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The Song of the Swan
Open your mind
Image from: T. Bonev, K. Jockers, T. Credner
This page is about a Science Fiction book named THE SONG OF THE SWAN, by Arthur D'Alembert.
On February 23, 1987, the light of a Supernova star reached Earth. Since it was the first supernova observed on that year, it received the name of 1987-A.
Among with the star data, a scream choked by the roar of the explosion, finally wakened by time and distance, arrived to us. Five years later a woman would find the message, thinking it was emitted by some civilization being destroyed by the explosion. USA government creates a very skilled team to analyze it, but soon a lot of surprises happen to her and her team. Would mankind be prepared to understand it ?.
To solve this question, scientists are forced to penetrate inside profound concepts about conscience and self-organization. At last, one question will remain still unsolved: why ?
This is a "hard" Science-Fiction story and is based on strong, scientific background data. Hard Sci-Fi stories can be funny as well, and my intentions with this novel is to transform the exciting, but sometimes tiresome, scientific knowledge into a more readable and affordable task. Many concepts in this story, such as self-organization, chaos, and fractals, are in the unexplored frontier of science.
They are no less interesting because of this, but rather, just the opposite, they capture our imagination. I hope you'll enjoy this trip.
The work may not be a literary masterpiece, but I hope it will capture your attention and give you something to think about.
Thanks. Arthur DAlembert
(Hi!, after reading this book you should think better before linking your computer to SETI@HOME project)
Official presentation of book
The Song of the Swan was officially presented in Setp 30 2003 in Asunción (Paraguay), in a meeting at CENCAR (Mcal. Lopez 5000 and Tte. Jose Lopez), which gave the excellent infraestructure and building at free. The programming act was realized by Gloria Velilla and Edda de los Rios
The book was prefaced by Prof. Blas Servín, Scientific Sociecity of Paraguay member, and the young Paraguayan writer and poet Cristino Bogado
First picture shows Edda de los Rios, Mrs. Michelagnoli and Gloria Velilla. Second picture has Cristino Bogado, Miguel Velilla (Arthur D'Alembert) and Blas Servín.
- - -
Prof. Servín started conference by relating scientific aspects of intelligent life search in the universe, and soon Cristino Bogado made the following reading for the book:
Text to present SF book 'The Song of the Swan', from Arthur D'Alembert
Fantastic Literature covers a spectral zone whose extreme strips are, on
the one hand, the fairy tale and, on the other, science fiction. This one,
paradoxical kind of style because its own nomenclature, has exact date of
birth: Voyager to the moon, of Luciano de Samósata (at the beginning of
century III BC, written in Greek). Another Sci-Fi variant
is the famous anticipation literature, for example the books of Julio
Verne, whose imagination, absolutely fantastic for XIX century people
, at starting XX century it will belong to the field of the rather
realistic literature of adventures than fantastic one. Their prophecies have
been crystallized almost in 100 %, at least in their more showy
characteristics. The Time Machine of Wells is the literary work of
this subgenus whose displacement from the prophetic fantasy to the routine
character of a magic-technological futurist world is more anxiously
awaited for by modern science. Another form of Sci-Fi subgenus is the
narrative of catastrophes, i.e. the 70's stories from
Ballard: Crash, Atrocity Exhibition, the Submerged World, etc.
Arthur D'Alembert is the pseudonym of mathematician and master in
bioengineering Miguel Angel Velilla - from his name a tribute to one of the
XVIII precursors of the scientific curiosity who will characterize
our world in the incoming centuries - he presents in his first
novel, the Song of the Swan (first part of a trilogy in course), a work that
oscillates (in the sense of the pendulum movement and also in
radio waves, images pleasant to this author) between anticipation Sci-Fi
and catastrophe Sci-Fi. That's we could say like first attempting of
Susan Horowitz, scientist of USA center for research signals from space,
obsessive music lover of spherical songs and kind of sidereal
trash, in some of her extra-labor tasks at Saturday night,
which she has conceived more in the sense of Hilbert or Fermat that in
Travolta's one, discovers into tapes recorded by Satellite IUV about
explosion of Supernova 1987-A (only 11,000,000 years life), a vulgar
continuous sequence of zeros and ones, hiding a regularity and recurrence
through Carmichael pseudo-primes, which insists again on
repeating themselves. This supposes for any mathematician an
unique and exclusive conclusion: rationality, life forms stammering ciphered
beyond our planet, exobiological cryptography, the ancestral human dream of
undressing their solitary condition of being the only rational-feeler of the
universe. Well, from this initial discovery, the cold and fluorescent light
that falls habitually toward profane men about scientific hypothesis, too
technical and obscure, will break at tech-electronic music rate of 141
bits per minute. But this mental dance, closer to dupinian thinking rather
than weak Indiana Jones agitation (it is necessary to say),
has the narrowness and esotericism that corresponds not only to
Eureka's scientists but their predecessors, the Pythagorean sects, the
alchemy brotherhoods, the vote of silence and discretion of
apostles. In fact, they are only 12 (to cabala and pitagorism
this number could indicate endless delights, although being trivial number,
which we associate with the dozen), among them Susan's boss, the
president of USA, the presidential adviser, and Joshua Horn,
clever crazy person, and, on the other side of Pacific ocean, the natural
opponent of USA in technological matter, the king of microchips,
Japan, we have Mr. Sideaki Nemo, and his right arm Akiro, counterpart or
double Japanese of brilliant Joshua, to the Emperor and three Japanese
industry leaders of trusts that dominate the technological world
market, anxious to follow the vanguard in that field behind USA.
In general form it is possible add to this basic scheme that what comes on
is the investment of astronomical sums, to follow with symmetries
in the book, in the Beagle project, with government support by USA
and private companies by Japan, in a technological race
where the reader will take part, depending on his taste and judgment, while
secretly influenced by Millenium and X-Files or the sanctified and
It is necessary clarify that for boarding this book and continuation of Beagle Project to its 188 pages, it will be necessary to catch
the usual caution in the scientific navigation, i.e. measuring
instruments for no-Euclidean geometry (Gaussian curves), an introductory
manual of Rosetta Stone (or at least to cover lacking of with Poe's story
'The gold Beetle', which contributes with tools
and basic codes to decipher fantastic cryptographs),
the book of Prigogine about chaos theories, and to have the brain
set on to almost 3 teraflops capacity
to sustain the reading of book. I believe it is not much to ask for,
considering the cerebral agitation and the mental calisthenics, the
appetite of knowledge that provokes this book and radio waves
wandering some 100,000 years through space to arrive now, understanding
reader, grammatically safe and sound to your smooth and snob hands.
Not trying to crumble the plot sequenced from its first proposal
to panting outcome, which would mean just to
undervalue the independent capacity and free interpretation of
reader and a blow to modesty, facing the suspense that irradiates
from every chapter of the novel, I would like to mix up in
some details that, for my understanding, like excited reader rather than
reviewer of this sort of work, that hopefully will surely produce a quake
in the provincial pre-scientific lethargy
of our closed almost 'kitsch' literature, uppish and
formal, and will have more followers.
Firstly Joshua Horn, brilliant crazy mathematician who are able of reciting
the Iliad and apply the metaphor of Trojan horses to computer
virus, shaken cyclically by almost supernatural illuminations,
like this kind of persons use to be, endowed with a mathematical
intuition closed to poetry, living between the more perfect eternally vigil
of the numbers and the catatonic shadow of his pathology,
human avatar obliged to suffer, with his arm coiled (throughout the
novel) around an old and abraded blanket, like some stability point
rooting him to Earth, far from his demiurgic visions and the
inebriety caused by his job as teacher of combinatory art applied to
modern computer science. He, the social excluded one, the wizard of the
village, magician that speaks some incomprehensible language, oracle of the
space, is the man going to be the midwife in this telemetric
birth of those mysterious signals traveling by 270 years and who
is going to configure the 3D modeling program to evoke
this extraterrestrial ghost ship, Voyager that disappeared with the
supernova explosion, carrying the civilization, suicidal perhaps,
which, because the knowledge, finished toward vanishing, even its extinction.
I want to call your attention about use of metaphors taken from
Biology in this book, in special of entomology. In first chapter, a
painful birth is described, fleeting and radiating life followed by
spectacular death of supernova star around the spider webs of Magellan
Clouds, a queen bee generating matter like honey. The long insect,
resembling some mantis, after quadrillion of possible
combinations, in the UFO message gets to form itself in a clearly
ecstatic, mystical vision (we are lead, for a moment, to think whether
in fact we wouldn't be in presence of ectoplasmyzed dementia of crazy
Joshua instead the cube, with the thinner divisions
it would be possible to, of virtual and surreal image, after decoding
the unique million bits symbol representing the three-dimensional
image of the ship-insect). Another important point is the symmetry between
the schizoid symptoms of Joshua and the schizophrenic, erratic ones,
that sometimes have supernova stars, as told to us by the
writer at given moment. Another one, also, that perfect cylinders
known with the name of submarines have the rigorous morphology of
the whales. The 'cosmovision' of author about
the universe like a cosmic beast unfolding in the "infinite" is not less
fascinating - idea
that we found with dazzling clarity in Bruno, by the end of the
Middle Ages, who, in brackets, lasted its anxious life in
purifying flames of antiscientific Saint Office, charged, among other
things, of spreading heterodox ideas fed on the caldeus oracles,
the misterics writings of neo-Platonism and
neo-pitagorism and divagations of 'hermetic corpus' books (the last
ones, first source of famous statement claiming the world is
an infinite sphere whose circumference placed everywhere and center at no place).
A fundamental subject is the creation of alive beings starting from the
secret and divine correspondence between the Cabala numbers
(for example, the myth of Golem) and divinity, and the
pure and absolute reality that numbers mean for Pythagoreans and Plato.
It is not excluded the important actual subject of current
cloning and animal grafting and the threats that it carry to concrete the
leitmotiv of gothic literature, the double, thanks to regeneration
of man life starting from a single cell. Or, starting from Sequoia seeds
, to transplant a forest of sequoias to Mars, or, in our case, the
pristine ship-organism destroyed by the supernova explosion rebirthing
through cabalistic or cybernetic platonic way. Or to make backups of all
information to hold memory and intelligence of a human brain, and so on.
It would be countless the hypotheses to mention here and their theoretical
possibilities and associations in diverse forms contained in
the book, and also we would always risk to trespass the line of
decency and discretion that is iron law and honor code in a reviewer,
so we would finish speaking more than desired, awakening the core
of the book, sum of curiosities and mysteries that reader by itself
should decipher or unravel.
To last, beside to once again recommend purchasing and
reading the book, it is inevitable make reference to two points that
I believe, could give the key of D'Alembert book:
Burroughs and Borges. The 'Secret Miracle', of Borges, a story where
a man condemned to death at dawn of following day deplores
more the inconclusion of his master work, an epic poem of elaborated verses
in Virgilian way, that its own death. A pious God, artist, we
suppose, suspends the physical world, opens an relative time
within the absolute one, like the time a cosmonaut lives into the
ship cockpit, surpassing light speed, that is to say, he grants "time" to him
to conclude his work allowing dying peacefully himself like poet,
realized, and also, to accomplish his civic duty, as demanded by dark
'zeitgeist' of European totalitarianism of 30's and 40's: not to escape
his miserable holocaust to help the gentlemen who manage Europe
at that time, nor to elude his mission like poet either.
I believe that Arthur
D'Alembert has synthesized the key of the post-capitalist world,
'last-modern', the Telematic era and the futurist prospective in
this work, era which emphasizes the possible things over the
real thins, the experimental things over the given things.
With the remote paradoxes
from Zenón de Eléa, specially also from Diodoro Cronos, called "the Eristic"
his ability not only with sophistic but in reasoning that later will
be accepted by modern logic), what it was tried was safeguard conservative
and classic establishment of old Greek world. Today, with
Hilbert space, Lobatschevsky geometry, the principle of
uncertainty, quantum mechanics and general and special relativity, it
happens the inverse thing: people seeks to open the world and expand until
exponential the human possibilities. In this context, the fiction of
Borges is surpassed. Today, the cybernetic poet, no needing any
supernatural miracle, nor 'ex-machina' god impertinent and grotesque, can
automatically finish his work, after leaving a backup of his brain in a
microchip or a bottle.
"Language is a virus that comes from out space" (William S. Burroughs). As
you know, the Burroughs consolidated a computer emporium in Salt
Lake City, so William, prodigal son of that dynasty, couldn't escape of it,
because he has touched the subject in more than one novel of
counter utopia or catastrophic anticipation, like The soft machine (1961).
From speaking bacterias (Stanislaw Lem) to "the excess of
information produced AIDS" (Baudrillard), the subject of virus
(chemical information fed by another chemical information) has
won the philosophical arena of world-wide debates at level of
symposiums or scientific communication, essays and literary narratives. The
Song of the Swan ranks this tendency with the fabulation of a possible
hypothetical super-virus, in the sense of Diodoro Cronos, now installed not
into computers but in the scene of our ineffable and kindly local
Literature. The technological battle has begun. Throw your pre-cybernetic
seeds before the devotee world of books sinks, then submerge
beyond the neck in this adventure named The Song of the Swan; lets
sort the Euclidean streets of Asuncion provided with our Plasma tubes and antimatter motors, and, gentlemen, Bon voyage.
Poet and miscellaneous writer.
Asunción , september 2003.
Here some comments about the book...
UPUBLISHThis is the publisher page. You can read free first 25 pages (PDF format) here or download the entire book ($6.00)
First part of this book is also published by Xlibris.
You can read also first chapter in HTML format right
HERE, as well as some excerpts.
Huntress Review by Détra Fitch, Oct 27 1999
Unfortunately Huntress updated site and my book has gone. I think she should retain old review.
This is first review for the new edition of book. Yes, Débra liked of it (and also she unveils a little of the story). Here some words from Huntress: "*** The story is very detailed, as most good science fiction works are, to make it realistic. Another great fact of science fiction is the horror of knowing the bad things COULD happen someday. This book holds that element as well. This one is definitely worth your time to look up! ***".
Sffworld review, Feb/2000
Sffworld talks about my book and says "A fast pacing story based on real science that is just under 200 pages long. I would highly recommend this story to everybody that likes to be a bit shocked by the possibilities and the simple question, WHAT IF?".
Under the Covers reviews, March 2000
R.F. Briggs concludes: "Over all though, an interesting read and as the author matures in his storytelling, perhaps a name to be heard more of in the future."
SFsite review by Neil Walsh, Apr 2000
Neil comments goes into a section "A little exposure for the little Guys" about small press and self-publishing business and concludes: "My conclusion: D'Alembert has thoughts and stories worth expressing, but he needs a qualified English editor; Universal hasn't provided him with what he needs."
Bookshelf (Gretchen&Brett), Apr 2000
Gretchen liked a lot the story, she writes a long and very well detailed report, and concludes: "Overall, I believe that D'Alembert could write some excellent stuff with a careful editor, and I personally would like to read more of him."
Fiatgirl Recommends books by Erika A. Lockhart - May 2000
Erika writes a well detailed report, concluding: "If you like science fiction, or enjoy reading things which challenge your own models of the way the world works, even the universe, then reading these books will be well worth the effort!" (just to mention, my book appearing second on 'Top Choices' Fiatgirl index).
METAL-E-ZINE - Jun 2000 by RK
RK concludes: "The Song of the Swan" is saved by D'Alembert's imagination and the plot's huge potential."
All comments appearing below, belong to the old edition of the book.
SFSite review by Lisa DuMond
This was the first comment on Jan 1st 1999, and comes from prestigious SFSITE page. It is quite good for the book. Lately, I corrected most errors Lisa is talking about. Her final words are: "No. It's not Contact, and it isn't many other books I could name. It is a little book called The Song of the Swan and it muses on a different reaction to that first communication from out there. So, give it a try now and keep your blue pencil locked away, or wait for the new, revised edition. With a little editing, it could be a contender. "
A Writer's Choice Literary Journal by Leslie Blanchard
Leslie Link has gone, but you can read her comments into Amazon.
God!, Leslie says "If you enjoyed CONTACT, you may well enjoy this as much" I can't believe this, and she also says "The book is written with intelligence.." (yes, she also mentions editing errors,.. I am correcting the book now..) Into this page there are many book reviews, so please PgDn until arriving to mine.
CrescentBlue Magazine review by Patricia White
Patricia felt the book very difficult to follow because mathematical concepts involved. She also thinks the dialogue is stilted and pedantic, but she concedes some goodies for it.
OZ Science Fiction and Fantasy
Hi!, my book arrived to Australia, Erika Lacey says the book looks a bit "amateur" on aspect (cover, Synopsis, typos), but she found it entertaining. Well, it is better you click here because she wrote a lot of things about my book.
TC's Books Review by Thomas Christensen
This comes from Denmark. He read first uncorrected version.
Amazon.com pageHere you'll find comments I made to Amazon, as well as reader's comments.
Title : The Song of the Swan
Author : Arthur D'Alembert
Publisher: Universal Publishers - Upublish.com (1998)
ISBN : 1-58112-868-1
Price : $19.95 - 188 pages
PDF : $6.00 - requires Acrobat Reader
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