Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Pillar of Salt" Novel Excerpt

Here is an except from my latest novel "Pillar of Salt". I chose this portion because of how it deals with time travel, and it's effects when one has the ability to travel backwards and forwards in time within a given limit. (In this case, about 1300 years). I hope you enjoy it.

**You can purchase a copy of my book here, for the hardback. Or here, for the paperback

His flight, to Portland, Oregon would take two hours and he had brought along the book Slaughterhouse-Five; a favorite of his. He loved the play on consciousness traveling through time. Billy Pigrim, the main character in the story would not physically travel through time, but his consciousness would. He would enter his mind at different points in his life, experiencing them and always seemingly staying the longest as it followed his life in world war II. It almost seemed like there was a linear constant for his body that his consciousness would always revert to.

This was something Jude had a hard time with. He understood time travel enough to know that he was most likely not the oldest version of his self. If he traveled to some time, in the future or past he could possible run into an old man named Jude Tab who would be his own self; just a different version. This also led to multiple dimensional decisions all within one spacetime dimension. He never could wrap his brain around the concept. What he does now, does not mean that there aren't other possibilities.

He thought about how this would happen. When he had first called his professor after exiting the CTT in 2672 the first time his professor answered. Because of his interference with that, his own self who had tried to call his professor and had gotten no response very well could have turned around and gone home. Or FORCE could have captured him first and he could be somewhere completely different. It was somewhat worrisome to him that his roommate had never mentioned another him—another Jude—had come home. So did he never make it? he thought.

He didn't like the idea that his linear and current self could be somewhere else and not experiencing what he was currently experiencing. It was unnerving. Because he was currently experiencing and currently making his own decisions how could he be anything but the current linear version of his self. This reminded him of a simple line in the book. It came from the aliens Tralfamadorians, “Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.” He wanted to know if what he was currently doing was predestined by some more current linear version of his self? An old gray haired man, laying in bed dying who had determined that he'd see his parents at this time...

He stopped himself. People had dwelt on this problem for centuries. Even in 3127, a little more than two-hundred years from the CTT-End, they still had no way of telling who was current. This led to great debates as to the aspects of freewill. How could anyone account for their actions if there was an older version of their self’s dictating what they were eventually going to do. The notion of freewill was muddled and in a abominably wrong way they incorporate the God creation theory of worlds. Skewing it to say that with each alternating jump—like that of Jude jumping again, affecting his previous self who called the professor—a new possible world or linear current time line is created.

This was even scientifically studied for several hundred years, working on the theory that they should be able to track a person’s linear self starting at birth. They took a group of twelve infants and injected them with a certain protein stand that should eventually, through time, slightly alter their DNA. Mutating them into something inhuman but unrecognizable to anyone but those studying them. The results were inconclusive at best as the radiation from traveling through the CTT's—although it was slight—progressed or digressed the protein strand until there was no common ground to determine where the individual’s linear current self ended. It was also impractical to mutate the entire human race to keep track of their linear selves.

Jude had decided some time ago to not worry about it. He felt that what he did now, inevitable would affect his most current linear self and so he could argue that all instances of a person were linear and affecting each other to eventually bring about an end result.


Matsby said...

That's cool, Cap. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around your theory of time travel, but maybe when I read the whole book it will come together for me.

Cap said...

I purchased "Science Fiction and Philosophy" a little while ago, and I actually found out that through closed time loops you are able to meet yourself. It turns out that because time is trapped in such a way the whole creating matter issue is resolved through some advanced quantum mechanics stuff... the odd thing is that this doesn't work directly with physics, but does with quantum mechanics. It's interesting.