My Writing

Thank you to all those who entered the Goodreads giveaway contest for my latest book, Schroedinger’s Cheshire Cats.  The ten winners have been chosen and their copies should already be in the mail.
Writing sci-fi has been an amazing experience for me.  I had always been a consumer of sci-fi, but I never dreamed that being a producer of it would be so rewarding a process.  Self-publishing has allowed me to get my work out into the world, and my publisher, Authorhouse, has provided the quality tools and support to do so.  But self-marketing is not my strength.  Although a few of my friends are into sci-fi, my e-mail announcements of new books usually generate only a few polite sales beyond those hardcore fans.  I ran ads on Facebook a while ago that produced a lot of hits on my website, but no apparent sales.  This was the first giveaway I attempted, and watching the 776 entries arrive was encouraging.  I hope that the ten winners will each write an honest review and that some of the non-winners will also decide to read the book.
However, the most appreciated results of this giveaway so far were the three new ratings SCC received; one three-star and two five-star.  To have strangers connect so positively with what you are creating is what a writer needs to hear now and then.  Those stars have given new life to my efforts within the next book, Perturbations Of The Reality Field.
My next self-marketing attempt will be this August at the LI-CON2 convention on Long Island.  I’ll be behind my little card table selling all five of my titles, hoping that being present among the right audience will produce some positive results.  Stop by and say hello.

Religion in Sci-Fi

The Quantum Thief, 2010, by Hannu Rajaniemi is set in a universe of “embodied cognition” where souls can have many minds and many bodies.  Mentioned at the beginning, one of the super-powers in the story, the Archon, is tasked with turning the matter of the physical universe into a Prison, “to increase the purity of the Universe.  This is what their Father, the Engineer of Souls, taught them to love.  This is the way the world is made right.”  There is much religion and philosophy within this book to ponder, but you’ll never have time to do that on a first reading because you will be too involved with following the Thief, Jean le Flambeau, as he struggles to escape this prison during a very exciting sci-fi mystery story.

Mathematics in Sci-Fi

The Quantum Thief, 2010, by Hannu Rajaniemi starts out with “the prisoner’s dilemma” an aspect of game theory and the mathematics of rational decision making.  Outside the prison, “the games are not pure and perfect in their simplicity, capturing all of mathematics in their undecidability.”  Escaping the prison puts the hero deep into the “matrix” and the cool aspects of the tale are computational and physics related.  There is a nice simile tossed in, “a replicating strategy family, like a flyer in a Game of Life,” meaningful only to those who know that game.

Mathematics in Sci-Fi

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, 2010, Charles Yu.  Wow!  I loved this book!  It has mathematics to the nth degree.  Some of it in the form of inside jokes that made me laugh out loud.  Some of it, such as “equations that had sadness as a constant,” are in a “techno-poetic” style that I strive to achieve in my own writing.  Yu’s description of writing on a sheet of graph paper was absolutely fantastic, a journey into Minkowski space and the realm of “science fictional equations.”  If you don’t see the phrase “easy to use partial differential equations” as an oxymoron, but as a monster more frightening than Alien or Predator, then you won’t like this book.  But if “Zermelo-Frankel set theory plus the Continuum Hypothesis” sounds cool, go for it.
The story takes place in universe 31, “a smallish universe … Not big enough for space opera and anyway not zoned for it.”  “In terms of topology, the reality portions of 31 are concentrated in an inner core, with science fiction wrapped around it.”  The self-referential recursion of a book within a book within a book makes the paradoxes of time travel even more interesting.
I really, really liked “the wrapping”, but the “reality portions” in which the main character pursues his quest “find his father” are as deep and well done a theme as any I have read in sci-fi.  Absolutely wonderful!