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 RealityEdit

Basic Reality refers to events that do not involve time travel.

837,824,221 BP - the Huaoshy species develops space travel and starts to spread, first through their own galaxy.

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.

Transitional universe

The Transitional State


Some important state diagram features.

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.

FTL fermion

The second alteration in Dimensional State.

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.

7,384,545 BPEdit

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.

Note: Since R. Nahan is the one who creates time travel and carries out the first Reality Change, the "Basic Reality" can also be called the Nahan Reality.
See also:August Sennor on Time.

Earlier realitiesEdit

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.

Mallansohn RealityEdit

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.

Foundation RealityEdit

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.

The hidden history of the Foundation RealityEdit

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.

Our universe

The state diagram for our universe.


Continue to Design Space • - • - • note to authors: underlines indicate heavy construction

Chapters: Design SpaceGohrlay's Diary0Vortex0.00712345678910111213141516171819

Appendices: State of the PlanetThe Last GardenerSkydisk Cult

Other pages: Cover pageTable of ContentsCharactersGlossaryThe entire novel on one pageMain talk page for discussing the story

For authors (warning: plot details!): MetaTimelineDetailed character infoDetailed outlineDisclaimer

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.

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