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Encyclopedia > Marooned in Realtime

Marooned in Realtime is a murder mystery and time-travel science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge, about a small group of people who are the only "survivors" of a technological singularity. It is the sequel to The Peace War (and is generally said to be a much better novel) and the Novella "The Ungoverned". Sherlock Holmes, pipe-puffing hero of crime fiction, confers with his colleague Dr. Watson; together these characters popularized the genre. ... Time travel is the concept of moving forward and backward to different points in time, much as we do through space. ... Vernor Steffen Vinge (pronounced VIN-jee, rhyming with stingy) (born February 10, 1944) is a mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction author who is best known for his Hugo award-winning novel A Fire Upon the Deep, and for his 1993 essay The Technological Singularity, in which he argues that... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... The Peace War is a science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge about authoritarianism and technological progress. ... The Ungoverned (1985) is a novella by Vernor Vinge, set between his novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime. ...

In the story, a device exists which can create a "bobble", a spherical stasis field in which time stands still, allowing one-way instantaneous time travel into the future. These persistent, frictionless, perfectly reflective spheres are also used as weapons, as shields against other weapons, for storage, for space travel (combined with nuclear pulse propulsion), and many other purposes. Stasis (IPA: ) is a science-fiction concept akin to suspended animation. ... An artists conception of a spacecraft powered by nuclear pulse propulsion Nuclear pulse propulsion (or External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion, as it is termed in one recent NASA document) is a proposed method of spacecraft propulsion that uses nuclear explosions for thrust. ...


People whose bobbles open up after a certain date in the 23rd century find the Earth completely devoid of human life. All living humans have disappeared, with only ambiguous archeological clues for the reasons, and only those who were inside bobbles during the event survive into the future. Those who were bobbled soon after the original invention of bobbles have roughly modern technology. Those who were bobbled later in time (closer to the singularity) have vastly superior technology, including cybernetic enhancements, faster and thought-controlled bobblers, personal automaton extensions of self, space ships, medical technology to allow immortality, and individual arsenals comparable to entire countries of the modern day. 7 of 9, a Borg in Star Trek: Voyager The term cyborg, a portmanteau of cybernetic organism, is used to designate an organism which is a mixture of organic and mechanical (synthetic) parts. ... A drummer automaton An automaton (plural: automata) is a self-operating machine. ... Ariane 5 lifts off with the Rosetta probe on 2nd of March, 2004. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


The protagonist is Wil Brierson, a detective who also was the protagonist of the preceeding novella "The Ungoverned". Some time after the events in "The Ungoverned", Brierson was bobbled against his will 1000 years into the future to prevent his testimony in a case, effectively murdering him. As a punishment, the law enforcement of his time period bobbled such criminals for a slightly longer amount of time than their victims, with a message explaining the crime and allowing future law enforcement to provide more specific punishment, after the true fate of the victim can be determined. However, in this unpopulated world, every human is valuable, and the high-techs give the criminals new false identities to protect them from their victims and welcome them into their small society. A detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. ... The Ungoverned (1985) is a novella by Vernor Vinge, set between his novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime. ...


The group of several hundred people seeks to gather up all the humans left in order to gain enough genetic diversity to create a new civilization and their own singularity. They travel into the future so that they can recruit colonies of people, ending approximately 50 million years ahead in order to gather one of the largest groups trapped inside one of the earliest but longest-lived bobbles. Before one of their very long transits, the computers of one of the high-tech project leaders, Marta Korolev, are hacked, and she is not included in the automated bobbling. She is stranded alone in normal time, with no way to bobble herself and catch up with the others; left to die of a natural lifespan on a humanless earth. The low-tech Brierson is then recruited by the surviving project leader, Yelén Korolev, to find the killer, who must be one of the powerful high-techs. Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... Hacker is a term used to describe people who create and modify computer software and computer hardware. ...


To assist Brierson with the high-tech aspects of the case, he is joined by Della Lu, a high tech who was an agent of the Peace Authority during The Peace War. In the millions of years since the singularity, Della has spent 9,000 years alone outside of stasis in real time, exploring the galaxy and searching for signs of similar vanishings in intelligent species on other planets. While waiting for others to emerge into realtime, she determines that intelligent life is profoundly rare, and there are parallel vanishings in the few instances she finds, but no definitive proof of what happened. The singularity, whatever the cause, is implied to be an explanation for the Fermi Paradox. To complicate matters for Brierson, being a high tech makes Della Lu a suspect in the murder, and the vast duration she has spend in deep space and in real time leave questions of her humanity as well. Furthermore, since all of the high-techs are suspects, this also includes Yelén Korolev. The Peace War is a science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge about authoritarianism and technological progress. ... A graphical representation of the Arecibo message, Humanitys first attempt to communicate our existence to alien civilizations The Fermi Paradox is a physical paradox that was brought to light by a simple question posed by the physicist Enrico Fermi when speculating about the existence of technologically advanced civilizations within...


The novel thus deals with the investigation of two parallel locked room mysteries: the murder of Marta Korelev, and the "locked planet" mystery of the disappearance of the human race. Brierson interviews each of the high-tech suspects, seeking evidence of any motive for murder while discussing their views on how the human race vanished. While some suggest that an alien invasion, ecological collapse, or other disaster was the culprit, by the end it is strongly suggested that this event was a technological singularity, and that the human race has transcended our current existence with exponentially increasing technology. In crime fiction, a locked room mystery (or cosy) is a particular kind of mystery story, where a murder is apparently committed under impossible circumstances: no one could have entered or left the scene of the crime, and it could not have been a suicide. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ...


Publication

Astounding Stories was a seminal science fiction magazine founded in 1930. ... The Peace War is a science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge about authoritarianism and technological progress. ... The Ungoverned (1985) is a novella by Vernor Vinge, set between his novels The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime. ...

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