Friday, October 17, 2014

Ye Of Little Faith

17th October 2014

There are people, some of them my friends, who balk at the idea of being seen with a time travel book like mine in their hands. They think it reflects badly on them: REAL literature is not taken to such flights of fancy - it deals, if somewhat poetically, with REAL life or with Quirky life or with an Aberration of life, but always with tangible life, thank you very much.  The REAL reader of fiction is a no-nonsense sort of reader, and time travel, they think, is precisely that: nonsense.
I was giving a reading earlier this year and found myself saying, "Time travel isn't as far-fetched as it used to be." This caused a wave of titters to move across the room. But I am right, you know. Our whole notion of both space and time is dissolving about our ears, and neither one is that solid entity we once mistook it for. Reality, science is beginning to concede, is what you make it. Reality, as it turns out, might be the best case of mass hallucination there is.
At another reading, I came to the conclusion (with the audience) that my book really falls into the genre of Magical Realism. Why does Gabriel Garcia Marquez get to put the tail of a pig on babies and have people floating about, while when I have people floating about, it is deemed low brow supermarket nonsense? I take umbrage at this. All books ask the reader to take a leap of faith. It's just that I am asking them to jump a bit further. So is Marquez.

Jump, and you will be vindicated when the first contraption makes it possible to send your collection of atoms through space and time to another spot. Scientists are already teleporting photons, for god's sake. So, don't go scoffing at my time travel book! If you want reality as Newton saw it, I have a whole backlog of unpublished books with people up to their ears in the quagmire of hard reality.  Maggie, the protagonist of "Veil Of Time," is actually doing the same, trying to find her life, and in the process digging up some questions about what we lost when the pagans were ousted.

These ancestors of ours would have had less of a hard time with the idea of time travel. It was the Christians who made time look like a long line because they needed to put God at the beginning and heaven at the end. The pagans knew that time doesn't really exist. They were masters of magical realism, and not only Marquez but McDougall would have been up there on their bronze-age shelves. Right next to Hawking's A Brief History of Time. You see, they wouldn't have been able to tell the difference.

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