Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Creation Myth: Remixed

By Starla Huchton

From the ancient Egyptians to today’s fast-paced modern world, religion has been a part of human culture. It’s a concept that comforts us and offers explanations in an existence that so often feels beyond our control or understanding. Humanity has studied the beliefs of our ancestors and come to our own conclusions about what we feel to be true about the universe, and whether that’s praising Odin or discarding the notions of higher mystical powers entirely for science, everyone has faith in something.

But what if everything was connected? What if Viking valkyries and Christianity’s angels were one and the same?

What if the explainable could be explained in a single, unifying theory that spanned millennia?

Science Fiction has never shied away from the hard topics, often building new religions for alien cultures or judging the world through eyes unused to human customs. In The Night Bridge, I’ve taken the notions of our modern world and adjusted the lens a bit, casting humanity as the largest science experiment ever conducted since The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. The architects of this experiment learned to bridge the gap in space and time, crossing over to a place where time moves far more quickly, in order to learn how they developed into what they are and getting a glimpse at where the future might take their species. When a dozen years on Earth passes in as little as a month for this other race, it’s a much more complicated undertaking than growing mold in a petri dish. So what would such a thing entail?

Designing that sort of experiment not only takes the dedication of vast amounts of people, but computing power as well. The calculations required to successfully travel between one dimension and another would take lifetimes to unravel, but for a machine that’s advanced enough, it could take a matter of moments. While that technology is not yet within our grasp, it might not be all that far off. Traveling between intersecting places and times might be a thing we take for granted in two hundred years.

And much as a computer would be used to calculate travel between the realms, it stands to reason it would also be programmed to detect problems with the experiment. Physiological signs of distress exist in all forms of life, manifesting in ways that can be seen, predicted, and alleviated. But while a computer might find those things, sometimes it takes a special, more human touch to solve problems. It would need the ability to dispatch an experiment specialist on a second’s notice.

Without beings guiding the evolutionary path, how could we guarantee the results? Guardians would need to be assigned to act as mentors, messengers, and protectors for the growing culture (in both senses of the word). Specially trained, highly intelligent people would be required to keep the experiment in control, especially when outside forces would take it for themselves. The presence of more advanced races could skew the evolutionary process in either direction. These “angels”, “demons”, and humanity would all vie for the final say in ownership of the Earth, and that’s the key to all of it: when life becomes sentient, who are the gods and who are the flock?

I took all of these things into account when writing The Night Bridge, along with much more. In exploring this theory of how we came to be, I needed information not only on religion throughout the ages, but on more scientific concepts than I can count. It’s these big ideas of science that allow us to extrapolate on theories such as this, to make them plausible, giving way to creativity on a smaller scale that allows us to explore the universe from the comfort of our living room.

In a world where belief defines reality, who can say anything is impossible?

Find The Night Bridge in ebook and print on Amazon:

A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. She is a three-time finalist for Parsec Awards for her podcast fiction work, and was the first place winner for Science Fiction & Fantasy in the Sandy competition in 2012. Her work spans science fiction, fantasy, New Adult Romance, Young Adult titles, Steampunk, Contemporary, and various other varieties of stories. She is greedy and likes all the genres!

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at DesignedByStarla.com.





(The views expressed therein are the views of the author and not necessarily that of the SFR Brigade.)

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