Saturday, June 22, 2013

Strange, strange attractors

(A solo posting by Mark)

Strange Attractors began as a 10-hour debate over what really happened in the New Mexico desert in 1947 as Kym and I drove home from four days of events commemorating the 49th anniversary to the (in)famous UFO crash in Roswell. The town was doing a test run before launching the 50th anniversary kick-off to the annual celebration, and we'd scored press passes for everything at their inaugural festival.

We'd listened to panels and seminars, attended meetings with researchers, physicists, and abductees -- and yes, watched parades down Main Street featuring local children dressed up like little green men.

Later, we incorporated a lot of what happened during those four days into the pages of Book One of the Silverville Saga, Little Greed Men.

But I couldn't get out of my head that everything I'd seen and heard about Roswell seemed so ... so implausible. As an amateur astronomer, I'd spent hundreds of hours peering through a telescope, and I'd read dozens of books on astrophysics. I'd finally concluded that it seemed as probable -- perhaps even more plausible -- that the reported ET visitors had come from the future than from a neighboring star.

That was the kernel for Strange Attractors: A Story about Roswell. And to be honest, a more accurate subtitle would have been "A Story that incorporates Roswell as One Thread."

As I got into the story, I became more interested in the implications of time travel than the events at Roswell, particularly certain quantum mechanical experiments that suggest future events can influence past ones.

(Here's a great video at New Scientist that explores a sample thread of some of that research. At the end of Strange Attractors, I suggest further readings about other complex and intriguing experiments suggesting how the future may well influence the past.)

The story that emerged braided together events in three time periods -- all of which interconnect and influence one another. And I decided to embrace the implications of time paradoxes in what could and couldn't occur.

By the time I had the story developed, I'd also incorporated eugenics, nanotech eco-terrorism, fractal geometry, archetypal dream analysis, and even Japanese origami.

The scary thing is that they all seemed to work together to tell my little tale about "Roswell."

For the record, I still believe in ET; I think the astronomical probabilities that we're not alone are too high  to believe we're the only examples of  sentient, intelligent life. But as to whether they've made it to our little neighborhood in the galaxy ... not so much.

Strange Attractors is the middle book of a planned trilogy and, given the complex issues of causality and time, the middle seemed the best place to start. (I think I made the right choice.) And when my head quits spinning, I'll have to decide whether the next book is the prequel or the sequel.

You can find the novel at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, assorted libraries and bookstores, and if you click on the "Strange Attractors" tab at the top of this blog, I've arranged for blogger friends to pick up the trade paperback at a 20 percent discount.