It looks like sci-fi isn’t the only thing I like writing. Who knew?
I’ve been working on a couple of loosely connected stories which I mentally file under “Guardians”. I think the first one, Subterra, falls within the same construct, if not the exact storyline. Garden City is inspired by another city I know, and I suppose it could be classified as magical realism.
Emerging from Subterra is, in a sense, impossible.
I would sit an extra three stops on the railway as it rattled underground like an octogenarian’s dying breath, simply so I could watch it emerge from the subterranean sphere into the twilight in the Center.
A few years ago, I fell irrevocably in love with science fiction. I’d always enjoyed it, of course, but then I began thinking about it, about what makes good sci-fi and whether I’d ever get there myself. This is basically the attempt at getting there.
Droid And Prejudice
Maufrais is about to make history when his team develops the first true AI android. But, as usual, the Powers That Be decide to do some extra testing – by sending his team back into the early 20th century.
Part 1: The Metal Man
Part 3: “Thank you, sir.”
Revisiting memories is painful enough. Revisiting the past in person is debilitating.
Notes: There isn’t actually a reason why this is called Horology (the science of measuring time, the art of making timepieces) except that I liked saying it out loud.
The Rules of Time Travel
Mucking about with time is a tricky business. No one knows that more than Font, and none know it less than the Academy’s newest recruits.
A BIG thank you to my lovely beta-reader, soera, who suffered through about a month of my talking paradoxes at her.
Part 3: We Do Not Create Paradoxes
Part 4: The Importance of Research
Plugging the holes of Time, Font realizes, can take far more out of a man than he imagined. Features a Historically Accurate Character.
It is said that Isaac Newton, as much a Christian-mystic as he was a scientist, declared that there were seven colors in the rainbow purely because he believed seven was a number of mystic importance.
The people who actually travel in time. They were called cold-jumpers during the first few years of time travel because they often had to leap back in time with minimal knowledge of their environment, even with geochronohistorian support. Later, after the time period where Horology takes place, they’re addressed as Travelers instead.
The people who ensure time travelers are jumping to a point and time in the past that’s relatively safe. This requires an intensive study of the location, time period and socio-political forces.
Jumps happen all the time – which means the potential for mistakes increases continuously. If the history anomalies start ratcheting up, we need a team to rectify them. But since the causes can be buried in a slew of jumps, we’ll have to call in the crack team – the first cause detectives. They are also loaned out to tragedy prevention every now and then.
The people of this department make sure no historical tragedies happen in the here and now – e.g. famines, genocides. Because ChronIn has a strict policy of no-interference in the tragedies of the past, they limit the maximum travel time to 1 year into the past.
The Reference Room
Possibly the most important room in the whole of the ChronIn complex. Question: how do we keep track of history? Answer: by comparing it with a reference. This room is time-static, meaning that it never changes with the flux of time.
This history is compared with mainstream history books of today every second or so, to make sure that nothing major is changing in history.
Big Red Alarm of Doom, or Brad, as it is affectionately called, beeps when the historical inaccuracies (noted by huge servers, which stand in a time-static room) ratchet up past a predetermined level.
History changes can happen to around 10% (of total history) before an alarm goes off. Someone needs to go back and find the point of divergence (the point of history where changes begin occurring) before the changes climb up again.
Individual operatives of ChronIn shouldn’t affect historical flow too greatly – but if one goes renegade, then we’re all in trouble. Which means that ChronIn operatives will also get an entry within the archives, sealed at the point of time in which the information is entered. Those alarms could go off if history diverges more than 15%.