Sunday, 15 September 2013

Timeline And Technate

2047: Explorer departs; interstellar emigration begins.
Later: gravity control; genetic engineering; Mars,Venus and Jovian moons terraformed.
World War XXVIII: nearby colonies destroyed; Solar barbarism; lengthy reconstruction.
c. 5000: Technate unites Solar System, resumes colonization.
c. 6000: war of colonial independence; League of Alpha Centauri.
c. 7000: Explorer returns.

Before it was terraformed, Venus was a "...poisonous galling hell-hole..." (p. 9), thus closer to the mark than the "Fantastic Venuses" of other pre-space probe speculations.

The Technon, "'...a giant sociomathematical computer..'", making "'...basic policy less fallible, less selfish, less bribeable than a man.'" (p. 31) Hereditary "Ministers" execute policies and make lesser decisions. "'Under them are the Commoners.'" (ibid.) Genetic engineering is said to counteract the chanciness of heredity.

Thus, The Long Way Home, originally published in 1955, was an early Anderson approach to human-computer interaction.


  1. Hi, Paul!

    You wrote: "...THE LONG WAY HOME, originally published in 1955, was an early Anderson approach to human-computer interaction." What I thought was THE LONG WAY HOME was an early approach to what we see in the HARVEST OF STARS books. Except that telepathy and slavery played no roles in the HARVEST books. And how we see the Technon described reminded me as well of giant early computers such as ENIAC.


  2. Sean,
    I wrote "...human-computer interaction..." instead of "...human-AI interaction..." because I cannot remember at this early stage of rereading whether the Technon is supposed to be conscious.

    1. Hi, Paul!

      Then I've better say nothing more, till you do know which way Anderson went: human/computer interaction, or human/AI interaction. No need to reveal spoilers too soon!