SF Novelette ‘Truth’ available for FREE!

Serpent9The Science Fiction novelette ‘Truth’ will no doubt be challenging and controversial to many. It draws aside veils to luridly portray social  memeplexes, and particulary the social phenomena fuelled by the concept known as ‘CAGW’ in the climate science and media spheres – ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’, or man-made Climate Change.

My intent with this work was to offer an enjoyable means to make folks stop and think, to prompt questions, to counter the inappropriate yet massive narrative weight of ‘certainty’ surrounding CAGW, and to make visisble the social engine driving this and other similar ‘certainties’. The story isn’t all philosophy though and there’s plenty of action too 🙂 . For those already clued into the climatosphere, mention of climate change issues appears only slowly, but fear not a lot comes later, and for confirmed sceptics please do not baulk at the first mention of the word ‘denier’, the context will become clear.

I present ‘Truth’ FREE here. Click on that rather tasteful 1950s B- movie front cover for ‘Truth’ as it appears in the right-hand side-bar (or the link under ‘Free Stories’) to receive as a PDF. The work is available under the terms of a Creative Commons (3.0) License (the variant for free distribution but no commercial use or adaptations).


Andy West


For those not familiar with the climatosphere, there’s a raging war inside there, mainly over the three Cs: ‘consensus’, ‘certainty’, and ‘catastrophe’.  The tribes in this war range from the Skydragons to the Sceptical, the Luke Warmers to the Consensus, and on to the outright Alarmist advocates. By no means are all the climate scientists throughout the world (or indeed politicians and policy-makers and scientists in adjacent fields) within the Consensus. For the record, science is not done by consensus, and anyhow even a cursory look under the covers reveals that ‘The Consensus’ as it is often promoted in the media, i.e. meaning anyone worth listening to, is a narrative and not a reality.

Despite almost six years of soaking up the climatosphere, and so reasonable familiarity with the (wide!) array of science and position put forward by all the big tribes and many inbetweeners, I don’t know whether CO2 will work out to be big problem, a modest problem, or possibly not a problem at all. Considering the huge amount of scientific uncertainty, especially regarding feedbacks and natural variability, I really don’t think anyone yet has the means to know. But it is exactly this unertainty that allows a social memplex to breed. So, to compare CAGW with other social memeplexes: if the existence of God was unequivocally disproved tomorrow, there’d be no need for the huge infra-structures of religious paraphernalia. And, more interestingly, if he/she beamed down tomorrow and introduced himself/herself, there would likewise be no need for the same infra-structures. We’d all just get his/her phone number. Similarly if the case for CAGW was indeed proven (inclusive of all main mechanisms), the fact-space would be just as constrained as if it was disproven, and the whole memeplex would collapse. In the proven case, just as for historic major disasters or wars, everyone’s shoulder would be at the wheel, we’d all know what to do and all the social messaging and CC related promotion hierarchies and political positioning would evaporate overnight. As this clearly isn’t anywhere remotely close to happening, while terms like ‘believers’, ‘disbelievers’, ‘faith in the science’ (or loss thereof) and the ugly ‘deniers’ term, all abound, then I’m guessing that indeed there’s probably very little that is certain within the wicked problem of climate, least of all attribution.

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27 Responses to SF Novelette ‘Truth’ available for FREE!

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    When I read Susan Blackmore’s book ‘The meme machine’ I saw some of the potential to describe the world we live in that it contained. Hopefully your new work will lead the cagw meme in a new direction.

  2. andywest2012 says:

    Thanks Bloke dtp. I read some of Susan Blackmore’s work too a few years back. I used to have a story, appropriately titled ‘Meme’, linked from her site, but it fell by the wayside in one of her updates over the years. If you like ‘Truth’ I’ll dig out an old link for ‘Meme’ too if you want (and soon it will be republished in an ecollection of my stuff anyhow). It’s about a real meme that replicates wildy on our real-world internet, and in our minds too…


  3. gnomish says:

    please post link to Meme.
    i was into this stuff years before dawkins published his admirable neologisms, having observed the recapitulation of evolutionary principles by consciousness as represented linguistically, survival of the fit being expressed as persistence of truth.
    darwin and shannon are major figures in my pantheon.
    in exchange, i hope you may enjoy

  4. Owen Hughes says:

    Andy: I am delighted to learn of your work. I have read Watts Up for years and have learned a great deal about climate (and human nature!). Your take on “memeplexes” sounds very interesting. The brain works in weird ways, but not too weird to understand; and its addiction to narratives that “explain” what it understands to be “the world,” really can be exploited by the unscrupulous. We each have only so much reach (direct experience), and must trust others to tell us what their data looks like. Good science is about good data derived from good experiments honestly designed and observed and reported; and in the case of “climate science,” I think we have gotten way too much politics mixed into the science. I applaud your efforts to correct the balance, by using compelling fictional counter-narratives. Cheers.

  5. Frank Kotler says:

    Good yarn. Thanks for sending Anthony stuff!


  6. andywest2012 says:

    Gnomish: I will send a link to your yahoo email address.

    This is very much a ‘story’, so demonstrates via the protagonist’s experience and historical perspective how this particular meme works, rather than getting heavy with a lot of theory. I wanted anyone and everyone to easily grasp how these things work.

    After you’ve read the story, do the same search on Google that the character Memmet Emiane suggests, including the quote marks. When I wrote the story about 5 years back, this search picked up 25,000 hits of this negative meme. I just did the same search today and it is 453,000. Don’t be tempted to look ahead and do the search before you finsih the story, or a similar search as the meme is introduced, as to some extent that will be a spoiler.

    I’ll take a look at your link (thanks) when I get some time (up to my eyeballs at the moment!).

    Many thanks for your interest.


  7. andywest2012 says:

    Owen Hughes says:
    (December 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm)

    I think you’re spot on Owen. And indeed I’ve learned a huge amount at WUWT plus other climate blogs too, yet probably more about narrative and brains and human nature than about climate science!


  8. andywest2012 says:

    Frank Kotler says:
    (December 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm)

    Glad you enjoyed it Frank, and thanks for taking the time to read my work 🙂


  9. coldoldman says:

    Hi Andy, just picked up the link from WUWT. Sorry to be pedantic but as a retired proof-reader old habits die hard. Take a look at;
    ‘By no means are all the climate scientists throughout the world (or indeed politicians and policy-makers and scientists in adjacent fields) within the Consenus.’

  10. andywest2012 says:

    coldoldman says:
    (December 16, 2012 at 12:19 am)

    Sorry to dissapoint. The story itself was proofread by several in my writing group and many fixes applied (albeit in UK English not US English), though I never yet saw anything longer than a few pages that anyone deemed perfect even after multiple proof-readings (partly because style is a matter of taste even if grammar theoretically isn’t). However, I figured that just as blogs the world over typically do, the text of posts and comments could be informal. So… both here and at WUWT the postings have had nothing more than a glance, I’m afraid. If you’re an old hand you’ll probably find a few snags in the story too. Hopefully not enough to distract from the tale, yet I guess that’s one of the dangers of being a proof-reader (as a couple of editors have mentioned to me before).


    • coldoldman says:

      Thanks for replying. I haven’t got round to the book yet, will try to do so in the next day or so. This Consenus bit was just in the first para of the PS above.

      If you’re happy, I’m happy.

    • Brian H says:

      Consenus? dissapoint?

      I doone thang sew. That’s what he’s proofing! Tipoze an spellun.

  11. andywest2012 says:

    coldoldman says:
    (December 16, 2012 at 1:38 am)

    Thanks. Hope you enjoy the story. You can beat me up over the grammar later 😉

  12. gnomish says:

    ‘Meme’ was very substantial.
    I think you did a very good job of packaging that content in digestible form.
    smuggling such a payload past pre-installed memetic filters is challenging.
    there was no easy way in the days before the ‘meme’ meme existed, for sure.
    ah- it’s not there any longer, but #ed on irc was the most fertile source of internet memes evar.
    they produced over 9000! any day might begin with thinking up a meme to be spread that day.
    for the lulz…

  13. andywest2012 says:

    gnomish says:
    (December 16, 2012 at 4:36 am)

    Thanks for the vote 🙂 Dawkins ‘meme’ concept is the best thing he ever did imho. As you say, much more uphill battle before that came along. I’ll reply to your detailed email when I get a few moments.


  14. andywest2012 says:

    Brian H says:
    (December 17, 2012 at 3:30 am)

    Hi Brian, thanks for dropping by. As noted to Coldoldman, the story was formally proof-read, but per typical conduct in blogs the world over, the text of the Post has had barely more than a glance. The incorrect word ‘dissapoint’ doesn’t appear in the story, and as I’m from the UK and usually work in the original language rather than the US version, ‘consensus’ is correct in fact 🙂 Hope the UK English doesn’t get in the way of you enjoying the story…


  15. alexjc38 says:

    Hi Andy, just to say I really enjoyed the story – at first feeling that it was a bit too lyrical for my tastes (they’re running to detective fiction and police procedurals at the moment, which might explain it) but after that initial reaction, found that it certainly packs a punch. Added to that the highly unusual but pleasurable thought that it’s about stuff I care about and have been involved in (that Lindzen talk at the House of Commons – I was there!) Not often this sort of thing comes along. Would largely agree with your take on the consensus as a narrative as opposed to a reality, and suspect that many (most?) people instinctively understand that to be the case, although they might not be able to easily articulate it or be prepared to openly admit it. Anyway, hoping that you continue with the very good work – I feel encouraged and inspired.

  16. andywest2012 says:

    alexjc38 says:
    (December 17, 2012 at 8:49 pmt)

    Well the sceptical world is small, I guess, but that’s a *very* impressive connection to the story!

    Thanks for your kind comments. It’s asking a huge favour I know, but I’d really appreciate if you reflect your comment at Bishop Hill. Was flooded with interest from WUWT referals, but it seems a little sleepy over at the post on BH. Could be that there’s just a bunch of other very interesting posts there at the moment. Have tried to push my wares, but an independant opinion would be nice. If that’s an imposition, no problem forget it.

    Incidentally, the story is free to distribute, so if you know of anyone whose eyes might be opened a little, and suspect they’d be too frightened of scepticism to follow a link, you can just skip a step and pump the pdf at them. At that point most people would be too curious not to take a peek 🙂

    Update: Many thanks for BH post, Alex

  17. andywest2012 says:

    andywest2012 says:
    (December 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm)

    P.S. I know the Bish operates from Scotland, and people post there from all over the world no doubt, but it always seems so very ‘British’ to me, which I love. Perfect for reading on a Sunday morning with egg and toast 🙂


  18. alexjc38 says:

    Hi Andy, no problem! I’ve left a comment on the thread at BH – hasn’t appeared yet (might be delayed, as it has some html, but hopefully will appear, if not I’ll repost without the html) and will also post a link on Twitter. I know what you mean about reading Bishop Hill on a Sunday morning, and find it always a good time to catch up with the latest blogs and also the Booker column in the DT.

  19. andywest2012 says:

    alexjc38 says:
    (December 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm)

    Many thanks, Alex, much appreciated 🙂 I sometimes get around to Booker too. Of the climate blogs I find I can’t handle Judith Curry’s blog in the morning, need my brain in gear for that one. Has to be an afternoon or evening activity!


  20. Raven00 says:

    [snip] off topic

  21. Randall_G says:

    Thanks for posting the link up on WUWT’s, Andy. I enjoyed the story and will reread it again this evening, as well as give your other writings a read in the next couple of days.

    One very minor quibble. On page 29 of the PDF he recalls the “soft cough” of the distant mortars. There ain’t no such sound from a mortar except in a Foley editor’s sound bite library. The movies almost always get it very, very wrong. They all go “Bang”. Real loud. Really, really loud. It’s very difficult for a poor infantryman to get any sleep at night when the 81mm’s are firing lum missions from positions over 500 meters away. The 60mm’s are a bother as well. The 120mm’s are downright anti-social when outbound. No “cough”, no “crump”, no “thump”. Bang.

  22. andywest2012 says:

    Randall_G says:
    (December 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm)

    Ah… you guessed dead right, I was relying on the movies for my mortar noise. No substitute for the real experience you clearly have.

    Glad you enjoyed the story; I really appreciate the feedback, thanks. Hope some of the other writings work for you too 🙂


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