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All those empty universes

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
All those empty universes
Post by tonyz   » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:25 am

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Was retreading the series,vsparked by the announcement of work on the third book,andit struck me that so far we have only see the sorts of trees and animals that coexist with present-day humans (well, barring the occasional Arcanans magical creation). But we don't ever see megafauna like the mammoth or th sloth or the Irish elk or any of the other species tht went extinct during the Pleistocene.

This suggests that the divergence point for the various universes -- assuming current Ternathian theory about their origin is correct -- must post date the Pleistocene extinctions -- but humanity was around during then, and may have caused some of those extinctions by hunting. So why do we not see any humans in any of the hundreds of alternate universes the two sides have explored? Did humanity to extinct in all of them? Did it ever arise and the absence of megafauna be from other causes? Did humanity exist in these universes but then get wiped out by somebody (perhaps the creators of the portals?)

And what about other sentiments? Has there been any Sharonan contact with apes or cetaceans in the new universes they've explored?
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:43 pm

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IIRC David Weber has said there are infinite universes and even if only small percentage of them lack intelligent life that still leaves a very large number of them that lack intelligent life.

As for the lack of the megafauna, they may exist on some of the known worlds but we just haven't seen them.


tonyz wrote:Was retreading the series,vsparked by the announcement of work on the third book,andit struck me that so far we have only see the sorts of trees and animals that coexist with present-day humans (well, barring the occasional Arcanans magical creation). But we don't ever see megafauna like the mammoth or th sloth or the Irish elk or any of the other species tht went extinct during the Pleistocene.

This suggests that the divergence point for the various universes -- assuming current Ternathian theory about their origin is correct -- must post date the Pleistocene extinctions -- but humanity was around during then, and may have caused some of those extinctions by hunting. So why do we not see any humans in any of the hundreds of alternate universes the two sides have explored? Did humanity to extinct in all of them? Did it ever arise and the absence of megafauna be from other causes? Did humanity exist in these universes but then get wiped out by somebody (perhaps the creators of the portals?)

And what about other sentiments? Has there been any Sharonan contact with apes or cetaceans in the new universes they've explored?
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Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by tonyz   » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:41 pm

tonyz
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DrakBibliophile wrote:IIRC David Weber has said there are infinite universes and even if only small percentage of them lack intelligent life that still leaves a very large number of them that lack intelligent life.

As for the lack of the megafauna, they may exist on some of the known worlds but we just haven't seen them.


We don't see anyone expecting megafauna -- Sharonan guns are noted as being for protection against bears, cougars, etc. Arcanans don't ever mention dragons hunting animals that don't exist in the home timeline. The problem isn't absence of intelligent life; it's the absence of things that were taken out by intelligent life. This implies that humanity once existed in these universes but doesn't do so at time of contact.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by Greyman   » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:43 pm

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Yeap. There are two plausible explanations.

(1) David Weber wanted to keep the Sharonan's shock on encountering Dragons and War-Unicorn to a maximum, so kept fauna evolved on neighboring worlds nearly identical without considering the impact of a lack of indigenous human hunting might have had on, for example, megafauna.

Then too: the impact may not be that great.

(2) There is a deeper plot. Something has been wiping out human habitation (and all signs of it) all along the network of worlds for millenia, and Sharona and Arcana had been missed simply because they are relatively new additions. The solitary portals that link each of them to the network are mere centuries old.

The Cetacean and other-Primate lack might point to the later. The fact that Sharonans and Arcanans appear to be the same species of human points towards the former.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by SYED   » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:43 am

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I just had a thought, what if those inhabited planets are gone because they messed with the gates somehow, which wiped out their civilisation not just in the now but the past?

There was this story about a time traveler who went to the past then altered things then returned. A version of he was killed, and her past self died, everything she made was destroyed including the technology she produced. anyone that copied her ddesigns or plans, all that tech detonated.
The gate event caused their very being to destroy them selves.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:13 am

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OR,
The evolution of Intelligence and Sapience is a very
difficult and unusual thing. It is *SO* unusual,
that only a few, very few, Earths will get it.

OR, the Authors are merely being arbitrary.
They wanted to tell a story with many Earths,
only few of which have sapient life, so they did.

HTM

SYED wrote:I just had a thought, what if those inhabited planets are gone because they messed with the gates somehow, which wiped out their civilisation not just in the now but the past?

There was this story about a time traveler who went to the past then altered things then returned. A version of he was killed, and her past self died, everything she made was destroyed including the technology she produced. anyone that copied her ddesigns or plans, all that tech detonated.
The gate event caused their very being to destroy them selves.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:21 am

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Beware of Implications and Assumptions!
Especially beware of one's own!!
A Novelist is not bound by other people's I & A.
They tell their own stories, as they please.
If omiting something means that the story is a lie,
well, then,
the story was a lie already.
That is what Novels are: lies!

In this particular case,
I doubt that Weber and Evans even thought of it!
(Much less considered it, and made an reason for it.)

HTM

tonyz wrote:[snip - htm]
The problem isn't absence of intelligent life;
it's the absence of things that were taken out
by intelligent life.
This *implies* that humanity once existed in these universes but doesn't do so at time of contact.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:23 am

Howard T. Map-addict
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I find three (3) Plausible Explanations.

(3) The mega-fauna are not part of the story,
so the Authors did not bother with them. At all!!

HTM

Greyman wrote:Yeap. There are two plausible explanations.

(1) David Weber wanted to keep the Sharonan's shock on encountering Dragons and War-Unicorn to a maximum, so kept fauna evolved on neighboring worlds nearly identical without considering the impact of a lack of indigenous human hunting might have had on, for example, megafauna.

Then too: the impact may not be that great.

(2) There is a deeper plot. Something has been wiping out human habitation (and all signs of it) all along the network of worlds for millenia, and Sharona and Arcana had been missed simply because they are relatively new additions. The solitary portals that link each of them to the network are mere centuries old.

The Cetacean and other-Primate lack might point to the later. The fact that Sharonans and Arcanans appear to be the same species of human points towards the former.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by tonyz   » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:03 pm

tonyz
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Location: Riverside, CA

It's not the absence of salience that's a problem. I have no difficulty with "humanity never showed up in the other universes". It's that we see the effects of humanity (I.e., the absence of megafauna, particularly in the New World -- e.g., mammoths), without their presence. Admittedly, maybe nobody has wondered about that in-character yet, but we specifically have a Sharonanzooloist exclaiming over new species, and an Arcanan who knows about dinosaurs, so both sides are doing some kind of research and ought to have aske dthemselves some of these questions.

And I fully understand that the authors can write about whatever universes they want to and this is mostly about the t human civilizations, not comparative paleontology/ecology, but I'm wondering about the in-universe explanation for how things just happened to work out so neatly.
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Re: All those empty universes
Post by KNick   » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:49 am

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Leave it to Weber fan(atic)s to obsess over plot points that the authors overlooked and therefore didn't consider in their world-building. While Weber and company usually consider everything very carefully, I think they are allowed the occasional miss. After all, they do a very good job most of the time.
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