This is an alternate reality, Phillippe reminded himself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. He had to keep affirming this in his mind, or he could easily step on one of two related but opposite landmines: he could fail to take the dangers here seriously and thus perish at their hand, or he could become too invested in them and become trapped by the logic of this place. He had to be vigilant during his stay.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the province, Sam skulked along on the sidewalk as traffic zipped by at its usual frenetic clip. Sam and Phillippe were ostensibly here together, but rarely interacted in this timeline in order to avoid being taken for coconspirators. Which of course they were, but conspiracies are more effective when their members work autonomously. Still, it made her feel anxious and alone.

Since they had uncovered the portal, everything had felt this way for both of them. The growing wave of their budding romance had been put on the back burner as they first doubted what they had seen, then came to investigate its workings, and finally learned to manipulate its effects in order to try and set things right. It had been almost a year since they stumbled upon the phenomenon — far too long. Continue Reading

There had to be an answer somewhere—there always was. They wouldn’t give me a problem without a solution, would they? Could they, even if they wanted to? Even Fermat’s been solved—everything has.

neuronnetwrkThen again, maybe this is part of the problem in itself: the idea that every question requires an answer. What a different world it might be if some things were left open, unquantified, elusive, awesome…

But that’s not this world, to be sure. Multilayered complex problems require equally robust solutions, which tend to create further complications, requiring more solution-oriented processes, and so on.

I remember once reading something about how cultures generally define for themselves a range of ailments consistent with their level of knowledge and medicine; beyond this realm lies the unnamed. Continue Reading