I’ve been taking some time off, and will probably continue for a few more weeks at least, to mourn the loss of my mother. She recently passed after a four year battle with cancer. Thankfully, I have many many talented author friends who are willing to help fill in.
Karl Benjamin has helped critique many of my stories and brought light especially to the places where my scientific research has failed. A very useful skill. He is also a kind and supportive man, married to one of my closest friends, who is just starting out on the author journey. I hope you enjoy this blurb he’s so willingly shared from his WIP.
Hi I’m Karl Benjamin. I’m a math and science teacher at an international school. My wife has been publishing solidly researched work for a few years, and after helping her occasionally with edits and read-throughs, I thought I might try an idea of my own.
Below is an excerpt from part one of what might be a sci-fi trilogy or a series. The complexity of the world I’ve ended up with has made me slow down and not rush the end...which seems ever farther away. I enjoy the challenge, and don’t know if I want to finish this, or just keep writing.
I am a newbie writer, and this is only a first draft, but tell me what you think in the comments below! Honest answers only. :)
Chapter 27: Solitary
Minutes pass. Hours, hell, maybe days. It’s hard to tell for Gil, because there is no sense of time inside the Sim…at least none that made any sense to the outside world. Not knowing where he is in reference to the black hole…or the diurnal cycle…makes it even harder for him to tell time. All he knows is, he is still thinking. He had finished mourning the repeated loss of his wife, and the fact that his children were still so far out of reach, when the Sim broke down. The undulating walls started to freeze up and pixelate, giving Gil hope that there may yet be escape. He may yet be able to get the ship, along with his wife at least, into the boundary world between the black hole and the singularity as it collapses. Maybe, just maybe, there, in that asymptotic place in the timelines between inside and outside, he can find a kind of forever for him and his wife, fleeing ever further into the singularity from the outside. Fleeing for their lives, but at least fleeing together. Not alone anymore.
The Sim finally crashes and disintegrates, leaving Gil disoriented in the much larger thinking space of the Terrace. The people are strangely absent, no more screaming panicky emotions, no more calls for help. Just him in the…wait…the space is smaller too. He tries to set up another Sim, but the computer doesn’t respond.
Nothing. It was foolish to think she was there anyway.
Nothing again. Then a strange thought occurs to him.
Nothing…then an incredibly strong migraine causing cacophony kicks in, like it was right at the beginning, with him and the Captain, except this time it was only him. The algae is the only other passenger now, speaking in whatever terms it sees fit in the minute electrical interactions incurred from absorbing light from the outside.
“Light! There’s light outside. At least I know that. The algae has started photosynthesis again, that’s a good sign.”
Gil would sigh, but getting kicked out of the Sim means that he’s once again without a body. The only thing he possesses in this state is his thoughts and emotions. He’s back to just thinking, and trying to use his thoughts to connect.
“Let’s see, I’m somewhere between the outer boundary of one black hole and the inner boundary of the universe. That’s a start…only a few million light years of space to rule out to figure out what chances I have.”
Gil thinks for another moment. He’s still in the algae, but no one else is there. Maybe…one more check.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” No answer.
Ok, so he has to figure out what is going on from the photosynthesis going on in his processing domain.
“So…light. Light means that I’m in a space where light can travel, light is not stuck. I must be in a normal space.”
He studies the brain splitting noise, and after a while is able to pick apart a pattern; it’s like the turbulent surface of a lake as it’s inundated with hail. The hail itself, he guesses, is the light hitting the algae. The pattern is that there’s only some sizes of hail; some sizes, which would be like some colors (if he’s right guessing that it’s light), aren’t coming in. If that’s the case, then he must either be blueshifted or redshifted really heavily against most of the background. He’s moving really fast, or he’s really close to a singularity surface. Maybe. Either way, something big is going on outside, and he’s riding on a tiny fragment of what used to be a huge ship with all kids of support.
In a few more moments, he notices the cacophony start to fade.
“Oh that’s a bad sign. Why isn’t the algae absorbing any more?”
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