Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Library of Babel and the Lottery in Babylon get all the press; no-one ever mentions the Subway System of Ur

Morphogenic Field: giving rise to Morphos
"AK," I asked, "have you been conducting more unauthorised and ethically-challenged experiments with the Morphogenic Field Flux Intensifier before it has been properly tested?"

"Not at all," AK exclaimed, quickly closing the control panel. "Oh look, a squirrel! Why do you ask?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," I complained. "Is there anything interesting in the paper?"

"Apparently," AK reported, signalling to the monkey butler for another copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle without the hole where tigris cut out the Sudoku puzzle, "tree roots around the world are turning into Remedios Varo paintings."

"It is probably an Omen. In accordance with the prophecy, and all that. Anything else?" I am not entirely sure how we ended up with a subscription to a newspaper that in most alternative universes was only printed in 1493, but according to the library pixies the subscription rates are extremely favourable.

"Phoenices have adopted the habits of cuckoos -- or Magritte paintings -- and have taken to laying their incandescent eggs inside bird-cages."
"Truly the End Times are nigher than ever."

"Apparently all the world's subways and Metro systems, as they evolve, are converging on a single optimal configuration. In accordance with the Metronomicon."
"I wonder what will happen at the Singularity when the successive approximations finish and they finally reach that ultimate, archetypal Ur-network. Will subway trains vanish into its topological complexities? Will we be able to buy a ticket to Unknown Kadath?"
"Either that, or overhead, without any fuss, the stars will be going out."

Bonus Morpho-genesis.

UPDATE: Perhaps the subways of the world's major cities are converging upon a common topology not because of morphogenic fields, or Narrativium, but because they are all mere reflections or shadows of the one true subway system -- the prototype -- which exists in the realm of Amber and is naturally linked to each of them. Fortunately Roger Zelazny did not pursue this possibility and we are spared one of his interminable descriptions of hellrides to Amber through shifting realities, but travelling by underground carriage rather than horseback.

I think we can all agree that Patrick Woodroff's cover for Nine Princes in Amber is the prototypal Amber cover-art, of which all other versions are mere reflections or shadows.

15 comments:

vacuumslayer said...

Why would you even want to look at a squirrel? They're just rats with tails. Don't fall for AK's shenanigans again.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

No orbs tag? Or helping zrm?
~

fish said...

the world’s major subway systems appear to be converging on an ideal form.

Apparently that form is "connects one place to another with rails."

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Life irritates art, or somesuch.

Elf Finger Found In Box Of Keebler Cookies

Teenage Boy Finds Finger in Arby’s Sandwich
~

vacuumslayer said...

Geez Louise, thudner. Ya lobby so much for that damn zombie you should get paid.

Substance McGravitas said...

subway systems appear to be converging

It's all a plot of the Slime.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

And yet despite all these subways converging, you still have to make at least two transfers to get to where you want to go.

Smut Clyde said...

No orbs tag? Or helping zrm?

This is Science, sir, and now labeled as such. Also, improved title.

Another Kiwi said...

%$?r41 as Mrs Cat says.
It seems to me that butterflies in yer skull is worser than in yer stomach. We need moar sample numbers tho' and NZ skulls are, not to put too fine a point on it, too thick.

Smut Clyde said...

subway systems appear to be converging
It's all a plot of the Slime.


The linked WIRED article mentions some of those slime-mould-related activities. Also, AK is now entitled to one free AHEM.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Geez Louise, thudner. Ya lobby so much for that damn zombie you should get paid.

I'm still trying to get on the bloog-rule!
`

Substance McGravitas said...

AK is now entitled to one free AHEM.

I was there in that thread! YOU deserve the AHEM for NOT explicitly bringing slime to the table. Harumph.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

In accordance with the Metronomicon.

It is to funny forever!

exford legs said...

Every day I am thankful for things that Roger Zelazny didn't do

alison said...

"Either that, or overhead, without any fuss, the stars will be going out."
Not if the Doctor gets to hear about it!