Descending Circles: Ascending Earth
© John Eric Ellison
Today, popular fiction likes a mixed medium. Readers enjoy combinations of elements from popular genres like murder mystery and magic, adventure and history, martial arts and flights of the imagination. This has not always been true for science fiction and fantasy. Science fantasy developed out of a need to push science fiction beyond what might seem possible when written within the strict confines of older, classic, science fiction. When I say ‘science fantasy’, I do not mean a simple combination of computers and magic. I mean science fiction that superficially seems like magic until the science of the magic is unveiled. Revolutionary new theories in physics, which themselves seem metaphysical on the surface, allowed the science fantasy genre to develop and to gain measured respect from the old-school science fiction community. The movie “Matrix” is one example of science fantasy. Books like David Brin’s “Practice Effect” or Jack L. Chalker’s “Midnight at the Well of Souls” are literary examples of science fantasy in that their authors explained their use of manipulated physics by way of hypothetical science. In contrast, “Juxtaposition” by Piers Anthony, and “Madwand”, by Roger Zelazny, relied heavily upon their author’s use of alternate universes, which enabled Zelazny and Anthony to use the elements of magic without restraint or an immediate need for any explanations. This is certainly not a criticism, only a comparison between formidable styles.
“Descending Circles: Ascending Earth” was envisioned and researched over several years as my project to generate hypothetical sense out of quite a few mysteries and anomalies. My intention was to stretch science fiction to the edge of known science and then beyond those boundaries to the degree that I risk accusations of mixing fantasy with hard science. However, I am in good company because modern theories in science seem to stretch the limits of credibility into the camp of metaphysics before returning full circle into the grappling hands of scientific method. These provocative theories certainly rely upon the audience’s grasp of abstracts more than ever before. Descending Circles embraces this approach and dares to conceptualize abstract ideas; while at the same time is loaded with thrills and colorful characters. Clearly defined character archetypes and classic forms of writing are integral to this epic about humanity’s place in the universe and relationships here on our own planet. It is an adventurous science fantasy describing interstellar and planetary conflict as well as a resulting peace from a single heart’s desire. Here is portrayed the crowded, passionate, flow of human destiny, redirected in a solitary moment.
The book begins with a man looking for a job when he meets and befriends an unusual woman. One thing turns into several others and by the end of the book this same man is responsible for releasing our planet from interstellar isolation and in turn resolves an age-old conflict between two inter dimensional, space faring, races. This novel relies heavily on character development and relationships. The two main characters are Mel Gray Eagle of the Nez Perce tribal nation and Specter, an ancient, enigmatic, being, who frequently appears to be human. In addition, there are eight, unusual, supporting characters - five women and three men. “Descending Circles: Ascending Earth” is certainly fanciful and does not pretend to be shy about that fact; however, if it has done its job, it should leave you with more than a little pause for thought.