Monday, 18 March 2013


In the Milky Way, a new interstellar empire called the Web of Hercules sterilises or kills planetary populations by bombarding their upper atmospheres with anti-matter particles, thus generating lethal radiation.

In the Greater Magellanic Cloud, a New Earthman scientist sets out to construct an anti-matter artifact.

In intergalactic space, scientists on the moving planet He detect the arrival of anti-matter particles, thus establishing that the matter and anti-matter universes will soon collide.

Are these three occurrences of anti-matter a coincidence? No, such apparent coincidences happen as scientific knowledge advances.

When the Web attacks He at the metagalactic centre, Amalfi suggests retaliating with a burn-out overload pulse of the planet's spindizzies but such a pulse emanating from the centre would gravitationally disrupt the entire universe. Instead, the Hevians poison the Web's electromagnetic field by resonance, thus killing the Herculean spaceship crews by total nerve-block though not before everyone on He has received a lethal dose of hard radiation. Thus, both sides will die although those on He at least will survive until the universe ends in any case.

The spindizzies, graviton polarity generators, take Blish's characters through the Rift, intergalactic space and the metagalactic centre but, unfortunately, Blish did not know about black holes. Someone with a spindizzy - or with Wells' Cavorite - would be able to report back from beyond the event horizon of a black hole.

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