The paperback edition of The Wheel went live today, a week early! This is exciting, as people can actually get a copy shipped directly to them. Our sincerest thanks to ThreeSkilletPublishing for busting their backsides for this early release. The Kindle version is still set for May 1st, but you can preorder from Amazon, and the book will download directly to your Kindle or other electronic device on the 1st.
We know that subatomic particles can be shifted around. Within the alternative realities of The Wheel, the rules are what Levi and other programmers decide they are, within limits, of course. If Levi wants to give someone blonde hair, that's certainly within the limits of reality. So is massive strength, or a sun emitting light at a different wavelength, or even creatures that we've never heard of. However, sometimes the rules of reality dictate what turns up in the realities.
Caitlan checks the tuning of a mirror, and the nocs can tell what's through the mirror. At one point, we learn that a mirror reflects one thing from one side, but the person standing on the opposite side sees something entirely different. And, when a mirror is broken, it's just glass, shattered, and as ordinary as anything in the everyday world.
Death and Destruction make up a binary star system in The Wheel. (Yes, those are the stars' names!) I also reference binary star systems in other places in the book, and as I was writing, I did research to make sure I was on the mark with my star systems.
What surprised me most is that our own sun, a solitary star with a set of planets, is more of a rarity than we might think. The reality is that nearly 80 percent of all solar bodies have at least two stars in their systems, and many have three or more! (A good description of multiple star systems can be found here: http://www.space.com/22509-binary-stars.html)
I got the idea of Kartye Tree from an image I dreamt one night. Imagine a pogo stick, where you leap on it, and it springs you off in a new direction. In modern medical science, we've already applied that concept to prosthetics, where handicapped runners wear modified limbs to gain both distance and height, and in the process, outdistance their opponents. All it takes is the energy of the human body, and the modified limbs multiply it by a variable factor to create more thrust than otherwise possible.
How much thrust would 100,000 people be able to generate if you could apply it all at once? That's what Kartye Tree does, accumulates all the energy in each step taken by each person on board the tree, and at a pivotal moment, it releases it, thrusting the ship forward in a mighty leap, and in the process, it builds momentum in the long trip among the stars.
I put a fire under ThreeSkilletPublishing and got them on the ball, and while you can't read The Wheel just yet, you can pre-order the Kindle version! It will drop automatically onto your Kindle (or other electronic device) on May 1st!
In case anyone doesn't know, a Kindle book can be read on any device. Android. Apple. Home PC. You need to download the free Kindle app. I use it on my iPad and my computer (although I have three Kindles, one for every occasion!). Go to Amazon.com and search Kindle app. Amazon will ask you to create a free account, but that's so they can store your purchases online. That way if your device dies, you still have access to your purchased books.
The Wheel tells the story of two men exiting their mining suits, but they have to be inserted at the beginning of each nine-month duty rotation. The process is a little more complicated than simply inserting a brain jack.
For a first timer, a "newbie," a little surgery is involved. Here's how it might go.
Purgatoria is the human visualization of a Biblical hell. Truly. It orbits a red sun, and its proximity to its sun creates violent upheavals in the planetary crust. Volcanic activity is massive, and the gravitational friction that churns the core of the planet keeps the surface heated well above the tolerance levels of humanity.
Yet, it is that same volcanic activity that makes Purgatoria such a prize for 32nd century mining companies. The planet constantly boils its mineral deposits to the surface, so they lie right within reach. The drawback? Bare flesh is toast under the onslaught of the fire that continuously rages across the surface. Volcanoes boil the interior of the planet to the surface, and the outgassing of tons of poisonous vapors means the air itself must be filtered. Spend a year breathing the raw outflux of Purgatoria, and you'll be in a regen-tank, hoping there's enough of your lungs to regrow a new set.
The website went live yesterday. I've gotten incredible response on social media, and I appreciate all the support. The official release date is set for May 1, but I'm hoping I can convince ThreeSkilletPublishing to let me send out a pre-release download on Kindle before then. Two fingers crossed! I'll try to get back online later today and do a write-up on The Wheel. I've been thinking about those mining machines, and I have some thoughts I would like to offer.
To all my loyal supporters out there: We're going to break the sky! Wahoo for The Wheel!