The Great Paradox of P

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P can only mean one thing for me, and that’s paradox. More specifically, time paradox. I was watching something science-fictiony involving time travel when, as usual, the characters took great pains to avoid seeing themselves, because doing so would create a time paradox. I couldn’t help but wonder, what happens if you face the time paradox straight on? What happens if you let the characters meet themselves?

And so The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management was born. It takes place in a world where humans have mastered time–or, at least, they think they have–and looks at how that would likely turn out, given human nature.

Not well, as  a rule.

In Amber’s universe, time is controlled in the Time Management Center, where she’s a clerk processing time files. She’s been a little bit of a bad  woman when it comes to her files, and it’s about to catch up with her.


The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management by Isa-Lee Wolf. Amazon for $2.99. Avoid the time paradox, they say. Paradoxes will rip apart the very essence of space and time, they warn.

Oops.

It’s too late for that for Amber, a clerk at the Time Management Center, who spends her days filing time innies, outies and midlies. When she finds herself being hauled up the side of Mount Chicago, sprawled over the shoulder of a man she doesn’t know, she senses that something is off. Then again, it happened on the heels of one of her lowest days, a day she was relieved was over. Until it wasn’t. The Spokes, which should keep everything when it’s supposed to be, aren’t doing their job, and it doesn’t help that their coffee’s not so great either.

Even worse, the whirling cone of infinity is back in her kitchen, she keeps running into herself everywhere, and people are on to her about what she was doing—but shouldn’t have been doing—with her time files. For Amber, the Great Time Paradox is vastly overrated.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi, the Peanut Butter and Jelly of Books

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Fantasy and science-fiction always seem to be joined at the hip, lumped together like some kind of science-experiment-gone-wrong with-wizarding powers. I’ve even done it here, shame on me, under “categories” even though the two genres are, often, utterly distinct.

But the thing is, they aren’t always. It’s those blurry cases, those non-bright line cases, that have them nestled together in every bookshop. I’m currently working on a young adult novel, one I’d planned to keep pretty solidly over the fantasy line. But the thing is that, no matter what I do, it feels as though the science wants to keep creeping in.

Maybe it’s because it’s my aesthetic. Maybe it’s because it’s where the story wants to go, needs to go. And maybe it’s because that line is really difficult to draw firmly.

Though the elements of science-fiction and fantasy have different origins–magical versus concrete–they both like to go into the same impossible places. They’re like really good friends who get each other. And like good friends, sometimes they visit one another’s homes.

In this mushy, genre-busting world, maybe bright lines are another thing likely to go. Maybe they’ve never really been there at all. Or maybe it doesn’t really matter, and we can sit back and enjoy the ride, whether we’re traveling by spaceship or dragon or a little of both.

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