Manual The Memory of Whiteness

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He has been the Master for five years now, and in all that time he hasn't made a single public performance. I looked it up last night. One of Wright's etudes was published in the Lowell Piano Guild journal, and you praised it highly. Original and strange, you called it.

How unfortunate that he is yoked to such a monstrous instrument. That's its business.

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The Master is just the lackey of the board of directors —" "Not true," June objected. It's just that Yablonski and his predecessor played what the board of directors suggested. But that may change as well. I've heard rumors of friction between Wright and the board, and our Lowell correspondent tells me that Wright was pressured into making this Grand Tour, and that he agreed to only when promised complete artistic control. An orchestrionetta, didn't they call them in Europe?

It's preposterous. Like it or not, Holywelkin's Orchestra is one of the most famous musical These Grand Tours are one of the few times that music from the outer worlds is performed for the inner planets, so during them modern music is revealed to cultures that are centuries behind, musically. And the results are always interesting. Thistledown is the best journal of modern music, and so it follows we must cover this tour. And I don't want to. Don't be silly. The chance to travel downsystem doesn't come often. Go get yourself an instrument, and we'll play some music.

You'll get used to the idea, and then you'll be excited by it. Abstractedly he picked up a voicebox, and returned to the yew tree. Puck's light bounced from the lumpy, dewy grass, giving his untended lawn a gray sheen. A flock of New Guinea lories descended on the yew and landed in it, transforming the tree into a statue filled with multi-colored ornaments.

Dent looked around his high little valley and groaned.

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Sullenly he sat on one of the benches and tuned up with the others. Andrew and Irdar both had flutes, and they blew up and down the C scale merrily. June played a set of seed chords on the piano bar, and they began to improvise a quartet. For all of them music was a language as subtle and expressive as any collection of words, and as they played within the simple sonata form Dent's three friends attempted to create a mood of lightness, of harmony, encouragement and enthusiasm.

But as everyone knows, harmony is a matter of consensus; one dissenter, and all is discord. And Dent had the instrumental advantage as well.

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Over the pleasant clear tones of the piano bar and the two flutes, he cast a hoarse, high voice, keening "noooooo, oh noooooo, nooooo, nooooooooooooo," until the others were laughing too hard to continue. You should be off as soon as possible — by tomorrow, in fact.

The Memory of Whiteness | Kim Stanley Robinson | Macmillan

So you'd better start packing. We'll come by later this afternoon with a cart, and help you carry your bags over to the spaceport. And cheer up! I've been downsystem myself, and I know it will be good for you. Muttering to himself Dent re-entered his cottage, which had suddenly taken on an indescribable charm, and for a while he just stood in it, stunned. Then he went to the sink and scraped bacon grease from his pan. The smell of it filled his nostrils; out his east window, on the green hillside across the creek, a stand of eucalyptus trees blinked olive and rust and gold.

Above them the sky was the color named Holland blue. His tapirs were hooting for feed — he would have to get the collective to care for them — "Damn!

a scientific romance

Colonists landed on Mars in Most of them came from America and the Soviet Union, and the tension generated by this fusion of the terran empires helped give the colony its driving energy, its ceaseless conflicts, its utopian spirit. The colonists found enough water to make Mars an independent world, and that became the colony's ultimate goal. The terraforming engineers were given tasks that would take generations to accomplish, and the rest of Martian society structured itself to do what was necessary to forward the great project.

No colony in history ever exhibited such initiative; it was a society with a dream. Ritard: moderato. In the first permanent settlement was built on and under the ice of Europa. Again the colonists went at the task of making a home with a will; but they had less light, less gravity, and fewer resources of every kind, including the spiritual.

The colonies on Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Io never lost the character of outposts, habitats on the edge of the possible. This character was even more pronounced in the colonies of the Saturnian system. A settlement was established on Iapetus in , and the other moons were soon colonized as well. But these colonies resembled grounded spaceships, and their cultures grew strange.

The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance

Further expansion to the outer planets seemed a fruitless enterprise; the Jovian and Saturnian colonies turned inward, and music, the most abstract of the arts, became the center of their lives. Second movement: Adagissimo. Meanwhile, Earth entered a new dark age of upheaval and disaster, famine and conflict. This immense crisis threatened all humanity, as the crushing overpopulation of the home world stressed the resources of the entire solar system.

Even with the cooperative efforts of all the nations it was impossible to avoid devastating famines. All the energy of humanity had to be devoted to saving Earth's billions. This was no simple project, and it required centuries of grim retrenchment. The world economic system had to be restructured to more closely resemble a closed ecology; this entailed severe hardships for all. And so the race hunkered down for survival, and the space colonies anxiously watched the dark age plod on.

The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance

Only Mars, continually working at its great project, made any significant progress. Third movement: Intermezzo agitato. All during this long dark age, however, science advanced, particularly on Mercury. There the physicists of the rolling city of Terminator provided an immense influx of energy to Earth and Mars, and in the orbit of Mercury subatomic studies were advancing toward the construction of the Great Synchrotron.

The Synchrotron and the Orbital Gevatron yielded uncanny results which left the physicists in a confused, excited ferment of theory Fourth movement: Accelerando. Arthur Holywelkin wrote his Ten Forms of Change, a grand unified theory that proved to be tremendously powerful.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Physicists took his work and applied it to the unprecedented amounts of energy available just above the coronal flare zone of the sun. And they found that with their new understanding they could concentrate and transfer that energy from one point to another. And they could contract it to singularities that, within the confines of a spherical discontinuity, pulled inward with gravitational force beyond their apparent mass.

Discontinuity physics was the key; the door to the solar system was unlocked. One gee colonies illuminated by projected flares of the sun were established on hundreds of moons and asteroids, and the organic world bloomed everywhere. Millions of people left Earth and Mars for the new worlds, and the age known as the Accelerando began. The plane of the planets is divided into three hundred and sixty degrees, with 0 degrees lying in the direction of Pisces. In the spring of , Uranus is at degrees, Pluto at Neptune and its great satellite Triton are across the system at degrees, and therefore will not be visited by this Grand Tour.

So we have a voyage of over twelve astronomical units to make, in less than a month: accelerate, dear Reader! Dent Ios travels on the spaceliner Pauline ; we trail behind, pure spirits in the impure vacuum. Continues… Excerpted from "The Memory of Whiteness" by.

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