Entry updated 17 August 2016. Tagged: Theme.
Now relegated to Imaginary Science, this was an essential axiom of the Steady State Universe Cosmology which was proposed in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle but increasingly superseded by the rival Big Bang theory (see George Gamow) since the late 1960s. The notion of an expanding yet essentially unchanging universe required the spontaneous creation of new atoms – hydrogen isotopes and other light elements – in tiny but cosmically significant quantities. E E Smith interestingly prefigures continuous creation in Gray Lensman (October 1939-January 1940 Astounding; 1951), where high levels of available "cosmic energy" in intergalactic space "... seemed to bear out the contention that energy was continually being converted into matter in such regions."
Sf authors who adopted the concept of continuous creation into their postulated cosmologies include James Blish with his final Okie novel The Triumph of Time (1958; vt A Clash of Cymbals 1959), Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson with The Reefs of Space (1964), Charles L Harness with The Ring of Ritornel (1968) and James P Hogan with The Gentle Giants of Ganymede (1978). The Pohl/Williamson and Harness books additionally imagine an Ecology of space life whose lowest organisms – "fusorians" in The Reefs of Space and "ursecta" in The Ring of Ritornel – feed directly on continuously created matter and energy. [DRL]
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