On the Horizon

I keep dropping little teasers here and there about the coming volumes in the series but I have not gone too deeply into any of it.

That is, until now.

Fountable III has gone into final edit and it completes the originally planned three volumes (though as I mentioned before, not anything like the original outline from the 70’s). Volume four of the series has already been started and is called The Rings of Ojeelah. Perhaps I just got tired of naming each successive book with a number, or it could be because in the original outline, volume four was called that name, though the source of the rings was completely different in that earlier version.

In volume four, the group has finished setting up their teleportation business and moved off to do further research on their next endeavor.

What they cannot imagine is that anyone would take exception to their success… but, of course, someone does and the teleportation hub at Ojeelah is disrupted as the ring-gates are sabotaged.

Furzana immediately suspects her brother has some part in it but she still harbors a grudge against him for what happened in volume one, and she is not ready to let him off the hook as easily as Tervan seems to have.

Prince Acoordes will be exonerated from any complicity as they investigate the attack. What they discover – eventually – is far more shocking than any mere imperial plot or any slighted business competitor. It seems they have stepped on the toes of one too many scientist on their way to reconfiguring the laws of the universe.

And the most heinous crime was not getting any of it peer-reviewed.

That is, of course, a thumbnail sketch of the forthcoming adventure and it may change in several details before arriving at the finish line, but that is the present outline. More background details will be brought up about several different members of the group and some will be more involved than in previous volumes whereas others will see less activity. They are each developing their own lives to live as well.

In volume five, as yet untitled and far from being completely outlined, we will see the young boy, Hasitha, who recalled saving Tervan’s life in a previous life, returns again to make good on his earlier prophecy, saving Tervan’s life. Which will, by the questions it brings up, push their scientific inquiry into yet another realm.

Other volumes in the series are even more tentative in outline form and will probably only become further developed as the need arises. If the series loses readership, it will probably disappear before the last volume currently anticipated (#12, if you must know).

But we shall see what the future brings.

One thing I will mention, however, is that the end of the original trilogy was Tervan’s death. But as he was being murdered, his soul was transferred into a mechanized body.

Whether or not I will include that plot-line in this latest incarnation is still up in the air. If I do, it will certainly be nothing on the order as in the original – political intense – plot-line.

For the present, I am having too much fun with Tervan – as he is – to worry about killing him – or anyone else – off.


BAD Science Fiction

I have read a lot of Science Fiction in my life.

There have been volumes where I have found myself at odds with the science in the book.

Other times I have found myself fighting through too many conflicting strands in one tale.

So though I may have issues with either the science or the fiction, I have never read any BAD science fiction. Some poorly written science fiction, on occasion, but BAD? Never.

The ability of any person to predict – no matter how poorly – a possible future is really a gift.

Clarke and Heinlein were great writers but the futures they predicted have – in most respects – been wrongly conceived.

Yes, they were wrong. The writers who pushed the future further out – like in the 23rd or 25th century – may be proven wrong as well, but we’ll have to wait a time for the ballots to be counted, the hanging chads swept under the rug.

All fiction opens your mind to the possible and science fiction pries it open even further.

It is a gift of awakening to possibilities you or I may have never imagined in our wildest – or darkest – dreams.

Even the most lame framework for a story that creates possibilities cannot be called BAD, even if poorly written.

And the possibilities are, after all, the only future there is.

an Irving Berlin Postcard

Christmas 2012

The weather told us we were not going to get a white Christmas this year. They were saying it was going to rain late on Christmas eve, before (perhaps) turning into sleet for an hour or so but then warming up on Christmas to the mid-fifties.

We drove out twenty miles westward to exchange gifts with our elder son who was planning to spend Christmas day with the in-laws. We were going to miss the grandkids, but we have to be satisfied with every other Christmas.

On the return trip home, it started snowing. Lightly at first, and then it changed to sleet. We made our way home slowly as the sleet dwindled.

As we pulled in the driveway, it was snowing lightly again.

We figured it would pass quickly.

But Christmas morning, we awoke to two inches of the white stuff covering everything. It was, of course, beautiful. Moreso because we did not have to drive anywhere.

And by noon, as the mid-fifties temperature arrived, most of it was melting away. By mid-afternoon, when the daughter arrived from her home twenty miles to the east, she was amazed to find any snow, though very little was left on the ground. Mostly in shaded places on the north side of the house and shed.

Briefly, it had been picturesque. For a moment it was a postcard from an Irving Berlin musical.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, regardless of the weather at your place.

Politics, Politics

Although Tervan has little to no regard for politics, even when he keeps being through into the midst of it, he tries to extricate himself as quickly from that arena as possible, and takes a long hot shower as soon as possible to remove the “stench”.

So, though he has no particular regard for the subject, I have to. Since it is the one thing that really irks him, it will quite naturally keep popping up and impinging on his life until he works out some method for living with that beast.

And it will keep popping up until the story no longer requires its presence – of course!

But, of course, there is not any sort of news bureau that handles this sort of news for me, I have to create it all, and make it messy enough to give Tervan the shudders. If politics were more pleasant and easy-going, he might actually get involved in it and that is not about the happen. I’ll let other writers take the lead on politically-oriented science fiction.

The Fountable series is decidedly apolitical.

Still, the world of politics is not confined to the hallowed halls of the imperial government and there is a lot of politicking that goes on elsewhere as well.

Once the kids (now young adults) have established their own enterprise, they find politics runs rampant through the business world as well.

And, if they did not glimpse it previously, they will find politics is a fairly strong influence in the world of science as well.

Tervan et al may be able to avoid the politics of the imperial sort, and pay someone to deal with the business politics, but they are standing alone to defend their new theories against the politics of the status quo.

(Stay tuned for that volume.)

Apology for “Taking Up Space”

I’m not really much of a blogger.

I’ve cruised around and read a lot of interesting things but everyone seems to have so many more interesting things going on in their lives than I or simply the pressing need to remark on everything that happens in their daily routines.

I even have some blogging friends that can get worked up about things to rant, long and hard, about… all sorts of things. Some find humor in almost everything and have a way to make light of the daily grind.

That’s not me.

If something interesting happens to me, I’ll probably mention it. Something like getting run over or winning the Hugo… I think my odds are about the same either way.

Other than that, I don’t get worked up over the news. In fact, I don’t even listen to the news. Wife and I banned television and radio several years ago and haven’t looked back. Our lives are so much calmer now.

Friends tell us we are missing out on what is going on.

Let me guess: somebody won an election, there’s been some murders, some terrorists threats, some bombing somewhere, people getting ripped off by conmen and corporate greed…

Oh, yes, and the taxes are going up along with the gas prices.

Same news I’ve been listening to for forty years. It ain’t new and it ain’t news.

And most anything I have to say that is of any interest is in my writings.

That’s where my heart and soul come out. My joys, my dreams, my best expectations for man.

Yes, it is FICTION.

But I can still dream, can’t I?

On the Relative “Costs” of Teleportation

One of the early readers of the first volume commented after completing the volume that I should go back and make it clear to the reader about the relative costs of teleporting at greater distances.

He said, “The energy resources would be taxed to a greater degree when teleporting farther and the energy to teleport something halfway across the galaxy like you have should require more energy than you show being used.”

While it is true that has been the case in every science fiction novel I have seen to date on the subject of teleportation, the reader seems to have missed the crux of the new mathematics being used in the volume.

And since the story is based on the new formula for the collapsibility of space itself, the energy required to send something across a room is exactly the same as sending it halfway across the galaxy. Why? Because the space itself has been collapsed, the apparent “distance” removed.

With the space collapsed, farther distances are as close as the adjacent area of space. That is the entire purpose of their little exercise in the mathematics, the whole reason for introducing Leptiri’s theorem at all.

If the result of the adventure into psychic telepathy has resulted in the collapsibility of space, just think what else might be discovered by extension of the same concept into other areas of our universal “laws”.

Oh, except for time-travel. Tervan strictly forbids any delving into that hornet’s nest.

(At least for the present.)

the Psychic Link as a Basis for the New Mathematics

Although the novel was not intended to be very heavy on the “romance” angle – and I don’t think it is, is it? – the psychic link developed by Tervan with his wife, the Princess Furzana, was crucial in the development of the story.

It is rather humorous that the outline I had so diligently created for the development of this ability fell quickly by the wayside. I originally planned to have him develop it some weeks after their arrival on the first prison world. I won’t bore you with the details; enough to say it was discarded.

So, during the journey into exile, Tervan begins thinking he could perhaps contact his wife since he had felt they were “so close”. That was to be the start of the process but then I wrote how his mind was breaking the thing down, into its separate mechanical parts, and the thing took on a life of its own. Bingo! Telepathy born.

In our modern world, a scientist telling his colleagues he has developed his own ability in this area would probably be met with looks askance and a few murmured whispers behind his back. It is not an area normally delved into by the rational.

But this group of kids, still young enough to believe in dreams – or the rightness of their cause against all rational thought, as noted by their all being exiled – there is still a touch of the believer in myths as well as a touch of the romantic in most of them.

When they hear of his development of telepathic abilities, they immediately take it on as a new science project.

Later, they realize that what they are doing actually runs counter to the science they were taught. Old laws and theories are being ground underfoot as they playfully and exuberantly construct their own universes.

In studies done on Earth, in the present, telepathy has been shown to be as close to simultaneous as we can measure. Of course, not all studies even confirm the existence of such an ability but those that do also show it can be instant, even though not all measured transfers have been thus.

Of course, the distances such thought-transferrals go on this planet would not be enough to topple any scientific laws but in the vast reaches of space covered by the novel, it is tantamount to sacrilege.

Hence the development of a completely new mathematical construct of the universe, and a new science.

If you would like to discuss any more on this aspect of the story, please ask away.