Dogs and cats! Living together! Mass hysteria!

Do you live in an alternate reality?

In a recent New York Times article radio astronomers reported they had seen the markers of the beginning of the Big Bang, The article reminded of one of physicist Dr. Guth’s other ideas: parallel universes.

Spock from the Mirror Universe

Spock from the Mirror Universe

I won’t go into the physics, which entails inflation theory. Needless to say, the implications are manifold.

From what I understand of the idea the physics must be consistent across the universes because the particles from which the universes began are all the same. Balls will not fall up and Hogwarts does not exist.

Or could it exist?

Hogwarts Castle--Under the Cover of the Universe?

Hogwarts Castle–Under the Cover of the Universe?

A different roll of the evolutionary dice and humans or human-like creatures could evolve to have the ability to manipulate matter, or maybe they develop cybernetic implant technology that gives them the ability to shape the world around them. No wands needed.

Maybe your mirror universe self has mastered the powers of creation?

Let’s say these alternate universes exist. Alan Guth was spot on about the cosmic background ripples after all. Let’s say the alternate realities are there under the blanket of the universe. How do we travel to these alternate realities?



Sliders delved into the idea of alternate earths (the first season was wicked awesome. After season two I couldn’t stand to watch it). They traveled to these alternate realities via a wormhole.

Maybe travel to an alternate reality or universe is possible through a simple change in your state of mind as was used by Christopher Reeve’s character to travel back in time in the movie, Somewhere in Time.

Somewhere in Time

Maybe Stephen Lawhead had the right idea? In The Song of Albion Trilogy Lewis Gillies, a student at Oxford, finds his way to the Celtic Otherworld of Albion. He travels there by circling a Celtic cairn at just the right time of day.

Maybe there is a village, like Wall in Neil Gaiman‘s Stardust, where on the other side lies the faerie realm?

Maybe my own Tir Alaind is real? Maybe Hogwarts is real? Maybe Patrick Rothfuss’s Four Corners of Civilization is real?

Maybe our minds aren’t imagining these alternate realities? Maybe our minds are simply peeking under the blanket of the universe and seeing what our eyes cannot see.


The Asymptotic Ending

asymptoteAs I come to the end of my novel I find that the effort required to write is increasing exponentially in proportion to how close I am to the end.

All of the threads in the story are coming together and my mind is working overtime to hold all of them in place.

Plus, I have a fear that the story will not come to an organized end.

The last two scenes of The Tome of Worlds are an epic city siege of Koronan and an exhalation of sorts before the second novel begins. Even though I know how the battle turns and how the story concludes itself I find myself not wanting to put the protagonist, Aedinn Finn, into the fray.

These fears remind me of an awful story I wrote years ago called Threads of TimeI wrote the story during the summer of 1999 while I was working at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Sign

Los Alamos National Laboratory Sign (Photo credit: Cavalier92)

I had just won an award for science fiction writing at MIT, and I thought quite well of myself, so I tackled a story I had wanted to write for some time on the question of faith–God, destiny, and all of that.

In Threads of Time, the protagonist, let’s call him George, started to have dreams about a place that existed outside of time. The place he imagined outside of time was a bar where notable figures from throughout history came and mingled with each other. Each person within the bar thought they were dreaming, but while they were there they were inspired to the achievements for which they became known.

Einstein was there. Newton. Hemingway. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but that was not the point of the story. Threads of Time was about an approaching nexus.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went with the idea that every time we make a decision, two possible realities are created–one reality for each decision you could have made. With billions and billions of people throughout our history there would be an exponentially increasing number of threads in the human existence.

In Threads of Time a nexus approached where all of the threads created throughout human history were coming together to one point.

Much like my novel.

In Threads of Time George had to push the human race through the nexus through an act of faith.

I was hoping I could do the same with The Tome of Worlds.

Threads of Time was a good short story idea, but in the end I could not bring the story together.

Oh, I finished it. Wrote an ending, but the ending was not satisfying. The story was my attempt at dealing with my own questions about and issues with the subject of faith.

As you can see, I didn’t deliver.

And now, as I come to the end of The Tome of Worlds, I feel that the curse of Threads of Time is coming back, but in a bigger way since The Tome of Worlds is much more massive.

If only I could dream of the bar, go there, and be inspired to finish the story.

Writing the penultimate scene as I wrote the rest of the novel, on faith and instinct, isn’t going to work, I realize. I have to organize the last battle, something I loathe doing, but I see no other way around attacking the problem.

Yesterday I drew a map of Koronan, which I had yet to do, because up to this point the only part of the story that took place in Koronan was the beginning when Aedinn Finn was imprisoned in Kol Uthera. He never went outside the Tower. epic battle scene

I needed a battle map, similar to the maps I used when I played Dungeons and Dragons and Mech Warrior with my D20 dice.

Up to this point I had avoided any advice on writing, because I’d had my fill of writing advice. I have stacks and stacks of writing books that I read long ago. The last thing I wanted to do was read another piece about writing, but I needed a nudge.

I came across this site on writing fantasy battle scenes.

Common sense, really. Just organization, but I needed to see the advice even if I knew what I needed to do.

The point of my rambling in this post is that even though I have well founded fears about the end of the novel the way to attack those fears is to just write. Just do it.

Even if I go back and scrap the entire final battle scene just write it.

I wish a bar would open in my dreams and help me finish the novel, but that’s not going to happen.

However, I will go to a real bar when the novel is done.

Would you go to another dimension, another reality, to help if asked?

The Worlds Within started with a simple musing on my part, probably influenced by Harry Potter and Neverwhere. What if someone from another dimension, a parallel universe, came to me and needed help? What if I could never return? Would I go? Would you go?

English: Map of Narnian world as described in ...

English: Map of Narnian world as described in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For me it would depend on my situation. When I first conceived of The Nyre Lands my personal situation was far different, but now if Janus Riberin appeared in my room asking for aid I would politely turn him down, because I have a family. I am happy here in this reality. As you read The Worlds Within, I hope you come to understand and feel what Aedinn Finn goes through as he comes to realize, as his memory returns, the consequences of the choice he made.

You will notice in Harry Potter and Neverwhere that the protagonists are in similarly poor personal situations. Harry’s family is horrible to him. His cousin bullies him. Consequently, Harry has a low opinion of himself. Richard Mayhew in Neverwhere has a bossy girlfriend, whom he seems destined to marry, a miserable job and low self esteem–just like Harry. Would they have willingly gone to the other realities had their situations been different? In Harry’s case, yes, of course, but in Richard Mayhew’s case I daresay he might never have seen Door lying there on the sidewalk. His own personal unhappiness is what opened his eyes to Door while other people stepped past her.

Aedinn Finn might never have seen Janus Riberin sitting in that chair, or perhaps Janus Riberin would never have come to Aedinn had Aedinn’s situation been better, because Finn would not have been open to coming with Janus to The Nyre Lands.

Which brings me to my final point. The Worlds Within would not have entered the mind of the person I am today, because my subconscious would have politely turned down the offer. No thank you, I am happy.