An Author’s Journey – Part Two

November 10, 2012

Multiplarity

The famous science fiction author, Vernor Vinge’ has been credited with originating the term singularity.

From Wikipedia, we have this, “…his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity”, in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which “the human era will be ended,” such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.”

Both the term and related concepts have been further advanced with a series of books and lectures by Ray Kurzweil.

Although I believe this rapture of the nerds will occur, I don’t think it will be the all-encompassing revolution that these futurists predict. As my friends and fans know, I’m a history buff, and this allows one to take a wider view of things.

Just as today, there are those of you, reading this on some sort of screen that is driven with micro-electronics, at this same instant, at other places around the world, there are semi-literate people who’s very existence depends on herding animals. A deeper search can still reveal naked humans, armed with blowguns and arrows, living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that would have been familiar to a Neanderthal.
Just as we have very intelligent and well-read people in the United States that are totally aware of the benefits of high-technology and yet choose a simpler lifestyle, I believe the future will not be a singularity, but rather, a multiplarity.

That is the universe I have depicted in the Multiplarity Trilogy. The first book sets the stage when humans finally break the tyranny of disease and death itself. As one would imagine, this sudden change in the way we view ourselves isn’t painless. But it does show a way around some of our current issues. Unfortunately, every solution comes with a brand-new set of problems.

The second book, Selenaphiles, deals with some of the basic problems of establishing an off-Earth colony. This became much more of a world-building exercise than I had originally planned. I’m a bit picky about the technological items in my stories. They all have to have some basis in current scientific research and prototypes. The inflatable structures of Bigelow Aerospace that I’ve described in both Omniphage and Selenaphiles, are in fact quite real and are undergoing orbital testing at this time.

Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the space travel hardware described in the Multiplarity Trilogy.

Click this to read An Author’s Journey: Part Three

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