How do we define reality? That was the first question I asked when I started writing the novel, an important one for a paranormal story. The simple answer is through our senses: see, smell, hear, touch or taste. For science, reality translates in what can be measured, weighted ... tested. In other words, if we cannot prove that something exist, it doesn't exist ... by definition! A "chicken-and-egg" mindset widely accepted.
What it comes to my mind is the microscopic world, non existent for humanity until the end of 17th century when Leeuwenhoek built the first microscope. And what about electromagnetic waves... thanks to Mr. Hertz's discovery at the end of the 19th century that today we have TV and mobiles. Can you imagine living in the 21st century with the technology of the 17th century? No way.
A different mindset
I didn't want to create a magic world, another Harry Porter's world. I had to think that, although it can't be proved, reality is bigger than what we see. Therefore, the new world, Ely's world, should be an extension of our reality, a surreal extension of course. To create this kind of setting for A lifetime waiting for eternity, I had to change my mindset.
First, I took inspiration from the Superstring Theory. In physics, there is a theory called M-theory that predicts more than our well known 3 dimensions. It predicts either 10 or 11 dimensions, depending on who explains it. They are needed to explain the fundamental forces of nature, that is, electromagnetic force, weak and strong nuclear forces and gravity. At this point I started speculating.
What dimensions can I imagine that will create a bigger reality? Well, I looked at real things that haven't been, let's say, "fully explained" and which leave room for an extra-dimension explanation. I needed to find real facts that, by twisting them, stretching them and re-glueing them, I could create a Picasso-like reality. I began with the simplest one, light.
Light, a wave travelling in the vacuum ... right?
Light is an electromagnetic wave. It propagates in the vacuum because energy is interchanged between the electric and magnetic fields. A fact! But, waves are also defined as dynamic disturbances of a medium, vacuum is supposed to be empty! So, what if they actually require a medium, like the mechanical waves. We would enter into the realm of the 17th century Luminiferous Ether, a strange fluid filling the space, massless, without viscosity ... a magical medium. Well, it is magical if we place it in our 3-dimension space but what if it exists in one of the 11 dimensions?
This crazy idea requires that the extra dimension is not a spatial dimension, that is, a "volumetric" dimension where we could dive in the "ether ocean." It requires just a little, tiny extension of each point of space. If so, ether cannot be detected because it is outside our 3-dimension space. But, we have our mobiles! How can electromagnetic waves be in our space but propagate in another "ether dimension"? Well, we have to move to what we call fundamental properties of matter. Electrons are susceptible to electromagnetic waves. Why? Because electrons have electric charge, a fundamental property that explains why electrons interact with light (e.g. photoelectric effect).
Electron is an elementary particle with an electric charge of −1.602176634×10−19 coulombs. We do not question these properties, that's why we call them "fundamental" properties. Too complicated? No worries, the point is electrons have that and that's it. But what if, and I mean what if, what we call fundamental property is just the quality of an electron to be in multiple dimensions! Stay with me, remember we are just playing around, speculating using logic to create the story's stage.
Multi-dimensional electrons can explain that electromagnetic waves can exist in another dimension and yet their effects are seen in our world. That's because electrons are located a little bit in our 3-dimension space and a little bit in the "ether dimension".
Ely's multidimentional world
Crazy? Maybe, but this can explain why a paranormal entity in an extra dimension such as an spirit can "see" us, a critical element in the novel. Inside the novel we will describe more about the mechanism by which Ely sees Rob.
This post shows you the process I followed to create the world where Ely and Rob perform their roles as the last hope for humankind. The next posts will explore more about Ely's multidimensional world.