On time

I’m about halfway through my novel-in-progress, Infinity, and I find myself at a point now where I have to have the main character explain some concepts about time to other characters.

The plot of this novel relies heavily on the idea of time travel- both of information and of people and objects- and while this is currently thought to be impossible with existing technology and known laws of physics, I’ve not yet given up hope that I can come up with a halfway plausible-sounding explanation for it.

The easiest solution, as has been pointed out to me many times, is just to fake something using existing science fiction tropes, but I actually want to entertain physicists and other scientists as well as people with no real specialized knowledge of science. I know it’s easy to just say “oh, future technology” or “well, it just works like this, okay?” and be done with it and get on with writing. But that wasn’t a very satisfying solution for me.

Now, of course, I’m no physicist and I can’t come up with elaborate proofs or even really comprehend a lot of what real physicists talk about. I am currently a bit over halfway through Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn, which discusses theories of time, and it is tough going for me since I keep getting sidetracked. However, I am pleased that some dreams I’ve had about how time travel might work mesh with a few of the more recent things I’ve read about in Lee’s book. It will, of course, likely be gibberish (I probably am misunderstanding a lot of the concepts put forth in the book, particularly as they may only be presented in simplified form). But it is my pseudoscientific gibberish, thank you, and I hope it inspires others to really study how time works.

I’m happy to report that I’m largely over the month-long period of odd dreams and an inability to generally function, and I’m back to writing. I am working on both a scientific article dealing with a hypothesis I formed while researching my cancer project, and on Infinity. I’ve also had a few fairly sinister dreams where James Comey was following me around on campus with a bunch of FBI agents, and I had no idea it was him because he looked like one of my coworkers. This has given me the germ of an idea for a story involving spies and spycraft, a more serious one than the silly shorts I write about Agent Diamond and Charming Guy. This spy story is put on the burgeoning pile of ideas I have for things I want to write after I’m finished with Infinity.

Have a great day!

Hypnagogic dreaming

Hello, readers! I’ve had an interesting bout with odd dreams lately, spurring yet another round of story ideas. This one has to do with all sorts of divine entities, usually female- different goddesses and female religious figures. I have bandied about the title Hypnagogia before, for various story ideas, and I think this time I finally have the right story for that title. The definition of hypnagogia, according to Wikipedia, is “the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep.” This completely describes the kind of dreaming I’ve done for a few days now, in which most of the day is spent asleep or half-asleep, but dreaming continuously.

I have to nail down the details of the story, but I figure there will be fertility and love goddesses (and saucy passages), a goddess of destruction, and goddesses of vengeance as well as figures of mercy and healing. This story will be pretty exciting- there may be some crime bits, or action/adventure bits, though how to incorporate those is going to be tricky (I don’t want to name actual people or actual events, even if only in a work of fiction). I have to think about what to include in order to get all the goddesses enough exposure. I will probably have to make up some stuff, maybe about crime and how federal agencies work, drawing in part on dreams and in part on actual events or facts.

And of course, a lot of my dreams for the past year or so involve time and warping spacetime, so I figure there is going to be some of that as well. Science fiction! I am not entirely sure what genre this story is going to be in- I suspect it will have strong romantic features, but also fits into a lot of other categories as well. Science fiction/fantasy romantic crime thriller? Knowing me there will be comic bits as well, but first I have to take this idea from a bunch of confusing dream images into an actual plot.

So lots of different kinds of stuff going on in this story. I am going to try to put it up for sale on Smashwords if I can find an appropriate cover, and for this one it’s possible there may be a screenplay. I have often wanted to write a screenplay, and while I have been putting it off forever, I have a friend now in film school who might be able to give me tips.

Work on Infinity is ongoing, of course, but as with all my works-in-progress it has been stalled due to all these dreams.

Have a great day!



Hello, readers! Been away from writing for a little while, but the recent find that Saturn’s moon Enceladus might be “hospitable to life” is not only exciting in its own right, but has made me think back to what I know about the science of astrobiology.

Most science fiction shows feature aliens that are large, complex life forms, like xenomorphs or Vulcans. However, the reality is that most of the life on other planets is likely to consist of single-celled or filamentous organisms, analogous to bacterial forms of life in extreme environments on Earth. The kind of life to be found on Enceladus is likely to consist of chemolithotrophic food webs consisting mostly of bacteria, nestled close to the hypothesized deep sea vents on that icy moon. Analogous food webs lie deep in Earth’s oceans, where “hot smoker” geothermal vents spew warmth and the minerals that power these food webs, which exist independently of light from the Sun. There are more complicated and large organisms deep below the surface of Earth’s oceans, like large tube worms and several forms of invertebrates, but most of the life around these geothermal vents consists of bacteria that can gain energy for living from transforming the minerals released by the vents. From what I recall, the food webs around these vents depend on the cyclical transformations of these minerals between their different forms, and it’s all conducted by bacteria. The tube worms, for example, have large digestive organs consisting of sacs of bacteria powered by minerals. It’s fascinating.

I may dig up new research on these vents and write a short story about what people may find on Enceladus once they send robots beneath its icy surface.

In other news, I am still about halfway through my SF novel Infinity, and I plan to work on it again starting tomorrow (today and much of last week I spent dealing with bipolar dreams, which come and go- they usually leave me with all sorts of ideas for stories, and this time around has been no exception).

Have a great day!