Archive for the ‘About Writing’ Category

Spinspace: The Space of Spins

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

SpinspaceThe long-awaited sequel to Pathspace: The Space of Paths is finally out and available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Spinspace: The Space of Spins continues the story of an Earth wrecked by non-sustainable alien technology. The aliens called the Tourists came, traded, and left.  Did they know what would happen to an Earth grown dependent upon tech none of us knew how to make or maintain? We may never know. One thing we do know, however, is that prolonged exposure to the alien tech has engendered a generation of humans who can learn how to make it.

In Pathspace, we saw how Xander, court wizard to the Governor of Rado, prevailed against an armed invasion and secured the peace needed to found his school for wizards - for the alien tech support we never had.

In Spinspace, the Xander School is finally founded and begins to train students. But news of the school has spread to the East and West, where foreign magic-users may not welcome Xander’s intention to teach anyone who can learn. Knowledge is power, especially when it is not shared, and powerful interests will seek to weaken or destroy the School before it gets too established.

If you liked Pathspace, you’ll love Spinspace.

– MRK

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Metanoia and metaphysics

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

meI’m currently writing Spinspace: The Space of Spins, which is Book 2 of The Metaspace Chronicles. This series is somewhat different from my Gamers and Gods trilogy in that the technology is not just a background, or a setting; it is the source of the problem and also the solution.

Writing can be hard for people like me.  I’m not what you would call a very social person — I’m cool with being alone a lot of the time. For research and such, that might not be bad, but most fiction writing is about people, which requires a writer to have a feel for the way real people interact.  If the conversation is stilted or antiquated, readers will have trouble suspending disbelief and getting into the story line and the characters.

However, writing involves a lot of different elements, and I think it’s rare for any particular writer to master all of them. Some are better at dialog, some are better at scenery descriptions, some at plot weaving, and at action. One of the tricks of the trade is coming up with a story that allows you to go with your strengths as much as possible without making the book all dialog, all action, or all description.

My own background is technical. I have a degree in Physics and a lot of experience in programming, or software development, as they call it nowadays. So I think one of my strengths is coming up with gadgets or new ways of using existing technology in order to avoid having a book that is all action and no ideas. I try to put a lot of ideas into my books to make up for my weaknesses in making beautiful descriptions or pithy dialog.

For example, in my latest series, The Metaspace Chronicles, the overall story arc centers around the use of alien technology on an Earth trying to rebuild civilization with a hybrid infrastructure. But what kind of alien tech could we be expected to incorporate. It can’t be computers or stardrives or anything really complicated. Despite what Jeff Goldblum was able to do in Independence Day, i think it’s extremely unlikely that we could plug ‘n play with alien computers. For that to work, you have to make a huge number of assumptions to enable their tech to interface with ours without a hell of a lot of modifications (not to mention the unlikelihood of putting a human-written computer virus into an alien operating system).

My solution is to make the alien tech really simple. Just as most of human technology relies on “simple machines” like the wheel, the level, the inclined plane, the screw, and so on, the alien tech in The Metaspace Chronicles relies on “simple” alien devices like the swizzle, the everflame, and so on.

As an example, let’s consider the swizzle.  In Pathspace , I introduced the idea of the swizzle — a simple length of pipe (or even a ring or hoop) that pumps fluids like air and water through it with no moving parts or energy source. What makes it work is an alteration in the space curvature around the pipe — sort of a portable anomalous gravity field. It’s handy for plumbing and irrigation, as well as ventilation.

A swizzle can be substituted anywhere in our tech where a pump is used, as long as we need it to operate at a constant flow rate (it can be controlled with a touch, but who wants to have to stand next to it all day to turn it up[ and down or on and off?).

The swizzle is made by imposing a pathspace pattern around the pipe. Such a pattern would normally fade to background levels (like the eddy a paddle makes in the surface of a river), except that the matter of the pipe helps to anchor the pattern and make it last for a long time.

The problem with this is that the pattern still decays if you have no one with the psionic ability to refresh it. In my story, civilization fell after the aliens moved on, because humans had no “tech support”. We were like savages with rechargeable batteries but no chargers.

The story arc of The Metaspace Chronicles involves the rebuilding of civilization…by the founding of a school for wizards (psionic engineers) to provide the tech support needed to create and maintain the alien tech. I’ll explore exactly how that could work. I’m hoping the ideas I introduce and develop will make reading the books worth your while.

Must get back to writing Spinspace, the next book in the series. —MRK

Next: the everflame

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What is Metaspace?

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Spinspace
Some of you have been asking me about the name of my new series, The Metaspace Chronicles. Where did I get the name? What does it mean? What can you expect from it?

These are all good questions. All of my books, the paperbacks and the eBook versions are written to make you think, as well as to entertain and even (gasp) learn a thing or two as painlessly as possible. And the new series is no exception.

When authors write about “magic” it generally falls into one of two categories.  Fantasy authors tend to write about magic as being somehow accomplished with mysterious abilities, “magical” artifacts like wands and swords, or the help of angels, demons, ghosts, or other supernatural beings. There’s no need to explain “how” the magic actually works, as long as it is consistent and limited enough to keep victory from being too easy.

When science fiction authors write of “magic” it is usually explained as paranormal abilities such as telekinesis or telepathy done by people with mutations or special training. Again, little is actually explained. As long as the abilities are consistent and not omniopotent it works for the readers.

I wanted to do something new in this series, so I decided to create a future scenario in which the “wizards” (or psionic engineers) are accomplishing their wonders by means of at least partially explainable methods. Instead of having them be able to somehow touch objects at a distance and “push” them with their minds, they do something entirely different. My wizards reach out with their minds, but they accomplish their effects by reshaping intrinsic aspects of space itself — which then influences the objects embedded within it.

To do this, I hypothesize an extended concept of space called Metaspace. It includes the ordinary dimensions of space and time that we are familiar with, plus some extra stuff that we are not normally aware of.

Pathspace relates to the curvature of space-time which physicists have used ever since Einstein formulated gravity as the effect of curved spacetime on trajectories in his General Relativity. A wizard using pathspace affects the curvature of space, not the objects in it. Pathspace “weaves” are like temporary and specific examples of local gravity anomalies. The alien artifact I call a swizzle is a local pathspace weave anchored on a section of pipe that accelerates air or water through the pipe without a pump or moving parts.

Spinspace relates to the quantum property of spin. I hypothesize that particles such as electrons are “born” with intrinsic angular momentum or spin because it is a property of the space they appear in.

I’ll be talking about other aspects of Metaspace as the series unfolds.   —MRK

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Positive Reviews for Gamers and Gods: AES

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

AES CoverAs an author struggling for recognition, sometimes I go through periods of self-doubt and depression, when I wonder if I will ever succeed. It is like screaming for attention in a huge room filling up with others doing exactly the same thing.

That’s why I need favorable reviews like oxygen. I’m still at the stage when a few kind words from someone who has read my writing can make all the difference. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to submit a review to Amazon.

A TOP 1000 reviewer wrote “This was a great story with a lot of intensity and some wonderful dialogue throughout. I loved the blending of past and present in the novel and it just made things that much more interesting. There were elements of romance, adventure, sci fi, and much more in this intriguing tale that sets up what I hope to be a very engaging series. Well done.”

Wendy Swanson wrote: “The best books don’t just tell a story - they grip you right at the start, carry you along, teach you something along the way and end leaving you wanting more. AES, the first in Matthew Kennedy’s Gamers and Gods trilogy, does all of these and more. In this installation, Kennedy introduces characters from the near future and the distant past and then mixes them together in an intriguing adventure that wouldn’t let me put it down. This world is fantasy to some while reality to others and both are true in ways that prove to be believable, exciting and ultimately frightening. The story draws on the deep textures of ancient mythology and the fast-paced realms of online gaming to craft an adventure that moves quickly from chapter to chapter, climaxing with an ending that doesn’t disappoint. If you’re new to either of these, you’ll enjoy learning as the story unfolds. I’m glad that I won’t have to wait to read the next two books - they’re both available now and I’ve started the second already.

Jim Meade wrote: “I enjoyed this story throughout every chapter. It is very well written ‘ghost in the machine’ story. Moved along at a steady pace, A fine example of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. IMO It would make a good movie or tv mini-series. Started book 2 and cant wait to find out how it all ends……..”

G. Jackson wrote: ““Gamers and Gods: AES” has one the most uniquely written storylines I have come across. If you enjoy gaming you will eat up the pages.”

F. Reede wrote: “Matthew Kennedy was thinking way outside the box when he conquered this uncommon Sci-Fi Brew. His writing skill is like a spiders web that captures the devour’s the attention of the reader as he spins them deep into this ultimately prolific tale. Our main character wakes up in the future and is tasked with fighting for an earth he hasn’t been involved in, and barely recognizes, since it has been thousands of years since he has seen it! Imagine that one. It is like he is living a video game as he has to fight these battles from a simulated construct, a computer. As a story line it does’t get any better than this!

He does have some help though, I would have to say from some savvy gamers and who help in him this exercise of freedom. The undertaking is intense effort filled with twists and turns and even little romance. Gamers and Gods: AES, is the first book in a series and I now look forward to book 2. If you are at all into gaming you will find this book especially delicious. I read a lot in the this genre and this one is exceptional. It is creative, offers a unique story line and well developed characters. Best of all, it is action packed and wholly entertaining.”

Thank you all. Now I have the enthusiasm I need to get back to writing Spinspace.

–MRK



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Spinspace: The Space of Spins

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Spinpace_coverI’m currently writing Spinspace, the second book of my new series, The Metaspace Chronicles.

The series is about the re-flowering of civilization on Earth after an infrastructure grown too dependent on failing alien technology crumbled. We’ve fallen back to horse cavalry and crossbows, but fortunately two things make a rise from the ashes possible.

First, although it has been two centuries, many records of the civilization of the Ancients still survive in the form of textbooks.  Even more importantly, exposure to the alien technology has created humans who can lean the psionic alien “magic” and one wizard is setting up a school to provide the tech support for the rise of a sustainable human-alien hybrid technology.

In Pathspace, the wizard Xander in Rado took on an apprentice, and then they had to survive an attempted invasion by the neighboring Lone Star Empire. In Spinspace, the next installment, they will collect a diverse first class of students for the new school and struggle against unexpected attacks from other magic-users.

Must get back to the writing.  –MRK

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Spreading the word

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

stats at 8:30Here’s a snapshot of my bubble view stats on Bublish.com as of 8:30PM EST 2/21/2015.

I’ve bublished a couple of new book bubbles tonight just before blogging so the numbers may go up a bit before tomorrow, I hope.

Bublish creates links back to your book “bubbles” so that you can edit and broadcast online in twitter, facebook etc. Here’s an example tweet:

She waited until the worst of it passed. via

When recipients click on the links they are counted and you can log in to see the latest.

stats at 8:3010:03PM EST 02/21/2015

The cool thing about  social media is that re-radiation of the information by retweeters etc helps spread the message faster. Some kind people retweeted me recently and you can see the effect on my Bubble views in the Twitter column.

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stats at 8:30

11:05PM EST 02/21/2015
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stats at 8:30

8:05PM EST 2/22/2015

I only started at Bublish a few days ago so I am still getting used to the interface and exploring how to use it best.  But I’ll get the hang of it yet. –MRK

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