Galaxy in a Laboratory

Charlie H.

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Oct 28, 2021
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Looking for a Sci-Fi novel I found in a library and read around 1963. It involves the creation of a single, physically scaled down galaxy inside some kind of force field. Observers are somehow able to couple with individuals on various worlds to learn about the subject's civilization. Supposedly the link is one way with no control of, or communication with the being selected. Time is accelerated so only one pass at any observing any given subject is possible. As the galaxy ages some of the civilizations develop a "religion" centering around escaping the galaxy before it collapses. Does anyone recognize the story?
 

hitmouse

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Probably not the book you are looking for, based on publication date, but this is a plot device in An Alien Heat by Michael Moorcock. Mentioned here for completeness.
 

Ravensquawk

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Each sentence evokes a different story.

Time is accelerated
in the abovementioned "Microcosmic God".
They are creatures under a forcefield, but just the one species of bioengineered creatures in their enclosed region, not a galaxy.

Observers are somehow able to couple with individuals on various worlds to learn about the subject's civilization
in "The Short Ones" by Raymond E.Banks.
The inability to recall this story was a crazymaker until it was answered on these boards.
Also not a galaxy, but small electronic manufactured people that can be interacted with, to test how politician candidates would handle real-life citizens' issues.

... the creation of a single, physically scaled down galaxy inside some kind of force field
is in "Fessenden's Worlds" by Edmond Hamilton.

At last a story with... a real galaxy! In microscopic scale. It has been so long since I read it that I don't remember if it is also time-accelerated or simply microscopic scale.
Fessenden created the tiny universe, then observes it as he destroys worlds in it.

Maybe he observed in accelerated time, but could also have just blasted entire worlds and watched the results in real time.

I don't recall lifeforms and cultures being observed having any religions, though, just the mad destructive scientist.
The only story I recall in which the isolated organisms
develop a "religion"
is "Sandkings" by George RR Martin.

All of these are short stories or novellas, though, not novels. And though each sentence is evocative of a different story, none of these stories match the entire description.
 

wwsierra

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Yes, it's Edge of Time as Extollager noted. I read this as half of an ACE SF double published in 1958 -- two complete SF novels in one paperback for 35 cents ! I really enjoyed in back then and this ACE double is one of the ones I've kept over the years. Hope you can find a copy, as I think you will enjoy reading it again.
 

AE35Unit

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Link to it on Goodreads. Another new book to add to my wishlist...

 

Danny McG

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Yeah, it was an Ace double with the 100th Millennium by John Brunner

Screenshot_20211110-011959.jpg


I've got it as an ebook but I never got round to reading it - maybe one day.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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The Wizard of Linn (A E Van Vogt) has a simlilar theme - Galaxy in a box etc.
 

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