And no smaller troughs at the ends. You shouldnt put it like that. Its a normal persons life. Not everyone can be dong Dong. I really dont have that kind of ambition. Ive got a suggestion. Why dont you study cosmic sociology?
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I teach college sociology now. At your school, actually, although you had already retired when I got there. Thats a pretty big leap. Yang Dong always said my mind wasnt focused. She wasnt kidding when she said youre smart. Nothing like your daughters level. I just felt astronomy was an undrillable chunk of iron. Sociology is a plank of wood, and theres bound to be someplace thin enough to punch through. Its easier to get. In buy the hope of reaching another 9, the ant continued its horizontal advance, but the next thing it encountered was a perfectly straight horizontal like the first essay trough, except longer than the 1 and turned on its side.
The indistinct pleasure it had felt upon crawling through the summary 9 intensified. A primitive, single-celled state of happiness. These two spiritual monocells, aesthetics and pleasure had never evolved. They had been the same a billion years ago, and would be the same a billion years hence. Xiao luo, dong Dong often spoke of you. She said youre in astronomy? I used.
Why are you here? Its a nice place, and easy to get to by bus. Lately, ive been coming here to take walks fairly often. Thats all in the past. Down on the formation, the ant wanted to turn toward the sky, but then discovered another trough ahead of it, identical to the 9-shaped trough it had crawled through before the. So it continued horizontally through the 9, which it found better than both the 7 and the. Although it could not ions say exactly why. Its aesthetic sense was primitive and single-celled.
The ant continued to crawl parallel to the ground and entered a third trough, one that was nearly vertical until it turned, like this:. The ant didnt like this shape. A sharp, sudden turn usually meant danger or battle. The first beings voice had obscured the vibrations, so it was only now that the ant realized that the second being had reached the formation. Shorter and frailer, the second being had white hair that stood out against the dark blue background of the sky, bobbing silver in the wind, connected somehow to the increasing number of stars. The first being stood up to welcome her. I went to high school with Yang Dong.
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Evidently it had dropped to its knees, revealing a patch of dim blue sky where the stars had begun to come out behind. The beings eyes gazed at the top of the formation, causing the ant to hesitate momentarily while deciding whether it ought to intrude into his line of sight. Instead, it changed direction and started crawling parallel with the ground, quickly reaching another trough and lingering in its rough depression as it savored the pleasant sensation of the crawl. The color was reminiscent of the eggs that surrounded its queen. With no hesitation, the ant followed the trough downward, and after a while, the layout become more complicated, a curve extended beneath a complete circle.
It reminded the ant of the process of searching out scent information and eventually stumbling across the way home. A pattern was established in its neural network:. Then the being kneeling before the formation made a sound, a series of sounds that far exceeded the ants capacity to comprehend: Its a wonder to be alive. If you dont understand that, how can you search for anything deeper? The being made a sound like a gust of wind blowing across the grass—a sigh—and then health stood.
The giant being had reached the formation. It was far taller than the ant and blotted out most of the sky. The ant was not unfamiliar with beings of this sort. It knew that they were alive, that they frequently appeared in this region, and that their appearances were closely related to the swiftly disappearing chasms and multiplying formations. The ant continued its climb, knowing that the beings were not a threat, with a few exceptions.
Down below, the spider encountered one such exception when the being, which had evidently noticed its web reaching between the formation and the ground, whisked away the spider and web with the stems of a bundle of flowers it held in one limb, causing them. Then the being gently placed the flowers in front of the formation. Then another vibration, weak but intensifying, told the ant that a second living being of the same sort was moving toward the formation. At the same time, the ant encountered a long trough, a depression in the surface of the formation with a rougher texture and different color: off-white. It followed the trough, for its roughness made for a far easier climb. At each end was a short, thinner trough: a horizontal base from which the main trough rose, and an upper trough that extended at an angle. By the time the ant climbed back out onto the slick black surface, it had gained an overall impression of the shape of the troughs:. Then the height of the being in front of the formation was cut in half, so it was roughly even with the formation.
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Turbulence was everywhere, within every blade of grass, every drop of dew on a leaf, every cloud in the essay sky, and every star beyond. The turbulence was purposeless, but in huge quantities of purposeless turbulence, purpose took shape. The ant sensed vibrations in the ground and knew from how they intensified that another giant presence was approaching from somewhere on the ground. Paying it no mind, the ant continued its climb up the formation. At the right angle where the foot of the formation met the ground, there was a spider web. This, the ant knew. It carefully detoured around the sticky hanging strands, passing by the spider lying in wait, its legs extended to feel for vibrations in the threads. Each knew of the others presence but—as it had been for eons—there was no communication. The vibrations crescendoed and then stopped.
In days now forgotten, its world had help been overturned. Soil had taken flight, leaving a broad and deep chasm, and then soil had come crashing down to fill it back. At one end of the disturbed earth stood a lone black formation. Such things happened frequently throughout this vast domain, the soil flying away and returning, chasms opening up and being filled, and rock formations appearing like visible markers of each catastrophic change. Under the setting sun, the ant and hundreds of its brethren had carried off the surviving queen to establish a new empire. Its return visit was only a chance passing while searching for food. The ant arrived at the foot of the formation, sensing its indomitable presence with its feelers. Noting that the surface was hard and slippery, yet still climbable, up it went, with no purpose in mind but the random turbulence of its simple neural network.
yamasuki — neuroscientist; Hiness wife. Garanin — pdc rotating chair, ding yi — theoretical physicist, zhuang Yan — graduate of the central Academy of Fine Arts. Ben Jonathan — fleet joint Conference special commissioner Dongfang Yanxu — captain of Natural Selection Major xizi — science officer of quantum Prologue the brown ant had already forgotten its home. To the twilight Earth and the stars that were just coming out, the span of time may have been negligible, but, for the ant, it was eons.
Zhang beihai — political commissar in the pla navy; Space force officer. Chang weisi nashville — general in the pla; Space force commander. George fitzroy — us general; coordinator at the Planetary defense council; military liaison to hubble II project. Albert Ringier — hubble ii astronomer, zhang yuanchao — recently retired chemical plant worker in beijing. Yang Jinwen — retired middle school teacher in beijing. Miao fuquan — shanxi coal boss; neighbor to Zhang and Yang. Shi qiang — pdc security department officer, nicknamed da shi. Shi xiaoming — shi qiangs son.
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Display options Notice, to read this book as the author intended and for a fuller reading experience turn on original or publishers font in your text display options. Dramatis Personae, organizations, eto — earth-Trisolaris Organization. Pdc — planetary defense council, sfjc — solar Fleet joint Conference. Cast of characters, chinese names are written with surname first. Luo ji — astronomer and sociologist. Ye wenjie — astrophysicist, mike evans — eto financial backer and key leader. Wu writing yue — captain in the pla navy.