Tag Archives: String Theory

Is today’s physics theories more fiction than fact?

I love reading science fiction because it looks into the future, and I am a curious person and like to see around corners or ahead on the path.

And writing science fiction is fun because you get to play God and harass your protagonist even more than you would your little sister.

However, science fiction has a word in it that often leads the writer down weedy trails…and that word is science. Some writers ignore science and just wave their hands, make up words like tachyon and presto, you have a transporter that gets you to the planet without the inconvenience of shuttle craft. Other writers get so much into the science that they become little professors and leave the reader yawning. I think that is why so many physicists become science fiction writers. But that’s another soapbox for another day.

Recently, I mentioned string theory and multi universes when discussing the popular novel, “The City and the City” by Meiville. Now I am writing “Past the Event Horizon: book 4” that includes a space journey involving dwarf stars, vortexes, space travel and all kinds of science stuff. I am trying to get the known science right and still have a story where my protagonist can travel far enough that he finds an interesting world outside his solar system. Okay, so I do some hand waving. Bradbury said that there were canals on Mars and we now know that isn’t true. Yet, his book The Martian Chronicles is a classic, and still sells.

I ran across this blog when twittering and thought I would mention it and give you a link. The reason? Because, if the science isn’t what an editor thinks it should be, you get called on the carpet. The problem is that the carpet is full of holes and even today’s scientists may have a lot of accepted theories wrong. Shock and amazement. Today’s science fact may be tomorrow’s science fiction. There are a lot of “accepted” theories in physics that have yet to be proven by more than fancy math. So if you are interested in the science of space, string theory or the Big Bang, give this link a gander.

Veronica Sicoe’s Blog “Open Your Eyes: science fact or fiction?  ow.ly/aquPr

Last week I read “Crystal Variation” by Sharon Lee because I am a Lee junkie. There must be a twelve step program somewhere. It’s maybe 1200 pages and the whole time I felt guilty thinking that I  should read something on a list somewhere…like “Among Others” which, honestly I started and put down. Jo Walton’s “Among Others” just garnered the Nebula award and I congratulate her. Except, I don’t have time while reading this really big book and taking all food intravenously. The dust and laundry are both piling up. I told my husband he needed to diet, but he complained he needed some food to eat. Nag, nag, nag.

I am finding it hard to really trust other Indie writers. They are all over the place screaming, “buy my book”, but when I read the plot summary, I run for the hills. Recently one on Amazon got 95 out of 110 five star reviews. That’s amazing. Then the plot read like a crazy story with devils, angels, end of the world, rifts in space…oh wait, that does sound familiar. A few of those things are in my new novel. But the other book doesn’t have a cool spaceship and a dying dwarf star like my story does.

My reaction to recent Indie stories is disturbing because of all people, I shouldn’t be the one running to established favorites, but rather I should be out there uncovering self-published masterpieces. The bottom-line is that, with my cranky maturity (read older) and this fast paced world we live in, I don’t want to waste my time reading what I don’t enjoy and paying for it. I want a story plot that appeals to me, a strongly recommended book, a writer I know, or a novel that’s on a list voted by people who read science fiction and love it.

How do you pick your scifi novels? And what are you loving right now?


Filed under award winning scifi, ebook science fiction, first contact, hard science, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, Nebula nominations, science fiction, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, Space opera, space ship, space travel, zero gravity

String Theory Influences Science Fiction

String Theory is an attempt to unite the General Theory of Relativity with Quantum Mechanics to form an overarching theory that explains “everything.” To unite the big of the universe with the small of particle theory. (see link for further explanation)


To do this, String Theory math requires at least ten other dimensions exist. String Theory was proposed in the nineties and is still being hotly debated as to its validity. Yet, the idea of other dimensions is showing up in science fiction novels and shows. It’s a fairly new direction and an intriguing one. The popular T.V. series “Fringe” deals with the concept of parallel universes.

My recent read of China Meiville’s The City and the City addresses the idea of overlapping dimensions. Think of The City and the City as a bit of Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984 all mixed together.

It concerns two contemporary cities somewhere at the edge of Europe that dimensionally overlap each other. A woman is murdered in the decaying and impoverished city of Beszal and Inspector Tyador Berlu gets the case. While inhabitants of both cities can see each other, they are taught from birth not to look directly at anything, or anyone from the other city, or they will be charged with an act of “Breach” and be whisked away, never to be seen again. This makes for a strange set of behaviors. People are constantly trying to avoid running into what they are forbidden to look at. Certain styles of dress and definitive movements provide clues as to which city an inhabitant is from. Still, the pressure of not looking at, or touching the hazy image that is often right in front of you, permeates the story.

Clues from the murder case impel Inspector Tyador Berlu into a strange border crossing from the city of Beszal into the overlapping dimension of the rich and thriving city of Ul Quoma where he joins up with his Ul Quoma counterpart, Inspector Quissim Dhatt. Of course the two men can’t stand each other, but they must work together in order to solve the case. So a bit of tension there.

The murdered girl is discovered to be an archeology student involved in a dig in Ul Quoma that is looking for artifacts from the Precursor Age. (before the dimensional split) Soon radical unificationalists, a rich foreign tycoon, local politicians, a controversial author, a young female sidekick, shadowy Breach enforcers and hysterical parents become involved.

Things get very confusing. A controversial author makes a case for a third shadowy city containing powerful beings and then loudly refutes his work. The murdered girl’s best friend disappears because she is terrified that her life is in danger. From whom exactly, is not made clear.

While the book contains the intriguing idea of multi dimensions wrapped in the structure of a murder mystery, I found the whole thing rather confusing. A lot of things kept being hinted at while not actually being said. People would look at things and then have to “unsee” them. I wasn’t sure whether there ever were aliens involved. The whole idea of the inhabitants of two cities having to step around and not look at each other or risk being taken away to Breach, is hard to believe. Everyone is terrified of “Breach” and yet throughout the book incidents of breach happen without punishment. The reader feels like he is being distracted from one red herring to another. And indeed he is.

It’s an odd book…and for that reason, interesting

If you like hard-boiled mystery novels with a science fiction slant, then this one’s worth trying.

L.E. Modesitt also has several novels with a similar flavor in his Octagonal Raven, FlashArchform Beauty and others. Check those out too.


FREE! FREE! FREE! For a limited time only May 13, 14, 15. A Mother’s Day Special. I am offering free through the Kindle Select Program my latest book “Cosmic Entanglement.”

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Filed under Alternate Universes, science fiction, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series