Sunday, 17 August 2014

A New Eon II

How might extrasolar intelligences contact or affect Earth?

By radio:  
A For Andromeda by Fred Hoyle and John Elliot;  
Contact by Carl Sagan.

By somehow transmitting their memories into selected human brains:  
Ossian's Ride by Fred Hoyle.

By the passage through the Solar System of -
an intelligent gas cloud: The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle;
another planetary system: Fifth Planet by Fred Hoyle and Geoffrey Hoyle;
a large artifact: Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C Clarke.

(i) Fred Hoyle systematically developed four of these five ideas.
(ii) I strongly suspect that some more recent science fiction with which I am less familiar addresses similar ideas.
(iii) Like Rendezvous With Rama, Greg Bear's Eon presents a large artifact entering the Solar System. However, the "Stone"'s origin is not extrasolar. As yet, I have read only as far as Chapter Three where the Stone's origin puzzles the characters and therefore also the reader. Although I must stop making this comparison, this is indeed an idea worthy of Poul Anderson.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

First contact with extraterrestrial intelligent non human beings? I'm reminded of how today I've finished reading Michael A.G. Michaud's CONTACT WITH ALIEN CIVILIZATIONS. Michaud exhaustively examines virtually ever possible way humans might make first contact with non humans, whether remotely or directly. And I mean exhaustively: militarily, scientific, political, religious/theological, philosophical, etc.

If I have any caveats to make with Michaud's book, it's from what seems his odd use of "antropocentrism" as somehow meaning humans allegedly believe they or earth were at the center of the cosmos. He really should have read C.S. Lewis' essay "Religion and Rocketry," to help counteract that idea.

And as a devout fan of Poul Anderson, I was annoyed that there was not a single mention of PA's works, fictional and nonfictional, and the many ways they could have illustrated what Michaud was discussing. He does not cite even IS THERE LIFE ON OTHER WORLDS? (despite frequently quoting Isaac Asimov, David Brin, Sir Arthur Clarke, Fred Hoyle, Carl Sagan, etc.).