So, way back in the dark and dusty days of early 2016 I was working on a Novel which was tentatively titled ‘The Caster of Shadows’. I got about a hundred thousand words in, and was just chugging along, turning out chapter after chapter when something happened and for various reasons, I stopped and put the manuscript aside. The why and wherefore aren’t really all that important, though I suspect if anyone reads the novel and thinks about what happened back in March of 2016, they’ll be able to figure it out. But what is important is that I never really let go of the idea behind the novel.
I knew the manuscript was a mess and needed a ton of work, and over the years, I dragged it out, and pecked away at bits and pieces of it. I restructured the plot, rearranged the sequence of events, changed certain traits of certain characters, and at the end of the day, I had a mostly functional novel that just needed an ending. Last week, after I finished revisions on The Master of Puppets and Transistor, I dug ‘The Caster of Shadows’ out, gave it the title, ‘The Inevitable Singularity’ which is more appropriate both thematically, and which is tied into the events in the book, and started doing a revision pass.
My first thought was, “Holy fuck, this is good.” It’s not quite as personal a book as Transistor is, but there is a depth to the mythology and the world building I love, and a lot of that has to do with the way the book centers around an esoteric religious concept called ‘The Akashic Record’. The Akashic Record comes from a religion called Theosophy. Theosophy itself, like much of Western esotericism, is filled with Hooey, nonsense and a splash of racism in the form of orientalism.
And yet… The idea of the Akashic Record has captivated me for ages. The Akashic Record is a repository of all universal events, thoughts, words, emotions and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future in terms of all entities and life forms. Or more simply put, the Akashic Record is the repository of all information in the universe. Keep that word in mind. Information. We’ll come back to it in a bit.
Now, some of you may know, I have an undergrad degree is physics with a specialization in astronomy. Yes, Molly was once a bouncing baby astrophysicist. ‘What does that have to do with concepts from esoteric religions?’ you ask. Keep your pants on. I’m getting there.
See, in physics, there is this idea that information (I told you we’d come back to that word) can not be created or destroyed. Now, it physics, information means quantum information. Effectively, there is a permanent, indestructible record of quantum information.
See where this is going?
These ideas kind of came together for me in this sort of perfect storm as I was trying to figure out a system of space magic for my space wizards in this book series I wanted to write, and I ended up asking the question, “What if all of space time is fully quantized, and what if the Akashic Record is simply a record of every quantum state in the universe in all dimensions?” Which leads to, “What if my space wizards can do space magic by reading and selectively editing the Akashic field?”
It’s a wonderfully fun idea. Different levels of power come from different levels of skill at reading or editing the field. Different talents come from being better at editing the field in different ways. Being able to see the future though, that’s where things get interesting, because Schrödinger shows up with his cat and the multiverse is laid out before you, filled with billions and billions of uncollapsed wave functions. Suddenly, my book about space wizards and institutional abuse and systematic oppression became a book about space wizards and institutional abuse and systematic oppression and the nature of free will in a world where people can, and regularly do see the future with a fairly high degree of accuracy. It became about respecting the choices of others, about making sacrifices for the greater good, ethics, the Trolly Problem, destiny, and all the way love can hurt you.
This one is a hell of a ride. I just need to finish it.