【免费领取100元体验金】佳人与九斗鱼合作送福利啦,点这里参与,即可领取100元体验金用于投资~
只为认真做自己

阿西莫夫短篇小说:最后的问题

这样短,情节这样简单,却给人史诗般宏篇巨制之感。它淋漓尽致地表现了阿西莫夫的风格:深刻的主题,冷静的叙述,以及出人意料的结尾。他可以说是科幻界的欧·亨利!免费关注微信公众号 jiarenorg ,就能天天收到佳人精彩文章了,还有机会和主编小陌一对一私聊喔,咱们微信里见!

W020120418507585061263

我还记得第一次看到阿西莫夫的这个短篇时是怎样一种五雷轰顶的感觉。这是他的所有小说中他最喜欢的一篇,也是我最喜欢的一篇。这样短,情节这样简单,却给人史诗般宏篇巨制之感。它淋漓尽致地表现了阿西莫夫的风格:深刻的主题,冷静的叙述,以及出人意料的结尾。他可以说是科幻界的欧·亨利!

但是我发现这一篇却并不广为人知。网上能找到的大多都是一个台湾的译本,看起来比较别扭,而且忍无可忍的是我找到的阿西莫夫短篇集中竟然都不收录这一篇。所以下定决心自己翻译一下,让更多的人看到。

如果一切都要湮灭,至少我可以贡献一点data……

The Last Question

最后的问题

By Isaac Asimov

阿西莫夫

This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.

After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won’t tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.

这是目前我在所写过所有的故事中最喜爱的一篇。

总之,我试图在这篇短短的文字中讲述几万亿年的人类历史。我是否成功地做到了这一点将留给你们去判断。同时我还有另外一个目标,但为了避免剧透我不能告诉你们。

It is a curious fact that innumerable readers have asked me if I wrote this story. They seem never to remember the title of the story or (for sure) the author, except for the vague thought it might be me. But, of course, they never forget the story itself especially the ending. The idea seems to drown out everything — and I’m satisfied that it should.

很奇怪的是有无数的读者问我这个故事是不是我写的。他们似乎从来记不住这个故事的标题,更记不住作者,而只是模糊地认为可能是我。不过当然了,他们从来不会忘记故事本身(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg),特别是它的结尾——它似乎掩盖了所有其他的东西——这一点令我十分满意。

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way:

最后的问题第一次被半开玩笑地提出是在2061年的5月21日。那时人类文明刚刚步入曙光中。这个问题源起于酒酣之中一个五美元的赌,它是这么发生的:

Alexander Adell and Bertram Lupov were two of the faithful attendants of Multivac. As well as any human beings could, they knew what lay behind the cold, clicking, flashing face — miles and miles of face — of that giant computer. They had at least a vague notion of the general plan of relays and circuits that had long since grown past the point where any single human could possibly have a firm grasp of the whole.

亚历山大·阿代尔与贝特伦·卢泊夫是Multivac的两个忠实的管理员。像任何其他人一样,他们知道在那台巨大的计算机数英里冰冷、闪烁、滴答作响的面庞后藏着什么。那些电子回路早已发展到任何个别的人都无法完全掌握的地步,但他们至少对它的大致蓝图有个基本的概念。

Multivac was self-adjusting and self-correcting. It had to be, for nothing human could adjust and correct it quickly enough or even adequately enough. So Adell and Lupov attended the monstrous giant only lightly and superficially, yet as well as any men could. They fed it data, adjusted questions to its needs and translated the answers that were issued. Certainly they, and all others like them, were fully entitled to share in the glory that was Multivac’s.

Multivac能自我调节和自我修正。这对它是必要的,因为人类当中没有谁能够快甚至够好地对它进行调节和修正。所以实际上阿代尔与卢泊夫对这个庞然大物只进行一些非常轻松和肤浅的管理,任何其他人也都只能做到这个程度。他们给它输送数据,根据它所需的格式修改问题,然后翻译给出的答案。当然,他们以及其他管理员们完全有资格分享属于Multivac的荣誉。

For decades, Multivac had helped design the ships and plot the trajectories that enabled man to reach the Moon, Mars, and Venus, but past that, Earth’s poor resources could not support the ships. Too much energy was needed for the long trips. Earth exploited its coal and uranium with increasing efficiency, but there was only so much of both.

几十年中,在Multivac的帮助下人类建造了宇宙飞船,计算出航行路径,从而得以登陆月球、火星和金星。但是更远的航行需要大量的能量,地球上可怜的资源不足以支持这些飞船。尽管人类不断地提高煤炭和核能的利用效率,但煤和铀都是有限的。

But slowly Multivac learned enough to answer deeper questions more fundamentally, and on May 14, 2061, what had been theory, became fact.

但是慢慢地Multivac学会了如何从根本上解决某些深层次问题。2061年5月14日,理论成为了现实。

The energy of the sun was stored, converted, and utilized directly on a planet-wide scale. All Earth turned off its burning coal, its fissioning uranium, and flipped the switch that connected all of it to a small station, one mile in diameter, circling the Earth at half the distance of the Moon. All Earth ran by invisible beams of sunpower.

太阳的能量被储存和转化,得以被全球规模地直接利用。整个地球熄灭了燃烧的煤炭,关闭了核反应炉,打开了连接到那个小小的太阳能空间站的开关。这个空间站直径一英里,在到月球的距离一半处环绕着地球。看不见的太阳的光束支撑着整个地球社会的运行。

Seven days had not sufficed to dim the glory of it and Adell and Lupov finally managed to escape from the public functions, and to meet in quiet where no one would think of looking for them, in the deserted underground chambers, where portions of the mighty buried body of Multivac showed. Unattended, idling, sorting data with contented lazy clickings, Multivac, too, had earned its vacation and the boys appreciated that. They had no intention, originally, of disturbing it.

七天的庆祝还不足以暗淡这创举的光辉。阿代尔与卢泊夫总算逃脱了公众事务,悄悄地相聚在这个谁也想不到的荒僻的地下室。在这里Multivac埋藏着的庞大身躯露出了一部分(佳人微信公众号:jiarenorg)。它正独自闲暇地整理着数据,发出满足的、慵懒的滴答声——它也得到了假期。他们了解这一点,一开始他们并没打算打扰它。

They had brought a bottle with them, and their only concern at the moment was to relax in the company of each other and the bottle.

他们带来了一瓶酒。这会儿他们想做的只是在一起,喝喝酒,放松放松。

“It’s amazing when you think of it,” said Adell. His broad face had lines of weariness in it, and he stirred his drink slowly with a glass rod, watching the cubes of ice slur clumsily about. “All the energy we can possibly ever use for free. Enough energy, if we wanted to draw on it, to melt all Earth into a big drop of impure liquid iron, and still never miss the energy so used. All the energy we could ever use, forever and forever and forever.”

“你想一想就会觉得很神奇,”阿代尔说。他宽阔的脸庞已有了疲倦的纹路。他慢慢地用玻璃棒搅动着酒,看着冰块笨拙地滑动。“从此我们所用的所有能量都是免费的。只要我们愿意,我们能把地球熔化成一颗液态大铁球——还能毫不在乎花掉的能量。够我们永远永远永远用下去的能量。”

Lupov cocked his head sideways. He had a trick of doing that when he wanted to be contrary, and he wanted to be contrary now, partly because he had had to carry the ice and glassware. “Not forever,” he said.

卢泊夫将头歪向一边,这是当他想要反驳对方时的习惯动作。他现在确实想要反驳,部分原因是他在负责拿着冰和杯子。他说:“不是永远。”

“Oh, hell, just about forever. Till the sun runs down, Bert.”

“哦去你的,差不多就是永远。直到太阳完蛋,老贝。”

“That’s not forever.”

“那就不是永远。”

“All right, then. Billions and billions of years. Ten billion, maybe. Are you satisfied?”

“好吧。几十亿年,可能一百亿年,满意了吧?”

Lupov put his fingers through his thinning hair as though to reassure himself that some was still left and sipped gently at his own drink. “Ten billion years isn’t forever.”

卢泊夫用手梳着他稀薄的头发,仿佛要确认还剩下了一些。他缓缓地抿着自己的酒说,“一百亿年也不是永远。”

“Well, it will last our time, won’t it?”

“但对我们来说是够了,不是吗?”

“So would the coal and uranium.”

“煤和铀对我们来说也够了。”

“All right, but now we can hook up each individual spaceship to the Solar Station, and it can go to Pluto and back a million times without ever worrying about fuel. You can’t do that on coal and uranium. Ask Multivac, if you don’t believe me.

“好好好,但是现在我们能把宇宙飞船连接到太阳能电站,然后飞到冥王星又飞回来一百万次而不用担心燃料。靠煤和铀你就做不到。不信去问问Multivac。”

“I don’t have to ask Multivac. I know that.”

“我不用问它。我知道。”



发表评论

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已用*标注

您可以使用这些HTML标签和属性: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

插入图片
▲回顶部