The short story “Reading the Clouds” by Tendai Huchu was published for the first time in 2016.
George programmed the simulation of a universe that includes a civilization of sentient beings. It’s a very complex project and running it is even more difficult because of his disagreements with his son Jesse, who has ideas different from his father’s about the development of the simulated civilization. Interfering with a simulated world can have consequences on the real one but what’s real?
In “Reading the Clouds” Tendai Huchu reproduces Christian theology creating a cosmogony based on simulated universes. However, if divine messages are confused already when the father and son are two parts of the same entity what can you expect when they’re not only different persons but also have conflicting ideas?
This concept is only the beginning of the story, where Tendai Huchu winks to the reader by telling a both serious and humorous story of the creation of sentient beings simulated by George and the attempt to save them by his son Jesse. The consequences are unexpected but at the same time familiar.
The theme of the simulations is not just a narrative device used by the author to develop that story but becomes more and more central. The simulated universe created by George is just one of the existing simulation levels but then what’s real? How can we tell if we are living in a simulation?
It’s an idea that in recent years is the focus of a number of scientific studies but also of discussions and hypotheses in which alleged evidence are brought in favor or against it. There are people who take this idea very seriously, which means that these discussions could continue for a long time.
Tendai Huchu developed that idea to the extreme proposing the possibility that there’s a potentially infinite number of simulation levels. Are a simulation’s simulation’s simulation’s etc. and if we are is there a way to understand that there are more levels?
“Reading the Clouds” contains quite some humor but also implications that might give the reader a headache. If you’re not feeling dizzy, I recommend reading it. It’s also available together with “HostBods” in an ebook edition on Amazon USA, Amazon UK and Amazon Canada.