Fiction is great. Fiction is wonderful. I love fiction, especially an edgy mix of horror, fantasy, and psychological tension. Nothing to my mind can beat it. However, no matter how wild the fiction is, there will be a point of tangency between the fictional world and reality. In order to make the fiction believable, the reality must be believable. If the fiction is so far past the point of believability that the reader can’t grasp it or somehow relate it to his own experience, there’s a high probability the reader will put down your book and may never be back.
My book, Any Tomorrow: The Calling, is the first in the Any Tomorrow Trilogy. It is a story that combines horror with fantasy, but the fantastical elements of the story are rooted in fact. To be more exact, they are rooted in physics. Without giving away the plot, I’ll just say that physics is essential, because without a rudimentary understanding of physics, the story couldn’t have been written.
My interest in theoretical physics began many years ago with an article I read about Paul Dirac (1902 – 1984). I can’t even specifically remember what the article was about, but the idea that within science so much more is possible than we experience in our day-to-day lives fascinated me. Galaxies, universes, time, black holes, temporal-spatial anomalies ― physics brings all of these from the realms of magic to scientific possibility.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against magic, it’s very popular, like Harry Potter, like religion. Magic suggests the possibility of action with a causality that is other than provable. You can’t objectively prove that ‘the force’ exists or, for that matter, God. Both require abandoning logic and relying on faith.
Physics, on the other hand, is testable, objectively provable, and as such provides at least a kernel of fact on which to base the reality portion of my fiction. As a fiction writer, do I have to stick to the facts? Of course not. Start with something verifiable and take off into the realms of fantasy.
For anyone who might be interested in adding a little physics, or at least the concept of physics, to their writing I might suggest Walter Isaacson’s biography of Einstein as a good place to start. It’s very readable and a fascinating life story. And if you really feel inspired, you can always research the Einstein Archives Online. I haven’t done too much there, but it looks fascinating.
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