Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Reality Storm

Maybe we should look out for signs of reality storms elsewhere in literature and fiction? Travelers take refuge from an unseasonable storm. Thus, a motorist who crashed his car during a snowstorm in June 1993 meets a sailor whose ship had been swept onto rocks apparently in mid-ocean by an unexpected storm in September 1914. They and many others tell stories while they wait...

There are two theories of reality storms. First:

a big thing happens;
it echoes;
the echoes crash across the worlds;
they are ripples in the fabric of things;
this is possible because reality is fragile.

On this theory, the current "big thing," about which there are only rumors, is, in the words of the centaur Chiron:

" event of great moment and consequence. Something that reverberates across time and space and myth. I have never seen the Inn so full." (Worlds' End, p. 141)

However, Chiron's own alternative theory is that reality storms:

"...are caused when two conflicting realities meet or overlap, in the same way natural storms are precipitated by the meeting of hot air and cold.
"It is, however, a difficult hypothesis to test empirically. This is only the second of these storms in my lifetime, and we centaurs consider ourselves a long-lived folk indeed." (p. 146)

From other data to which we have access, we are able to deduce that:

the first reality storm in Chiron's lifetime was caused by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was an overlapping of conflicting realities;

the current storm is caused by the death and funeral of Dream of the Endless - and this is an event of great moment and consequence.

Its consequences will be felt elsewhere, whether or not they are recognized as such. Why is it that:

"There were many gathered this evening, to sit before the innkeeper's fire, enjoy his food and drink and regale him with their tales."?
-Poul Anderson, A Midsummer Tempest (London, 1975), Epilogue, p. 228.

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