Archive for October, 2010

Whew, I need a breather.

October 20, 2010

I know; you don’t need to carp, I haven’t posted a new entry in almost a month. I haven’t been asleep – I had a novel that fell off the rails when it arrived at the station and I had to expend my writing energy in some deep reconstruction.

The novel is called Mindstream and I’ve designated the genre to be Contrarian SF. Yes, I know the literary world has no such designation – or didn’t before this. It’s contrarian because the plot travels through a lot of territory where the story gores some sacred cows. I don’t intend to describe any in detail … well, maybe just one.

The events happen in two different dimensions of the universe – our usual four-dimensional space-time, and an additional dimension out of the eleven (or maybe twelve) dimensions of String Theory that I call the Mindstream. This is the dimension where mind to mind communication (and much of the novel action) can take place. It’s either the fifth dimension or the sixth, depending on whether the cosmologists are persuaded to accept the brilliant concept of gravity actually being a dimension. Paul Wesson is the theorist, here, a Canadian (Yay!). The thing I like about his five dimensional universe is that it has no Big Bang – a particularly silly idea to my mind. (Told you the novel is contrarian.)

The Buddha, who I appreciate as being one of the wisest humans to ever live, declared nearly 2500 years ago that there was no such thing as a ‘creation’ or a beginning to existence. The universe just ‘IS’. In terms of time, it has always existed and will always continue to exist, until it doesn’t. That rules out the idea of a beginning, either from the creationists or the scientists, because the only place time exists is within the fabric of the functioning universe. Ergo, there is no ‘before’ in which the creation, or the Big Bang, can wait for the ‘moment’.

The whole fallacy stems from Aristotle’s mistaken concept of linear causality. A causes B causes C etc etc. Never happens. All causality is non-linear and mutual – A is caused by B, C and F, and in turn causes G and M … while M works to modify C and F which then modify G. You get the idea – it’s called General Systems Theory. It also appears in the Butterfly Principle in climate prediction, that the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in one part of the world can lead to (not cause) a storm in another. The Buddha outlined the principle nearly 2500 years before Ludwig von Bertalanffy did.

Anyway, Mindstream has been a more complex novel to write than I usually attempt. It still has one issue that I’d like to tackle, but I can’t. It takes place in two ongoing locations that are disconnected in time. Relativity, anyone?  The duration of the scenes in the Mindstream have no point of contact with the duration of scenes in ‘our’ universe, but the characters have to move from one to the other on cue. The novel needs to be written in non-linear time, but fiction is a linear process. (Except for a few weak attempts by other writers to muddle the linear order.) I guess I can agonize over that in my next blog post.