Haikasoru

 

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It’s THE INEVITABLE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

Ryu Mitsuse’s Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights, named the best Japanese SF novel of all time in a 2006 poll, is coming your way soon!

But you can win one early in our latest and greatest giveaway contest. Just write a comment based on this prompt, and the four we like the best will get a free copy of the book.

A lot of SF is very hopeful about the future, some quite dour. But ultimately, the entire universe is going to go bye-bye. That cosmic sense of wonder (or sensawunda if you’re an old school fan) intrinsic to SF is limned with a sense of ultimate doom. No matter how great humanity, or our daughter species, become, the universe is still very large and very dark. And it’s growing colder. So, what do we do? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the inevitable heat death of the universe? Does it help put your own problems in perspective? Or is it just depressing? Or…are you hoping that after the Singularity you’ll live forever and have front row seats to the Big Show? Let us know, and win a book that glows in the dark! Feel free to hit us up in English, Japanese, Spanish, German, or Greek, because we’re international, see?

We’ll announce the winners Friday, at noon Pacific time.

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19 Responses to “It’s THE INEVITABLE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE giveaway contest!”

  1. Takehaniyasubiko says:

    I’ve already won one book from the ever-awesome Haikasoru so I won’t even try my luck again as I would feel that I’m pushing it too far. I wanted to say, though, that this book seems almost magical and the cover itself shows how professional Haikasoru is (yeah, never judge a book by its cover, but you can judge the publisher by it).

    As for that question – the front row seats option, definitely. It’s also what George Carlin wanted.

  2. Yoyogod says:

    Obviously the thing to do is to come up with a way to survive the end of the universe and then wait around for another one to appear. If the books I’ve read are correct, this will give you god-like powers so you can torment the beings that inhabit the next universe.

  3. Seth Ellis says:

    You may not give me this book now, but someday, all our particles will be sucked into a single point of infinite density, and then everything of which I consist will occupy the same space as everything that makes up Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights. So I’ll get to read it then.

    If that doesn’t give you hope, what will?

  4. Gregory says:

    To quote the eighties Flash Gordon movie character Voltan “Oh well, who wants to live forever”. I see whatever survivors of the rigers of ages of darkness and struggle clustering around experiments involving dark energy, quantum foam or something even more exotic canabalizing ever bit of available matter to kickstart a new existence or travel into a different fold of tome to get another chance. I see desperation and a great opportunity for storytelling around the last campfire… time for some really chilling ghost stories as the last lights go out.

  5. Zebulon says:

    I once built a computer for a bunch of crazy Tibetan monks who believed the purpose of existence was to recognize all the possible names of God. The computer’s was a bit like a number generator, except it generated names within certain parameters. As I rode down the mountainside and gazed up at the stars, I noticed they were slowly winking away. As it turned out, our universe was not infinite and the daylight of a trillion suns was coming to a close. In 1967’s “The Nine Billion Names of God” Clark told one version of the fall of night. Now, Haikasoru brings us Ryu Mitsuse’s response in “Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights”.

    Our days are numbered.

  6. Doug M. says:

    Haikasoru: good?
    James Nicoll, he recommends.
    Let’s give it a try.

    Must write a comment
    heat death of the universe
    hm, not so easy

    Galaxies, quasars
    everything has gone away
    event horizon!

    Universe flattens
    density drops to zero
    hello? anyone?

    Infinite redshift
    every particle decays
    gee, sure is quiet.

    Doug M.

  7. Jon Hansen says:

    I think it’s inspiring. Somewhere out there, a future Galactus is waiting his moment to bond with the Sentience of the Universe.

  8. Rachel Manija Brown says:

    Leaves fall, and we point and call it beautiful. Meteors burn across the sky, and we point and make a wish.

    When the last star goes out and all is dark and quiet, perhaps some unimaginable intelligence will nudge another and, in some unimaginable way, point and say, “Look! The heat death of a universe! Have you ever seen one so lovely? I’m so glad we came.”

  9. Steven Schwartz says:

    The universe runs out of heat,
    And goes to an entropic end.
    That’s one trap that you can’t beat

    No matter how fast you move your feet
    you cannot outrun time, my friend.
    The universe runs out of heat

    And becomes a soup we cannot eat —
    The spoon’s disintegrated beyond mend.
    That’s one trap that you can’t beat

    is final dissolution. There’s no more peat
    to burn, nor dense mass to space-time bend.
    The universe runs out of heat

    everywhere, and entropy’s complete,
    There’s no more potential to expend.
    That’s one trap that you can’t beat

    even if to some Nirvana you ascend —
    all our particles in one smooth blend.
    The universe runs out of heat.
    That’s one trap that you can’t beat.

  10. Pam Optional says:

    my curling iron will break and life will go on, but heat death is inevitable.
    it’s ok.

  11. OLF says:

    There is a chance that the entire universe is going to go, but that’s it; it’s just a possibility. It is depressing when I think about it and to tell the truth it makes me mad, but then I think of what I’ve done and what others have done to make the world such a rich place to live filled with literature, music and life, it makes me proud . And when that time comes when the universe ends, I can be proud to say”It’s been a good life”.

  12. Matt says:

    Heat Death? That’s only the “whimper” T.S. Eliot was talking about. Personally I’m much more worried about proton decay. Are you doing your part to help prevent proton decay?

  13. Jessica says:

    I was just going to say that I don’t give a darn. But I think RMB’s response is so great, so… uh… just go read that again.

  14. JimR says:

    Considering the infinity of possibilities in which we swim, any non-zero probability event has infinite probability…thus the heat death of the universe has happened already, and will happen again, and Ouroborus will continue to give birth to itself, time without end.

    But maybe next time, we’ll have bacon and cheese that grow on trees, the way it was supposed to be.

  15. John C says:

    (1) ONTOLOGY
    From the Greek, “that which is.”

    (2) Imagine a matchstick snapped against a sanded edge, sprouting an orange flame that is sucked into the tip of a cigarette, imparting an ember glow before being extinguished between thumb and forefinger.

    (3) Did the fire exist before the snap? Scientists would say that the potential for the fire existed, and that the friction of the sandpaper reversed the entropy within the molecules of the match head, igniting a flame. But that’s not the point.

    (4) That cigarette is us.

    (5) Fire passes into and out of existence. Even when it’s not present, the potential for it is. It’s everywhere, really. It’s just a matter of what it does with itself when it’s ignited.

    (6) So, wait, what exactly is the matchstick?

    (7) Nobody knows, yet for the moment the cigarette burns and the smoker is happy. That’s all that matters.

    (8) The ancient Greek philosopher, Parmedies, the father of ontology, concluded that “nothing comes from nothing” (“ex nihilo nihil fit”), and that, therefore, existence is eternal. Always was, always will be, baby. He also claims that the void does not exist (“How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown.”) So, that cigarette? Never going out.

    (9) Who needs the singularity? I’ll stick with this guy.

    (10) Seriously, though, you shouldn’t smoke. It could kill you.

  16. Adam says:

    Heat death of it all,
    eh? Want to know what I think?
    Just one more headache.

  17. Brittain says:

    I take the inevitable heat death of the universe as a personal challenge. As an American guy, I am all about fixing things and can-do attitudes. The end of the universe is a rallying cry for the bravest, most audacious thinkers. We can solve global warming and push back the end of time simultaneously, by radiating excess heat from our planet out into the void, perhaps with gargantuan fins. We can reach full employment by paying those without jobs to do jumping jacks and create warmth. It is the ultimate impetus to reach for the stars, as only a society spanning galaxies can hope to light enough barbecues to make the final difference. Forget watching the final moments of creation, I want to stave them off.

  18. Sybelle says:

    Well as the saying goes “whatever will be will be”, “que sera sera” so, not particularly worried more curious than anything.

  19. Osiris M. says:

    Tomando en consideración que el universo es de un tamaño tan grande que es simplemente imposible imaginárselo (y que hacerlo no lleva sino a un gran estado de sensawunda) y que además la luz aun pese a su velocidad no nos permite ver el presente del universo (llevando a fenómenos como la simultaneidad relativa), ¿no será posible que en algún extremo del universo este ya no se esté expandiendo sino que ya se está comprimiendo, o incluso, que ya es incluso una singularidad?

    Como cabe la posibilidad de que ya esté sucediendo y que es solo cuestión que nos alcance haré lo que he seguido haciendo hasta ahorita, escuchando buena música, leyendo buenos libros, jugando videojuegos y vaya, vivir.


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