talcyon avatar


"It's heart-breakingly simple."

"What is?"

"The alien message. It's a fractal."

"What? Like one of those Mandelbrot set thingies from the nineties?"

"Yeah. But way more complex, and simple at the same time."

"How so?"

"It's a layered dataset. There's information encoded at every step. Move the step to zero and you're in the lobby of the library. That's where you can learn how to read the data. Move the step on, and you start moving through the sections. Change the X and Y axes and you move along the rows using X to see the book. It's... beautiful!"

3 comments add one below

  • avatar

    Jeff Taylor about 5 years ago

    Thanks Drew. It's a concept from a book that I tried to start to write, and then ran out of steam. Mainly because of the headaches I have. I wanted to dump a galactic library encoded in a fractal equation on humanity. It was the only way I could see of transmitting vast quantities of data around a universe where FTL is impossible. So civilisations add their knowledge to the library, and when their star dies, they encode the data into the Supernova. Broadcasting their copy like a lighthouse right across the Universe.

  • avatar

    Jeff Taylor about 5 years ago

    Shouldn't make any difference. It's using Pulse Width Modulation on the light of a Super Nova. Most of the light would be bent around the gravity well of the Black Hole, keeping the data safe. The basic requirements for accessing a copy of the library is simple. You have to be of the correct level of technology and looking in the right direction. So ancient man would see a star flash in the sky. Galileo, had a telescope to see, but not understand. A modern astronomer knows about fractals, has access to stupidly powerful computers and telescopes. So perfectly reasonable that we could access it. :) That was the idea anyway.

  • avatar

    Jeff Taylor about 5 years ago

    Easily described as an unusually blinking super nova. In it's most simple form😉

Join the conversation

Sign up or Sign in to leave a comment on this drabble.