Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poetry in Binary.




Friday, September 10, 2010

Wanting to Write, but . . .

So, I have been wanting to write a story on time travel for some time and it is driving me nuts. I have all of my theories worked out and have studied a lot in regards to paradoxes and how the people would travel, how one would overcome the grandfather paradox, as well as the time periods that would take place. The time traveling theories are that of Ron Mallett--a physicist who has been working on a time machine. He has several papers published on his theories.

Basically, the idea comes from observing frame dragging caused by rapidly rotating black hole. This frame dragging causes closed-loop time-lines. Basically looping time. From these observations he theorized that light, (because it effects space therefore effecting time) would have the same effect as the black hole. By circulating the light, causing the light to spiral up like a slinky, causing closed-loop time-lines, theoretically one can travel to different points in the loop. You could go forward and backward in time as long as the machine is left on.

I find this all fascinating, but I am really struggling with writing a book about time travel. I don't know where to start--if I should start from the beginning, or start in the middle of the story and let it unfold. The latter seemingly more fitting as this story will take place in multiple time lines . . . h'mmm.

Also, the paradox problem . . . not sure if I like my work around. So here are possibilities I can use. Let me know what you like best:

1. There simply are multiple versions of you. Because you are jumping onto another time line you cannot be killed if something (Because someone else time traveled) happens to yourself in another time line. (This one I like, but because of the complexities of laws of Matter, etc. I can't see how you could have two versions of yourself in one time line... but that bring even more questions).

2. When you time travel you travel into a different universe or dimension. This will eliminate your previous self starting a new time line. Everything would be exactly the same, but this would take the multiple version scenarios out. It would be less complicated. (While this would work with th despondent feeling of the book, it still seems... I don't know... weak? I'm thinking of making it true, but revealing it later on. Something like, most people don't know they are travelling into another dimension).

Anyway. Lots of stuff to work out and it makes me sad. Hopefully soon I'll have something workable.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hyperion Cantos & Endymion

By far some of the best books I have ever read!! Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons take place from 2700 AD - 3100 AD following those members of the "Shrike Pilgrimage" in the first two, and Aenea and Endymion in the last two. The story is intriguing and original on so many levels and will leave the reader with a sense of wonder, horror and amazement. It is a series you don't want to end!!

A brief overview:


Hyperion has the structure of a frame story, similar to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and especially to Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. The story weaves the interlocking tales of a diverse group of travelers sent on a pilgrimage to the Time Tombs on Hyperion. The travelers have been sent by the Shrike Church and the Hegemony (the government of the human star systems) to make a request of the Shrike. As they progress in their journey, each of the pilgrims tells their tale.
*Winner of the Hugo & Nebula Awards.

The Fall of Hyperion

This book concludes the story begun in Hyperion. It abandons the frame structure of the first novel, instead using a more conventional chronological narrative (although several jumps in time take place).


The story commences 272 years after the events in the previous novel. Few main characters from the first two books are present in the later two. The main character is Raul Endymion, an ex-soldier who receives a death sentence after an unfair trial. He is rescued by Martin Silenus and asked to perform a series of rather extraordinarily difficult tasks. The main task is to rescue and protect Aenea, a messiah coming from the distant past via time travel. The Catholic Church has become a dominant force in the human universe and views Aenea as a potential threat to their power. The group of Aenea, Endymion, and A. Bettik (an android) evades the Church's forces on several worlds, ending the story on Earth.

The Rise of Endymion

This final novel in the series finishes the story begun in Endymion, expanding on the themes in Endymion as Raul and Aenea battle the church and meet their respective destinies.

There are heavy literature references throughout the books, touching on Keats, Crane, and many others. The titles of the books taken from poems by John Keats. (Hyperion being an unfinished poem, The Fall of Hyperion, Keats second attempt in writing about Hyperion the Titan-God of the Sun. Endymion based on the myth of Endymion, the Shepard beloved by Selene, the Moon Goddess).

The inventiveness of the tales show a massive future that is complex in technology, politics, religion and many other themes. The three main groups of beings being The Hegemony, The Ousters, and the Technocore, (The Hegenomy being replaced by the PAX in the last two books).

Much of the appeal of the series stems from its extensive use of references and allusions from a wide array of thinkers such as Teilhard de Chardin, John Muir, Norbert Wiener, and to the poetry of John Keats, a famous English Romantic poet of the 19th century, and the monk Ummon.

Heavy themes include empathy's power in the universe, what it means to truly die as well as live, Gods purpose and what constitutes God.

A wonderful read!!! A series that will be read over and over again!!


Slaughterhouse-Five while dabbling in speculative fiction is highly philosophical and enlightening. Written by Kurt Vonnegut the novel in a humorous, lighthearted and still haunting way speaks of anti-war. The surprising thing I had found was Vonnegut did not scream the evils of way, or protest the gruesome and terrible parts of war, but more called to the readers attention the mild stumbles of war.

Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time--travelling forward and backward in time sparatically. Through this, and through discovering or becoming acquainted with an alien race that sees all time as one instance he finds that no one really dies. That there are only dead in one period or time but are not in many others. Through this the author shows how fleeting and pointless war is . . .

He as well touches much on humanity--what is the worst and best of humanity and what it is that brings that out in a person. I found it interesting that through the book Billy Pilgrim seems mildly unaffected by the death around him and the suffering from those he meets. But it is when, (after the bombing of Dresden--which is the surrounding theme about the book) he is chastised by German civilians who notice the horse that he and his buddies are using to pull their wagon is badly injured that Billy breaks down.

War brings about needless suffering . . .

There are many great insights in this book and is definitely worth the read. It shows the beauty of life or of a persons life throughout their existence. The simplicity of living and evils or war. Vonnegut shows amazing wisdom in one of his finest books.

Download the audio book and/or PDF of Slaughterhouse-Five!!!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick, in his novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? helps us understand the importance and power of empathy, as well as defining, or rather, un-defining what it means to be human.

The book follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is hired to "retire" six androids who have assumed human identities. Through events--including being unable to distinguish an android from a human in empathy tests, and vis versa. And also sleeping with an android who seems to be completely human and although he knows she is an android he chooses still to sleep with her, among other things--Deckard becomes confused about humanity, morality and empathy.

The interesting view of life and the breaking of the lines that define what humanity is are, for me, the key points in the novel. I found it interesting that those who are human and clam to have empathy are the ones taking a "drug" (for lack of a better word), or injection to determine the mood they wish to be in are what we consider humane, where as the androids, who have personalities, and are able to feel empathy are considered non-empathetic.

So who is truly humane? And how does the futuristic technology change the boundaries of humanity and empathy. These types of issues are addressed in such a moving way it will leave the reader wanting to read it over again upon finishing the novel.

Download the audio book and/or PDF of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!!