Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Some Parallels

In Poul Anderson's Technic History:

one Chereionite telepath works for the Merseians;

a dying Marine says, "'...don't eat me, mother...'" (Captain Flandry, p. 306);

the Ardazirho remind Flandry of wolves;

he interrogates one by sensory deprivation.

In Jerry Pournelle's and SM Stirling's "The Asteroid Queen":

the kzinti are feline;

a few are telepathic;

Harold interrogates one by sensory deprivation;

when allowed to speak, the interrogated kzin says, "'DON'T EAT ME MOTHER...'" (Man-Kzin Wars III, p. 133).

Thus, a few parallels between two future histories. If we assume parallel universes, whether as a fictional premise or as a scientific theory, then there must be some laws governing the parallels. L Sprague de Camp suggested that periods when many world-lines intersect might be periods when it is easier to be transported into the past. Similarly, parallel events might occur at moments when it is easier to travel between universes.

Inter-universal travelers will expect other worlds to be like theirs. A DC Comics super-villain, when told that there was one Earth where no one had acquired any superpowers, thus that in that world the only place to read about superheroes or super-villains was in comic books, not in newspapers, remarked, "Seems unlikely..."


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I was ESPECIALLY interested to rediscover that a prisoner was interrogated by means of sensory deprivation in "The Asteroid Queen," MAN-KZIN WARS III. I simply don't recall that incident at all, else I might have thought it well to mention in my "Sensory Deprivation" article.

I do wonder if a Kzinti would be as tough about resisting the pressure to be questioned as was the Ardazirho officer we see in WE CLAIM THESE STARS.


Paul Shackley said...

I have now linked this post to your article!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I noticed, many thanks! And I still feel chagrined over missing how the Kzinti was interrogated by means of sensory deprivation in Pournelle/Stirling's "The Asteroid Queen." I can only suggest in mitigation that it had been at least twenty years since I read that story at the time I wrote my sensory deprivation article.

And I will be looking up how the Kzinti was interrogated in "The Asteroid Queen" to see how closely it was done using Flandry's example as a model. My view is that sensory deprivation, done as carefully and minimally as possible as Flandry had used it, can be ethically used (for correspondingly grave reasons).