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Callisto
Three fundamental topics that are explored in any type of fiction are space and time and human nature. Four hundred years ago telescopes began to reveal that we live on a tiny planet set on the shore of a vast "ocean of darkness" that separates us from other worlds. During the past century, other technological advances such as radiometric dating and radio astronomy have revealed our place in time: the human species evolved as this planet's consummate tool maker; we were derived from earlier primates about 1,000,0000 years ago, our physical nature made possible by a 13,000,000,000 year saga of stellar evolution and heavy atom nucleosynthesis. Our science-derived view of our place in the universe is the stage upon which science fiction stories play out.

Where will human inventiveness and tool use take us in the future? Science fiction allows us to imagine the possibilities and the potential pitfalls. In his time travel novel, The End of Eternity, Isaac Asimov imagined a future in which people were able to develop time travel technology. Asimov imagined a noble attempt to use time travel as a tool for bettering human existence on Earth, but that effort was like trying to force a square peg into a round hole and only produced a "safe" society that was a dead end, finally leading to the inevitable extinction of humanity. Looking into the future and warned of that fate, humanity abandoned time travel and built a more lasting future upon space travel and a great spreading of humanity between the stars.

Asimov wrote many stories about robots and depicted them as a useful tool that could help humans travel through space and colonize new worlds. However, Asimov envisioned a future in which humans would come to resent robots as competitors. Robots were banned from Earth. On other worlds where robots were heavily utilized, Asimov imagined that reliance on robotic assistants would cause humans to morph into hermaphroditic, nearly alien beings. Just as for time travel, Asimov seemed to say that robots are a technology that does not truly serve the long-term interests of humans.

Along side his robot stories, Asimov created a sweeping saga of humanity's spread through the galaxy. Asimov's imagined Galactic Empire was populated only by humans, although he showed a small team of telepathic robots secretly shaping the course of that Empire. Asimov imagined those robots bringing into existence a vast super organism, Galaxia, that would be humanity's best defense against the inevitable day when humans would make contact with aliens from beyond our own galaxy.

Sadly, Asimov never completed the story of Galaxia and its confrontation with aliens. The Start of Eternity is a kind of Fan Fiction exploration of how to continue Asimov's stories about time travel, robots and humanity's future among the stars.

Asimov depicted Galaxia as the creation of telepathic robots who were trying to follow the Zeroth Law of robotics and protect humanity from harm. Asimov hinted that Eternity was a failed attempt of the robots to promote human interests. Asimov also depicted the Foundation as a kind of social experiment that was carried out by robots and abandoned half way to its completion. What if Galaxia is yet another "failed experiment"? Is there any hope for humanity as long as these bumbling, if well intentioned, telepathic robots control our fate? The Start of Eternity explores these questions.

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