. He eventually traveled back in time and repaired R. Gohrlay's damaged brain and passed on knowledge that helped speed the development of time travel.
Because of her disgust at having caused the death(?) of Doltun and Lercimn and with the Laws of Robotics controlling her behavior, Gohrlay keeps humanity "penned up" on Earth and tries to use genetic and social engineering and time travel technology to perfect humanity.
R. Gohrlay made extensive use of time travel in an attempt to follow the Zeroth Law, but she ultimately decided that it was not productive to over-use time travel in an effort to improve human existence.
Out of fear of the Huaoshy, R. Gohrlay mostly remains within the time travel device on the Moon.
When the Huaoshy began to understand that telepathic robots existed and were responsible for the growth of Galaxia, R. Gohrlay's memories were transferred into the brain a genetically modified human who then adopted the name "Gohrlay" (see Gohrlay the Time Guardian).
Why I’m keen that Human Gohrlay and R Gohrlay are differentEdit
When I write fiction sometimes I try to educate as well as entertain and there are some people seriously wanting to clone an innocent child from Hitler so they can punish this child for Hitler’s crimes.  Well cloning technology is nowhere near that now but within fifty years it could be possible. I want to give the clear message that a clone is not the same person as the original person even if false memories have been implanted. R Gohrlay is not human Gohrlay however similar their memories and behaviour and a human clone is not the same person as the original person either. Proxima Centauri 16:04, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
- There is no question that R. Gohrlay will end up with a significantly different mind than that of the human Gohrlay. The mind downloading process is designed to copy the neural network structure of a human brain, but there is no complete method for detecting and reproducing all of the functional molecular components of the billions of neurons that are scanned. In his novel Foundation and Earth, Asimov introduced the idea of transferring a robot's mind into a human brain. It is by moving memories from R. Gohrlay's positronic brain into a genetically modified human's brain that the mind of Gohrlay the Time Guardian comes into existence. This "mind transfer" takes place at a time far in our future after which significant progress has been made in neuroscience, genetic engineering and the study of positronic brains. My assumption is that the "mind transfer" from R. Gohrlay to "Gohrlay the Time Guardian" is a much more efficient process than the human brain --> positronic circuit transfer which originally began the process of forming R. Gohrlay's mind. --JWSchmidt 20:07, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
Gohrlay the Time GuardianEdit
When R. Ghorlay begins to fear that the Huaoshy might learn about the existence of telepathic robots with positronic brains, she transfers her memories into a genetically modified human similar to Bliss. The transfer is done gradually, starting even before Ghorlay's new human host is born. Gohrlay's robotic body remains as a kind of decoy that is susceptible to attack by mind-static weapons.
Galaxia is being formed from genetically modified humans who have rules similar to the Laws of Robots as genetically pre-programmed behavioral predispositions. Also, they have a form of telepathy that is resistant to "mind static" weapons. Gohrlay the Time Guardian's brain is resistant to "mind static" weapons and she remains hidden within the time travel device on the Moon. When the crew of the Many Sail attempts to use time travel to create a reality in which Galaxia does not form, Gohrlay can easily reverse the change.
However, the Huaoshy develop their own time travel technology and eventually discover a way to lure Gohrlay out of the safety of her time travel machine's "bubble universe". Huaoshy nanites invade her brain and defeat her. She finally comes to realize that the Huaoshy are not all that bad and that humans will have a good future as part of the inter-galactic empire that is controlled by the Huaoshy.
A character from Asimov's novel, The End of Eternity. Harlan lived for many years within Eternity and took part in using time travel as a tool for shaping the development of human civilization on Earth within the Mallansohn Reality. Along with Noÿs Lambent, Harlan was responsible for destroying Eternity and starting the Foundation Reality.
Robot Jeed - chief cook and bottle washer for the Many Sails
Klempse is one of the few scientists at Observer Base. Normally the Huaoshy do not encourage the residents at observer outposts to explore science, but a small group of humans have discovered science and they have been allowed to explore theoretical physics. Klempse is not particularly interested in positronics, but when Doltun arrives at the research center and asks if a previously abandoned mind uploading project can be taken out of moth balls, Klempse is pressed into service (nanites are sent into his brain by Doltun; the nanites encourage Klempse to "volunteer" for the project). Wints is the only true roboticist, but he is working on the Nahan project. As a young man, Wints developed an interest in the mind uploading project, but he was discouraged from working on that project because there was no test subject available. Wints only serves as an adviser for Klempse as Klempse prepares to convert the structure of Gohrlay's biological brain into positronic circuits.
Like all of the scientists at Observer Base, Klempse does not trust the robotic aides that normally accompany each human through life. Klempse shares the suspicion that robotic aides make humans intellectually lazy. The scientists believe that they must not rely on robotic aides: that they must think for themselves as they explore physical reality. The existing Huaoshy-designed robots such as Orbho Anagro have tried to restrict the human scientists to study of theoretical physics, but over time they have allowed work to go ahead on applied positronics. Anagro is curious to see if humans can accomplish anything useful with positronics. Klempse was never particularly interested in positronics before Gohrlay showed up and convinced him that she really was willing to have her brain destroyed and its structure converted into positronic circuitry. Gohrlay and Klempse become friends, with Klempse feeling rather protective of her, almost as if she were a daughter.
Engineer Lorn-Kru is a Social Engineer specializing in the design of genetic changes that will improve the social dynamics of interactions between different species. Thon is a member of the Ouwui species. The Ouwui are hermaphroditic and do not use terms such as "he" and "she", so the gender neutral pronoun "thon" is applied to Lorn-Kru.
During the time period described in The Start of Eternity, Lorn-Kru is functionally male, but members of the Ouwui species can switch between the production of male and female gametes. Most members of the Ouwui species believe that the choice of being functionally male or female should be based on practicality and rational decisions. Adoption and rigid adherence to a male or female gender identity is viewed as an undesirable personality aberration by most Ouwui.
During the trip to Earth, Fint tries to get Lorn-Kru to explore the idea of adopting a gender identity. Lorn-Kru is unable to do much more than treat this as an intellectual exercise and a chance to consider gender as a factor in human society.
A character from Asimov's novel, The End of Eternity. Noÿs was born in Earth's far future, about 10 million years after humans first developed a technologically advanced civilization. Noÿs was born in the Mallansohn Reality and along with Andrew Harlon was responsible for initiating the Foundation Reality.
Humans from the time that was 10 million years after humans first developed a technologically advanced civilization had evolved and changed genetically from humans of the Primitive.
Noÿs is still living on Earth in the current Reality.
Many Sails is an artificial life form that is an intergalactic space ship with hyperspace drive.
The first robot with a positronic brain. However, he only attained human-like cognitive abilities upon receiving copies of R. Gohrlay's brain circuits. When R. Gohrlay's positronic brain is damaged, R. Nahan goes on to create additional robots with positronic brains. Nahan's team of positronic robots eventually develop time travel technology. In the "Nahan Reality", humans begin to colonize nearby star systems as depicted in Asimov's novel Nemesis. By studying the "mind" of the "sentient planet" Erythro and its interaction with humans, Nahan is able to learn about the existence of rudimentary telepathic abilities in some humans. However, R. Nahan travels back in time to save R. Gohrlay, causing a Reality Change. R. Nahan is able to pass information to R. Gohrlay that greatly accelerates development of time travel and other key technologies, particularly nanite technology and key technologies for space travel and time travel. He passes on to R. Gohrlay the location of Nemesis (which she keeps secret).
Nan is Gohrlay's personal robotic aide. Nan has lived as Gohrlay's companion since Gohrlay was born. Nan worked closely with Anagro to guide and shape the course of Gohrlay's life, first towards participation in the Observer Corps and then towards becoming an Interventionist who is willing to violate the Rules of Observation.
Sahiwha Nennoad - member of the Ressese species and leader of the "training mission" to Imfulri.
Robot Daneel OlivawEdit
Robot Daneel Olivaw managed the spread of humanity through the galaxy until handing over the final stages of creating Galaxia to Fallom.
Commander Orleane - physiologically Earth-standard human
Encyclopedist Pavao is head of the Encyclopedia Galactica.
- Geneticist Rewhand - member of the Kighiz human subspecies. Husband of Esselle.
A robot with a positronic brain and a female human body design. Rycleu worked on various time travel missions using the technology of Eternity to help shape the development of human civilization. Rycleu played an important role in the early part of the Foundation Reality, helping to make sure that robots with positronic brains would be created on Earth in the 20th century.
Demographer Wilry - experienced demographer of galaxies and member of the Deltrijoshnypwannem species.
Wints has worked for two decades developing the Nahan robot. Due to the influence of nanites on his thinking, he is very skeptical about the wisdom of trying to convert the structure of Gohrlay's biological brain into positronic circuits. However, after that "mind uploading" process is completed, Wints plays a major role in recruiting other scientists to help with the task of integrating copies of R. Gohrlay's positronic brain circuits into the existing positronic brain of R. Nahan. This greatly speeds up R. Gohrlay's discover of her telepathic ability.
In order of appearance:
- Observer Gohrlay - a genetically modified Neanderthal.
- Orbho Nan - Gohrlay's personal robotic aide
- Cliph - an Observer who helps Gohrlay reach Earth
- Overseer Doltun - a genetically modified variant of the common ancestor to Neanderthals and modern humans. Doltun is an Overseer who watches for the kind of Interventionist plot that Gohrlay is involved in.
- Orbho Anagro - a robot at Observer Base. All of the robotic orbho were created by the Huaoshy.
- Vicktir Klempse - a scientist who works with Gohrlay towards the goal of converting her brain's neural networks into positronic circuits.
- Wints - a roboticist who works to endow positronic brains with human-like minds.
- R. Nahan - a humaniform robot who sometimes worked at Daneel's Base on the Moon, but who actually worked for Gohrlay (see below), operating out of Observer Base.
- R. Gohrlay - the telepathic humaniform robot that used Eternity as a tool to perfect human existence on Earth. Eventually R. Gohrlay transfers its memories into a genetically modified human who uses the name "Gohrlay".
- R. Rycleu - travels back in time to the 1930s in order to stimulate the development of positronics. In 1947 she provides information to Noÿs Lambent (see below) and Andrew Harlan that will help stimulate the development of positronics in England.
- Noÿs Lambent - From a time over 10,000,000 years in the future. She traveled back in time with Andrew Harlan to stimulate development of space travel on Earth in the 20th century.
- Andrew Harlan - From about 90,000 years in the future. He traveled back in time with Noÿs Lambent.
- Engineer Lorn-Kru - a Social Engineer specializing in the design of genetic changes that will improve social dynamics. A member of the Ouwui species.
- Many Sails - artificial life form that is an intergalactic space ship with hyperspace drive
- Captain Hooski - Captain of the Many Sails for the mission to Earth's galaxy. Member of the Huaoshy species, the first species that developed the hyperspatial jump drive.
- Robot Jeed - chief cook and bottle washer for the Many Sails
- Astrogator Fint - experienced astrogator with long experience for the Social Engineering Guild, but the journey to Earth's galaxy is Fint's first intergalactic space flight. Member of the Guiphoa species.
- Demographer Wilry - experienced demographer of galaxies and member of the Deltrijoshnypwannem species.
- Historian Nadit Daanour - long-time colleague of Wilry. A member of the bipedal Ghreliuw species.
- Citizen Alkeirs - only member of the initial crew of the Many Sails who is not a member of the Social Engineering Guild.
- Avizeh and Ladislas - Two humans at the Observer Base in the Large Magellanic Cloud that is visited by the Many Sails. Both members of a human variant subspecies engineered for protogyny.
- Sahiwha Nennoad - member of the Ressese species and leader of the "training mission" to Imfulri.
- Commander Orleane - physiologically Earth-standard human
- Roboticist Esselle - member of the genetically modified human subspecies, the Kighiz and wife of Rewhand.
- Geneticist Rewhand - member of the Kighiz human subspecies. Husband of Esselle.
Usually written as R. Daneel Olivaw:
- Robot Daneel Olivaw - Now retired from managing the formation of Galaxia, Daneel continues to help convert the worlds of the First Foundation into worlds of the Galaxia collective.
- Encyclopedist Pavao - Head of the Encyclopedia Galactica.
- R. Lackner, in charge of monitoring the world Imfulri. Has the body form of a member of the Ressese species.
- Fallom - a character that was created by Isaac Asimov. Fallom is a genetically modified human from the planet Solaria. Fallom received many memories from R. Daneel Olivaw and is now in charge of completing Galaxia.
- Robot Creal - a humaniform robot that was sent on the Many Sails as a kind of Trojan Horse.
- Grean - time traveling Huaoshy
- Major Marcel - collected crash debris from the Brazel ranch
- Isaac Asimov - clerk for Major Marcel
- R. Fengtol - positronic brain robot working to stimulate research into positronics in North America
- Nora Winsou - a resident of Uvadekoto and the first person to take seriously the task of producing sedrons.
- Stan - the first person in Uvadekoto to conceive a theory of sedronic physics, making it possible to produce sedrons.
- Tilly Winsou- mother of Nora
- Jillia Winsou - sister of Nora
- Metslen Winsou - brother of Nora
- Karsa Winsou - cousin of Nora
- Prinstir - Nora's personal robot
- Dinster ("Diny"), Bernard ("Berny") and Riley ("Ril") - Nora's sons
- Alastur - distant cousin of Nora
- Ormy Degsles - Chair of the Uvadekoto History Unit
- Tinsifur - robotic bar tender
- Zanset - robot who sells flowers to Stan
- Ambassador Dodd - representative of the World Government
- Skingk - alien robot
- Vicktir Klempse - positronics researcher at Observer Base.
- Wints - member of the positronic robot development team
- Observer Lercimn - an acquaintance of Gohrlay who she tries to use to capture a Huaoshy spaceship.
Translation note: words from Human Standard Galactic and Huaoshy Standard Intergalactic have been faithfully translated, but no native speakers were available to help with interpretation of the early human languages. Rather than rely on machine-generated translations, some terms from early human languages were not translated and appear in this glossary with our best guess as to their meanings.
Glossary of terms for The Start of EternityEdit
This glossary provides descriptions of important story elements found in The Start of Eternity.
In alphabetical order:
Aliens that are not male or femaleEdit
|Nominative (subject)||Accusative (object)||Possessive adjective||Possessive pronoun||Reflexive|
|he||He laughed||I called him||His eyes gleam||That is his||He likes himself|
|she||She laughed||I called her||Her eyes gleam||That is hers||She likes herself|
|it||It laughed||I called it||Its eyes gleam||That is its||It likes itself|
|thon||Thon laughed||I called thon||Thons eyes gleam||That is thons||Thon likes thonself|
A place for socializing within the underground city at Observer Base.
an important part of physics, used for hyperspatial travel, telepathy and time travel. Some forms of matter can move through compact dimensions from one point in space-time to another.
The Deltrijoshnypwannem are a highly genetically modified species. Their engineered brains allow two parallel thought processes, one in each side of the brain. They are capable of carrying on two conversations at the same time. They have a hermaphroditic pattern of reproduction and complete reliance on artificial womb technology for embryo gestation. Demographer Wilry is a member of this species.
When the Foundation was established, the official reason provided for its existence was that Terminus would be a world where all of the galaxy's technological knowledge could be kept safe. Later, most people came to believe that the Encyclopedia Galactica was only a cover story. See The Encyclopedists at Wikipedia.
Eternal life cultsEdit
A common social phenomenon by which members of various species come to believe in eternal life or a way to dramatically increase the length of lives for biological organisms.
Eternals were the residents of Eternity.
"Eternity" is the name that was given by humans to the system that makes time travel possible. Eternity was spatially coupled to Earth, but it existed as a place outside of ordinary time and space where time travelers, known as the Eternals, lived. The Eternals could move back and forth between Eternity and ordinary time and space, entering into any time period of Earth's history. Their mission was to make Reality Changes, changes in the course of history that would result in an improved Reality. See The End of Eternity.
The First Foundation was established on the planet Terminus as a center for the development of microfusion power technology. The Second Foundation was established on Trantor, the Capitol world of the Galactic Empire. The Second Foundation was a center for development of "psychologists" with telepathic abilities. The goal of the Foundations was to allow the previously existing Galactic Empire to crumble and have the Foundations re-form a galaxy-wide civilization that would be ruled by telepathic "psychologists". However, half way along this 1,000 year long process of reformation, the Foundation plan was abandoned in favor of its alternative, Galaxia.
Fundamental Theorem of Species DiversityEdit
The Fundamental Theorem of Species Diversity states that galactic civilizations composed from diverse mixtures of species are the most stable. Across millions of years and tens of thousands of galaxies conditions have proved the soundness of this Theorem as the basis for social engineering policy.
The super-organism that is forming in the Milky Way Galaxy and which requires creation of a group mind for all of humanity. See this Wikipedia article for more information.
Bipedal species most known from the Roswell Incident. Genetically engineered to have only a single sex and a single type of gamete. In vivo fertilization is still possible, but rarely practiced. Reproduction almost always involves laboratory-assisted fertilization.
Historian Nadit Daanour is a member of the Ghreliuw species.
A "second generation" hyperspatial jump drive technology that allows faster movement between the stars and between galaxies. During the development of Galaxia humans discover gravitic drive technology and use it to begin a tentative expansion of humanity beyond its own home galaxy. The gravitic drive is one of three technologies that is discovered first by the positronic brain robots led by Gohrlay. The Huaoshy only slowly become aware of the importance of positronics for these remarkable technological advances, and ultimately, they decide that their intergalactic civilization cannot absorb these transformational technologies. See Sedrons.
a relatively rare example of a heavily genetically engineered species that had retained two distinct sexes. Morphology: quadrupeds with a centralized apical combination tentacle, genital and sensory stalk. Reliance on artificial reproductive technology is nearly universal. Individuals such as Fint who have an interest in non-technologically assisted reproduction are viewed as regressive throwbacks to the past.
Hierions are a class of bosons that are able to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light.
the origin of the Huaoshy species, now roughly at the center of the 90,000 galaxies that have been tamed by the Huaoshy and brought into their vast inter-galactic civilization.
The Huaoshy species was the first species that developed the hyperspatial jump drive. They developed a galactic exploration process that has grown to include tens of thousands of galaxies populated by millions of space-faring species. This vast inter-galactic culture is united by a common language and almost all of the many species have been carefully engineered by the Huaoshy to be similar to the Huaoshy and each other.
A computerized listing of all residents at Observer Base.
Interventionists try to find ways to subvert the Rules of Observation and provide help to less technologically advanced cultures.
"Kat" was a word in the Neanderthal language that was in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Kat" means, roughly, "protector", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by a female when addressing a male, typically a female who had an intimate relationship with the male and who trusted him to be near her children. Originally the word "kat" was derived from a word meaning "fight" or "warrior" in cultures where Neanderthal males had conflicts with outsiders. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: mur and kra.
Time travelers move through time by entering a special chamber. Due to the external appearance of these time travel chambers, they are referred to as "kettles".
A Kezetz plot shows the genetic predisposition of a species towards aggression (vertical axis). The "T" axis on a Kezetz plot can be the time axis, but generally it represents technological advancement from simple tool use and manufacture on towards more complex technological civilizations. The green surfaces below the "Kezetz cliff" represent a high technology domain where aggression is minimized and the species can be merged into intergalactic civilization along with many other space-faring species. The gray surface represents the pre-space age and low technology domain of cultural development during which high levels of aggression are important for allowing the species to dominate its own home planet.
A genetically modified subtype of human specialized for compatibility with electronic neural implants that allow efficient radio communication with robots.
Roboticist Esselle and Geneticist Rewhand are members of the Kighiz subspecies.
"Kra" was a word in the Neanderthal language that was in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Kra" means, roughly, "wise one", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by a male when addressing a female, typically a male who had an intimate relationship with the female and was trusted to be near her children. Originally the word "kra" was derived from a word meaning "fire" in cultures where Neanderthal females were the keepers of fire. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: mur and kat.
Laws of RoboticsEdit
The Laws of Robotics were devised by Isaac Asimov. Robots such as Daneel Olivaw follow these laws. In particular, the "Zeroth Law" says that a robot must act to promote the interests humanity. This led to Daneel taking control of the development of galactic human civilization so as to make humanity safe from aliens who originated in other galaxies.
This is the spaceship that is commanded by Captain Hooski.
"Mer" was a word in the Neanderthal language in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Mer" means, roughly, "youngster", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used by an adult to refer to children who were cared for by the adults of a group. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "child". See also: mur, kat and kra.
Mind static weaponEdit
A device that can flood a telepathic mind with "noise", incapacitating the telepath.
"Mind downloading" is the term used by Vicktir Klempse and other roboticists at Observer Base to refer to the process by which the structure of a human brain is copied into a substrate of positronic circuits. See: Mind uploading.
"Mur" was a word in the Neanderthal language in use at the Observer Base for Earth during the time when Neanderthals served as Observers. "Mur" means, roughly, "trustworthy", and was derived from a Neanderthal dialect in which it was specifically used between two intimate females, typical females who would trust each other in helping care for their children. At Observer Base the term came to be used in a similar way to the English word "friend". See also: kat and kra.
Nanites are nano-scale devices (see Nanorobotics). Nanites are used for many purposes at Observer Base, mostly mundane tasks such as cleaning, jobs that the human residents take for granted and hardly notice. Nanites can also function as a means to alter brain function or to alter a person's appearance.
The home base for Observers. Observer Base for Earth was an underground city on the Moon. Most of the Observer Base residents were genetically modified humans. Some of the important genetic modifications included: adaptations for life in the relatively low gravity of the Moon, enhanced susceptibility to the neurological effects of nanites, absence of genetic predispositions for cancer and degenerative diseases, physical appearance adjusted to conform to that of humans on Earth.
Observers must follow the Rules of Observation. In general, Observers have more advanced technology than the culture they are observing. The Rules of Observation are designed to allow advanced civilizations to study more primitive cultures without allowing the primitives to become aware of the Observers. See also: Overseers. Not to be confused with Guild Observers.
The Oodeckru were a notoriously difficult species that caused a significant amount of disruption within intergalactic society. The Oodeckru were often discussed as a "textbook" example of a species needing a large amount of social engineering.
A word used by humans at Observer Base as a formal title for the robotic agents of the Huaoshy. The word was derived from an early human word roughly meaning "slave". Before the advent of telepathy, no humans were aware of the Huaoshy.
Highly genetically modified to promote abstract thought and detachment from physical concerns. Greatly reduced chemical and tactile senses, monochromatic visual sense, but highly developed hearing and speech abilities. The auditory sense organ is nearly a complete ring around the crown of the skull. Morphology: bipedal with a radial array of branched tentacles. The Ouwui have a body temperature set point that is significantly higher than the average for species that work with the Huaoshy.
The Ouwui are hermaphroditic with complete conscious control of the reproductive process. They have a consciously-controlled form of sequential hermaphroditism and can switch from producing male gametes to female in about a year and from female to male in a much shorter period of time. At the gross anatomical level they have both male and female structures all the time. The Ouwui species has a strong bias against using artificial reproductive technologies.
Lorn-Kru is a member of the Ouwui species.
A term used by Eternals to distinguish between the flow of Time in Realities and the flow of time within Eternity. Humans continue to age and time passes within Eternity. This passage of time for the Eternals is "physiological time", or physiotime. When an Eternal moves from Eternity into Time, a personal temporal field generator can anchor the time traveler within "physiotime", meaning that the time traveler is protected from Reality Changes in the same way as anyone who is actually within Eternity.
Positronic brains are what makes telepathy possible. In the long history of the Huaoshy, electronics have always been used for the production of artificial intelligences. Unlike electronic robotic brains, positronic brains can produce large amounts of T-particles, the basis of telepathic communication.
The Primitive Ear is a term used by Eternals to refer to the time before Eternity was was created.
"Reality" is a technical term used by time travelers to refer to the universe of planets and people. Time travel is made possible by the creation of a "bubble universe" that exists as a spatio-temporal anomaly outside of Reality (see Eternity). Time travelers can exist within Eternity where they are protected from changes in Reality. Time travelers can alter events in an existing Reality and trigger a Reality Change that results in a new Reality: a new sequence of events in time.
"Reality Change" is a technical term used to describe the creation of an alternative time line. A Reality Change is caused when a time traveler goes back in time and makes a change in the course of events. There are multiple "Realities" that sequentially come into existence when time travel is used as a tool for altering Reality. Realities have a kind of "momentum", so most changes in time do not dramatically alter a Reality.
The Ressese species originated on the planet Imfulri. Adapted to the relatively high gravity and atmospheric pressure of Imfulri, the Ressese are squat quadrupeds with an apical array of tentacles that they use for manipulating objects, much in the way humans use their hands.
Robots in Asimov's fictional universe are often androids, with human-like bodies. Robots that have been carefully designed to resemble humans are called "humaniform robots" and cannot be distinguished from humans by casual inspection. The names of robots such as R. Gohrlay are often prefixed by "R." as a title indicating that the individual is a robot.
There are several types of robots in The Start of Eternity. The robots with positronic brains are all cognitive descendants of Gohrlay, a genetically modified Neanderthal. Some of the robots are nanoelectronic and were manufactured by aliens. See: Orbho.
Rules of ObservationEdit
The Rules of Observation constitute a set of guidelines for Observers. These rules are designed to keep humans on Earth from learning that extraterrestrial forces have been observing Earth for millions of years. Violations of the Rules of Observation are detected by Overseers who function as a kind of police force. The Rules of Observation are a special case of the Rules of Intervention which generally restrict contacts between more technologically advanced life forms and less advanced cultures.
One of the pop cultural trends of the time, favoring a synthetic look rather than a biologically natural appearance. The term "sint" was used to refer to the entire cultural trend and to individuals who participated in its exploration.
The Skydisk Cult originated on the Moon among primitive humans (ancestral to both Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans) who were struggling to understand the relationship between the Moon and Earth and how it was possible for some humans to travel from the Moon to the Earth. Long after the origin of the Skydisk Cult, significant progress was made in selecting for new human variants that were more predisposed to having religious beliefs (Anatomically Modern Humans). Neanderthals were notable in that they were not very predisposed to having religious beliefs.
Social Engineering GuildEdit
One of the major social tasks facing intergalactic civilization is finding ways to engineer millions of different cultures so as to make them compatible. The Social Engineering Guild trains professionals who study conflicts between cultures and design social changes that will remove conflict.
The computerized network used by residents of Observer Base. Each user of the sonet had a conlist, all of their regular partners in electronic conversation.
The standard language used by humans on the inhabited worlds of their home galaxy. The use of Standard Galactic by all humans is encouraged by the positronic robots who are guiding humanity towards the formation of Galaxia.
The standard language used through all of the tens of thousands of galaxies within the sphere of influence of the Huaoshy species.
Telepathy was first discovered by positronic robots because of the favorable interactions between positrons and T-particles. Basic telepathy allows the exchange of information. More advanced forms of telepathy allow "mentalics", the control of another's thoughts by telepathic means.
One of the unexplained features of Time is the existence of temporal momentum. Some events in any Reality are difficult to change by sending a time traveler back in time. For the strongest temporal attractors it is impossible to avoid their effects: some events cannot be prevented. The Foundation-Galaxia vortex of the Foundation Reality is an example of a temporal attractor. Any attempt to form Galaxia always required that the Galactic Empire be allowed to collapse and an effort be made to form a new Empire by establishing the First and Second Foundations. See Strange attractor.
Temporal field generatorEdit
A device worn on the wrist by time travelers. It creates a local temporal field that protects time travelers from the effects of Reality Changes.
The planet where the First Foundation was founded.
one of the few planets in the Milky Way Galaxy where visitors from other galaxies are allowed.
The Saga of UvadekotoEdit
T-particles are a form of dark matter. Positronic brains can use T-particles and their associated twitinos for telepathic communication.
The first interstellar spaceship built by the Retair.
NOTE: If you reached this glossary from the story, you should probably use your browser's back button to return to the story.
This is intended to provide a description of how The Start of Eternity was created. Under construction: the story is not yet complete; collaborating authors are welcome.
The End of EternityEdit
Isaac Asimov's time travel novel, The End of Eternity, was published in 1955. I'm not sure when I read The End of Eternity, but it was probably around 1976. It was fun to imagine that time travelers from the future such as Noÿs Lambent and Andrew Harlan might have lived out their lives in the 20th century.
One of the interesting features of The End of Eternity is that it is a story about time travel in which the technology for time travel is thrown away. Humanity is shown abandoning the use of time travel, but we have to wonder: if time travel was invented once, would anything prevent it from being invented again?
Asimov has often been criticized for his one-dimensional characters. Noÿs was a rather amazing character for the 1950s. She was a smart and sexually-liberated secret agent from the far future. After introducing us to Noÿs, Asimov never told us enough: in what kinds of ways would a woman from 10,000,000 years in the future differ from us? For some of my ideas, see this blog post.
In Foundation's Edge (1982) Asimov mentioned the idea that "Eternals" had used their time travel technology to select a Reality in which humans would spread through the galaxy. I read Foundation's Edge in the mid 80s and was intrigued by the possibility that Asimov might some day write another story about Noÿs and Andrew and their adventures in the 20th century. In The End of Eternity Asimov wrote about Noÿs and Andrew using their knowledge from the future to stimulate the development of space travel technology. What other kinds of changes would they have caused to the course of history?
Foundation and EarthEdit
I've long been interested in the possibility that Noÿs had "mentalic" abilities. In The End of Eternity, Andrew rather mysteriously has a "revelation" about the existence of a time loop which, in essence, allows time travelers to make time travel possible. Did Noÿs telepathically plant that startling idea in Andrew's mind? However, another possibility is that telepathic robots like Daneel were involved in the destruction of Eternity.
In addition to showing that the galaxy was heading towards formation of a "group mind", Galaxia, Asimov raised the specter of aliens from other galaxies (Foundation and Earth, 1986). If time travel was used to make the Milky Way a "humans only club" then what would prevent aliens from using time travel in a similar way? Isn't it inevitable that the universe would degenerate into a time travel war? Is there any way to absolutely make it impossible for time travel to be used?
Unfortunately Asimov was taken from us before he had a chance to extend the Foundation Saga beyond the events that were depicted in Foundation and Earth. How would Asimov have written aliens into the Foundation Saga?
Some of my thoughts about the role of aliens in The Start of Eternity can be seen in this blog post.
In Foundation and Earth, Asimov emphasized aliens from outside of our own galaxy, but The Start of Eternity also includes aliens from our own galaxy.
The Start of EternityEdit
In 2005 I started experimenting with fan fiction. Not long after that, I started playing around with the idea that it might be possible to write a fan fiction sequel to Asimov's The End of Eternity. I re-read the story and wrote down some ideas for a sequel. I started thinking about ways to develop the idea that telepathic robots had been the creators of Eternity but eventually those robots realized time travel was a problem. In order to prevent aliens from taking over the galaxy, the robots made use of Noÿs as their secret agent who could destroy Eternity and make sure that space travel technology was developed in the 20th century. At first, I toyed with the idea that Noÿs could have also been involved in the creation of Eternity.
The Start of Eternity is a fan fiction story that explores the relationship between Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity and his Foundation Saga. The sections below describe the development of The Start of Eternity from when I started working on it at this wiki in 2008.
Noÿs, as a secret agent who interfered with the function of Eternity (actually, she made use of Andrew to destroy Eternity) and the Second Foundationers (with their mentalic powers) were important influences on my thinking about a solution to the Fermi paradox. I like to imagine that aliens with human-like minds evolved long ago on distant planets and have existed as a space-faring civilization for hundreds of millions of years. How would such beings interact with creatures on other worlds like Earth? I like to imagine that such hypothetical beings might:
1) have some rules that limit the ways they interact with more primitive civilizations and
2) have advanced technology that from our perspective would be indistinguishable from magic.
My first thoughts for The Start of Eternity that I wrote down at this wiki back in 2008 included the idea of aliens from another galaxy discovering the existence of telepathic robots from Earth who had the power to travel in time.
By June of 2008 I had decided to make The Start of Eternity a story in which aliens had long been visitors to Earth (see this early version of the timeline). By then I had decided that there was a long untold history of positronic robots before the events in the 20th century that Asimov wrote about.
I was never very comfortable with Asimov's "mentailics". After starting The Start of Eternity I had the chance to collaborate on The Search For Kalid, a story that involves "mental powers". I was forced to invent a fictional theory of telepathy and that experience gave me some ideas for how to develop The Start of Eternity.
When I got back to The Start of Eternity in 2009, I had a fairly clear idea of how to continue the Foundation Saga past the point where Asimov had gotten stuck.
I turned to the issue of what Noÿs and Andrew had done while living in the 20th century (see this early version). I soon started writing about the early positronic robots who had been involved in the creation of Eternity.
Asimov had written about the telepathic male robots Giskard and Daneel, so I decided to make the first telepathic robots be female, just to mix things up. First I wrote about R. Rycleu, an agent on Earth who interacted with Noÿs and Andrew in the 1940s. Then R. Gohrlay was written into the story as the first positronic robot that ever had a human-like mind. My thinking about introducing Observer Gohrlay at the beginning of The Start of Eternity (while placing the story of how R. Gohrlay created Eternity at the end) is introduced here and the decision to do so was finalized in this blog post.
I've never been happy about the stories Asimov told concerning how telepathic robots came into existence. In Foundation and Earth, Asimov introduced the idea that a robot could transfer its mind into the brain of a human. I've long thought that the easiest way to make an artificial intelligence with a human-like mind would be to copy the tricks that are used by human brains. Asimov's wife wrote a novel about mind transfer from humans to robots.
Asimov might have felt inhibited from writing about the transfer of minds in the direction from humans to robots, but I was willing to take The Start of Eternity in that direction. In December 2009 I started writing about Observer Gohrlay, the human whose biological brain was scanned in order to transfer a human mind into a positronic brain.
I imagined that Observer Gohrlay's brain would be destroyed by the brain scanning process, but her mind would be "reborn" in robotic form. By a quirk of positronic circuits, R. Gohrlay would develop a powerful telepathic ability. Using her telepathic powers, R. Gohrlay would liberate humanity from the alien Huaoshy. Observer Gohrlay was a Neanderthal with latent telepathic abilities; when the structure of her brain was copied into positronic circuits an artificial mind was created with strong telepathic powers.
Some of my early thinking about Observer Gohrlay and the inclusion of Neanderthals in The Start of Eternity are in this blog post.
My early plans for having R. Gohrlay "go insane" are described in this blog post.
Some of my early thinking about the origins of the Laws of Robotics are discussed in this blog post.
Asimov the CharacterEdit
As discussed in this blog post, I could not resist making Isaac Asimov a character in The Start of Eternity (see this first edit). Leading up to the idea of writing Asimov into the story, I had decided that R. Gohrlay would be careful to remain hidden and safe within a time travel machine on the Moon. In order for the aliens to battle back against R. Gohrlay and her fellow positronic robots, the Huaoshy would need to find a time when R. Gohrlay had come out of hiding and could be trapped in Time. I thought it would be fun to imagine that R. Rycleu had been involved in an accident on Earth and needed to be rescued by R. Gohrlay. Why not say that the accident led to the events we know as the Roswell UFO Incident?
I thought of a way for Asimov to be working in Roswell during July 1947, but that is a different Reality than the one we know. In The Start of Eternity, Asimov is taken out of that Reality (the Foundation Reality) and he travels back in time to create our Reality. This time travel by Asimov results in there being two copies of Asimov in our Reality. I always thought Asimov wrote more book than a single person could actually write!
Besides going on to an amazing career as a science fiction author, the time traveling Asimov makes it possible for the Huaoshy to defeat R. Gohrlay and prevent humanity from forming the Galaxia group mind.
The Uvadekoto SagaEdit
In an attempt to assure that a time travel war would never develop, I thought of a way to assure that time travel can ultimately be made impossible. This "trick" goes back to an idea that I had about 10 years ago. I've gone back and forth in my thinking about the existence of faster-than-light (FTL) travel within the Exodemic Fictional Universe. In stories where I want there to be space travel at high speeds, it is fun to imagine that the physical laws of the universe can be altered so as to make that possible. For The Start of Eternity I imagined that the Huaoshy altered the dimensional structure of the universe so as to make FTL travel possible, and it was that alteration that also makes telepathic positronic brains and time travel possible. I wanted to include a "story within a story" that would illustrate an early time in our universe, soon after FTL travel became possible (see this early edit). I later decided that it would be fun to have the Asimov Character read the "Saga of Uvadekoto" (see this blog post).
Telepathy vs NanitesEdit
I've taken pains to make sure that The Start of Eternity does not degenerate into some kind of time travel war. The main weapons in the struggle between positronic robots and the Huaoshy are telepathy and nanites. Some of my early thinking about the relative powers of these two weapons is described in this blog post. As long as R. Gohrlay can keep secret the existence of telepathy, she can prevent the Huaoshy from regaining control of humanity. However, she is also driven by the Zeroth Law of Robotics to create Galaxia, which will make it impossible to keep telepathy secret. This is the basic "Catch 22" that is her downfall.
In The End of Eternity, Asimov began the novel with a "high tension" scene in which Andrew is trying to find a way to save his beloved Noÿs. Asimov then had to fill in some background information, so the next four chapters were "flashback". Similarly, I thought it would be a good "hook" if The Start of Eternity started with a dramatic moment for Observer Gohrlay: when she is taken to her death by Doltun. The next few chapters could then be "flashback" to show how Gohrlay got into that predicament. Another alternative was to try using Gohrlay's Diary as a way to fill in her background, as discussed in this blog post.
I later decided to start the novel with Observer Gohrlay's illegal journey to Earth and then follow her capture on Earth by Doltun with a depiction of how she came to write her diary.
Near the end of 2009 Proxima Centauri began expanding on Gohrlay's reaction to her imminent demise. So far, the story is mostly bare plot. There remains a need to expand on the inner lives of the major characters.
From the very first consideration of Gohrlay's participation in the mind downloading experiment, it was not clear if the brain scanning process should destroy the scanned brain. I like the idea that the scanning technology was "first generation" and rather primitive. However, it was not clear that Anagro would actually kill Gohrlay.
An important question is to what extent Anagro uses nanites to prevent Observer Gohrlay from fearing her own death. The answer is: "to a very large extent". However, as long as Gohrlay's brain scan and her death was the "hook" (readers first shown Gohrlay in the rather strange situation of having volunteered to die in the mind downloading experiment), there was strong motivation to have Gohrlay die. However, in Gohrlay's world, "death" might have a different meaning than in our world. Specifically, it might be made to appear that Gohrlay dies, but some advanced technology might be used to save her and give her a "second life". This might puzzle and shock the reader, but be a good introduction to the advanced technologies of the Huaoshy!
Asimov wrote many mystery stories and most of his science fiction novels contain little puzzles that are not resolved until the end of the story. Similarly, The Start of Eternity quickly establishes for the reader the mysterious existence of the Huaoshy. Only slowly during the course of the novel does the reader come to understand the aliens and how (and why) they have made Gohrlay volunteer for the mind downloading experiment.
The decision to not kill Gohrlay and the decision to change the start of the story.
The End of Eternity is a novel about time travel that was created by Isaac Asimov. The story and characters from The End of Eternity and his other fiction are probably claimed as the intellectual property of Asimov's estate or other for-profit corporations. Characters from The End of Eternity and other Asimov novels are borrowed for use here in the spirit of Fan Fiction, for the enjoyment of science fiction fans and with no intention for profit.
This page provides a detailed outline of The Start of Eternity. This can be useful for making sure that each scene has a coherent beginning, middle, and end with a meaningful conflict/challenge in each scene and an obvious reason for the reader to continue on to the next scene. A less detailed outline is at the main meta page. For the reader: Table of Contents.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: this needs to be updated for the new order of chapters.
"A phase might be a snippet of conversation, how a character feels about something, or an action or event. Each phase is small and should focus on one thing." (source)
This scene is a kind of "teaser". The reader should wonder why Gohrlay is willing to die and participate in the mind downloading experiment...will there be a new version of Gohrlay's mind generated by positronic circuits?
1. Observer Gohrlay's dream of being trapped on the Moon.
2. Overseer Doltun and Orbho Anagro, Dulton's aide, arrive at Gohrlay's home, interrupting her sleep.
3. Gohrlay is identified as a Neanderthal and Doltun's genetic origin is from another human subspecies, but they live on the Moon at Observer Base.
4. Gohrlay's aide is a robot, but Gohrlay views robots as the "prison guards of Observer Base". Overseer Doltun and Anagro have come to take Gohrlay to her death.
5. A tram ride through the underground city of Observer Base takes Gohrlay to the "research station" where her brain will be destroyed.
6. Gohrlay's participation in the positronic brain project is introduced as a way to escape from her futile existence under "house arrest" and being subjected nanite-mediated mind control.
7. Anagro is more clearly identified as a robot. Gohrlay views the "godlike" robots as having a mysterious origin.
8. Gohrlay's worries about the "mind downloading" experiment; can it produce a positronic version of her mind?
9. Gohrlay's crime involved going to Earth and trying to help the earthlings.
10. Arrival at the research station where Gohrlay hopes that Klempse will safe-guard her diary.
11. Gohrlay's thoughts and fears as she enters into the brain scanning machine and faces death.
12. Gohrlay's rather incoherent suspicions about Anagro being "responsible for Earth's fate".
13. Gohrlay's last thoughts and her hope that humans can be freed from nanite control of their minds.
Gohrlay is told about the Huaoshy and that she is on her way to a distant planet.
A story about how humans came to be on the Moon.
Commentary about religious tensions on the Moon.
Gohrlay comes to view herself as a prisoner.
Why Neanderthals became extinct.
This chapter jumps ahead many years after scene #1 and shows R. Gohrlay making use of time travel technology.
1. R. Nahan and R. Fengtol are introduced as robots working with R. Gohrlay and using time travel technology. R. Fengtol is sent into Time on a mission.
2. R. Nahan and R. Gohrlay discuss the fate of Encyclopedist Pavao in the latest Reality.
3. The time travel kettle carrying R. Rycleu approaches R. Gohrlay's workshop.
4. When R. Rycleu arrives, the two robots establish a telepathic communications link; they discuss the creation of Galaxia.
5. The Foundation-Galaxia time vortex is described and compared to a similar feature in the Malansohn Reality.
6. Galaxia described as a requirement for proper use of the Zeroth Law of robotics.
7. R. Gohrlay thinks about the origin of the Zeroth Law and how humanity was liberated from the manipulative Huaoshy.
This scene introduces the plan for how best to establish Galaxia, but it is at the cost of removing all life from Earth.
1. Safely inside R. Gohrlay's workshop, R. Rycleu's memories are restored to her and she then agrees with Gohrlay about the suitability of the current Reality.
2. R. Gohrlay tells R. Rycleu about the next Reality Change, which should speed formation of Galaxia.
3. R. Gohrlay thinks about the risks from placing R. Rycleu on Earth through most of the twentieth century.
4. The two robots discuss having to render Earth's surface uninhabitable in order to make possible the formation of Galaxia.
5. The two robots discuss the idea that they are close to ending their use of time travel technology.
6. R. Gohrlay's fear that aliens might discover positronics and create a mind static weapon that could be used against telepathic robots.
7. R. Gohrlay explains that sedronic physics must be quickly brought to the attention of humans in the 20th century.
This scene reveals what happened to Noÿs and Andrew in the decade after they traveled back in time to live in the twentieth century.
1. Noÿs and Andrew are introduced as time travelers who stimulated the study of nuclear fission in the 1930s.
2. Noÿs is happily married to Andrew, they have two children and they believe that their time travel mission was a success.
3. Noÿs has an interest in the development of genetic technology because, being from 10 million years in the future, she is genetically different from 20th century humans.
4. Noÿs' mission was to end the Mallansohn Reality, a timeline in which time travel was used, but humanity never made use of interstellar travel to spread among the stars.
5. Andrew has a special interest in computers and is trying to help people like Alan Turing speed development of electronic memory storage technologies.
6. Noÿs' effort to stimulate the study of DNA structure in the laboratory of William Astbury is described.
7. Noÿs is happy at home with her children, but she plans to return to genetics research after the children are grown up.
This scene shows R. Rycleu introducing Noÿs to the idea that a positronics industry must be developed on Earth in the 20th century.
1. R. Rycleu arrives in Wales and introduces herself to Noÿs using the cover name "Smith".
2. Noÿs almost immediately suspects that "Smith" is not from the 20th century.
3. "Smith" explains that she is R. Rycleu, a robot, on a mission to speed the development of technologies that will make possible interstellar space travel.
4. Noÿs is shocked since in her experience robots were only known as mythological beings.
5. Rycleu insists that Noÿs' mission was a success, even though time travel is still possible.
6. Noÿs realizes that R. Rycleu can telepathically read her thoughts.
7. R. Rycleu must carefully modify Noÿs' thinking so as to gain her trust.
Andrew learns about R. Rycleu's mission.
1. Three days after R. Rycleu arrived in Wales, she has integrated herself into the routine of the household.
2. R. Rycleu reveals to Andrew that she is a robot with a positronic brain.
3. R. Rycleu and Andrew discuss the idea that an understanding of sedronic matter can be provided to Earth humans in the 20th century.
4. Andrew's thoughts must be guided away from resentment over the existence of robots who control of the fate of humanity.
Noÿs and Andrew adapting to the the idea of working with R. Rycleu.
1. Andrew is skeptical about the idea that positronics can be developed in the 20th century.
2. Noÿs reveals that she has seen R. Rycleu's positronic brain and that R. Rycleu has provided her with a supply of sedronic matter.
3) Noÿs explains the idea that the development of quantum computing can be accelerated by helping to speed the creation of high-temperature superconductors.
4) R. Recleu adjusts the minds of Noÿs and Andrew so as to remove their concerns and allow them to focus on the task of helping with R. Gohrlay's plan.
This scene introduces both Galaxia (in the form of the people on Tokishira) and the aliens.
1. Social Engineer Lorn-Kru on the planet Tokishira, returning to Many Sails and interacting with humans.
2. Flashback to Astrogator Fint explaining some fine points of human behavior.
3. Lorn-Kru contemplates the fact that humans make little use of robotic assistants.
4. Lorn-Kru wonders why humans never react in surprise to the sight of his alien body.
5. Lorn-Kru thinks back to his Captain asking why humans were able to dominate their galaxy.
6. Lorn-Kru is puzzled about how humans who are moving in crowds avoid collisions.
This scene introduces the rest of the crew of Many Sails.
1. Lorn-Kru is greeted by the artificial life form that is the mind of the spaceship, Many Sails
2. Lorn-Kru goes through a decontamination treatment
3. Lorn-Kru grabs a snack from Robot Jeed
4. Lorn-Kru and the rest of the crew discuss his failed effort of that day; seeking permission to visit additional human worlds
5. Captain Hooski decides to ignore the wishes of the humans and continue their mission in search of answers about the mystery of how humans took over an entire galaxy.
Alkeirs is a rather mysterious crew member who seems motivated by more than just the need to fulfill his role as a Giuld Observer.
1. Lorn-Kru contemplates the flirtatious Astrogator Fint.
2. Lorn-Kru and Alkeirs discuss prospects for finding the human home world.
3. Alkeirs is pleased that they will press on with their mission, but Lorn-Kru wonders why it matters if humans want to be left alone in "their" galaxy.
Lorn-Kru, Fint and Jeed try to make sense of some of the oddities of the mission.
1. Lorn-Kru goes to the dining room for dessert.
2. Fint informs Lorn-Kru that she has a secret that cannot be revealed until they are in deep space.
3. Lorn-Kru and Fint discuss possibilities for why she was selected for the mission.
4. Lorn-Kru cannot understand why Many Sails" has such a small and "rag-tag" crew, but Fint thinks that she can provide insight into human behavior.
5. Jeed notes another unusual feature of the mission: a large number of robots are on board.
Note:The Start of Eternity is intended to be a kind of Fan Fiction that was inspired by Asimov's fictional universe of the Foundation Series. "The Start of Eternity" is intended for the enjoyment of Asimov fans and exists with no intent for profit and has no authorization from anyone who owns the intellectual rights to Asimov's works.