From: Jon Allen
Hi Greg, I'm just getting to the last third of "Moving Mars", one of your books I had not previously read. Like "Anvil of Stars" and some of your other works, it features some extremely high technology based on quantum physics. The quantum and nano-scale technologies seen in "Anvil of Stars", along with its pessimistic view of the moral character of advanced civilizations, made it one of the more mind-boggling and plausibly disturbing science fiction novels I've ever read.
My question is this: To what extent do you believe these sort of speculative technologies are possible or likely, however distant they may be in the future, and are the fictional "Bell Continuum" technologies/techniques you have described at least indirectly based, however tenuously or fancifully, on real theories and principles in quantum physics? Are there any resources, either in print or on the web, ideally somewhat comprehensible to the layman, that you would refer someone interested in the technological implications of quantum physics to?
Thanks for any response, and keep up the great work!
From: Greg Bear
Hello, Jon! Thanks for writing. I've gone through this discussion before to some extent in the web blog--so I'll just summarize here. The idea of "particle bit theory" harks back to the nineteen sixties, and has most recently been advanced in different forms by folks like Stephen Wolfram. It's a sideline theory which--who knows?--could go major league as soon as string theory strikes out--and those strings look kind of frayed right now! (But the multiverse is going strong...)
From: Howard Miller
Location: Augusta, GA
I've been thinking about multiverse theories of the Big Bang for a while. Some theories postulate that the Big Bang was an event that happened when our universe collided with another. The theories seem to imply that they collided then rebounded, but what if they got "stuck"? We couldbe living in an amalgam of two universes with each one's influence becoming dominant under different circumstances. We'd have to forget about TOEs.
This bears an odd resemblence to the "Velcro Universe" I mentioned a while back.
From: Greg Bear
Something about branes colliding, as I recall--all very difficult to visualize, but then everything about this topic is fraught with difficulties. As I'm currently writing about colliding universes, I'm having to create very different metaphors... Ideas and visualizations people other mathematicians can connect with!
From: Brian Linwell
Location: San Francisco
Hi Greg- I wrote a script(179 notebook pages) about sections of two universes intersecting in 1999. Actually it mainly deals with the characters involved. I haven't shown it to anyone. I guess it's time to finally re-write it. It's interesting that you are also an artist, because that is how I make my living. I'm into the Quantum- story thing too.Met the author of a book about the physics of art. Right now I'm working on the EON trailer challenge. I'm "userBrian". After finishing this challenge I hope I make a trailer for my script! Hey- we were both born in the same year, me in April. An emerging producer friend of mine said that producers want to see trailers now, not scripts, first! So i'm glad I didn't send my script in yet! I'll send my trailer first! So- glad to meet you! I hope EON gets made into a movie.
From: Greg Bear
Thanks, Brian! Looking forward to seeing both your trailers.