Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Surviving The End Of The Universe

Isaac Asimov's giant Multivac, written in 1956 and set in 2061, seems incredibly primitive in 2017. At the end of Asimov's "The Last Question," the ultimate cosmic AI, located entirely in hyperspace - that needs some explanation -, survives the universe, learns how to reverse entropy and says, "'LET THERE BE LIGHT!'" (See here)

For a more sophisticated sf treatment of this theme, see Poul Anderson's Harvest of Stars Tetralogy:

Free human beings and downloaded human intelligences will use nanotechnology to fill the stellar universe with organic life that is expected to end when the last star does whereas inorganic intelligence will survive the universe either by utilising the energy of disintegrating black holes and particles or by experiencing an infinitiy of events and thoughts in the finite time before a cosmic singularity.
-copied from here. See also here.

Anderson envisages not a second creation but something subtler.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Was this "subtler" thing the situation seen in TAU ZERO? That is, organic intelligent life survived the end of the universe using the means seen in TAU ZERO.


    1. Sean,
      What I had in mind was the two means of survival suggested in THE STARS ARE ALSO FIRE.
      Can I check something with you? I recently forwarded to you email notifications of some blog comments but am not sure whether you received them, e.g., Mr Stirling responded to our "Emberverse" query. My email address has changed. Could you email me at my new email address shown at the top of the blog? I want to be sure that we are communicating that way as well.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Means of survival seen in Anderson's THE STARS ARE ALSO FIRE. I will have to look them up!

      Something went wrong. I did not receive any of these recent notifications. But I did read Mr. Stirling's comment. Yes, I will send you a test email using your new address.


    3. Sean,
      They are the two means of survival that I summarized at the end of the post.
      No email here yet. If you have sent one but it hasn't arrived, I will have to get the matter looked into.