Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Black Emptiness II

Reading, even rereading, and blogging are unpredictable. One sentence in Stieg Larsson's Volume III (see here) raised questions relevant to:

Poul Anderson's works of fantasy;
any sf about AIs;
two concepts in Anderson's Genesis;
Anderson's The Rebel Worlds;
his short story, "Symmetry."

Other sf is also relevant. In the Star Trek films, a Vulcan, before physical death, transmits a katra, i.e., a telepathic record of his memories and personality, into someone else. We are not told what usually happens with katras because that is not relevant to the story. However, Spock's katra is reinserted into his revived and rejuvenated body. It is important not to say "soul" because, if immortal souls do exist and if Vulcans or human-Vulcan hybrids have them, then souls are different from katras and Spock's soul is now in the hereafter or en route to reincarnation in another body! Life is complicated; death more so.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Hmmm, I would think Spock's "katra" would not take the place of the soul of the other Vulcan. What I thought was that it would become part of the memories and "background" of the other Vulcan. The "katra" would become certainly help shape or influence the young Vulcan's mind, but not necessarily supplant it.

    S.M. Stirling touched on this idea near the end of DRAKON when Gwen Ingolfsson implanted a memory chip in the brain of her cloned twin sister/daughter's. The implant was not blank, as would have been usual for most Drakensis children, but had Gwen's memories up till the time it was prepared for the child. So, as the child matured she would "remember" more and more of her "mother's" life. That could not help but enormously influence the child.

    It gives me the creeps, thinking of that unfortunate child burdened with the memories of her monstrous "mother"! I THINK Stirling had planned to write a fifth Draka book, UNTO US A CHILD, about this clone of Gwen, before legal difficulties killed the book. Pity!


    1. Sean,
      I am having trouble imagining how legal difficulties can prevent an author from writing a book.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I don't know any details, of course, but I can imagine how contractual disputes between a writer and a publisher might prevent a book from being published. I can only hope these difficulties will someday be resolved and UNTO US A CHILD be published. I THINK I read somewhere the book was written or mostly written before these unfortunate difficulties arose.