A computer-generated rendering of a possible six-dimensional geometry similar to those studied by UW-Madison physicist Gary Shiu. (Image: courtesy Andrew J. Hanson, Indiana University)

I guess I’m a bigger fan of science fiction than I realized before I started writing. My introduction to sci-fi was several collections of short stories beginning at about twelve-years-old and, although I will not reveal my age, I will say that I have lived long enough to see many of the outlandish and outrageous proposals of what the future might hold become true. This happens with such regularity that, somewhere along the way, I began to wonder which comes first. Are the sci-fi writers clairvoyant or do they give inventors/implementors ideas? I strongly suspect the latter – the message then being, be careful what you write?

Some of my best reviews mention the concept of parallel universe. While I love getting great reviews as much, if not more, than anybody, I feel compelled to try and correct this misimpression.  The concept presented in the Black Swan series is that of ALTERNATE DIMENSIONS which is quite different.  I did take a stab at having the character, Deliverance, explain it in The Witch’s Dream without getting too technical and drowning readers in more than they wanted to know on the subject.

Here are a couple of questions that came up on Bitten by Books in a release party for The Witch’s Dream. I’m going to publish them here to shed some light on the subject.

kimberly says: October 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Victoria, how did you come up with the parallel universe theory and having a close double for everyone? And why did Elora have to go through such “re-birthing” pains?

Victoria Danann says: October 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Okay, first, the idea presented is this series is based on Parallel Dimensions which is really different from Parallel Universe theory. Parallel Dimensions are planetary – different planes functioning without conscious awareness of each other, but all tied to Earth. At one time it may have been a notion of science fiction, but scientists have been discussing the possibilities more seriously for the past fifty years or so.

I was working with the idea metaphysically because I had a thought one day that some of my dreams are reflections of other versions of myself, connected by a spiritual thread that reveals itself through the unconcious in dream state. That plus some instances of turning things around – like one day dealing cards counter clockwise when I have been dealing cards clockwise all my life, or looking for the trash under the right side of the sink when it’s been on the left in every house I have EVER lived in. (This is hard to explain briefly. LOL)

The reason why Elora had to suffer is because, if it turns out to be true that there are multiple dimensions in play, the objects and people within that dimension will be vibrating at speeds that are compatible with that plane, but not compatible with others (else there would be accidental cross-over). Because her cell density was designed for another vibration – and because the device was pre-experimental – it was a disaster. We have to assume that, given time and enough mishaps, Monq would have solved the problem.

Leslie Miner says: October 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Can you tell me more about your thoughts on parallel universes? I know, a complex subject.  In Book One, my thought was Elora came from what I would consider our present life plane.  I thought maybe she went to a past life plane when she ends up at Black Swan headquarters.   I know there’s a past-present-future going on at all times (or I should say that is what I think), but in Book Two when Deliverance describes the parallel universes, it sounded like there were a ton just in one level of existence.  I confused myself.  : )

Victoria Danann says:October 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Okay. Let me make some distinctions here that are probably going to be hard to follow in a couple of paragraphs. I don’t write about Parallel Universes. That’s a COMPLETELY different thing. I write about the possibility of ALTERNATE (not parallel) DIMENSIONS and it IS complicated!! It probably requires more imagination than PNR.

The theory is that there are lots of different levels of existence going on around us at the same time. We are not aware of each other because we’re operating at different levels of vibration, but WE ARE OCCUPYING THE SAME SPACE AT THE SAME TIME! I know it’s hard to get your mind around. When Elora traveled from one dimension to another, she had to speed up her level of vibration – the one she had been built for – which is why it tore her body to shreds.

Leslie Miner says: October 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Just read your response about parallel dimensions rather than parallel universes. So is this similar to my thinking of a past/present/future going on simultaneously?

Victoria Danann says: October 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm

No. I’m really not addressing time at all. You’re talking about Einstein’s theory and, as much as I would love to think I’m smart, I can’t get my mind around non-linear time. Been trying for decades. Can’t do it.

 NOTE: Please keep in mind that I am just a writer of fiction and FAR from an expert on this subject. I just know enough to suggest the idea. However, there is plenty of in-depth material if you’re interested in pursuing the idea further. It may not be long before it is proved to the satisfaction of the scientific community and may someday soon appear in high school science textbooks. Here’s an article entitled Physicists Find A Way To ‘See’ Extra Dimensions.”