My many thanks to Chandra Wood, and my SF group, Richard Lowe, Don Walker, Jim Warner and Arnold Heister, who patiently moderated my overzealous scientific brain dumps and gave me good edits. Thanks to the unnamed physicists at the University of Maryland who actually worked on high density plasmas. Thanks to my little dog, Scupper, who inserted himself into the book, as usual. It takes a dog to humanize a human character.
The SHARPIE is an actual computer design that, to my knowledge, has not yet been built. The ETA algorithm at its core is as described. Both are my inventions starting from M.I.T. A.I. lab under Minsky. No, I don’t think Skynet will just start up by itself. Raising an AI is a lot more complicated than that. I’m influenced by Doug Hofstadter’s book, “I Am a Strange Loop”, for which I named the recursion cycles.
I have actually travelled to most of the places where the action occurs. In a few cases, such as Andorra, I must give credit to Google Maps, Wikipedia, and a few friends who told me about Pyrene’s domain. Fascinating place!
Thank you to my friends Deepak and Elexi for the loan of your first names. Thank you, Nalini, for introducing me to the culture and customs of Hindu India.
Of course I hope you find the characters interesting and that the story carries you along with it. But more than just entertainment, I believe that science fiction is a proper venue for philosophical themes. The focus on panor is intentional.
Humans have the ability to coordinate in large numbers for such things as building a skyscraper or waging a war. We have an unfortunate tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot, sometimes by creating power structures that raise tyrants, sometimes by falling into chaos and mischief. The ideal of a system that does not inhibit individual initiative and still allows efficient cooperation has yet to be realized. Therefore I invented panor, and showed how it empowers the Pa’an to overcome incredible obstacles, master cosmic projects and yet remain benign.
The p-Web comes from a paper on causality I wrote a long time ago. Since then some physicists, such as Hawking and Susskind, have theorized on whether causality is violated in a black hole. Black holes are fascinating objects. My idea is to create a configuration of black holes that will not tear you apart when you pass through. We’ll see what’s on the other side when we get there.
Or you can ask the Pa’an.
If you like this story, you will LOVE “The Sage of Sagittarius”.
Zila wants to be an interplanetary diplomat. Her mentor dies unexpectedly leaving her the sole delegate to the Sage of Sagittarius, a mysterious creature that no human has ever met. The Sage assigns her a mission to find the root of the Universal Tree of Life, the LUCA. What she finds is the antithesis of all life, an entity that threatens every living thing.
Please see my other novels and stories under my name, Kenn Brody, at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, or write to me, Kenn at BrokenSymmetryPublishing dot com.
My latest novel, “The Curtain of Heaven” will be out soon. Look for previews on my web site. An excerpt, “Cosmic Rift” is available now for download. Reviews have all been great!
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