About the Book
About the Author
About this Site
About the Book
Because it has spoilers, the following would be better read after reading the book. For now, there are more notes than there is structure here.
Some time ago, I could not decide which of two science-fiction books to write: the Rights of Numbers main story, or Dwell, the book Daniel carries. I decided to write them both into one.
The tough political inspiration is from Television’s: The Outer Limits, Rod Serling’s: The Twilight Zone, The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s efforts, and Edward R. Morrow’s real life presence.
The depth of character was inspired from anime’s Neon Genesis Evangelion as well as Female Perversions, Waking Life, and those who helped me stand at difficult moments: Maynard James Keenan, and Suzanne Vega.
Some of the science inspiration came from Jim Goodwin, Psy.D, the people involved the OpenEGG project on the Internet, as well as computing’s unsung hero: Ada Byron Countess of Lovelace.
If I was successful, the story’s twisted subplots and characters should converge imparting some of the flavor of James Burke’s excellent science program Connections.
The subplot and the story of Dwell was a real dream I had. As told, it is the fantasy of recovering the lost wisdom and culture of a people. You get extra credit for noticing the resemblance between the fire urns and human fingers.
To become analytical....
Several of the characters in the story have interesting attributes. I am not a doctor, but it was my intent to write several characters with PTSD and dissociative issues.
I tried to write John as being in a dissociative fugue. I wanted him to have those aspects of trauma which make people continue to cling to dangerous situations. While he is the most tweaked, I also wanted to give him common every day phenomena like highway hypnosis, which I hope most people could identify with.
Darlene was written to represent someone who works to overcome her fears by facing them.
Sandra Blake is fun to write for. In keeping with the dissociative theme, she is modeled after a ISH, or inner self helper. In the story, her mind had been modified with a fictional drug which made her empathetic on a permanent basis. The strange interaction between Sandra and Tyler asks the questions, “What is the opposite of dissociation? What holds are id, self, or soul to our living bodies, or at what point, or how is our consciousness related to our bodies?” It was my hope that if they thought it was surreal (depersonalization/derealization) to feel another body mingle with your own, perhaps the reader might believe it.
Tyler yawned because I did while writing how Sandra was waiting for the right moment to leave to cross paths with Sandra. I included the yawn because most people are suggestible to them. I included Sandra’s and Darlene’s chance meeting because motorcyclists/cyclists sometimes make an effort to make eye contact at street corners, and does that have any conscious or subconscious effects?
I wrote Kate to have grief issues from the loss of a child, but she deals with it by letting out her anger in a most destructive way.
While Freen was just an ordinary psychopath/sociopath, he was truly icky to write for. The reader spent an entire day with Freen, so I had worried that the reader might have become comfortable with him—just like his wife did.
Nicole, as written, would seem to have some obsessive compulsions. A lot of her straightening behavior was modeled after my grandfather’s.
Tim is easy; he is just a stressed out guy with an explosive temper caused by his anger of himself.
In Daniel’s book Dwell, the woman in the recording represents two ideas: Is it possible to encode language in our DNA, and what if someone’s neologisms could be someone else’s words. “Words, expect music from them, not sense.”: John Whitting (paraphrased.)
As a tactical problem, I like the imagery of Freen and John being in the story on opposite sides of the display. In some ways it suggested that they were opposites, and yet, the opposite of Freen would not be John; it would be Daniel.
After becoming interested in trance music, brain waves, biaural tones, EEGs and finally MEGs, I wondered if there anything more. Is there anything that any of use a human can pick up on that our machines are not capable of yet? It seems inevitable that MEG machines will be able to detect brain waves outside the body someday, and the “box” is just that machine. When I first read about MEG imaging, it seemed very close to what had been described to me as auras. I wondered if perhaps people who can see auras are really “seeing” synastesic false-color images of magnetic brain waves.
In the story, the weapon Ferrel was subjected was loosely related to an adverse biaural beat and binocular light generator. Its effect was modelled after an effect some people with epilepsy experience with flashing lights. Sadly, with all the press on the Army pain-field weapons, it seems inevitable that this weapon already exists, or I wouldn't have included it.
While this book has its share of violence, I have avoided desensitizing the reader to it. I wanted to give the characters lives and families, just as real people have. I wanted most of my characters to be experienced, jaded, and weathered—not especially positive toward violence. While an editor may see this as an ego error, many of the war veterans I have talked do not have positive views toward violence. While I have not been in a war, I have witnessed some violence.
You may have noticed an undercurrent of trauma issues in my book. It was my hope that if the characters could work toward healing their wounds, perhaps our nation could heal itself from 9/11. I believe that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are ideas worth protecting. It takes courage to maintain a free society, and regrettably, it sometimes exacts a terrible price. If we whittle away at our rights every time something bad happens, what will we have left?
Even where it should go against the grain of “accepted” writing style, at all times I have tried to be respectful in regard to age, gender, race, and religion.
I am deeply indebted to S. Jennifer Stewart-Boyd who accepted the challenge of teaching me to write. Thank you.