Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Escalation/Stephen Tremp Guest Post

I'm happy to be one of the bloggers on Stephen Tremp's Escalation Blog Tour.  Take it away, Stephen!

Wormholes. A Tough Act To Follow

Wormholes.  Just what the heck do they look like?  And what would it be like to the person traversing a portal through space and perhaps time?  Watching wormholes in classic movies like Contact and TV shows like Sliders, it would seem like I had a tough act to follow.

But I did not look at these questions as problems a writer has to overcome.  I saw them as opportunities to write some really cool stuff that kept me awake late into many nights!!!  With a little help from my editor Marvin Wilson, of course.

First, the colors.  Most shows use blues.  So I opted for the opposite; orange and yellow.  Just to be different.  Then came the experience.  How would one feel once they exited, other than being thankful for being alive?  I took off on this very thought.  Here are example from each of the three books from the Breakthrough trilogy:

In Breakthrough:  The bad guys use wormholes to assassinate powerful global figures.  In and out without a trace.  Seems like a perfect crime.  Here is Staci Bevere returning and explaining what she experienced, which ironically trumped the murder of a Massachusetts State Senator she just committed.

“That was fantastic, Nicky.  It’s the journey of a lifetime.  I’ll never get over the feeling of being in one location one moment, then being in another place the next.  It’s hard to explain, but I felt a sensation of ecstasy and elation.  I experienced what seemed like an awareness of bliss that awaits us on the other side.  It was as if I had passed through an angelic host along the way.”

Hold that thought.

In Opening:  Here is Staci expecting the same blissful event, but encountering something horribly different (This is my Readers Digest version of the event):

Staci was scared.  No, she was horror-struck—heart racing— breathing hard.  She had experienced an event completely new to her, a sense of imminent evil when she stepped through the wormhole.

Although her journey from Cambridge to Manhattan was almost instantaneous, Staci felt as if she had spent a lifetime in the tunnel.  It was as though she had passed through a caliginous catacomb of decaying bodies and malodorous swamp water.  Yet, somehow, she sensed the rotting bodies belonged to the living— if that were even conceivable .  It was a place of agony and terrible suffering.

The best way she could explain the phenomenon was that she had skirted deadly close— maybe the event horizon?— to … what?  Like a black hole opening to some demonic supernatural realm?  Whatever , it had to be the outer edges of the bowels of Hell.  The horrible feculence … and the sense of living while eternally rotting and suffering … could not be accounted for any other way.

In Escalation:  Here is Chase’s childhood friend traversing a wormhole to save the day.

I’m going to make it.  Bennie felt a rapturous euphoria like never before.  He knew he had experienced something no one else had.  The ultimate round trip thrill ride: stepping through a wormhole and crossing over into a parallel dimension.

Bennie had lost all recollection of time.  The passage could have been a brief moment.  Or hours.  Maybe a lifetime.  After taking that initial leap he’d experienced the sensation of traveling through space with only the momentum of his initial step forward.  Along the way, there was no up or down, right or left.  But he didn’t think he was spinning.  He felt upright through the journey.

He couldn’t see Carol.  Only fading colors, blending together into different hues, fluctuating from bright to dull, back and forth.  He couldn’t understand, let alone interpret and describe, his surroundings.  Time and space raced by, silently, and far too fast for his mind to comprehend.

But he could feel his hand squeezed tight around Carol’s.  Warm.  Soft.  He sensed she tightened her grip.  And he was not going to let go.  Up ahead, a light.  Growing.  Turning blue.  Is that the sky?  The trip … it’s … it’s over.  We’re arriving on the other side.  Bennie felt a bliss he hoped he’d never forget.

He skidded to a halt in arid dusty sands.  Carol ran into his back.  He almost gave way.  But he held his own, keeping her from knocking them both face first in the sand.

This is how I describe wormholes from the characters POV to the reader.  Of course, there are many more instances of traversing wormholes in the Breakthrough series.

If you enjoyed this post, stop by Stephen’s Blog for more information on the Breakthrough series.  To download Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan >CLICK HERE<.

Stephen Tremp lives with his wife and two daughters in Mission Viejo, CA.  He has a B.A. in information systems and an MBA degree in global management.  Stephen has a background in information systems, management, and finance and draws from this varied and complex experiential knowledge to write one-of-a-kind thrillers.

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