The Infinity Wheel Novels
Available at major outlets as e-book or paperback:
This surname is entirely made up. An internet search in 2009 found nothing like it,
avoiding any awkward confusion with real people. It sounds like "cylinder",
a geometrical shape representing a wheel (like the Infinity Wheel - get it?).
It also sounds sort of French which could be the family's heritage.
Here are lots of Fun Facts about the Infinity Wheel and Ka'sora, listed in roughly
the order encountered in the story. Most of these Fun Facts won't make any sense
unless you read the novel, so please purchase a copy and read it - thanks!
Sy's given first name is a tribute to two of the author's friends James E. and Jim L.
This acronym means Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (French for European
Organization for Nuclear Research), which operates the Large Hardon Collider (LHC).
In 2018 the author toured CERN visitor centers while on a business trip (left).
Learn more about CERN here and the LHC here
There really is a CERN control center, and it looks like this (below).
Try to imagine a wall-sized screen on the far wall.
This alien species is based on tardigrades ("water bears"), which are super-tough microscopic
animals that can survive almost anything. Xyrl have 6 appendages, as opposed to 8 on tardigrades.
Learn more here.
Including Electr-i-Hydro cars, Port-i-Comp computers, and Neuron-i-Comm phones, this pokes fun
at Apple's insistence on naming products with a leading "i". The implication is that in the future a
company (unnamed) makes all sorts of high tech things using the "i-in-the-middle" branding theme.
Future hydrogen-powered electric car technology allowing quick refueling (fill up a hydrogen tank)
and also long range. Current examples of hydrogen-fueled cars include the Honda Clarity and
Toyota Mirai. It's not difficult to image that, someday, fossil-fueled cars will be rare and probably
heavily regulated, if not downright outlawed.
Computer utilizing future technology enabling the automated configuration of a single device
into any desired computing form-factor, interface, and feature set. Why have 4 or 5 different
devices when you can do everything with just one? Indeed, there are already devices on the
market heading this direction.
This number recurs in several ways, including the
number of reality Slices and the number of Messengers.
This name is a mash-up of the authors' nieces'/cousins' names: Jessica + Amanda = Jessanda.
The character's mention of a scientific article proving this ability
exists among a small proportion of people is based in fact.
Psychologist Daryl Bem's experiments, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011
"Paranormal Psychologist", Discover magazine, March 2012
Jessanda's blue backpack:
Based on the authors' family backpack that traveled to many fun vacation places, including places
that inspired the story such as Hawaii, Grand Cayman, and CERN headquarters in Geneva.
Named after one of the author's favorite high-school teachers.
This name is derived from the authors' nephew/cousin: Kevin -K +T -i +a = Tevan.
The similarity to "Tevatron" was a happy coincidence after the name had already been created.
Learn about Fermilab's Tevatron here.
Predicts how smart phones might evolve in the near future. No more clumsy touchscreen and
button interfaces, no more recharging, and artificial intelligence (AI) tech adapts to an individual's
preferences for interacting with the device via a non-invasive interface linked to their unique
nervous system. And with it plastered to your face, you'll never drop it and break the screen.
Steve the CERN security guard:
Named after the authors' good friend Steve P.
Hypersonic air travel:
This is literally on the horizon. The STRATOFLY vehicle is just one concept - learn more here.
Climate change references:
The world as we now know it certainly will be impacted by climate change, such as hotter drier
summers, much less golf and skiing, etc. But the novel presents an optimistic near future where
climate change is universally accepted as real science and solutions are (finally) happening.
For example, all vehicles and buildings are "green tech", at least in Europe.
There really is a golf course along the Promenade de la Manchette near
the center of the LHC in France. Here is the website.
Dr. Theo Retishan:
This name intentionally sounds like "theoretician" when said quickly.
Physics and cosmology of the Infinity Wheel (IW) universe:
Inspired by Brian Greene's books, which the author enjoyed thoroughly. Dr. Greene's books explain
the history and current state of theoretical physics and cosmology, while revealing certain unsolved
problems, questions, and mysteries.
The IW concept proposes "solutions" to some of these, such as the nature of extra dimensions in
super-string theory, what dark matter really is, and what is really driving the accelerating cosmic
expansion (obliquely mentioned only briefly in Book 1: Ka'sora).
Learn more about Brian Greene's books and TED talks here and his PBS show here.
Left: The author spent many hours before finally hitting on this diagram to illustrate
how the IW's nine spatial dimensions interplay to form nine intertwined realities.
Bismuth crystal translation platform:
Inspired by the authors' son/brother Eric's sample, acquired at a local rock/gem show.
Imagine a 5-meter diameter platform made entirely of this (left).
Doug the technician (who replays the pivotal video of Sy):
A small tribute to the authors' brother/uncle Doug, who really is a technician.
Sy's kung fu skills:
Inspired by the author's own martial arts exploits.
First sketched in pencil by the authors' niece/cousin Jessica, a talented artist:
Ka'sora's kaleidoscope jungles:
The idea of plants with stripes, spots, and splotches was later inspired by a visit to the Queen
Elizabeth II Botanic Park on Grand Cayman island, including these and others found at local nurseries:
Flying cat-people evolved from the author's pre-teen imaginings of colorful house cats that she
really, really wanted to fly. Since magic doesn't belong in a science fiction story, the connection
between grei'ca and Quintessence was invented to bridge the gap.
This was invented somewhat haphazardly as the story grew. Some words are entirely made up,
while others are mash-ups of synonyms for the English equivalent. Here is a translation guide.
An actual scientific concept - "a scalar field postulated as an explanation of the observation
of an accelerating rate of expansion of the universe" - according to Wikipedia here.
Though Quintessence in the Infinity Wheel cosmology has some similarities, it plays an
expanded role as the binding medium of all particles scattered throughout the multi-reality
universe, and is offered as a "solution" to the mystery of instantaneous quantum entanglement.
Felidais character names:
To help readers keep them all straight, each Felidais name starts with a unique letter.
For example, there is only one "A" name (Ar'mora), one "B" name (Bak`athl), and so forth.
The Felidais homeland island with its steep, towering central volcano has some Earthly parallels:
Lopevi, in Vanuatu
Atlasov, off the Kamchatka pennisula
Ometepi island, in Nicaragua
Yina the Hea`lar:
Inspired by the authors' (previous) chiropractor who encouraged the writing of this novel.
Yina's xra`beina lens represents imaging x-rays used by chiropractors for diagnosis, and her
cli'cli'carae sounds like a chiropractor's activator instrument used for treatment ("click click").
The Felidais revere their home planet as a living deity.
But the idea of a planet being alive, and revered, is not new.
Organized as sun-, moon-, and season-cycles, which are equivalent to our days, months, and years.
The bioluminescent flower light is based on the Mt. Diablo fairy-lantern,
a rare flowering species endemic to the authors' locale:
As witnessed by the Sylaindurs on the banks of the River of Life, might have
looked something like this color-adjusted photo of a wildfire-smoke-filled sky:
Journey of the Messengers:
The adventure across Tem'pal Ilen`dia was roughly mapped out on a white-board as
the story was drafted, to help with consistency of directions and locational relationships:
Ascents of the volcanic spire to witness Jessanda's birthday Ka'soran moon show, and later
up the big slab in the Valley of Boulders, are inspired by the author's own climbing pastime.
If this novel is ever turned into a full-length feature film (one can dream, right?), the music during
the moon show will be Fleetwood Mac's Brown Eyes , followed by Never Forget as the couple
down-climbs to the stream. Both songs are from the Tusk album.
Originally imagined as a wild lightning and thunder event (left), it was later changed to a
meteor shower as the history and nature of Ka'sora's moons and faint planetary ring evolved.
The location on a small island in a lake in a volcanic caldera on an island in a larger body
of water seems like an implausible freak of nature, until you consider this parallel on Earth:
Taal volcano in the Philippines
The one at the peak of the Great Mountain of the High Ones is painted royal blue,
which mirrors the LHC's ring here on Earth:
Partly inspired by images like this (left) of real volcanic eruptions causing incredible lightning displays.
Our incredible species very well could have first appeared in south central Africa. Will we ever really
know what (or who?) "flipped the switch" to inspire us to begin making tools, art, music, and "magic"?
The family ends up in the French Alps above the town of Les Houches, and the math does work out.
The translation chamber behind their house at the LHC's center would be about 500 m elevation,
while the peaks just below Mt. Blanc are about 4300 m. The difference would be the height of
Ka'sora's Great Mountain of the High Ones, or 3800 m (about 12,400 feet). This is just shy of
Hawaii's Big Island volcanos, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, making this a viable scenario.
It's mid-autumn in a climate-change-warmed Europe, so it's plausible for the family to hike from the
high peaks downhill into Les Houches. It's certainly a long hike with about 2800 m elevation change,
but the Sylaindurs are in great physical shape after their adventures on Ka'sora. A map of the area:
More music ideas: While the soon-to-be-separated couple cries on the docks overlooking the
steaming caldera lake, Fleetwood Mac's Beautiful Child plays hauntingly (also from the Tusk album).