Virtual Universe

 

Gullibility by SRS Vision

Gullibility by SRS Vision

First of all, I must extend my gratitude to Kari E. Hutta for his kind remarks regarding my Science Fiction epic The Anomaly Trilogy.

What I most definitely have not done is independently invent the idea of a virtual universe. It’s an idea that has been growing over time and has been dealt with in different ways in such films as the Matrix, in several science fiction novels (most notably those by Philip K Dick) and even in my own short story Reality.

I guess it has its origins in philosophy and thought experiments concerning the simple question of how we know what we think is real is actually real. The philosophical position of solipsism owes its origins to this debate.

However, more recently it has become a subject of scientific rather than philosophical discussion. There’s a lot to be read about it on Wikipedia and elsewhere, but the gist of the debate is quite simple.

If it is possible to create a self-contained universe as a computer simulation in even one possible universe (assuming that there is more than one) and that universe could itself generate self-contained computer-generated universes which themselves could generate such virtual universes and so on ad infinitum, then there could very well be many more virtual than real universes. In that case, the probability .is that the universe that we know is more likely to be a computer simulation than the real thing. It is unlikely that there are infinitely many universes simply because of the nature of infinity, but there could be an astronomically large number and by far the greatest proportion of them (by a ratio measured perhaps in googolplexes) could be computer simulations.

This is fascinating stuff, only held in check by the very real likelihood that this is all fantasy and that it is simply mathematically and physically impossible for this to be the case. For instance, perhaps the necessary computational power cannot be contained in an external universe.

But it’s fun to speculate…

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Into the Unknowable: Final Chapter

The Hobbit by GFX-3ngine

The Hobbit by GFX-3ngine

So, I’ve finally submitted the final chapter of the Anomaly Trilogy. Like all my fiction it’s had a fairly mixed reception, but it’s clear that the further it’s strayed away from the conventional science fiction trilogy the more people there are who haven’t liked it.

As with all my novels, the next step will be for me to package the final volume as an e-book which will soon be distributed to the usual outlets. I’ll announce where they’re all going in good time.

I’ve got a trickle of feedback on the last volume of the trilogy, but not as much as for the first volume which was probably the most conventional of the three volumes. Several have commented on the final conclusion as being a bit different from what they’d expected, but I did leave a trail of clues all the way through the three volumes.

I like the comment from Aeroiel on Literotica in which he asked whether this novel was “the product of a madman or genius?”. I guess it was meant as a compliment as I don’t think many people would consider me to be mad. However, most of my fiction is somewhat off-centre so I suppose much depends on how far from the accepted norm something can be until it’s considered insane. But I personally think I’ve got a long way to go until I threaten writers like James Joyce, William Burroughs or Kurt Vonnegut in the weirdness stakes.

As always I’m not convinced that either of Literotica or Stories OnLine are the perfect places to submit the Anomaly Trilogy , but I remain grateful that such websites exist and that I am able to have access to such a potentially large readership.