Alexis saw from the window of his craft a primitive space city of old-fashioned looking modules. Clearly the moonscape in a ‘99.99+ percent probability’ world was one where someone other than the Institute colonized the moon. Who? He hesitated to set the craft down. If he materialized in this closely parallel world and it was violently hostile, he could be obliterated before moving the Probability Shifter forward.
He watched the settlement modules carefully, looking for signs of life. His scanners didn’t pick up anything but he wasn’t sure if they were working. After all, if he hadn’t actually brought his craft to a stop in this moonscape and it hovered uncertainly at the probability level he’d set could the scanners ‘see’ any living thing? He wondered if they, the settlement’s inhabitants, could see him? Was he appearing to them right now as a ghost or a UFO?
If he was, they weren’t doing anything about it. The moonscape remained eerily still. Surely there should be people moving about, even if it was their night time? They must have security or maintenance staff who worked when everyone else was asleep? There was only one way to find out. He set the craft down and switched off the Infinite Probability Drive. Nothing changed in the eerie stillness. At least, he thought, no missiles have come my way. My next step is to go visit them. Will they be happy to see me?
Meanwhile, back here on Earth, I’d be happy to see you over in my Amazon Author Page where you can buy the books to date. Or, better still, leave me a comment below sharing your thoughts on how Series two should go.
Alexis stepped out of the Infinite Probability Drive and onto the Moon’s surface. It was desolate, untouched by human activity. He’d scanned the surface from the capsule before exiting and knew there was nothing, no living creature as far as the scanners could reach in every direction. He’d stepped out only to emulate that ‘first step for a man’ moment he’d watched so often when he was a child.
It was a sobering thought. He’d set the probability drive to 99.9% recurring, as close to 100% as it was possible to be but in this parallel universe, the Institute had never arrived on the Moon. The probabilities of it happening were that small. Somewhere in the past hundred years, something hadn’t lined up and this alternate eventuality had happened. Did that mean at every other setting from 0 to 99.9 the Institute didn’t reach the Moon or was it just this probability? There was so much to learn but it couldn’t be learned here. He needed to return to the world he was familiar with and figure out his next steps.
While you’re waiting for the second series to begin, visit my Amazon Author Page and pick up any of the books you’re missing.
I’m still thinking of ideas for the second series of The Modest Proposal Institute where the principal characters are exploring parallel universes. One of the dangers here is not to fall into the trap of ‘What If?’. We’ve all read or watched those stories a million times and they have been worked out, for the most part.
The stories need to be more than, what if the Germans had done the second world war, etc. and more than the time travel story where someone goes back in time and changes the future, which is, of course, our present. Most of these stories are little more than wishful thinking on the author’s part. As you can see, I know what I don’t want for series 2, and haven’t yet settled on what I do want. This where I need my readers to contribute some thoughts. That’s you:-)
Meanwhile, you can pick up my existing books at my Amazon Author Page here.
Following my thoughts on an Infinite Probability Drive (IPD) from the past two posts, I think it really can’t move people through space or time. I think it just has to move through the infinite number of parallel universes that exist at the particular place it is standing at the time the drive is turned on. This means the IPD has to be in one of the spaceplanes from the first series. I want to keep the stories in the realm of science fiction and out of the realm of fantasy but this is a serious limitation. It means the next series stays around Earth, Earth 2.0, the Moon, and Mars. Not necessarily a bad thing, just restrictive so far as space goes.
Where the stories won’t be limited, of course, is in the many possible paths history might have taken had probability of even tiny events happening as they did been different. For example, had the spaceplane and its engine not been completed before the Institute was able to take advantage of it, the escape into space would have been hopelessly disadvantaged, if not impossible (with all due respect to SpaceX and Elon Musk whose efforts and products are truly amazing). In the end, however, this is probably not a major limitation. After all, there’s no life anywhere nearby in the Solar System so changes in probability wouldn’t likely lead to any big changes. Activating the IPD on Jupiter wouldn’t likely show the probability traveler much change to the planet.
If you’ve read to here, and you’d like some background to what I’m talking about, visit my Amazon Author Page and pick up your copy of The Modest Proposal Institute series 1.
If you’re a Kindle Unlimited reader, The complete Modest Proposal Institute series is now available there and you can read it from start to finish for free. For those who prefer to own a book but didn’t pre-order, you can still buy it here for only $0.99. Don’t leave it too long. This is an introductory price and it will go up on July 7.
For the next books in the Modest Proposal series, I’m still pondering if the Infinite Probability Drive can move the traveler through space as well as time. It would be so much simpler if it could but hard to explain satisfactorily. A change of percent probability would make a huge change to what had occurred in a particular location but not really move the ship to a new location — Doctor Who’s Tardis it is not. The Tardis has the ability to move in time and space as does the starship Heart of Gold from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. My ship needs to do both as well or have some more mundane system for traveling across distances. Maybe the SABRE engine has to be attached too. Your thoughts would be appreciated:-)
You still have time to pre-order The Complete Modest Proposal Institute series before it goes live on July 1. However, the good news is, if you’re a procrastinator, it will still be only $0.99 until July 7 so all is not lost.
Meanwhile, my next book, a cozy mystery with the working title of, In The Beginning, There Was a Murder, is ready for a developmental editor to read and suggest improvements. If anyone out there knows a good editor that specializes in cozy mysteries, let me know.
My follow on series for The Modest Proposal Institute will use a probability drive to power their space travel. The question I’m struggling with is, would a probability drive allow for the user to shift locations or simply see the parallel universes that exist in the one place? If it is the latter, then my heroes need to have a ship that transports them to different places in order to experience the alternate universes at each location. This is where the Infinite Improbability Drive was so much better — it passed through all the places in the universe simultaneously. Choosing where to stop was all the traveler had to do. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.
In last week’s post, I talked about the end being a new beginning and I wanted to expand on that idea this week. I’m taking a rest from sci-fi for a few weeks and producing a cosy mystery BUT I haven’t forgotten about Alexis and the gang. In particular, Alexis left Moon City in his Probability-Adjusting spacecraft. Series two of the story will follow those who left, starting with Alexis.
One of my favourite science fiction ideas comes from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and i know it wasn’t serious sci-fi but it worked for me. The starship, Heart of Gold, in Hitchhikers guide, with its Infinite Improbability Drive, strikes me as a great starting point for humanity in the future. Even if we start small with a mere Probability Adjustment drive. Once we escape Earth’s heavy gravity and atmosphere (in more than one sense of the word) we can really travel the universe without anything to hold us back. Look out for the start of the new series in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, why not visit my earthbound Amazon Author Pageand buy The Modest Proposal Institute boxset.
Book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute, War of the Institutes, has been on Amazon as an eBook since June 5. Today, the paperback version is there too. Those of us who prefer a book in our hands can now get the book as well. While doing the paperback of book four, I discovered I hadn’t published the paperback version of The Modest Proposal Institute book 3: Rival Institutes. Right now, I’m working on correcting that omission.
In addition, I’m working on creating a boxset of the completed series. The files for each book are out with the Formatter and should be back soon. The cover, showing each of the four book covers, is already done and just awaiting the formatted boxset file. Once I’ve published book three’s paperback, the full boxset will follow. I’m intending to publish it sometime early July. If you’re a boxset reader, your desires are almost about to be satisfied:-)
Where can you find all these books, I hear you ask? They’re all to be found on my Amazon Author Page.
After eight long months of writing, editing, formatting, and the annoyances of things going wrong at the worst moments, the end is now in sight. The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes is uploaded to Amazon and ready to be released to the impatiently waiting public. At least, I hope you’re all impatiently waiting — or at least would pretend to be if you were asked.
It will be available at a reduced rate of US$0.99 from June 2 – 4 and then go to its regular price of $3.99 so jump in quick for a bargain. And even better, all the other three Modest Proposal books are US$0.99 as well right now. You can buy the whole set at my Amazon Author Page for some summer reading.