Cyber-Witch is now available on Amazon and IngramSpark.
A gritty and dark novel about the real-world AI threat highlighted in a cyberpunk theme, drug addiction, genetic hybrids, killer-drones, nanobots, and the transformation of the world. Warning: adult themes including sex, drug addiction, and violence.
First Review:5 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Excellent story that contains a realistic look at where our technology could be headed. The writing is strong and articulate while fully immersing the reader in the story. Grab this book.”
Second Review:5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful vision well-realized. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Sometimes we get ideas, simple ones, that in actualization are difficult. I think this story is of one such overarching idea, but executed well. I don’t want to give away the big idea, but the bulk of the story builds a long sort of mythology to it, culminating in the battle with the BBEG. The last bit of the story ties it all in together, using the story as a springboard for the grand idea. There were some slowish bits, especially the first three chapters or so before the actual plot really reared it’s head. Once that happened, the story runs full tilt toward the climax. Then the magic happens.”
I wanted to make my story (Heart of Fire Time of Ice) both believable and scientifically possible. That’s a real challenge when it comes to both out-of-body experiences and time-travel. I spent a lot of time investigating time-travel as it relates to quantum physics. There are at least a few physicists who think it may be possible. Of these, I chose to use the ideas of Fred Alan Wolf.
Dr. Wolf’s description of ‘Extraordinary Time-Travel’ fit my needs perfectly. It would have been difficult to have a time machine. I could have done it, but I had a vision of how my heroine was going to travel, and a machine would have been difficult for her to handle. In addition, I didn’t just want to say, “Ta-Da! Behold: Time-Travel!”
That’s the general approach one finds in many stories, so it’s acceptable, but the problem is that it requires full buy-in by the readers. What I mean by that is the readers have to agree (probably subconsciously) that they’ll go along with the more or less magical rules that exist inside the author’s book.
I wanted to make it easier to believe that my heroine could have translated back to the past. To do that, I had to come up with a literary description of Wolf’s ideas. Don’t get me wrong. Dr. Wolf is an excellent writer. However, his description of time-travel is a little too scientific to fit well into a work of fiction.
My problem was that I had too much information in my head. My original description of Kathleen’s work and time-travel was so elaborate that almost every reader would have put the book down in disgust when faced with those sections. I ended up chopping out large sections of what proved to be unnecessary description.
I wanted to include a section on the possibility of time-travel as described by Wolf just in case you, dear reader, want to explore the idea further. As a result of that desire, here are my working notes:
Time and possibility are intimately connected in the way that possibilities change to probabilities when awareness enters the picture. The basic idea here is that possibilities exist within your mind, and probabilities exist outside of you. Consciousness is the key to changing from the internal possibility to the external probability.
When you become aware of information, you gain knowledge, and as a consequence probabilities change outside you in what we normally call the real world.
Every situation has a possibility wave representing it. Changing the physical situation will change the possibility wave. This impacts the result of making choices in the wave we’ve just observed. The effect is that we change our awareness.
Quantum computers work with quantum bits (qubits), which are pure number possibilities. A qubit’s possibility wave oscillates between a positive maximum and a negative minimum. This wave represents the possibility of a qubit having the value zero at any instant.
Since a qubit may be either zero or one, but not negative, a negative possibility wave value must be squared in order to convert it to a real number. When two superpositioned possibility waves are squared, they yield a probability curve. Possibility waves may be added and then squared to get a probability curve, and the probability curve is directly related to real world events in a way that the possibility wave is not.
Possibility waves are in the mind and probability curves correspond to reality. We have a probability curve when we become conscious of reality. We deal with possibility waves when we are internally focused.
Experiments done at Princeton’s PEAR lab show that the mind can impact reality, albeit in what most people would feel is a relatively minor fashion. If Wolf is correct, the mind does this through converting possibility waves to probability curves by squaring, thus producing probabilistic effects in the real world.
Physicist John G. Cramer has stated that possibility waves travel through space and time in both directions: from the present to the future, and from the future back to the present.
To generate a usable, real-world result of this bi-directional travel, the original possibility wave must be squared by multiplying it by its complex conjugate wave. The complex conjugate wave is a solution to the same equations solved by the original possibility wave, provided that time runs backwards in the solution instead of forwards.
Cramer calls the original wave an offer wave, and the conjugate wave an echo wave. These waves cycle back and forth until they satisfy a variety of reality requirements and boundary conditions. Then the bi-directional transaction is complete, and that changes the possibility waves into probability curves.
One of the interesting points is that if both possibility wave and complex conjugate wave are real, then time must not be one-way only.
Events of the past must still be around. Events that are to happen must already exist. When our brains remember past events they may not be digging through our memories, instead they may be constructing the past based on multiplying the forward and backward moving possibility waves.
This implies that the future also exists. If so, you are sending possibility waves in that direction, and someone also called “you” in the future is sending complex conjugate possibility waves back through time to be received by the present you.
If the modulated waves reach some resonance or strength level, then a real future or a real past may be created.
The rule seems to be: the greater the probability, the more meaningful the transaction and the greater the chance of it occurring. Past and future are simply reference points based on our sense of “now”. “Now” is defined as the most meaningful sequence with the strongest waves.
Everything we do involves a probability curve as we learn to do it. We get better and better with practice and achieving our desired result becomes more and more probable. Think of a basketball player learning to shoot free-throws. The more he practices, the more likely he becomes to make the shot.
Every skill implies a probability curve in our consciousness and its effect is expressed through time. When we no longer have to pay attention to the probability curve in any skill, we label the skill a habit.
Possibility waves are not available to us in space-time. Probability waves are. Possibility waves seem to reside in sub-space time. So, how do we access sub-space time?
Western culture believes that all human experiences are rooted in the physical world. That is normally an unspoken assumption that underlies everything we do. However, there is no proof to back up this conclusion.
Your awareness of being in your body at this precise moment implies that there is more to you than just your body. Quantum physics tells us repeatedly that the basis of the idea of a real physical world is flawed; that there is something prior to space, time, and matter.
This something is an infinitely dimensional sub-space time. Quantum processes are vital here, and somehow, consciousness appears to play a fundamental role at the level of even the most primary matter. Even at the level of atoms and subatomic particles.
Possibility waves appear to exist purely within sub-space time, while probability curves mark time and link the person and the mind. Possibility waves form what may be viewed as interior consciousness and there, in the interior, the mind can be free from the present time.
With discipline, the mind seems to be able to draw meaning from sub-space-time. In the process of dealing with probability curves, the mind moves from the purely imaginal realm into the physical realm. There are two processes involved in the squaring operation: a mathematical squaring operation that focuses the mind and a second squaring that allows the mind to let go or unfocus. That happens in this way:
When we direct our attention to something, it is at first a large blur, then a sharp focal point, and then a smaller blur. This is the rule in normal time order that we are accustomed to. When a sequence of such triplets reaches the point that the first blur and the second blur are the same size, we are then able to predict the sequence in the future.
Consciousness acts in the universe similar to adding energy to a refrigerator, reversing the law of entropy. The act of focusing and focusing creates our sense of time. Thus, a form of time-travel is a necessary part of the way the mind functions and the way time works. We can individually move forward and backward through time either faster or slower than the rate at which objective time moves. The old saying that, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” thus becomes literally true.
Our egos seem to tie us to this time stream in our effort to survive in a hostile world. Freeing ourselves from our ego may then release us from the time stream.
What we think we are, and what we truly are, are not identical. The ego is a boundary separating the outside world from our internal existence. It does so as an evolutionary attempt to enhance survival.
Time thus seems to be a projection of mind. It is as real as thought. If we can defeat our ego, Wolf thinks we can become aware of our ability to time travel.
Since physics shows (surprisingly) that time travel is a necessary part of physics’ structure, then it is a necessary part of the universe. Wolf thinks that far-reaching time travel paradoxes can be avoided as long as there is only one person involved. For big changes to be made in the past involving parallel universes, many people would be needed. The past may not be fixed, but instead may be subject to the uncertainty principle.
The common human desire for spiritual change may be a sign of our waking from our belief in linear time. When we realize we aren’t limited by space and time, but are continuous and eternal, we can return to the timeless realm.
The most likely mode for this transition would be through a lucid dream or out-of-body experience. Dr. Wolf has stated that if time-travel were to happen in this way, one would simply awaken from a conscious (lucid) dream in another time.
In my opinion, we are an energy waveform at our most basic expression of existence in this universe. As the material manifestation of a complex energy structure, I think we could transition to other times, provided that our spiritual development permitted it. We would have to be in an altered-state to make this translation. Such a state could most likely be induced through drugs or strong emotions.
Stripped of all of the physics explanation, this is the basic mechanism that I used in the story: Kathleen is an accomplished out-of-body practitioner who is placed in an untenable situation. To avoid this situation, she slips into an altered-state. While in that state, she squares the possibility wave functions, creating a probability of +1 that her energy wave is else-when. When she awakens from this state, she finds she has transitioned to another time.
If you’re interested, I hope you decide to read the story. It’s usually placed in the top 5% of its category on Amazon.
Note: Probabilities statistically have a range of 0 to 1. They may not be negative numbers, and they do not exceed 1. To exceed either of these limits makes no physical sense. The number 1 represents something that has actually happened. The number 0 represents something that has absolutely no chance of occurring.
The title of this post may lead some readers to quip, “There is none,” but I think it can be demonstrated that speculative science fiction can play a valuable role in scientific endeavors.
Let’s begin by considering the scientific method. It’s basically a mental tool that has evolved to explain the phenomena of nature. It is supposed to be used in a way that leads to testable predictions that can be used by humans to manipulate their environment in a reproducible way. The steps of the method involve creating an hypothesis – a thought story or explanation of an observed phenomenon. The hypothesis must fit well with other known facts related to the phenomenon. Tools such as Occam’s Razor are often applied to ensure the hypothesis is as simple as possible.
The primary criterion for an hypothesis is that it lead to testable predictions. If it can’t be tested, then its explanatory value is roughly akin to that of magic. Science generally doesn’t operate on the basis of, “It happens because it happens,” or “It happens because of a wizard who wants it that way.” For those who are so minded, one can say, “It happens because the universe is so constituted,” but that still doesn’t fit the criteria for testability.
The hypothesis is used to create predictions and then experiments are designed to (hopefully) test the predictions. I’m not going to delve into the problems with experimenter bias except to state that it exists and can innocently lead to mistaken assumptions about how to test the predictions. Of course, there are those who are biased and who intentionally design experiments to prove their bias, or even falsely report the data. Modern science is vulnerable to such problems due to the selection of experiments with sexy, positive results for publication and the relationship of being published with tenure and grants. But, that’s a structural problem that can and mostly is overcome by careful and conscientious researchers. There can also be bias due to established scientific fables; things that are believed by a consensus of scientists that later turn out to be incorrect.
When a hypothesis generates predictions that turn out to be correct, it can be woven into existing knowledge to create a scientific theory – a logically reasoned and self-consistent model.
The benefits of this approach are well known. In essence, modern society is largely due to our use of science as a tool for manipulating our reality.
Now that we’ve looked at what science is, lets back up for a moment to the point before an hypothesis is generated. This may be during the progression of a course of research by a scientist or scientists, but it might also be the result of curiosity about a novel question asked by nearly anyone. This is where science fiction can come into play as an entertaining, but possibly useful method of asking questions.
The science fiction genre covers all sorts of stories ranging from those that postulate fictional (and often impossible) worlds, those that deal with social issues such as gender identity or political structures, and those which deal with worlds that are more in line with the reality we’re presented with daily. Those latter forms of speculative science fiction can postulate devices, principles, and discoveries. Devices can range from communication devices (who knew that Captain Kirk’s communicator would end up as a personal cell phone with an unlimited number of functions) to weapons such as rail guns, plasma cannon, etc. to space ships of various types.
Speculative science fiction read by the right person can lead that person to ask critical “what if” questions in a form that might eventually lead to scientific discoveries and thus to the creation of new tools that can be used by humans to, “Boldly go where no man has gone before,” and this result is not an insignificant or trivial thing. To the extent that speculative thought leads to creation of novel hypotheses, science fiction likely plays an heuristic role in human development.
In light of this conclusion, I’ve tried to create devices such as FTL engines, matter transporters, and weapons that are loosely related to current research or, at least, speculative theories. My crystal ball broke the day before I started writing, though, so I doubt that my speculative devices will come into existence – at least in the form that I’ve described in my books.