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This week's Speculative Fiction Writer is Gary Starta. He's going to tell us about his book Demon Inhibitions and parallel universes. I have a feeling I'll love this post. Over to you, Gary.
What if you could change your universe? It brings to mind many possibilities some of them possibly pleasurable some not so much. Maybe we tend to think of a fresh start with a positive mind: change is good.
When I wrote Demon Inhibitions I wanted to take the protagonist Caitlin Diggs into a parallel universe, something which is becoming less science fiction and more science fact in the eyes of physicists like Michio Kaku who believes portals could lead us to other universes where everything would be altered. Not only things, but us; there could be other versions of ourselves out there.
Caitlin Diggs finds herself in a new universe meeting her ‘other’ self and discovers FBI must be in her DNA. Both Diggs work as Special Agents for the Bureau. But the other Caitlin works for a preternatural division of the FBI because in her universe demons are real along with many variations of preternatural beings.
It is interesting to ponder meeting yourself or in this case, Caitlin meeting Caitlin. Original Caitlin is shocked to find her other self can be so tolerant of demons. She wants to arrest them all but this is possible because they outnumber demons in this universe and they also live in segregation mistreated as if they aren’t entitled to rights.
This gray area intrigued me because if demons are not all evil it’s not okay to hate them all. Further complicating our Caitlin’s perspective, some demons are seeking out a means to curb their violent tendencies. Is it possible demons could have inhibitions? It seems so when Caitlin finds a singer who can temporarily treat demons with her vibrations of her voice. I always loved music and believed it would be a good vehicle to institute peace. But as Caitlin finds out, not all want peace for some odd reason.
There is a conspiracy in this parallel universe and now Caitlin must not only sort out a whole new life including boyfriend, home and friends, but find who has empowered a super demon hell bent on killing both humans and preternaturals.
Please enjoy an excerpt from Demon Inhibitions:
“Caitlin, I’m sorry I became angered when you asked me about my dealings with the paranormal. I do not share your abilities, but I do know something about battling the paranormal.”
Great! How much did Briana spill about me? I bit down on my lower lip to suppress my anger. But Diggs saw it anyway. Why wouldn’t she? Essentially, she was me, just an altered version.
“Try not to be angry, Caitlin. I want you to know you don’t have to feel uncomfortable about your abilities with me. I have no doubt they are genuine. Briana surmised you had left the FBI, your FBI, because they didn’t, or wouldn’t, believe in your psychic abilities. I think they’re foolish. In fact, if I were them, I would be envious.”
I felt a small smile tug at the corners of my mouth. “You would?”
“I would and I do.”
“So how will you report this case? Do your superiors know you are chasing a monster?”
“I have leeway to pursue my own cases if that’s what you’re asking. But if I did tell them, let’s just say they wouldn’t bat an eye.”
My quizzical expression encouraged Diggs to continue.
“There is something else you should know and it might be more unnerving than anything you’ve experienced in the last twenty-four hours.”
I laughed with sarcasm. “This, I’ve got to hear.”
“Caitlin, in this world, the FBI operates a preternatural crime division--a special unit created to hunt and capture demons.”
“Okay,” I said, bracing myself for what might come next. And here I was, hoping she was going to tell me chocolate is calorie free in this universe. I resisted a strong urge to roll my eyes and nodded for her to continue.
“But we don’t go on witch hunts… forgive the expression--sometimes I’m not the most politically correct detective. What I mean is that we only seek to arrest and prosecute the demons, or non-humans, we suspect are guilty of crime. Humans attempt to live in a peaceful coexistence with demons here. In other words, we don’t and we won’t--profile them.”
My anger bested me. “What!” I gasped. “Why aren’t you pursuing them all? And come to think of it, why are you so damn trusting when it comes to Manners?” I paused. “I’m sorry, Agent Diggs, maybe you’re just following orders, but when I worked as an agent I found orders to be…”
She rested her hand on my shoulder.
“Caitlin. We live in a very different world… here. We cannot go arresting every demon simply because it’s not possible. In my world, six out of every ten beings are non-human-- meaning those six are either demons or a combinations of species we call hybrids.”
“So is that why you even deal with Manners? Because if you ask me, the lesser of two evils still adds up to evil, at least in my book.” She began to speak, but I cut her off. “Don’t you think when push comes to shove he’s going to side with his own kind?” Spittle flew from my mouth. I had shocked even myself, realizing that tirade sounded quite racist. “I don’t want to sound like a genocidal dictator here, but I’ve seen the man in action. His son is a murder suspect in my world. Manners aided his escape.”
“I know this.”
“And yet, you still trust him?”
“Trust is maybe too strong a word. I believe his intentions to be just.”
Hmm. She sounded a lot like me: the brazen open-minded agent who dared to bend the rules if necessary, never afraid to take a stand against bureaucracy. I began to wonder what was happening to me. Had I become the one-dimensional robotic agent I once abhorred?
“Agent Diggs, I’m just having a hard time acclimating here…”
“Hey, it’s only been a day. You’ll adjust.
“I’ll settle for getting through.” Before I had a chance to finish my thought or clench my teeth, the ring began to take shape…
Thank you, Gary. I did enjoy your post and especially the excerpt. Parallel universes and the paradox of meeting oneself has intrigued me ever since first watching Journey to the Farside of the Sun as a young child. Demon Inhibitions is going on my TBR list!
That is it for this week. I will be back on Monday with an exciting reveal and promotion. Happy writing.