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Zen

Convergence

14 posts in this topic

This is an embryo of an idea for an SF novel, though it would probably work better as a manga, as many of my ideas are very visual in nature. The problem with that is that I can't draw. I will just have to see if I can "draw with words" so my visual concepts are understandable. The story makes use of the multiple universe theory of quantum mechanics, quantum computing, and quantum-entanglement or "spooky action at a distance" as Einstein called it. The main plot driving idea is that some people have a genetic ability to sense other universes or dimensions. The story will take place between two fairly similar dimensions in the near future when quantum computers are a reality and devices similar to the "Ansibles" in science fiction stories by authors like Usula K LeGuin and Orson Scott Card are being developed. In addition, nano-technology has advanced enough to allow for the monitoring of human brain activity at the quantum level. (A lot of this will be techno-babble and probably hated by actual scientists, but I am not a physicist, nor do I play one on TV.)

One of the universes/dimensions is basically our own. The other is a world where the colonists lost the revolutionary war and the United States never existed. In this alternate world, the people in North America continued to be subjects of the British Empire, eventually achieving "home rule" sometime between World War I and World War II. In World War II, the lack of the technological advances made by independent America lead to the Nazis conquering western Europe, making a deal with Stalin on a partition of the continent, then turned their attention to the King in Exile in the American Commonwealths, along with the Japanese, who then proceeded to split the continent in half, the Germans occupying the eastern half, the Brazilians conquering most of South America and the Mexicans taking Central America and the Caribbean. Of note is that Texas, Arizona, and Southern California are part of the empire of Mexico. Northern California and the rest of the west into Canada are part of the Japanese Protectorate of Columbia with the exception of Alaska and the Yukon, which are Soviet properties. The eastern half of the US and Canada are the Reich Staaten of North America. This world is very similar to Phillip K. ######'s The Man in the High Castle. Other than the political differences, there are some cultural differences having to do with these changes. Of particular note is the fact that cars in the Reich Staaten have the steering wheel on the right. (Since they were still part of the British Empire when cars came about, they used the same cars as the Brits.)

Here is a brief list of the main characters I have come up with.

Owen Lehane: A visual artist (painting, drawing, and photography mostly) who was raised in the Reich Staat/State of Illinois. He is a visionary "dimensionist" who sees visions of other dimensions and occasionally other times. This leads him to make art that is quite disturbing to some, involving decay over time, reflections that show other worlds, and things like that. In particular, he started writing a manga in middle school, which he has never had the confidence in to publish or really share with anyone, as he is "not a writer" in with the main character being a girl named Gemz who lives in an alternate world. Gemz has the ability to "see the right path" associated with any decision and most of the stories revolve around her helping her friends and family make the right choices in life, or others ignoring her advice and finding out how right she was. It is basically a romantic comedy with the main character never actually finding "Mr. Right". The Owen in each dimension writes about a Gemz that resides in the other dimension. (So the American Owen writes about a Gemz that lives in the Reich Staaten and vice-versa.) Gemz has long, curly red hair and pale, almost grey, blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris. Owen is just short of finishing his MFA in Fine Arts and has already started teaching art classes at the local community college.

Juliana (Jules) Barrett: A quantum physics post doc at a large university in central Illinois. She grew up in Western Michigan and came to Illinios during Owen's "Third final year" of his MFA program at the same university. She is studying Quantum Computing and working in the lab that is building the prototype for a functional instantaneous communication device, or "Ansible". She has the same ability as Gemz in Owen's manga and is also a redhead with startling light blue eyes. They meet at a coffee shop and a friend of hers sees Owen drawing Gemz on his sketch pad and makes the mistake of thinking he is actually sketching Jules, which prompts him to confront him about invading her privacy. The misunderstanding is cleared up, he buys them both a coffee, and Jules and Owen begin to quickly fall in love, though she is a bit taken aback when she finds and reads his manga and finds that it has strong, sometimes eerie parallels to her own life and she really wonders if she has come into the clutches of some kind of stalker. She never actually tells him how accurate some of his stories are about her life, as she is afraid it will scare him. He may find out from other people about some of the similarities, but I haven't decided that yet. They develop a strong bond, move in together, and get married. As a joke, Jules starts using an on-line username of Gemz, though Owen never calls her that.

Raul Mendez: The friend that accidentally introduced Jules and Owen. He is a Cognitive Neuro-psychology Graduate Student who works with nano-tech quantum brain sensors. He has a theory that some human brains have a genetic ability to sense, or even cross, dimensions at the quantum level. His research involves the use of peyote, LSD, and other substances, which he believes can put a person without the genetic ability into a state where they can sense other dimensions, or drastically enhance the abilities of a sensitive person. He also has some theories about traumatic events leading to "dimensional transference" or physical manifestations that cross dimensions.

One device I will be using is that chapters that take place in the Reich Staaten will be told from the perspective of Owen and stories from the US will be told from the perspective of Jules.

That is all for now. Please let me know if you think this will be a workable story world!

edit: It seems that a particular author's name is not allowed due to it being a slang term for a portion of the male anatomy. If you don't know who he is, just look up The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner), Total Recall, Minority Report, or any number of other famous works of Science Fiction.

EDIT: I changed my mind about the references to the folk rock singer from the 90s, as I am placing the story in 2020. Instead I made Jules a redhead. I also made Jules a post-doc and Owen almost done with his MFA and teaching part time at the local community college.

Edited by Zen
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I actually worked on this project a bit over the weekend, to the point that I refined the character descriptions a bit, and wrote the prologue. Here they are:

Owen Lehane: A visual artist (painting, drawing, and photography mostly) who was raised in the Reich Staat/State of Illinois. He is one-quarter Native American on his mother's side, has a history of doing mind altering drugs, has taken just short of forever to get through school, but has finally straightened himself out. He also is a single father of a pre-school age son named Ian, who is the child of his ex-wife, but born after they got divorced and right before she died of an overdose, in his apartment, in bed with another man, who also died the same way. (Nasty time explaining that to the Gestapo in the Reich-Staat!) He is a visionary "dimensionist" who sees visions of other dimensions and occasionally other times. This leads him to make art that is quite disturbing to some, involving decay over time, reflections that show other worlds, and things like that. It also is what lead to his experimentation with mind altering drugs. Of particular interest to the story, he started writing a manga in middle school, which he has never had the confidence in to publish or really share with anyone, as he is "not a writer". The main character in it is a girl named Gemz who lives in an alternate world. Gemz has the ability to "see the right path" associated with any decision and most of the stories revolve around her helping her friends and family make the right choices in life, or others ignoring her advice and finding out how right she was. It is basically a slice-of-life romantic comedy with the main character never actually finding "Mr. Right". The Owen in each dimension writes about a Gemz that resides in the other dimension. (So the American Owen writes about a Gemz that lives in the Reich Staaten and vice-versa.) Gemz has long, wavy red hair and pale, almost grey, blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris. One might say that Owen is obsessed with Gemz, as she appears in his dreams on a regular basis and he carries around a sketch pad at all times that he uses to draw pictures of her in various states of dress, and lack there of, whenever he is bored or has time to do so. The pictures range from manga style drawings to photo-realistic portraiture. Owen is just short of finishing his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and has already started teaching art classes at the local community college.

Juliana (Jules) Barrett: A computer science post doc at a large university in central Illinois. She grew up in Western Michigan and came to Illinios during Owen's "third final year" of his MFA program at the same university. She is studying Quantum Computing and working in the lab that is building the prototype for a functional instantaneous communication device, or "Ansible". She has the same ability as Gemz in Owen's manga, which is really an ability to sense other universes and determine which choice leads to the best outcome, at least in a limited way. She is also a redhead with startling light blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris. They meet at a coffee shop and a friend of hers sees Owen drawing Gemz on his sketch pad and makes the mistake of thinking he is actually sketching Jules, which prompts him to confront him about invading her privacy. The misunderstanding is cleared up, he buys them both a coffee, and Jules and Owen eventually begin to fall in love, though she is a bit taken aback when she finds and reads his manga and finds that it has strong, sometimes eerie parallels to her own life. She really wonders if she has come into the clutches of some kind of stalker. She never actually tells him how accurate some of his stories are about her life, as she is afraid it will scare him. He may find out from other people about some of the similarities, but I haven't decided that yet. They develop a strong bond, move in together, and get married. As a joke, Jules starts using an on-line username of Gemz, though Owen never calls her that, and seems to stop dreaming about Gemz altogether, having more disturbing dreams in place of the usually happy visions of his dream girl.

Raul Mendez: The friend that accidentally introduced Jules and Owen. He is a Cognitive Neuro-psychology Graduate Student who works with nano-tech quantum brain sensors. Both he and Jules work in the lab of a noted quantum physicist, located in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University. He has a theory that some human brains have a genetic ability to sense, or even cross, dimensions at the quantum level. His research involves the use of peyote, LSD, and other substances, which he believes can put a person without the genetic ability into a state where they can sense other dimensions, or drastically enhance the abilities of a sensitive person. He also has some theories about traumatic events leading to "dimensional transference" or physical manifestations that cross dimensions.

I am still using the device where chapters that take place in the Reich Staaten will be told from the perspective of Owen and stories from the US will be told from the perspective of Jules. I have developed some of the details, including a major crisis point in the plot that takes place after the main couple is married and Jules is pregnant with their first child, but I won't share that here, since, if I ever get it written, it is meant to be a huge shock to the reader.

Some sources of inspiration for this story come from Phillip K. Dick, obviously, and Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves (a great story!) but also several animes, including Noin, Steins;Gate, Clannad, and Madoka. The story in my head is probably a bit intense for the PG-13 crowd, with a significant amount of content about drug use, sex, and other 'adult relationship' stuff. If done as manga, there would likely be several discrete nude scenes, with the potential of some 'H' scenes in the mid to late portions of the story, though they would be better done without anything explicit, or at least nothing beyond the level of the sex scenes in Rumbling Hearts.

Here is the link to the prologue.

I still thing it would work better as a manga, since most of the ideas are very visual.

That is all for now. Please let me know if you think this will be a workable story world! If you think you would be interested in drawing something like this, let me know! Maybe we can work together. (Or better yet, draw a few frames and let me see your ideas!)

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Well, I have finally gotten to the point that I am working actively on this story. I am almost 1/3 of the way through the book. I will be posting "Part-1" in PDF form so people can check it out in a day or two. If any of you would be willing to serve as readers to help read the story, double check that it makes sense and I didn't mess up a section when revising, and also provide feedback on it to a) help me improve the story or b) encourage me to not quit my day job, I'd appreciate it. Please send me a PM if you would be willing to do a bit more detailed reading and critique than the average topic reader...

Thanks!

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sounds interesting, I would love to read it.

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Okay... Here is a bit of explanation as to the direction the story has taken and some links to Part 1.

First, this is no longer, strictly speaking, science fiction, if it ever was with the multiple universes and people who have what certainly seem like psychic abilities. It has gone fully into science fantasy mode, including characters that can be thought of as faeries, Sihde, or, to be precise, Tuatha De Danann, though they are more similar to certain characters that the denizens of this particular message board are very, very familiar with than to the faeries in most stories. (Interestingly, I have found sites that refer to the tuatha De Danann's disappearance from Ireland after their defeat by the Gaels as their stepping outside of space-time, which is what I had come up with prior to reading searching for goddess names.)

Part 1, with the prologue, is 160 pages. There is also a Dramatis Personae, table of contents, and a few pages of end notes. I found out while writing this that I am far too fond of end notes, they can be addictive. If you find I am explaining things that are patently obvious in the end notes, that is probably why... Conversely, if you find something you think needs an end note and doesn't have one, feel free to feed my addiction...

In any event, here are the links:

The PDF Version - for casual reading...

MS Word version - for inserting comments, grammar corrections, suggestions, etc... If you would like to help me with the editing, please let me know. I will incorporate the comments from all early-readers once I have them back. (If you are going to help on that account, download the DOCX file and edit in the document. It should track changes. You can then send it back to me when you are done.)

I might suggest using the Word doc for reading if you have the ability. The interface for reading in Word is rather nice, including live links to the end-notes, which lets you jump back and forth easily. The PDF version doesn't have that functionality.

Let me know what you think!

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If anyone has downloaded this, there will be an updated version going up in the near future... It has a bit more visual detail and a bit more "grit" in terms of the alternate world... (And several really dumb grammar corrections...)

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OK, the updated version of Part 1 is available.

PDF Version

Docx Version

Let me know how you like it if you are reading!

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Well, it has been more than two and a half years since I posted the PDF version of Part 1 of the novel... Recently, I was looking at it again and decided that the word count made it long enough to publish on its own, so instead of part 1, it is now Book 1 of the Convergence series... AND, I am self-publishing it on Wattpad as "Convergence Book 1: Approach / Avoidance. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!

 

Also, I started a Patreon account, with the hopes of people donating enough that I can afford to commission an artist to turn it into a light novel. The current cover illustration is partially my own work, but the character art is by Hale, who draws the webcomic Sundaze, which is available on Tapastic and Tumblr. She is a GREAT artist and did the picture of Jules (the female protagonist of the novel) as my prize for an art giveaway she did for her 1 year anniversary for Sundaze.

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Book 1 is nearly finished on Wattpad and I am hard at work on book 2. I am looking for early readers, so if anyone would like to help me out, I would appreciate the help a ton! If you haven't read book 1, it isn't that long. (Book 2 is almost up to the page count of book 1 already... I think I need an editor...) 

 

If you would like to help me out, let me know and I will send you a private link to a word .docx version of the early chapters of Book 2, along with a link to the full version of Book 1 in whatever form you would like (I have PDF, Word .docx, EPub, AW3, and Mobi, though the Mobi version isn't quite right in some ways... it looses some of the line effects that delineate sections of the text so I'm not happy with it... (grrrr)) There is also an introduction at the beginning of Book 2 that gives a brief synopsis of book 1 that might be enough to understand what is going on to get into the story wihout reading book 1, but it really isn't that long... :)

 

Anyway, send me a PM if you are interested in helping! PLEASE! 

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Big news! The first book of this series, which is now titled Fionnbhara Convergence, is available on Amazon. The book is titled Convergence 1: Approach / Avoidance. It is available via Kindle Unlimited if you happen to use that service as well. Reviews drive independent books on Amazon, so if you have read it in the past or have the chance to read it, please toss out a review! :) Book 2 is actually finished in terms of story and I am working on editing it and cleaning up the grammar and such, as well as looking for inconsistencies between books 1 and 2, as well as starting on Book 3.

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Here is the book cover for Convergence 2:

i-GfkxQkS-M.jpg

 

What do you guys think?

 

EDIT: In case you haven't seen it, this is the Book 1 cover:

i-bMHF5ZR-M.jpg

 

EDIT: Newest modification of the Book 2 cover:

 

i-TSRPDL4-M.jpg

 

I got a better blimp. Put the fire "inside" it, then made the whole thing more 2D by using the "Comic" filter and blending it with the original. Also, by flipping the direction of the cello and violin, those of you who read Japanese might recognize what character they are making now? :)

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Does SF stand for Sci-Fi?

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