|Xangles > Frangles > Zeroa|
|Frangles 7: Phylo of Zeroa|
Introduction to Zeroa (v1)
Introduction to Novella Z1
Zeroa is a miserable and failed philosophical thesis disguised as the seventh book of the otherwise horribly addictive Frangles series. It is the last of the seven, where the disciplines of the known universe have completed their evoluationary journey from nothingness at the dawn of time, to thinking themelves into the vague corporeality of modern science, then on to future science of our science fiction, then to tekica (magic-science), then moka (magic), and finally become so advanced--science so evolved that it is everywhere and nowhere--as to become infinitely bored again, where existence must figure out how exactly to hit ctrl-alt-delete, if such a thing exists on O/S Zero.
Zeroa takes place in the forgotten leap year between the end of the known universe and the dawn of time, just before the big bang of Okuaka (our known universe), which is preceded by its big crunch, at least from a scientific frangle (a word meaning "fractal angle:" a point of view balanced among all others where each has perfectly equal validity as far as pure math and logic are concerned--just like the Mandlebrot set generates an infinite set of self-similar fractal images from the simple equation z=z^2+c which judges none and all as beautiful and true. From a Zeroan frangle (which, from Zeroan frangle, is the only frangle that matters, given the lack of scientists at the end of time to experimentally verify the invalidity of all science and dissprove its total uselessness), the simultaneous big crunch and big bang of the known universe are guided by pure thought alone--the inverse of science, and yet infinitely advanced science--because by science's own admission, it's just a area of inapplicable crud in regards to the areas in which it doesn't apply.
In philosophy, Zeroa is closest to the form of Plato's Republic (where "closest to" is only an infinitesimally friendlier term than "direct rip-off of"), except takes the generalized and cloud-pondering prose of Plato, and improves on this, by tripling the little corporeality it had to begin with, building a city not in the mundane sense, but in the vauge, metaphysical sense: that is, instead of starting with bored earthly men who build a physical city of stone and wood and what not out of lack of anything better to do, we simply start with total existential nothingness, exponentiating our idea of boredom and asking, not what city shall we build, but the much more vague and intangible question, "Now what?"
This clearly makes Phylo of Zeroa a definite improvement over the Republic for all the philosophy students who feel the jolt of metaphysical expresso from its page-turning suspense plot lines, is far to strong to tolerate and could need some watering down. Of course, this has the unfortunate side of infusing everyone else--all those who find Greek philosophy quite boring--with a fatal instilation of chronic and incurable narcolepsy at the best, and a total cryogenic metaphysical brain freezing at the worst, at which point--whether from falling into an infinitely deep sleep or having their brain shut down into nonexistence--they'll finally get the point of all philosophy anyway. The work is, quite simply, win-win-win.
One serious downside in trying to write a balanced nonlinear saga like Frangles, is that it's very difficult to label the books sans a linear numerical value, i.e. a countable integer number (1, 2, 3...). If you call any book "1," it presents the total implication that that book should be read first, and anyone who knows little about the series will be drawn to finding Book "1" in the bookstore. But the point of Frangles--just like exploring a fractal--is that you can begin anywhere, trace any path, and things will connect as you go along no matter which path you trace. As the entire book points out, the big crunch or big bang of the universe only seems like a final, conclusive thing. But the big bang and big crunch are to science, as the total peak of science, is to philosophy. That is, as physical manipulation of the universe approaches a maximum (presented in Frangles 4: Florbb), reason and thought approach a minimum. The peak of science is the big crunch of philosophy, and its dawn is when science becomes so advance as to begin progressing back to the purity of religion and philosophy in terms of science.
For instance, the war between science and religion can be perfectly harmonized with philosophy, by simply describing one in terms of the other. The Christian says there is God, the Atheist says there is no God, and whoever takes the most courses in logical argument usually wins the discussion. Hence the loser usually falls back on faith, or science, respectively, in what to do if one is disproven. However, it is an infinitely simple to prove God in terms of science.
If we suppose that science is evolving--surely both Christian and Atheist can agree on this--then why should we not theorize about its infinite extension? If mathemetician can theorize to death about what the number means or what it means to be infinite, then what does infinite science mean? The more human resources increase, the more capable we are of building greater cities, like Plato does. Plato applied the idea "what do we build if we could build anything?" To the tangible physical environment around him. But for us, why not theorize, what planet should we build as soon as we have the resources? What is our obligation to life when we pass cloning and mastery of the human genome? How much farther?
Let us jump to the infinite extension of this: absolute and total science, or at least, technology so advanced that it is nearly indistinguishable from absoluteness. If we have developed the ability to engineer--i.e. "create"--a quadrillion galaxies or known universes filled with life we don't have numbers for, and to watch over them almost identical in the way we imagine "god" does (itsy bitsy nanotech quark-level chips in our heads that allow us to relay near-infinite data to eachother or gain near-infinite perception of this plethora of galaxies we've created), then how is someone mastering that different than God?
Hence the war between god and no god, is simply an astronomically or near-infinitely large gap. If our technology can proceed to a near-infinith level as of course it could, to the point where conscious life could take on the role of a god, then the existence of some god or other is proven by scientific probability alone. If we do not reach that level of technology, than perhaps someone else has. Then the god and no god war, is reduced to splitting hairs: does an alien society so infinitely advanced as to take on every single exact attribute of god described by religion, actually, god? And so few less people would bother with that insignifiance, if they simply jumped ahead on the infinite traversal of scientific proof, to see that science and religion define one another in terms of the other. And hence, even more relevant to our story, so do science and philosophy. Science breaks down at the start and end of the known physical known universe, so there is nothing else to do but for thought to take over. That's the story of Zeroa.
Above is a single beta novella which just touches upon Frangles: Phylo of Zeroa's main styles and themes, yet is nowhere near a complete microcosm of its plots structure. It's simply here on the net--as with all Frangles material--because it's simply too damn time consuming to actually finish a seven book nonlinear saga before publishing it. Below is a previously written summary of the novella, touching on what it might become as well.
Introduction to "The End of Time is Worth the Wait"
( Via a Sci-fi / Fantasy Frangle )
On Genre & Theme
"The End of Time is Worth the Wait" is intended to be a blend of science fiction, fantasy, and creative philosophy. It might be seen as only partly sci-fi/fantasy, but it's intention is actually to lean more toward the latter, using extensive philosophy as the means to engage in it rather than visa versa. The initial lack of science fiction elements or style is intended to comment on the genre by examining its inverse or total void, then building the vast idea of where the entire genre--and indirectly that of all fiction, and even more directly that of all the universe--might stem from. Even where this guiding principle comments on things outside of space ships or dragons, that principle of matter-energy itself is a core sci-fi fantasy idea. For instance, a story about a virtual reality allowing creation of a prehistoric world, falls firmly in the realm of sci-fi and prehistory both.
The core scientific principle guiding the story is that Zeroa is actually a world of absolute and fully evolved science--rather than the reverse--so evolved, in fact, that it is totally invisible. That if we continue the theoretical progression of our current Earth sciences to the more advanced sciences of the future (the mandate of science fiction), and the evolution of those to the point where science seems and hence becomes complete magic (the genre of fantasy), that at the total end of this progression--once science has become so evolved and ingrained at the most infinitesimal molecular levels that uploading a file is indistinguishable from simply thinking to someone--is in fact, philosophy. That the absolute evolution of science, is, paradoxically, a total lack of it. Hence, of course, very solid elements of both science, philosophy, science fiction, and fantasy, are necessary to portray this world.
Even more complex (and perhaps at times confusing), is that the story is presented as a comedy above and beyond everything else. The upside of this is that the story can contain all the above themes, with the frosting that one is laughing as one goes. The downside is that some of the science and philosophy presented for serious evaluation, could perhaps be overlooked as merely jokes. For comparison, consider that Douglas Adams probably presented his "total persepctive vortext" as primarily a source of humor, rather than a serious scientific or philosophical proposition. While elements of The End of Time is Worth the Wait may have the same internal weight as humorous items such as this sans supplemental fiction or commentary, it's hoped that the general approach of creating something worthy of serious scientific or philosophical consideration (all the science and philosphy stems from a greater body of theory, whether from personal or established concepts), has come through intrinsically in the final story.
On Style And Grammar
Hemmingway has used the technique of having a character speak twice in a row so that the next line of dialogue appears to be another speaking, but is the first person simply pausing then speaking again. This is crafted and intentional but on a first glance can be confusing, sparking the reader's long journey of figuring out what's happening. Likewise E. E. Cummings used strange grammar in his poetry to be intentionally experimental. Hence "The End of Time is Worth the Wait" is very avante-garde. For instance, sometimes the dialogue is quoted, and sometimes spoken without quotes. Then someone speaking or thinking might actually quote the speech or thoughts of someone else, which might use one or two (or no) sets of quotes, depending on the intended effect. It's of course the reader's opinion whether this is challenging or just confusing, and hence whether the style is clever or awkward, but it is very clearly intentional in any case.
In general, in Zeroa, it is left very vague how exactly people are talking, thinking, and communicating, and to what extent anyone senses any corporeality around them (this almost seems not quite to be a science fiction / fantasy story, but it is in fact the inverse: a story commenting on all sci-fi / fantasy by describing the opposite pole, and hence how all of it is generated and from where it all stems). Hence, the style and medium of storytelling is bent to achieve this effect. There is an intentionally awkward lack of visual description initially, and of precision of who is talking or thinking or what anybody means, whoever is doing anything.
There are also certain "run on" sentences that are intended to reflect (as well as parody) the wordiness and lack of easy readability of professional philosophy papers, whether the reader likes or doesn't like that type of style (If s/he doesn't like it, the reader can consider it a comedic parody poking fun at it, or a challenge for later evaluation if the reader ever later decides to study philosophy). Each sentence is carefully constructed and (to the best of knowledge) is correct and parsable. An excellent comparison in literature of the intended effect would be the classic Douglas Adams line, "I suppose I'd better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let's call it my stomach," in which a sperm whale suddenly called into existence tries to comes to term with that brief existence, just as Piq comes to terms with the vague incorporeality of Zeroa, and the reader comes to terms with the strange incorporeality of our entire story.
On Key Names
Our protagonist's name has a few integrated meanings. Firstly, "Piq" (pronounced any way the reader likes) is intentionally short, bland, generic, and meaningless, just like our story. Piq is everyone and no one, and hence is a reflection of the reader to a greater and lesser extent than is usually attempted in a story (like the generic name "Neo" of the Matrix which draws anyone in whoever they are) that would be nullified by naming our character "Ralph." At an extreme we might have simply named our character "I," a letter the name clearly contains. The "p" and "q" are variables for general propositions in logic, often joined by one of the sixteen logical connectors (and, or, nor, nand, etc). "p i q" is hence meant to visually resemble any of many various logical notations for such conjunctions across philosophical and computer/circuit logic, such as: "p ^ q" (p and q), "p | q" (p or q), and so on. Of course the professors' names at the beginning of the story are various particular connectors***, while "Piq" suggests a relationship between not just the various statements and themes of the story, but even a relationship between the connectors themselves.
As our dynamic character develops as the story progresses, other phonetic similarities of "Piq" are also relevant, such as the words pique, peak, peek, and pick, which are intended to have some nonspecific connections to the character and story that the reader may or may not pick up on, consciously or unconsciously. For instance, the story is about the "peak" of the start/end of the known universe, and Piq must help "pick" how things continue. "Kip" is similar in its generic nature, intending to be a slightly odd or "neat" sounding real life name as it is a less common one, while simultaneously sounding like a nice name for any ficticious character of any genre. Clearly, if both the vowels in "kip" and "piq" are short (or both are long), then one is the phonetic reversal of the other, so that they in some ways are opposittes, and in other ways similar, such as in their short, generic nature. Hence the reader can analyze and decide (if he is bored enough) whether Piq and Kip are alike, or different, or both, or neither, or sort of one or the other.
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