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The Crack in Space is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. In the United Kingdom, it has been published under the title of the original novella, Cantata 140, published in the July 1964 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  This original title refers to the short title in English, Sleepers Awake, of J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 140 and the novel’s ‘bibs’, the millions sleeping in suspended animation. Both are based on the short story Prominent Author. The common elements are the Jiffi-scuttler transport device, the company, Terran Development, that manufactures it (and still exists to play a large role in the later works), and a brief summary of Prominent Author as an event of the past in chapter 2. The «crack in space» is a defect in Jiffi-scuttler operation that allows access to the earth (in Prominent Author) and to parallel earths (in the later works) at various times and locations, beyond its intended use of providing near-instant transport between specific locations on the earth in the present.
On a future Earth (c. 2080 CE) overwhelmed with severe difficulties related to overpopulation, a portal is discovered that leads to a parallel world. Jim Briskin, campaigning to be the first Black president of the United States, believes that the new «alter-Earth» could be colonized and become a home for the seventy million people that are being kept in cryopreservation. Known as bibs, these are people — mostly non-caucasians — who decided to be «put to sleep» until a time when the overpopulation problem is solved.
Briskin is a social conservative, who does not support the Golden Doors of Bliss orbital brothel, and opposes widespread abortion access. There are two dominant US political parties, the «Republican Liberals» and the «States Rights Conservative Democrats» who run CLEAN, a racist frontgroup that opposes Briskin’s candidacy, although higher-income white American voters support him. Terraforming becomes a pivotal election issue, until a warp drive malfunction in a «‘scuttler» tube results in the discovery of an apparently uninhabited alternate world, an ‘alter-Earth’ where Homo sapiens either never evolved or lost in competition with other early hominids. In this case, the point of divergence appears to have occurred between one and two million years ago, as Homo erectus, also known as Sinanthropus, Pithecanthropus or Peking Man, is the dominant species. In reference to the latter designation, the explorers refer to the indigenous hominids of this world as «Pekes.»
There is a hasty initial colonization attempt. The minimum time period necessary for all of the tens of millions of «bibs» to emigrate is estimated to be twenty years. In order to cut this down to 5 years the rift is temporarily closed so a new power supply can be installed which will theoretically quadruple the width of the rift. When this action is completed, however, it is discovered that one hundred years has elapsed in the parallel world. During this time the conjoined twin businessman George Walt, who had run the Golden Doors of Bliss satellite brothel, had emigrated into the parallel world during initial colonization and set himself up as a «wind god». He spent those hundred years teaching and filling in technological gaps in the Peke’s world as well as learning many new ideas from them. He also apparently assisted in sabotaging the colonization effort, as it would not exactly be in his own best interest were word to leak out that he was merely a mutated Homo sapiens.
After all the decades-consuming preparations have been completed, however, George Walt eventually sets a trap so that whenever the rift eventually re-opens, the «Pekes» can power it from their side and keep it from closing.
This procedure allows the Pekes to begin an invasion of Earth, but they abruptly depart en masse when it is finally revealed, as George Walt originally feared, that their wind god is actually just a wind bag; that is to say, he’s just another lying, deceiving, untrustworthy member of the species Homo sapiens. The colonization attempt from Earth is thereby aborted, and Briskin, being newly elected, is left at the story’s end to deal with the consequences during his next two presidential terms.
The recent BICEP2 discovery of evidence for cosmic inflation might point to new physics.
Last month, scientists on the BICEP2 experiment announced the first hard evidence for cosmic inflation, the process by which the infant universe swelled from microscopic to cosmic size in an instant.
Scientists have thought for more than three decades that we might someday find such a signal, so the discovery was not entirely unexpected. What was unexpected, however, was just how strong the signal turned out to be.
“The theoretical community is abuzz,” theorist Michael Turner, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and a University of Chicago professor, said in a recent discussion. “We got the signal we were looking for—that’s good—but we shouldn’t have gotten one according to the highbrow theorists because they say it should be too small. So we got a surprise. And often in science, that’s the case. We like for the experimenters to find what we predict, but we also like surprises.”
The BICEP2 experiment—the second generation of the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization experiment—consists of a telescope at the South Pole (pictured above, on left) built to look back to the universe’s first light.
Turner moderated a conversation, broadcast as a Google+ Hangout, about the result with BICEP2 postdoctoral researcher Walter Ogburn of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University; KICP Deputy Director John Carlstrom, who leads two other experiments that study the early universe; and BICEP2 physicist Abigail Vieregg, a professor at the University of Chicago and KICP.
The BICEP2 surprise is still so new that additional implications keep coming to light each week. It’s already clear that the result rules out many theoretical models of inflation—most of them, in fact—because they predict a signal much weaker than the one detected. In addition, the discovery also seems to disprove a theory that says that the universe expands, collapses and expands again in an ongoing cycle.
“It’s a funny thing when you’re on the inside of a discovery like this,” Vieregg said during the Google+ Hangout. “It’s only when you release the results to the world and watch the reaction of the community that, at least for me, it really hits home how important it is. If this is what we think it is, it’s a very big deal.”
Turner said the result could very well be a “crack in the cosmic egg,” offering clues that even the most accepted theoretical assumptions contain inaccuracies.
“Maybe we need to… allow some new physics in there,” Carlstrom said. “Maybe there are more neutrinos. Maybe they’re more massive than we thought. Or maybe it’s something none of us have thought of yet.”
Theorists will carefully consider these ideas and their implications over the coming months and years. Meanwhile, the signal still needs to be experimentally confirmed.
Results from other telescopes, including the Planck satellite and the South Pole Telescope, are expected in the coming year. After that, the next step will be to measure the signal’s intricacies, searching for evidence of how inflation started and how exactly the universe worked in its high-energy infancy. Those results, in turn, may shed light on some of our biggest questions about how the universe began and how the forces of nature are unified.
This article is based on a Kavli Foundation press release.
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«The Crack In The Cosmic Egg» light version
Энциклопедию краут-рока «The Crack In The Cosmic Egg» можно приобрести, а можно также пользоваться её облегчённой электронной версией, в свободном доступе выложенной в Сети — здесь. Ресурс включает краткую информацию о группах и исполнителях за 1967-1980 гг. Ни обложек, ни фотографий групп нет. Естественно, что дискографии в этом случае учитывают только издания на виниле и аудиокассетах. Сообщается, что изданный в виде брошюры справочник содержит в три раза больше информации.
Martin Mörike (organ, piano, vocals), Klaus Hermann (drums), Gerhard Kraus (violin, vocals), Eberhard Müller (guitar), Klaus Scharff (drums),
+ Gabi Popmanith (vocals), Iris Rothermel (flute), Lothar Mattlinger (tuba)
LP private release (1975)
Часть 5 — The Crack In The Cosmic Egg / Краут-рок / шведский бит и псих