Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Experimental Structures

I'm a writer who likes to tinker with unusual story structures.

The Chronopticus Trilogy is no exception. The first book in the series, Fractal Standard Time, as I've alluded to before, is full of fractals. The narrative arcs of each group of three stories are fractals and even the streets in the colony are named after mathematicians or often related to fractals (Cantor, Hilbert, etc.). Although I given a lot of thought to rewriting the first book as a full novel (as some have suggested), I think it would take away from the larger idea I'm trying to portray. That larger idea will hopefully become more obvious when the third book, Chronopticus Rising, comes out this fall.

At the center of the whole series is a set of Martian colonies. Yet the founders of those colonies have a dark past and long range goals to turn the colonies into their very own version of "Eden". That Eden, it turns out, is not even remotely like the Biblical version. As each book progresses, the history of the founders and the "Eden Project" becomes clearer and clearer. Hopefully, by the end of the series, if I've done everything right, each book will be like traveling down a mountain...where the width grows from peak to bottom. This more or less matches the understanding of the characters in the story about the Project and what really is being housed inside of the Chronopticus Complex in the mountains. By the way, did you know that mountain ranges can be rendered very realistically on a computer using fractals? throw out one more pattern...Fractal Standard Time has twelve chapters like the positions on a clock. Ionotatron has 24 chapters and Chronopticus Rising has 36. Yet underneath all these fractal structures is a deeper truth. In fact, one character in prison utters a simple line that explains what it all comes down to in the end. What's that line? I'll share it soon, but not too soon, because it's at a pivotal moment in book three.

As this last novel winds up, the next three projects in line will also attempt to incorporate some unusual structures into the narrative. Some hints on what is to come...suction vortices, standing waves, and tesseracts.

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