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Jeffrey A. Carver Author Interview

Jeffrey A. Carver Author Interview

The Reefs of Time has the feel of a classic science fiction novel with the depth of modern novels like James SA Corey’s novels. What served as your inspiration for the idea behind this novel?

I think your characterization is spot on. I love the classic SF novel, but with depth of character and exploration of ideas. The initial impetus for the Chaos Chronicles series was chaos theory itself. I had recently read James Gleick’s Chaos, and about the same time was reading about chaotic movements of bodies in our solar system, and the risk to Earth of unexpected collision. That was half of it. The other half was the personal, the psychological: What are the implications of chaotic forces acting in the psyche of a man? Where might that lead? The Reefs of Time and its second half, Crucible of Time, had the momentum of the previous novels behind them and sent me headlong into a world far vaster in time and space than the world we know.

Shipworld is a gloriously imaginative place. What were some themes you wanted to capture with this world?

Truthfully, I just wanted to play. I loved the idea of a vast world floating at the edge of intergalactic darkness just beyond the rim of the Milky Way. And who would people such a world? Why, perhaps the refugees of thousands of worlds that died or were at risk.

The possibilities inherent in all the alien beings we might encounter were nearly endless, and so was the potential tapestry of history and other worlds and other ways of thinking and being that we would glimpse only a small piece of. I especially enjoyed the fractally dimensional characters such as the shadow-people, the Tintangles Ruall and Rings-at-Need, and the pandimensional gokat. In no case did I have a clue at the outset as to the ultimate importance of these beings. I met them along with Bandicut and learned as he learned. The accretion of his “family,” his companions whom he met on Shipworld, was as much a surprise to me as to him.

Bandicut is a compelling and exceptionally developed character. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with his character?

He was, and is, a reluctant hero. He never asked for the adventures he was thrown into, and he didn’t really want to get into it all. He was called upon to make considerable sacrifice, and he kicked quite a bit about it. At the outset, he was pretty disaffected, in part because a botched operation on his neural implants left him susceptible to a condition called “silence fugue,” which sometimes put him quite out of his mind. But he learned, he grew, he developed into the hero role.

The Reefs of Time is part one in your “Out of Time” Sequence. What can readers expect in part two?

The rest of the story! The Reefs of Time and Crucible of Time were written as a single novel, which grew in the telling. It’s two volumes, but it’s one novel!

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The Reefs of Time: Part One of the "Out of Time" Sequence (The Chaos Chronicles Book 5) by [Carver, Jeffrey A.]

The starstream is beautiful. But beauty turns deadly when an ancient AI bent on destruction uses it to travel uptime, to our near-future.

The Mindaru are dead. Or so exiled-Earthman John Bandicut and his alien companions believe, when they return to Shipworld after saving the Orion Nebula and countless inhabited worlds. But now another horde from this ancient and malicious AI colony is swarming toward the present from its birthplace deep in the past. Their opening: a temporal disturbance in the starstream, a hyperspatial thoroughfare used by myriad civilizations. The disturbance emanates from the planetary defenses of nearby Karellia, whose people know nothing of the starstream or the galaxy-threatening Mindaru.

Only Bandicut and his friends have the knowledge and experience to act. But several of Bandicut’s company have gone missing. Bandicut and Li-Jared must team with the pandimensional Ruall and her gokat—the oddest aliens Bandicut has met since the shadow-people—and journey to Karellia to find a way to cut off the timestream.

Separated from the others, Ik meets another human of Earth—a former lover of Bandicut’s!—and embarks with her on a perilous mission far back into deep time, seeking a way to stop the Mindaru at their source. They must thread a maze of impossible decisions. Can they tap the wisdom of the alien yaantel, known to the humans as the translator, to help them through?

The Chaos Chronicles returns at last in The Reefs of Time, part one of a heartstopping, two-part adventure. Concluded in Crucible of Time—coming in September from Nebula-nominated Jeffrey A. Carver!

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The Reefs of Time

The Reefs of Time: Part One of the "Out of Time" Sequence (The Chaos Chronicles Book 5) by [Carver, Jeffrey A.]

The Reefs of Time is a classic science fiction story about the adventures taking place in a distant cosmos. The novel starts out with our protagonists, John Bandicut and Co., feeling restless and ready for action after the end of a successful mission. Ik, Bandicut’s friend, manages to get ahold of Julie Stone, Bandicut’s ex-girlfriend. In his quest to bring her back to their world, he messes up and suddenly, the gang finds themselves in a strange new place. The portal has messed up and communication is becoming tougher. When the threat of the Mindaru looms over them, the group is split up to take care of this danger. Interesting new characters and a lot of gripping adventures follow and lead to a tremendously exciting ending.

The Reefs of Time is rich in character development, which I found refreshing for a science fiction novel. The characters were not always what they seem, but they were drawn with enough depth and sensitivity. I could empathize with nearly every single one of them. Although I felt that some elements of John and Julie’s relationship were left unexplored, their dynamic was super fun and interesting.

Shipworld was a glorious and imaginative place. The history and elements of this universe were very well-detailed. I felt immediately absorbed and captivated by this new, futuristic world. The story was also about Shipworld as a whole, not only focused on the lives of protagonists. It often hinted at a deeper picture at play, a sinister and nefarious plot that was puppeteering all of their actions. Even some of the well-intentioned were misguided in their behaviour. At times, I was confused about who I should root for, but I believe that’s a mark of a well-told story. Some of the scientific and futuristic jargon alienated me at times, but it was never too much. After all, who knows what the future really holds. The starstream is almost poetically depicted, lending a surreal nature to the whole deal.

The story is chock-full of action and adventure, pretty much guaranteeing an edge of the seat experience from start to finish. It’s definitely an innovative and thrilling universe and I would love to return to it.

Pages: 474 | ASIN: B07R3D5WZL

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