Friday, July 5, 2019

"The Outside"

Ada Hoffmann is the author of the space opera novel The Outside, the collection Monsters in My Mind, and over 60 published speculative short stories and poems.

Hoffmann applied the Page 69 Test to The Outside and reported the following:
The Outside is a novel about AI Gods, cosmic horrors, and an unfortunate scientist named Yasira Shien who's caught between them. On page 69, Yasira, has been summoned to help the Gods find her mentor, Dr. Evianna Talirr. She's been reading Dr. Talirr's allegedly heretical papers, and on this page, she's arguing with one of the angels (cyborg servants of the Gods).
"Is this a trick? Are these really Dr. Talirr's papers, or did you make fake ones somehow, to try to - I don't know - to get a reaction out of me, or to tempt me into agreeing with some of the heresy. Because this makes no sense! It's science, and the math checks out, but it makes no sense. Dr. Talirr wouldn't do this."
Yasira is having trouble assimilating the information about a woman she thought she could trust. But she's even more unsure what the information means about her, after all the time she spent working with Dr. Talirr and helping create a reactor based on Dr. Talirr's science.
Yasira took a short, fuming breath. She suddenly realized she was frightened, not angry. She didn't want to say this next part. But these were angels of Nemesis; they'd find out what she was thinking sooner or later.

"And," she said, "this is Dr. Talirr's worldview. It affects everything she does. So the Talirr-Shien Reactor is like this too, isn't it? I'm a heretic, too."
To some degree, page 69 is still setting things up. It's a pretty representative depiction of one of the main conflicts in the book. But at this point, the characters are still getting used to the basics of what that conflict is. In subsequent chapters, it's about to get much weirder.
Visit Ada Hoffmann's website.

--Marshal Zeringue