from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of nomology.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
So I recently finished reading Farah Mendlesohn's THE RHETORICS OF FANTASY, (which I can't recommend highly enough,) and it got me thinking about the realms and seams of strange fiction -- the discrete or semi-discrete worldscapes of elsewhens working on different factualities and nomologies, and the way that boundaries between them are rendered as spatial or perceptual frontiers, seams in reality.
The resolution of SF can be and often is the conceptual breakthrough at the completion of this argument, the synthesis of antithetical nomologies as we come to fully understand the alternative paradigm and relate it back to the ruling paradigm, understanding the re-presentation and understanding that it is a re-presentation.
It is, I would say, entirely possible for the SF narrative trigger to be situated wholly in the novum, in the degree of measurable difference from our "given world", for this to generate a wholly conceptual conflict, a conflict of nomologies, played out through cognitive estrangement to conceptual breakthrough.
However, there are now strong indications that string theory does not only reproduce the dynamics and symmetries of our standard model, but a plethora of different scenarios with different low energy nomologies and symmetries.
I'll say no more about the plot that follows on from here because I don't think it's necessary to reveal those twists and turns in order to tease out a purpose established so succinctly in these few opening scenes: framing American culture as a generational transition from Western to Crime; flip-flopping between those two mythical nomologies to challenge that linearity, reveal the Western within the Crime, the Crime within the Western; using the strange-and-creepy artifices and/or anomalies of Horror to deepen the sense of moral crisis emergent from that theme; setting up this meta-narrative, then, as a starting-point for discourse -- the point where the questions begin rather than where the answers finish.
What I mean is, I don't think it's so much a shift in the nomology of the general SF readership that makes ESP and FTL too "magical" for the general readership as a whole, but rather a splintering of the readership itself whereby subsets of readers with more or less flexible nomologies, more or less accepting of fringe science (ESP), or purely conventional tropes (FTL), or implausible conceits (c.f. ROADMARKS) have become more consolidated in reaction to each other.