Well there has been a right mayhem of news from the science and tech world… but one word sticks out from amongst it –
We have rats’ brains sending messages to each other over long distances, linked by technology (and not as initial news reports suggested, proving that rat telepathy existed). Does this surprise me? Not really, brains are brains, made of neurons as the conductive medium for thought.
And we have a report that one major company will have proof of principle fusion by 2017. Does this surprise me? Not really. Ever since the Pons and Fleishman debacle, when they announced they had shown cold fusion existed but nobody could replicate their results, fusion research has carefully hidden itself from the public eye. Nobody wanted to go through anywhere near a repeat of the hullaballoo and can you blame them?
Let’s face it, scientists and techie people like sticking things together. So what about science fiction writers? Well some do as well. Isaac Asimov combined his robot and foundation series. Heinlein combined various worlds of his together. Only, whilst these books were interesting in themselves, the combined story lines never seemed to work as well as the original story lines. I’m not sure whether the authors were being pushed by their publishers for something in a hurry, or whether they wanted to make a quick buck, or whether perhaps more sadly they knew their best writing days were over and just pushed what they could out.
But I must admit of the ‘Golden Age’ top 3, I can’t remember Arthur C Clarke doing that. Yes he did write a series of Rama novels, but I can’t remember him combining it with something else. Anne McCaffrey had four major story lines and never mixed any of them to my knowledge. I really don’t want to speak for other authors, because they are either still writing or I haven’t read enough of their books to comment.
It seems to me while fusion works in the tech world, it doesn’t in the science fiction world. So why this difference?
In science fiction the stories are built into an intricately crafted ‘world’ or environment where there are connections within connections. Change or bend one thing, and the consequences ripple through the world in one form or another. The enforced change of one ‘world’ threading into another makes that ‘world’ feel less at peace with itself or less harmonic in its own right (sorry for the esoteric description, but it’s the best I can think of at the moment). Thats why the science fiction mix and match very often fails.
I’ve been thinking about what my follow-on novel should include. In the original first novel, I actually built three different ‘worlds’. One was fairly conventional, the second very much less so, but you could at a pinch call conventional, and the third, well, let’s just say there’s no science fiction world like it. If this was the first novel, what about the second. Yes, those three worlds will have to there. But, oh dear, I want to add a 4th and 5th ‘world’s.
Right, so I’m greedy at world building.
Can I fit those extra worlds in without having the fusion problems?
Well, here’s the interesting thing. The worlds I want to add in are, to my mind, natural extensions of the worlds I’ve already built. They are not worlds that are have been built separately and then forced to co-exist.
Hey! Have I come up with a new science fiction paradigm?
Oh heck… um… can’t think of anything like it in science fiction… doesn’t mean to say it doesn’t exist… um, but if it did, then I’m sure it would have been talked about… oh triple heck… what am I sitting on in terms of novels?
A fusion of science fiction worlds?