Thursday, September 30, 2010

Excerpt from 'The Case of the Curious Killers.'

"Heat-seekers won’t lock onto the front of this baby, and their radar missiles can only acquire a target within the cone of the scanners, located in the nose of the ship,” said Brendan. “By the time they were in range, I was out of the cone. All they could do then was to poke and prod with other systems; systems which aren’t integrated with the missiles.”

“This wreckage gives us an opportunity,” noted Sim. “We’ll try to verify your theories, of course.”

“If they get a proper fighter, instead of converted yachts, if they had any idea of what they were doing, we could be in trouble,” murmured Brendan. “If they had brains, they could become dangerous, I don’t begrudge you that.”

“Anyway, this gives us the opportunity to practice a few landings,” he grinned.

“No, seriously, Brendan. If we can shake off the pursuit, it might be a good idea to disappear for a while,” the sim told him adamantly.

“Way ahead of you, buddy. For all intents and purposes, we’ve disappeared for the next few days.”

“We have?”

"Think about it. They must have received orders to pursue us. Until we turn up, or until they turn up, no one knows what happened,” said Brendan.

He brought the ship down to a thousand feet, slowing down, nose high, in high-alpha flight, with the canard fore-planes grappling and wrestling with the air.

“When they don’t return to base,” mused Sim. “Won’t their contact know?”

“He won’t know anything,” said Brendan. “He’ll have no information whatsoever.”

He took them slowly over the wreckage.

“He’ll be reluctant to send out a search team, that’s for sure. He’ll assume the kill was made, but the killers had to evade pursuit and go to ground, or something. He’ll wait.”

“See any markings?” he asked Sim and the computer. “Any clues at all?”

“Radiation profiles indicate rather small engines, two of them,” said the flight computer. “The black boxes are intact.”

They waited.

“It’s an unmarked ship, private registration, reported stolen according to archives; about ten years ago,” reported his flight system.

“What about armaments?” asked Brendan.

“While a cannon would shake it apart, they could certainly deploy a number of different missile systems. On a little ship like that, we don’t have to worry about particle beams or directed-energy weapons,” according to Sim. “The other ship was larger, but we have less debris to analyze.”

“Forty kilometres north,” said the computer. “Two hot spots! More motors.”

“Another frickin’ yacht,” concluded Brendan. “They’re arming civilian craft. Nothing indicates a major threat to the Empire, nor an all-encompassing presence such as the Old Ones.”

He inculcated the latter phrase with a drama that indicated his sense of ridicule.

“That’s good news, I’ll be happy to pass on the results of your analysis, Mr. Hartle,” and now Sim was getting snippy.

The sim wasn’t exactly overjoyed at Hartle’s adrenalin high.

“You’ll observe radio silence until I say otherwise,” said Brendan in a firm but friendly tone.

Sim shut up for thirty seconds while he digested this.

“Okay, Brendan. Let’s teach you to land this ship,” said Sim rather morosely.

“Yay,” said the flight computer in irony and pathos.

Hartle took it up to a little over Mach One, but stayed down low, keeping mountains, hills and the sides of gorges close at all times. Luckily the terrain-following radar kept them out of trouble, as his own reaction time really wasn’t good enough for this kind of flying. He put ten thousand kilometres between himself and the scene of the crime.

“If I was them, I’d wait until Brendan Hartle reappeared at that Council Meeting, or just try again later.”

“What are you going to do?” asked Sim.

“Practice a few landings, just like you said,” answered the man.

You can find 'The Case of the Curious Killers' on iTunes on the iBookstore and at many other fine online bookstores, including a 5 x 8" paperback at Amazon.Com.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Case of the Crazy Cover Art. (And Why.)

-her name is Layla and as soon as I saw her I was sunk. So I'm a foolish old man. (Who cares?)

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

This has been cropped and of course the text has been inserted. Under the license, it may not be used as a 'stand alone.' It can be distributed, copied, etc. But it cannot be claimed as my own work, 'without alteration.' It does not require attribution, and there aren't any fees. I downloaded it in about a second.

Nothing in life is free. One; I spent six to eight hours looking through morguefile.
Two, I don't have exclusive rights--anyone can use the same image as a starting point.

So here's a direct quote from morguefile:

morgueFile free photo

You are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit the work and to adapt the work. Attribution is not required. You are prohibited from using this work in a stand alone manner.

So what I've been doing is trying to come up with some kind of cover for my third novel, 'The Case of the Curious Killers,' to be released in e-book form November 1.

I don't know, but the girl makes up for a lot and it saves me trying to come up with a credible painting in a month. Anyway, that's what the public wants, right? New faces.

I have other options, and there are still five weeks before deadline. The key thing is to work my way through another eight and a half re-writes or so.

This book has a bit of a history, or 'provenance.'

I wrote about 140 pages of it in 1993. I couldn't think of an ending, and I think I moved or something. After my first two novels, at a bit of a loss for what to do next, I dusted it off--it was literally printed sheets in a file folder--and began in-putting the thing into my computer.

As I went along, I couldn't help but do a little re-writing, and finally the thing had an ending. I swiped a detective fiction ending from Agatha Christie! I put them all in a room and the hero solves the mystery, and the bad guys get what's coming to them.

This book is a parody of a space opera, only this time, due to my policy of inversion, I made everything as realistic as possible. If the ship loses power, they are also going to lose their artificial gravity, something often overlooked by TV producers.

But let's be honest--on the production set, zero-gravity is kind of expensive and tricky to operate safely with all those people around.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Update. Smashwords.

(Author's Note: the story will evolve over time. Also note that the Amazon DTP program seems to accept multiple formats. Smashwords requires a .doc only, and a very clean one with minimal formatting.)

Okay, so my first two uploads to Smashwords failed, and it didn't take a fool to see what was going on, but I did.

If you look at the previous entry, you will note I mentioned converting to a .txt file.

In Mark Coker's Style Guide, available free from Smashwords, he describes 'the nuclear option.'

I have removed pictures, etc. Taken out page numbers, and then converted over to a .txt document. All my paragraph indents are space-bar type indents. My files have been through a number of old computers and crashes, and guess what? It's all here--just read the style guide.

Interestingly enough, the .txt file preserved indents! Argh. Mr. Coker mentions 'find and replace.'

Also the 'change style' button is something I've never used before! (But then I'm compltely self-taught, and this program (Windows 2007) was only installed in July 2010. At the time it boggled my mind to some degree to go from one tool bar to seven or so! Imagine my dismay. Back to the story.)

I've never used 'change style,' before, so I'm getting a bit of a free tutorial in Windows.

A big thumbs-up to Karly for the link to Smashwords, incidentally.

So basically, I'm just going to read a little section of Mr. Coker's book. Then I'm going to minimize it, and open up the file, and keep going. I can flip from one to the other as I go.

Bearing in mind that it's a Saturday night and I'm still doing my homework, you could say I was happy enough...

* * *

...five hours later and I'm still going at it. I started at seven p.m and it will be midnight soon enough. To put it in perspective, I uploaded two books to Amazon in about an hour and a half, and I had never done it before in my life. That included unpublishing and re-publishing a couple of times, just learning the system.

However, I figure by Sunday night or Monday at the latest, I should have two novels submitted and under review by Smashwords. Honestly, when I go to do the second, I don't have to read everything for the very first time, and I can in fact begin my 'smashwords2.doc file anytime now and do some preliminary 'nuking.'

And here's the beauty of it: by learning word-smashing, this is a clean source file for some subsequent e-publishing uploads.

When I go to do my third novel, this will all be easier, and I guess this puts things in better perspective. What I mean is, I could write letters to agents and publishers and make submissions until I was blue in the face.

Ah, but now, all I have to do is to put in one weekend of hard work. And learning is always worthwhile. This will come in handy somewhere else, I just know it! Oddly enough, I am no stranger to hard work...

If I ever get to a convention, I may not go straight for the goodies. I may not head straight for the book vendors, or the writer's panels, or the guys selling rubber masks and light sabres.

I might just plop my ass down beside the nearest publisher-guys and start up a conversation.

Now we have something in common. And I have something to talk about.

I'll have three e-books out on multiple platforms and in mutiple formats by November 1, 2010.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Adventure Continues.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

I just uploaded my first two novels to Amazon, and I guess that was pretty easy.

And I’m still experimenting with Mobipocket, and fooling around with a website, etc.

Having a minimal background in journalism led me to do some research. It looks like Amazon is not an exclusive publishing contract, and I guess it’s okay to go ahead and do that now. By extension, one would assume the same for Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. And there are lots of booksellers. When you consider those contracts, I can only go as fast as my tired old eyes will let me.

Also by downloading Mobipocket 4.2 Publisher version, I learned how to do it for myself—and knowledge is power. I’ve got a document file with about fifty or a hundred links, and at some point my head was about to explode from sheer data input.

By saving links, I can go back and review the stuff. Repetition will help integrate it into long-term memory. But I built up a pretty good overview.

I can now make clean files that read properly on the Mobi PC Desktop reader.

Basically, I took the original .rtf and converted to a .txt file. Then I put it through the ‘machine.’ On the reader, the original problem was the first few paragraphs were indented, and then nothing. For some reason the .pdf files didn’t work well when used as a source, but that may just have been my own files. You may get a different result. One phone file actually has indents. Huh!

So I fooled around with it a bit. That's all I can really advise anyone to do.

Essentially what you do is to space the paragraphs in your .txt file and this preserves indents; at least for the first few short experiments. I’m not sure if it’s even worth bothering with. At least now I know what to do if required. Right now, the file still has funny things happening with the chapter titles. They’re still all over the place. I may be able to fix it, who knows? I’ll fool around with it some more. My chapter headings are in two lines. Maybe if I combine them into one line, it will work properly.

They look like this now: Chapter One

Over the Hills and Far Away

Just thinking out loud here, but a fairly-clean .prc file will also provide a ‘fairly-clean’ .html file using Mobipocket. All I have to do is go in, clean up the chapter headings…save…maybe use it as the next source file for Mobi? And then clean up the desktop. I seem to be spawning versions at an alarming rate. All this work is probably unnecessary, but I like to have control over the end product. I can sell these versions off my own site, right?

To provide a clean phone-type file, simply remove all formatting! Simply convert to .txt. All you really need here is the title, copyright, the author, the ISBN, (maybe a URL,) a few >>> and then the text. All other info could conceivably go at the end of the book. Bear in mind you have such a small screen to work with. Remove all pictures before conversion. This saves in later problem-solving.

One wonders how many people would read 100,000-word novels on their phone. Demand might be pretty small, but it is a convenience and talking point—you can blog about it. If nothing else, it is part of the training and product-related research. There are file-download widgets, and with upgrades to a website, there is probably a paypal link that goes with it. These phone-type files might sell a few extra copies.

Setting a price is hard, but we’ll let the big guys take care of that.

I tried to buy a book off my small experimental site, but was told, ‘you are logged into the seller’s account.’

(There was only one way to find out and so I did the experiment. Essentially, I can’t buy my own book off my own website.)

In the case of a small website, (and I don’t have a lot of sales experience online;) how do I describe my products? Essentially, all I can do is to study what works for other people! Let’s be honest, few are willing to talk about the earnings. (I prefer not to speculate.)

For some reason I keep forgetting my ISBN password, but that is the least of my worries right now. At some point I read the word, ‘metadata,’ and it kind of boggled me for a while, but honestly, I think I will get through this.

Oh, yeah, in another experiment, I figured out that a .pdf is not the best source for the Mobi, for some reason. When I used a .doc, the cover art showed up and all the formatting was there. I don’t know, maybe it was the .docx file, or the .pdf, and its cover art that was doing it.

When I uploaded to Amazon, I thought nothing of it, but I uploaded those .doc files complete with cover art. I don’t know how that’s going to go, but apparently human beings are involved at some stage of the process. I wouldn’t want a double cover or anything stupid like that. Essentially if that happens I make a new file sans art and un-publish, and then re-publish. (I guess.)

It kind of goes without saying, that I have no idea of what to expect from all this.

And the learning curve continues. A few hours ago, when I resolved to go with Amazon, I did feel a moment of fear, or something.

Somehow I got over it. Anyhow, it’s four twenty-two a.m.

The odds of me falling asleep right now are mighty slim!

Editor’s Note: This story is evolving over time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An excerpt from, 'The Case of the Curious Killers.'

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

"When he comes out, follow him every inch of the way,” he ordered the computer.

“Come aboard,” Brendan typed into the pad, then watched as the computer focused a camera on the other craft’s top hatch, clearly marked with a red 'x' by his flight comp.

Boyce would be coming in through the airlock. A small ship like that wouldn’t have a large-scale transport device, he figured. There was a little bungee-corded pocket on the right side of his seat. He put the gun in there so only he would know.

With the Glock snug as a bug in a rug, he watched the suited man, and studied him carefully through the sensors for weapons, any unusually bulky or hard objects on him. He looked pretty clean. Sim just stood there. He seemed to be licking his lips…but he could worry about that later.

"Scat,” he told the kitty, and she boogied for the back room.

“You weren’t kidding, Hartle, a very intelligent animal, why it’s almost as if she could speak sometimes,” babbled Sim.

“Shut up!” blurted Brendan.

“Unlike myself, you mean,” Brendan said into the sudden silence.

Finally the guy was here and Hartle unlocked the door for him. Standing aside he let him pass down the little corridor, closely studying the body language to try to get some kind of a clue, as to the threat level from this guy.

The helmet came off.

“I’m at a bit of a loss,” admitted Brendan, “I don’t know whether to say good morning, or good evening, or what?”

He stuck the butt of a smoke in a bowl he used for an ashtray.

“Normally we say, greetings,” the man said gruffly.

“Okay,” said Brendan non-committedly.

Boyce blanched in a crazy way when he saw the scarf sitting there on the arm of the co-pilot’s seat. Hartle scooped it up, twisted it around his neck and noted a bit of colour begin down low on the man’s neck. It crept up to his face, eyes and forehead, and he took a big deep breath. His white-skinned head and hands turned a pale shade of green. And his chin dropped a bit. Brendan tucked the ends into his shirt-top, feeling like Hugh Hefner, only younger, all muscular and tougher than whale shit. He tried real hard not to smile.

The being tried to compose itself.

“I have come to talk to you about the Princess,” he said; a harsh tone in the voice, but the thing was trying to keep its cool about it. “You are to stay away from her.”

“Oh? Really? And why is that?” asked Brendan, not trusting this guy one bit.

He stood there glowering at Hartle, then spoke again.

“She is not of your class. You are a bumpkin. She is to marry me,” said Boyce.

“Is this true?” he asked Sim.

Sim shrugged.

“Not entirely. There is pressure of a kind upon her to marry, and Boyce’s people have been pushing for a match,” admitted the Sim. “But nothing has been finalized yet, in fact far from it—as you should know, young man.”

Boyce glared at Sim.

“Stay out of this—this is between me and the troglodyte,” barked Boyce.

“He didn’t mean that, Brendan,” said Sim, and Hartle just laughed.

“Sure he did,” he quipped with a gleam in his eye.

Briefly, he considered killing Boyce where he stood, but realized it might create more problems than it would solve. Still, action was required, that much was obvious. He stood to his full height, pulled the Glock out of the seat pocket. He handed the weapon to a startled Boyce.

“Go ahead…make my day.”

Boyce held the pistol tentatively, hand visibly shaking as he looked from one to the other. Neither Sim nor Brendan spoke. Brendan just towered over him.

Brendan stood there calmly, and waited for what might happen next. It was just as he thought. The man was all bluff. He hastily put the gun down on a level spot, watching Brendan with narrowed eyes.

“So…” he said, “I can see I’m wasting my time here.”

Brendan began moving again, to usher the gentleman to the door.

“Stop in anytime,” he told the man, in as friendly a tone as he could muster.

Something clicked in. A gut-busting wrench of adrenaline hit him as he noted the set of Boyce’s head and neck, his shoulders all bunched up like that.

Just like a cat, a fuckin’ cat ready to pounce…

Brendan’s fist shot out straight from the shoulder to its fullest extension, but Boyce was fast, real fast and it merely grazed the top of his right shoulder. He fired a knee with all his might into Hartle’s groin; while not a good hit Brendan began to go over because he hit the co-pilot’s seat trying to back up. But on the way down, he managed to slam a pounding shot into the other’s solar-plexus region.

Bending, Boyce began to turn green again, but started off on a spinning kick to Hartle’s head, and tripped over a carpet seam on the cabin floor and spun into the back wall. Covering up more now, Hartle made it to fully upright again. Out pounced his flicking fist, and a little blue blood began just above Boyce’s left eye. Again the man counterattacked, Hartle began to see stars every time he got hit. Punch for punch he could only take so many hits.

Next time he fell, he coyly stayed down, with head away and ass pointing up at the idiot; and when Boyce got in a little too close to him, he tripped him up good. Perhaps a little too good—Boyce went down hard, striking a glancing blow with his head on a sharp corner. He stayed down, and Brendan had a sick feeling in the stomach. If the man came up again, he would be damned hard to handle. He’d caught the alloy corner framing of the passenger seats.

Sometimes you put a man down, he comes up twice as mad and three times as strong.

Brendan could see that he was still mostly conscious. He sprung on his inert form like a spider, getting a good pin on the fellow. Grabbed the long blonde hair and looked into the eyes.

“You wanna fuck with me mister—you bring some friends next time,” he told Boyce.

Then, slowly, so the other guy could see it, he brought his right fist back and let one go. He stood.

“Looks like he’ll be out for while,” he told the sim.

Sim stood there assessing the damage.

“Cadet, eh? They teach ‘em pretty good down there,” Brendan observed.

“Quite so,” the simulacrum ventured. “He’s also from a planet with about twice Earth’s gravity.”

“In which case I’m a very lucky young man,” noted Brendan.

(Editor's Note: I like stories with a lot of aliens fighting.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Acolyte.

by Louis B.Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Ari closed the door as quietly as he could. He was probably the only inhabitant of the sleazy rooming-house, with its alkies, crack-heads, pot-smokers and retards, who cared about the noise. He kicked his shoes off in the usual place.

He paused long enough to carefully hang his threadbare sport jacket on its peg, where the fog of late-night cigarette smoke, creeping in under the door, would inevitably settle on the shoulders, staining the grey gabardine a sickly shade of juicy, reddish-yellow.

Despite the grittiness of the carpet, and the sticky spot right in front of the couch, some black tar that had seeped in through a hole in the roof structure on a hot summer’s day, he padded around in his socks. Someone in the building was cooking cabbage again.

Soon he was stripped down to his gotchies. Ari stood for a brief moment in gratitude, savoring the cool of the tiny fridge as it pushed out cold air at him. The light briefly lit up the pale, ascetic, and pinched features of Ari Sutherland. The little mirror he used to shave with caught a transient flicker of his eyes. They were his best feature, with their intelligent, sardonic gleam, of an unusual dark brown, with sharp-cornered whites, very clear. He carefully sipped his beer, for he could only have the one tonight. Later. Later he could have maybe three. He took another tiny little sip of foam. Four would be too many.

He would need a clear head in the morning. Ari had somewhere he needed to be, tomorrow.

Ari needed to be somewhere else, somewhere a long ways away, tomorrow…

The brush cut, not the most flattering for a dark, brown-haired young man, had a touch of silver around the temples and sides. With those eyes, the effect was to make him truly distinguished. A glimpse of the man he might become, but it was all fake—a little peroxide rubbed in there once a week and it was totally convincing.

Ari had caught the eye of Marilynn, a tall, attractive redhead who affected the Gothic look, but her natural good fashion sense somehow made her avoid the more extreme options. She made Goth look fresh, and youthful, vital and intriguing, without puncturing herself full of studs, tongue-brackets, rivets, and tie-down rings for long-range trucking.

He grinned at the mental image, but she was very clean-cut, not all tattooed-up in blues, greens and purples.

Momentarily, he felt sorry for her. For both of them. What a sweet, innocent girl she must have been when the Brethren found her. Sensing a lost soul, alone in the big city, with no friends and nowhere else to go, she had quickly set about saving Ari from ‘the way,’ as she so elegantly put it. And she showed him another way. For a moment he thought of her fine, pale white skin. He knew he could have loved her. And yet he didn’t…he couldn’t. He could only use her…

Now he knew it would never happen. There were too many other things in the way.

The final meeting was tonight. He was to be purified, blessed, and baptized. He would become an acolyte, a probationary member of the congregation of the faithful. Ari pulled out the bottom drawer and there, under the black socks, one pair of which he planned on wearing later, the dull gleam of the pine box was revealed. It pulled heavily at his arm.

He carefully lifted it up onto the end of the bed, and sat there beside it, noting that he had indeed latched the door properly, and the bolt was on as usual. He moved the catch, and lifted up the lid to reveal the .44 Magnum, with its speed-loader, and rows of bullets in their sockets, with the spare box of ammunition nestled in its cove, snug in the black velvet. The most powerful hand-gun in the world.

Marilynn had taken him around the chapel, explaining the ‘format,’ as she called it.

Ari and a small group would be going through what sounded like a pretty elaborate ceremony. The cult was known for their deep mysticism, she explained. A figure had walked past the end of the room, past an open door, head down and somehow beaten looking.

That’s when Ari knew for certain, that his little sister Julie was a cult member.

They shouldn’t have done that. One way or another, his sister was coming home tonight. The only thing that truly frightened Ari was the possibility that Julie wouldn’t want to go.

Before even going in there, he knew the plan was seriously flawed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time, Physics, and Metaphysics. A Parody.

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

Max Planck said at certain levels, for example at very short distances, or very high temperatures, under all sorts of unusual conditions; the regular laws of physics just don’t apply anymore.

While most believe that time cannot be changed, sometimes cause and effect don’t mean much because effects sometimes happen before their causes. It is generally believed that the universe is infinite in time. It has lasted forever and will go on forever.

As a philosopher, I find myself defining my terms with ever-greater precision. So one has to ask, what is the difference between infinity and forever?

There are those who believe in creation by God in six days. Some scientists have speculated about a continuous creation. Stephen Hawking described time like an anaconda, one that has swallowed a pig. He likens us to microbes, as if humans were e. coli in the belly of the pig—no matter how far we look, no matter which direction, we will never see anything more than the inside of the belly of the pig. He even speculates that the anaconda might swallow several pigs in succession, each of them traveling down the body of the serpent. It has been speculated that time might run backwards if and when the universe begins to contract back to its point of origin.

No matter what you know about a system today, you have no way of predicting what it will be like tomorrow.

Was the universe created by vacuum fluctuations, where particles appear out of nowhere, and then subside, and energies go back to a zero state, with the universe going on unchanged?

Some speculate there are multiple dimensions in space-time. My favourite is the fifth dimension, but some believe there are nine, eleven, or even twenty-six dimensions, and in truth the likelihood is that there are an infinite number of dimensions.

If a particle appears from ‘nowhere,’ and then disappears again, where did it come from? Where did it go to? Did it come from ‘null-space?’

There is no such thing as empty space. It has been supposed there is some kind of universal frame, a vector rigging field which pervades all of space. The term neo-ether has been used to describe the invisible something that fills the universe. We have to accept the notion that something exists everywhere. Some kinds of data remain forever unknown, for example the proofs of the existence of God. The ontological argument is that God cannot be proven not to exist; so therefore He must exist.

If you put a slot in a bead, and make a moebius strip out of paper, and put a dot of ink on the bead, and then thread the bead onto the strip; you will note that after one revolution the bead is rotated 180 degrees. In order for the bead to return to its original position and orientation, it must go twice around the loop. A geometric circle has 360 degrees, for an electron it apparently has 720 degrees.

A force is that which makes things do things. There are so far only four known forces in the universe. These are the electrical, of which magnetism is a manifestation; then there is gravitation, which is different from magnetism. Then there are the weak and strong nuclear forces. It is theorized that all these forces existed as one super-force in ‘Planck time’ at the moment of creation, which is described in event terms at something like 10 to the minus 54 seconds after the Big Bang.

With the Planck force, there would be more energy than you can safely imagine.

Wormholes have been described and accepted theoretically by scientists. They are about 10 to the minus 33 centimetres in diameter; with a duration of 10 to the minus 43 seconds. You can create a wormhole by heating a volume of space to 10 to the 27th degrees Kelvin or compressing some matter down to the black hole or neutron star densities.

(Don’t try this at home.)

Heisenberg stated the ‘uncertainty principle.’ It is a statement of probabilities, and uncertainties. You know the electron must be there, but you can never say where it will be at any given point in time.

According to the Feynham diagrams, when a particle goes from point A to point B, it splits into two and one of them must being going into a separate universe. Essentially what he’s saying is that a particle can be in two places at once—something even a ghost can’t do. A diagram of all possible paths the particle may take looks like a girl’s braid of hair. Just as when you sprinkle iron filings around a magnet, revealing magnetic lines of force, it has been postulated that there are temporal lines of force.

If you follow the lines of force—i.e. timelines, no problem. If you cross the temporal lines of force, energy builds up and a puncture is made in the fabric of time. At some point there is too great an imbalance in the system, but reality heals the wounds made in itself.

An object crossing time lines builds up potential as it moves. The pull of an object snapping back to its own time would release a huge amount of energy in the space-time continuum or matrix. Hence the mass limitations, which permits only very small objects such as the particles mentioned in the vacuum fluctuations part of our theory. Time is subjective, perhaps even imaginary. Time is closely linked to our perception of it, although many would tell you ‘there is only one moment’ is a fundamental truth. This is the ‘past is gone, the future never gets here’ line of thought. Perception is reality, truth very often depends on who you ask—or who is asking.

If you burn 100g of matter, you may well end up with 10g of ash, and release 90g of gasses, which should be confirmed by Avogadro’s Law. If you put 100 Newtons of energy into a system, you shouldn’t get any more than 100 Newtons out of it. A body at rest tends to remain at rest unless some external force acts upon it.

Does time follow the laws of conservation? One might assume that it does, however, if we know anything at all about the universe, is that ‘anything is possible.’

This may be written as a corollary of Murphy’s Law; “If anything can happen, it probably will eventually,” in a universe where nothing is impossible. If we believe that the universe sprang forth from a singularity, either time existed before it, or it was created at that moment. Also, was space created at this time? Or did it exist previously, therefore giving the new universe somewhere to expand into? If space existed previously, what existed outside of the point of singularity?

If time sprang forth from the singularity, there is no such thing as a parallel universe, they must all be on a slight angle from each other, although there might be an infinite number of alternate universes. Each of these would be reality to an observer encapsulated within them. At one time, philosophy and mathematics were closely linked, but they have tended to drift apart. In a world of increasing specialization, no one has the ‘big-picture overview.’ This is indeed unfortunate.

A friend of mine once went to the library and took out a book on metaphysics. He returned it a day later, and the librarian asked him what was wrong with it.

“The damned thing’s all about religion,” he told her.

Recently Stephen Hawking postulated that the universe might have come into being without help from God. Yet a news report in the last year or two noted that scientists, I think this was at CERN, were looking for 'the elusive God-particles,' which may help to account for the breakdown in conventional physical theories at the quantum or nanoscpoic level.

What if time exists in discrete, 'quanta' or particles, particles which share some of the characteristics of a wave?

Is time a dotted line, and if so, what happens in the gaps?

(Editor's Note: Compiled from sources. Louis really isn't that smart.)