Wednesday, April 3, 2019

"The Chaos Function"

Jack Skillingstead’s Harbinger was nominated for a Locus Award for best first novel. His second, Life on the Preservation, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. He has published more than forty short stories to critical acclaim and was short-listed for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His writing has been translated internationally.

Skillingstead applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Chaos Function, and reported the following:
The Chaos Function is about a war reporter named Olivia Nikitas who mistakenly inherits the power to manipulate probability outcomes. First, she uses the power, unwittingly, to restore her friend’s life. But the new probability also sets the world on the path to apocalyptic destruction. Page sixty-nine is pretty representative of the novel, which is a thriller with a science fictional premise. Olivia has been abducted by members of the secret society who until now has held the probability power and passed it down through generations of exclusively male “Shepherds.” Here we have a scene between Olivia and one of her captors, a security officer named Dee, who seems to be the only woman in the Society’s remote compound with any sort of agency. In the morning, Olivia is to be vetted by the Society Elders, and Dee, against orders, is coaching Olivia. We have all the elements of the book. Suspense, mystery, a ticking clock, and the beginning of an alliance that will ultimately determine much of the action to come. So, yeah. Page sixty-nine rocks!
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Writers Read: Jack Skillingstead.

--Marshal Zeringue