Discussion Board

Topic: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 05/07/2009

Last night's Episode of FRINGE on Fox bordered on an open disccusion of Fate Shifting, as the Lead Character kept either having visions of, or slipping slightly into, alternate snippets of the case she was working on.

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/12/2009

Alternate universes also pop up in the latest STAR TREK XI, with intriguing implications for both casting and plot!

The Wife just asked me

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 05/12/2009

Did Greg Bear tell you he's a Guest of Honor at Con this year?

Well, no, not yet...hadn't heard from him since I dropped a line last week.

And then your reply to my Fringe question came in...just moments ago.

So she pulled it up and showed me that you are Guest #4 on the Founders Panel.

#1, Richard Alf, we were responsible for finding and getting in touch with Mark. I hadn't seen Alf in almost ten years, and we had to have a friend get him to call me on my cell.

So, woot! Founders day at ComicCon this year.

MG

The Wife just asked me

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/12/2009

Good work, Mike!

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Patrick B.
Location: Vancouver, WA
Date: 05/13/2009

A very similar type of fate shifting was key to the plot of U. K. LeGuin's novel "Lathe of Heaven" which then seemed to be the direct inspiration for that Ashton Kutcher movie "The Butterfly Effect".

There was also an episode of Star Trek: TNG that had the infinite variations of fate for the Enterprise all popping into the same region of space-time.

The idea of prescience as described by Frank Herbert in the Dune novels is also a type of fate shifting via precognition. A person's level of awareness is so heightened that they can see all possible outcomes of every set of inputs and choose the optimal path. Much in the same way that Greg has in CATEOT, Herbert saw this as an enslavement of the fate shifter to an optimal line. The notion that fate shifting is the ultimate freedom is overturned by the tendency to fate shift onto the lowest energy fate line. In the Dune novels, both Paul and Leto identified this trap and went to great lengths to break humanity away from prescience.

I could go on, there are many more. Variations on the theme of "Fate Shifting" are well discussed throughout the history of literature, especially sci-fi. What surprised me most about "City" is that Greg was able to bring something new and well developed to the table.

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 05/13/2009

"From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/12/2009

Alternate universes also pop up in the latest STAR TREK XI, with intriguing implications for both casting and plot!"

Leonard Nimoy is in danger of being type-cast again, as he played something of a time traveler, if but side ways in time, on Fringe last night, at the end.

JJ's writing staff seems to be "way to hip" about the Super World Alternate Reality Myth, as Nimoy's character's office was in the South Tower of the World Trade Centre, as they had no 9/11 there.

It's being a Bad Robot Day, caught the season end of Fringe this morning, off to Star Trek in a few mintues, and then LOST tonite.

I'm wondering if there will be cross overs on these three franchises...and when JJ's going to get around to bringing you in as a consultant.

Oh my...I just had a production thought for one of your properties...

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/22/2009

Good history lesson, Patrick! I was trying to remember the prior art here, and this is quite helpful.

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 05/22/2009

Regarding Patrick's History of Hopping Realities: George Orr could only do it while asleep, and there was that Dickian aspect of "IS it real, or just something dreamed up by a dying man".
Zelazney pioneered the Demigod version of "Fate Shifting" nearly 40 years ago. And man PKD characters also finding themselves hopping from one possible world to another, the one being shifted out of usually a "Fake" reality.
And let's not forget Asimov's "Eternity, Inc." Where corporate culture makes decisions on the nature of history.

But what the lead Character "Olivia" on FRINGE did was very close to what the Young Fate Shifters do in the 21st Century parts of CITY...sans Collectors, SumRunners, etc. But slowly becoming aware of "other realities" and her relationship to them.

Which also seems to be exploring territory that I postulated as to whether or not advancing humans, not just Sum Runner driven Fate Shifters, would start to become aware and access other possible worlds to "fine tune" their fates.

J. J. Abrams seems pretty hot about such concepts, as exhibited in STAR TREK, LOST, and FRINGE, which all explore these concepts using different theories of time, time travel and the potential for alternate realities.

Re: Fate-Shifting on National TV?

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 06/19/2009

I'm noticing more and more a certain aspect of fate-shifting, in that I have a certain flow, and when I do certain things, I get out it and have to wait a spell to let it get back on track, find some way for it to get back on, or have an epiphany that either automatically re-orients me, or erases the past resonance altogether.

Of course, I prefer the last. The first option is fine, too, whereas the second is almost universally avoided, as an 'active' mode is generally what got me out of flow in the first place - that is, I indulged a very localized and constrained curiosity.

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