the unMaking of Heaven
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by Sam Smith
Category: Science Fiction
Description: In this the fifth and final book of the series all the characters are post-organic beings, minds become machines, calling themselves Synths or Eternals. Some Synths - led by the Shining Knight - decide that all Synths, including Sexthetes and Puzzlers, are Abominations, themselves included, and they set out to destroy them all. The survivors are those who hid. As initially did the Shining Knight.
eBook Publisher: TheEbookSale Publishing/TheEbookSale Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: July 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [259 KB]
Reading time: 148-207 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
The final in the series of 5 books, The unMaking of Heaven is the equivalent of an album's title track, giving the series its title and bringing the saga to a conclusion in three separate threads covering the missing history of Space, events that have just passed and a 1st person narrative taken from the memory files of an AI robot called the Shining Knight. With hints of a future where machines have dominated life. Like a collision of tribes, the final showdown between the Shining Knight and other machines that have been deemed Abominations by themselves and set out on a self destructive mission that could almost be related to Civil War, the final connecting of the three separate story strands brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. The final book does require a little more concentration that the previous books due to the scope and expanse of the time frames it constantly interchanges, but overall the effort is more than worth it to unlock the final pieces of this awe-inspiring multi-layered novel. by Anthony Lund, Allbooks Review www.allbookreviews.com
1) The Recent Present:
According to the absurdist laws of a ludicrous cosmology, facts persist, self-generated dreams do not. Such dreams own only a fading reality. Certainly some dreams may have a startling impact: they can, though, be all but wholly forgotten a sleep later.
I was dreaming. Was I?
Something is quickening me awake. Something new. Some thing strange. I can, though, sense nothing new, no obvious change.
Is this simply the residual disquiet of a dream buried already in the depths of sleep?
Those who depend for their continuing survival on camouflage stay still.
By any means, at whatever cost, the prime objective of any living, going-on-living entity is survival. And when one is unarmed, and lothe anyway to be as violent as one's aggressors, the first line of defence has to be camouflage, to not be seen by one's enemy. Which entire strategy depends on what one imagines one's enemy to be seeing; or smelling, or touching, or feeling, or thinking. To remain in hiding, therefore, one may have to change according to what one is imagining. The very act of changing, though, can betray one's vulnerable presence.
I was still.
Had I been asleep? Dreaming? Or had I, awake, drifted off on a fantasy float? That part puzzle started to take me back into myself.
Still my mind was urging me awake, to take notice.
But of what?
My senses tell me that I am awake. Awake to life. And life, this life, cannot be a dream, because in a dream there is no worry. In a dream there can be dread; and there can be fear, and fright enough to bring one awake. But not worry. Not this rotating about itself unfocussed anxiety -- something forgotten? Something overlooked? Either of which might require action, for which being awake is required.
I am still.
My memory thoughts, inasmuch as they are conscious thinking, want to revert to meandering conjecture. To become invisible took me such a long time. I succeeded, though, and to such an extent that, emotionally, I believe that I have suffered from that very invisibility.
Of course, invisibility being my prime objective, at first my sense of humour found great delight in practical jokes -- on some biological humans -- as well as in the sly pleasure of eavesdropping upon my passing contemporaries. Until I grew tired of being overlooked, and became unreasonably hurt at being always ignored. And just as soon as reassured of the safety and security of my unseen presence...
Such a two-edged invisible state of existence became essential to my shutdown survival. Even when it was I, and only I, who had apparently survived.
Somnolent, introspective, I am alone. Or am I? What had caused that small rhythm-catch of arousal?
In this mutable multiverse nothing is fixed and forever. Even nothing is a variable quality and quantity depending upon perspective. (Many had looked for me, had looked at me, and had seen nothing.)
These memory thoughts, in so far as they are conscious thinking, are again edging back towards meandering conjecture. Something though, some thing won't let them...
Telling myself to come fully awake, and listening to myself give the instruction, I then ask What is here? What is new? What is different?
What was when? Elsewhere?
No elsewhere. To inhabit the same place for aeons on end is to have no easy demarcation to one's history, no change of scene with which to categories time's events.
Let me be specific. Here, now, is a land of high mountains and deep wide valleys. Streams gush white down black cliffs to form broad brown rivers, which flow into huge blue lakes, which in turn overflow into broader rives, which find their slow ways eventually to the wave-speckled oceans, which are edged, again, by high dark cliffs. Cold winds drop off the mountains and eddy around the corners of the few stone-built houses.
A young planet, one still in its first flush of greenery, its mountain peaks yet sharp and largely uneroded. The houses are all empty. In its night skies the star configurations are all as they were the last time I looked.
But something, some thing, someone, is calling me awake.
* * * *
* * * *
2) A History
For those who may come after I had best explain where we were before death's rebirth.
* * * *
2.i) The Need for a Record
When death was reinvented, and the I that I am realised an end to everything -- to everything that was happening, had happened, that what was I would end -- when I saw that, with the return of death, the whole had the shape of a story, that was when I decided that, if I should survive, then I would become a record keeper of my time. Of what I can remember of my time.
No. That last is inaccurate; and record keepers must, as befits their role, be accurate.
I have the memory of it all. Every detail. What I lack, what I am not always certain of, especially with events repeated and memory laid over/under memory, is sequence.
When one has come to believe one's existence infinite, when one has inhabited a multiverse populated by concepts occasionally made concrete, and by abstractions as tenuous as unfulfilled plans, memories of things actual can seem as remote as dreams. The measurement of time, or the use of relative time as a measurement can therefore come to seem of minor import.
I tell myself that I will have to be aware that I am making a linguistic record for minds that, in all probability, will not be mechanically enhanced and who will be reliant entirely on their own organic perception plus aptitude.
I began this section by acknowledging the likelihood of an end. Tales, though, need beginnings as well as endings. And there are so very many beginnings. Especially in a part-imagined and conceptualised past such as mine. And, within the topography of my time, of my multiverse, I am both part and whole.
Does that make sense?
Let us come to the recent present as an example. I was in hiding for so very long. Part of the necessity of that effective hiding was that the multiverse was hidden from me lest what I saw/heard/detected stimulate me into disclosing my hiding place.
Have I told you this before?
'Before' -- now that definitely belongs in record-keeping. I need only check.
Yes. I, record-keeper, have a record to consult now. And I am going to leave this record as hard copy. Because you, if primitive, may not even know what a machine code is, let alone possess a machine capable of decoding it. I will leave you, therefore, hard copy capable of decipherment/translation/interpretation.
Back to the recent present.
Something -- some thing attuned to my near-dormant sensory preceptors -- brought me out of hiding. Albeit cautiously. The summation of the events that followed are what eventually had me commence this record.
But that, again, is now. You stranger, witness to my witnessing, require a chronology of sorts.
That beginning must be the reason that I decided to make this story. That beginning must be the reinvention of death.
Yet, to be exact, that beginning was more than death itself, than death as a concept. It was the living fear, new-born, of extermination. I, as I, as an independent conscious entity, was in all likelihood going to cease, to not be, to be no more, to end. And that was my beginning.
* * * *