Supersymmetry by David Walton
Pyr is one of my favorite publishing houses because they strike a brilliant combination of innovative ideas and traditional polish to bring the best sci-fi and fantasy they can though it isn’t always what you are expecting. Therefore, I was thrilled to hear about Supersymmetry and couldn’t resist hosting author David Walton to discuss hard science fiction! Don’t miss the international giveaway of Supersymmetry at the bottom!
When writing science fiction, the question sometimes comes up: How much science is too much? Hard SF thrives on following the implications of new scientific concepts or technological inventions. But it’s a story, not a textbook! Ultimately, I don’t pick up a new novel to learn physics or chemistry. I want to read about characters I love caught up in circumstances so tense and compelling that the book stays glued to my fingers even when I know I should have turned off the lights and gone to bed an hour ago. Doesn’t too much science interfere with that?
This is an important question to me. My new novel, Supersymmetry, is chock full of quark-gluon plasma and M-theory and other quantum trifles. How could I immerse readers in the story without the science feeling like a classroom?
You might think it’s a balancing act – a little scientific explanation sprinkled throughout like salt to season your soup. Too little, and the story’s premise seems thin. Too much, and the action drags. You want to taste the saltiness, but get too much in one mouthful and you’ll spit it out. Right?
Wrong. The analogy sounds good, but it isn’t how I think of scientific storytelling at all. The truth is, you don’t want anything in your novel that’s boring. Not one page. Not one line. As a writer of SF thrillers, I’m not satisfied with science being like taking your vitamins, swallowed in a rush so you can get on to the action. I want it to be the chocolate chips in your cookie—a central part of what makes the book awesome.
But how to accomplish that? Here’s the secret: every sentence in the novel should create a feeling of tension. Every single line. If I tell you that two electrons can’t occupy the same quantum state simultaneously, you may be slightly intrigued, but not for long. If I tell you it’s called the Pauli Exclusion Principle, you’re already getting bored.
HOWEVER – if that simple fact about electrons is crucial to whether my character lives or dies, or loses his job, or ever sees his family again, then it matters. Then it’s part of the growing tension of the plot, just like a threatening letter or an argument with a spouse. If it matters to a character we love—not just in an intellectual way, but in a way that drives her to risk anything—then it matters to us.
Supersymmetry is chock full of science, but it’s science that matters. It’s first and foremost a book about characters: two young women, twins (but not twins), each in danger of losing her life for the other. A brilliant but insecure scientist whose fears make him easy prey for a character that thrives on manipulation. The science is a catalyst, the spark that ignites the plot and reveals who is willing to sacrifice so that others might live… and who is willing to sacrifice everyone to save himself.
Supersymmetry is available Sept. 1st, pre-order it now from Amazon!
David Walton is the author of the newly released SF thriller SUPERSYMMETRY. His other works include the quantum physics murder mystery SUPERPOSITION, Philip K. Dick Award-winning TERMINAL MIND, and historical fantasy QUINTESSENCE and its sequel, QUINTESSENCE SKY. You can read about his books and life at http://www.davidwaltonfiction.com/.
Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field. The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind. Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world.
The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley—the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people. The two young women must fight the varcolac, despite the fact that defeating it may mean resolving once again into a single person.
This giveaway is open internationally thanks to Pyr, the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, and I’ll be checking entries so please be sure to include accurate information!
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.