Writings of Adrian Dorn

Arab Street Scene

John Singer Sargent

Listing of longer works by type: through here.

[Of course, page length depends entirely on font size and type.]


On The Brink Of Extinction: The Cambrian Contingency

What would happen to our universe if the reset button were pushed? What would happen to life if the geometry of our universe were completely overwritten by a new one? What would happen to humanity? Would consciousness survive the transition? Can it be stopped!


Derek didn't understand, not the underlying concepts or the operating principles. It was his first assignment. Although he trained on the latest holographic simulator known, it was like driving a grav-car, he learned how to drive it, but as to how it worked he had not a clue.


Second Chance

a mysterious kidnapping on a planet at the edge of the Orion Arm,
a freelance cargo ship, a captain lost in grief, and a crew ready to do anything,
two planets from the Perseus out to thwart the plans of an authoritarian government,
and a brilliant scientist whose discovery it all hinges on

He felt like a fraud and a coward. Biting his tongue for the sake of,..., what? Until it all came crashing down like the card house it was. He wanted to die. Didn't care how, not really. Painlessly would be nice, but, as long as it was quick, he didn't care. When asked how things were going, he'd always reply -- fine. Fine. Right. He wanted to tell the truth; he wanted to say he felt like hell, that life meant nothing, less than nothing. Where he got the energy to go on, he had no idea. Thoughts of suicide were his constant companion, but something always held him back; he figured it was her. It certainly wasn't fear of the unknown; of that, at least, he was certain.


a robot composed of an unknown mineral kidnapped to another world,
a collaborative movement towards autonomy amongst an alliance of colony planets,
and a scientist's quest to track down his lost creation whose nature he only thought he knew

Dgggg. Vimmmm. Ca-chunk. Mmmmm. The robot stood, waiting for commands. Doctor David Kobanoff, lead scientist on the project, dwarfed by the size of the metal man, stared up into the blank expression on his creation's face.

"Do you see the container on the table, Tobias? Pick it up and bring it to your lips." Tobias had been the name of a character in a story his mother used to read to him when he was little, after his father had died in the war, when they lived together and alone in a remote rural area of northern England. A mythological person of great powers, he would call on him to protect him at times of stress and loneliness. His imaginary friend. As head and instigator of the project, he had the liberty of naming their first robot.

Mind Over Metal

the midst of an intergalactic war,
a world-encompassing sea of rock,
a cavern of unknown intent
--trespassers beware--

A muffled wump off in the distance, coming from what sounded like the next valley, dispelled his homesick reverie, bringing him reluctantly into the present.

"Move out," came the cry, echoed up and down the line. Mogarth raised his heavy body, his four powerful yet very tired legs straining, wiped his antennae clean, then, lifted the M-ray pulse rifle and slung it over a shoulder. They walked ahead into the neverending breeze, wary but also casually, they've been here before. They marched in silence towards the hill, not knowing or wanting to know what lay beyond. Mogarth, his mind weary, tried to imagine what could've made the wump sound. It was new.

Time Enought To Be

two captains, two supercomputers, one sorceress, at the vortex of timelessness,
enclosed within a barrier of unknown energy, and no way out...

Long ago in the year 2213 the Space Fleet Discovery Ship Medusa was exploring the far region of the Sagittarius Arm on the other side of the galaxy. They'd chosen a destination area that appeared to long-range probes to be completely devoid of stars, planets, asteroids, comets, and debris of any kind. Even radiation. Almost a hundred parsecs in diameter, it was a volume of space that clearly didn't make much sense, given that even between Arms there was something. Their mission was to investigate, so they investigated.

Horizon's Promise

terraforming on a lifeless alien planet on the edge of humanity's expansion,
androids out of control seeking to know what it means to be alive,
and a man who can unravel the mystery, a man trying to begin a new life...

Jonathan Xavier Blakely was given an opportunity to get out, all the way out, and decided to take it. His wife had passed away two years earlier, they had no children. Depressed, his work suffered, he only had one paper published in all that time, in a second-rate journal to boot. For a scientist of his caliber and renown, that was unacceptable. He was a major contributor, 20 years ago, to the theory of neural network entanglement. It fostered an evolutionary and exponenential leap in the processing capabilities of the android brain.

The Lost Scout

he ventured farther than ever before, his tribe was in need of food,
after a storm, the terrain changed and he became disoriented,
trying to find his way home, he discovered a world he didn't know existed...

Edgar was troubled. He sat on a moss-covered stone in the middle of his favorite glade. A brook nearby cascaded down three short waterfalls; the muffled sounds it made, as it tumbled over rocks and raced through narrow pathways, ranged the music scale. Fliers zipped to-and-fro hurriedly, busy with the day's work. Birds sang their morning songs. Life reverberated through the tiny clearing. But not for him, not this day. He laid his satchel of food and water down on the grass; he needed to think.

The Adventures of Jethro, the Frog

Once upon a time, a frog named Jethro lived on the fringe of a pond near the top of a tree-covered mountain. It wasn't a very deep pond, but it was wide and fed by a tall waterfall of cold clear mountain run-off. Surrounded by miles of forest, Jethro lived a peaceful, quiet life devoid of humans.

Frozen Underground

The real Alaska as lived by an itinerant fisherman, prior to and after the Prince William Sound oil spill of '89.

The WORLD of

Captain Coary and the Space Rangers

Volume I: "Realm Of The Thought Beings"

    The radio crackled. Nearing the event horizon always played havoc with the bioelectronics. Captain Coary ordered all systems placed on stand-by; no sense listening to a maelstrom of distracting noise while trying to execute such an extremely sensitive maneuver. Even though he'd performed the feat many times, each had to be given total concentration as though it was the first.

Volume II: "Invasion Of The Dark Lord"

    The Council of Scientists was completely dissolved. Organizationally, it was a failure from the start. Meetings were held and the most influential members usually reigned supreme. Their opinons, speculations, and specified objectives held sway, even in the face of evidence and learned insight to the contrary and despite a majority of others who might argue for another agenda.

Volume III: "Time Eaters of Centaurus and the Dancing Twins"

    Originally, the Colonial Expeditionary Administration (CEA) was headquartered on Earth, naturally enough. An alliance was formed of those national governments possessing the technology and funding to proceed with the intiative. Old chronic grievances and animosities were brushed aside in the face of necessity; the survival of the human race was at stake.

Volume IV: "Day Of The Sarcophagus"

    They were patrolling between Xavier Prime and Zenobia within the Sagittarius Spur closest to the Hub. That area of space was a no-mans land; extra security to protect the burgeoning traffic was required. Traffic lanes between planets and moons, whether in the same star system or across open space to another, depended on their relative positions, of course.

Volume V: "Timequake At Planet Zero"

    Captain Coary was on leave and had invited Professor Samuelson for an afternoon sail on his lake and dinner. He was in town for a colloquium on planes of reality and the probability and nature of sentient beings existing in each. After the experience with the Thought Beings and those that lived between dimensions, it'd been a hot topic in the scientific community, and not soley for academic reasons, continued survival was at stake.


Where the Tree Line Meets the Snow: Part I

a world unknown to humans,
left alone to its own devising,
a seer, a missed opportunity,
three friends decide on a plan...

Spring had finally come to the high woodlands of Mount Cowabunga. The tips of firs, hemlocks, willows, and cedar branches sprouted the bright green of new buds. No human has ever trespassed on these steep slopes; the volcano was considered sacred and was regarded with reverence by the valley-dwelling populace far below. Purple, yellow, and vermillion flowers budded and would soon fill the meadows with loud splashes of vivid color. The rock-hard ground was giving way to the relentless warmth of the sun. Ice on the streams and brooks was breaking up, the sound of rushing water called the inhabitants to come drink.

Where the Tree Line Meets the Snow: Part II

three adventurers on a quest,
a long dormant volcano about to wake up,
a sorceress, a magic stone, an unsettled future--
a prophesy and a prophet...

Dominic pulled up to adjust a strap on his pack. Leroy inspected their surroundings while Yancy sat on a cushion of moss. He took a swig out of his canteen, then another. "Better go easy on that," Leroy admonished, his hands on his hips.

"We'll be at Nathan's soon," he responded. "He's bound to know where there's water; he drinks the stuff." As an afterthought, he added, a smile in his voice, "And he needs it for tea."

Inner Space

an approaching black hole threatening annihilation,
a shamanic scientist who believes he can stop it,
and a researcher from another plane of existence
who just happened to be in the neighborhood...

It was imperative. He sought the solution to a problem that would save everyone; he believed it existed, but nowhere could he find it amongst the known and familar thoughts and ideas populating his mind. It had to be outside of it, or at least outside of what had formed into rigid and fixed ideas. A new arrangement, a never-before seen pattern, emerging and coalescing into clarity itself.


a lost ship in need of repairs forced to land on an alien planet,
a planet without life, yet full of growing things,
a planet with a secret no one could have imagined...

The Space Fleet transport ship Enigma, contracted to the Froebinus Environmental Institute, was ferrying a team of enviroscientists to a potentially earth-like planet in the near Sagittarius Arm. It was routine business. But as they altered course at a prescribed waypoint, the entire ship shuddered violently, then shifted in and out of phase with hard matter. Abruptly, they emerged from quantum space into ordinary spacetime in the middle of an asteroid field. Their attempt to reenter quantum space failed; the gluon-field capacitor was malfunctioning. Taking a few lumps along the way, they managed to escape the worst of it. A planet loomed ahead. Needing repairs and a place to stop to reorient themselves, they scanned it for acceptable parameters.

Magic 101

when we think we know it all,
along comes a teacher...

Fendal had been in this predicament before. It was his own fault, he knew. Long ago in his younger aspiration days, prior to his ascendency, he'd gotten lost in between. It was only by sheer luck that he reached his destination. But that was then, when he was a novitiate in the art of plane jumping. Others refer to it as phasing and mind morphing. Officially, it was called Cross-Dimensional Transcription (CDT).

Clover's Secret

At the onset of the 23rd century, it was discovered that insects (Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Hexapoda, Class Insecta) could dream. It'd already been established that they were capable of experiencing the whole gamut of emotions that humans were, albeit modified and tuned to particular species. Moreover, some of the more ancient ones like dragonflies experienced emotions that have no counterpart in the consciousness of humanity. Correspondingly, their dreams vibrated with color and complex emotional interactions and relationships for which we have no explanation.

Crystal Rendezvous: Part I

It was a quiet sunday morning in the woods, his woods. Summer was on the wane, late August, but the air, though chill, smelled fresh and welcoming. Overnight clouds were slowly dissipating, revealing breaks of blue. His cat, Mariah, had already taken off for the day's adventures, sneaking through the patchwork of tunnels she'd made in the high, thick grass. Stealthy, alert, excited. He'd see her when she came looking for pets and attention, and, of course, food. Oftentimes, she would hang out with him; they were close and cared for one another.

Crystal Rendezvous: Part II

It took a few days to get his head around his experience, days he insisted on solitude with Mariah, his cat. He would be convinced he'd been only dreaming if it weren't for Nalina's crystal goblet. He couldn't guess how it got there, on his table. His rational mind suggested that during the course of some drunk, he found it, pocketed it, then dumped it on the table with his change, forgetting having done so entirely. But when he looked at it, took it out of its box and held it gently in his hand, it all came back to him. If it had been a dream, he asked himself, why wouldn't it just evaporate, at least the details, like all other dreams?

White Noise

the universe is splitting apart, tearing along a jagged edge of spacetime,
the shock wave radiates across the galaxies leaving devastation in its wake,
two scientists on Earth, with the help of a being from another realm,
are determined to stop it before it reaches the Milky Way...

Discordance marked its passage, a vast expanse of formless emptiness lay strewn in its wake, the very space around it dissolved into chaos and harsh white noise. The crack raced along the jagged fault line, increasing in speed as it tore through the fabric of spacetime. Even as the universe was increasing in volume, it was splitting in half. What had given birth to space and time was going through a transformation, an emergence into a new form. Galaxies and clusters were in its path; the closer to the fracture, the more forceful and destructive. The shearing sound reverberated across the universe, ripples of memories undulating ever outward.


In the year 1859, Charles Darwin published Origin of Species; a few years earlier, 1856 to be precise, Neanderthals were discovered in a valley of the same name near Mettmann in what is now North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Each of these major steps forward in understanding corroborated the other and presented the world with a new, revolutionary perspective on what it meant to be human.

Welcome To Myrtleville

a small, easy-going town somewhere in America,
a relic that if used properly can bring the dominance of evil into the world,
and an alien agent with remarkable powers sent to prevent it...

It was a warm saturday morning in Myrtleville. The soda fountain at the drug store on Main street was doing a brisk business. Franklin's Hardwares was running a sale on grass seed; well-kept lawns were the pride and joy of the community. Sherman's groceries was out of hamburger buns; with July 4th coming up, it was the talk of the town. Tammy's bar already had a few regulars, talking about baseball and arguing over who was the best mechanic in town. A few were warming up the pool table, it was going to be a hot afternoon and they wanted to be sharp.

Anchors In Time

two scientists search for the source of time, for timelessness itself,
unaware that their attempt is destabilizing the universe,
and that they would enter a realm they couldn't imagine...

Roger was depressed, sullen, had been for some time. His moody disposition had rendered him friendless. To his obsessed mind, his life was a tragedy. And now this: his TV remote needed batteries. He'd been warned. The 'remote battery low' message had been appearing on his screen constantly; for weeks, it seemed. But he held off. His cash was low and there were more important things to spend it on, like cigarettes and beer.

Time Thieves

a universe coming to the end of its life,
an effort underway to steal time from ours,
unknowingly, a man opens a portal between them...

A door slammed, he didn't flinch. The large house was dark, even with the afternoon light slanting in through the dusty, cobwebbed drapes. The family had moved out; ghosts, it was reported. It dominated a high hill overlooking a monastery halfway down. At the bottom of the long slope, where the land leveled off, sat an ancient cemetery, and about a quarter mile beyond was the main harbor where fishing boats tied up. It was a quiet town, not much out of the ordinary ever happened. Until this.

Stephen's Quest

Stephen Obelisk had been keeping diaries for years, all his adult life in fact. He believed that if he could just write down the precise words in the precise order, they would magically free him. But from what exactly he still hadn't put his finger on.

Bob, God of Rain

punished for hubris and laziness, constrained to live the life of a mortal human,
he discovered something the gods had not anticipated, something that made all the difference...

A long long time ago, Bob lived the life of a god. He'd been bound to Earth and responsible for rain to replenish the flora worldwide and especially the crops of the humans. But that wasn't what he wanted. He'd requested domination over the fires in the bowels of the Earth, volcanoes and rifts hundreds of miles long from which boiling lava poured, destroying cities, villages, forests, and people in an extravagant and spectacular display of godly rage and displeasure.

Crashing Out: Chronicle of a Drifter

Inspired by the winter spent with reindeer herders in Eastern Siberia, I decided to parachute into the middle of the Amazon with only the clothes on my back, a pocket compass, a Swiss-army knife, a basic map, my passport, a pack of matches, and a toothbrush.

The Story of Donald

From the Great Library on the planet Xulcator
Keepers of all Knowledge and Legends in the Galaxy

[or at least they try to]

The Superposed Self

A Quantum Theory of Personal Interaction
Preliminary Discussion

    The Superposed Self draws ideas and concepts from various mathematical fields, such as: Algebraic [or Combinatorial] Topology [Group Theory applied to the topology of polyhedra]; Linear Algebra [Transformations, represented by matrices, defining orientations on Vector Spaces]; and, acting as the overall frame, Modern Algebra [the study of Groups and other algebraic structures (ultimately, the study of symmetry)]. Themes include: properties of pattern, relationship, and symmetry, with respect to perception, consciousness, and individual identity.

The Blackboard Series

Short Stories



Math Papers

Shorts, Episodes and other nonsense...


Adrian Dorn;
May, 2004