Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Matt Dickinson, author of the up-coming Mortal Chaos, to ThirstforFiction, with an introduction to his novel.
The concept for Mortal Chaos is very close to my heart. I have always been in awe of Chaos Theory and have read as many books about it as I can get my hands on. I’m not saying I understand the deep physics behind it but I can get the broad points and that’s enough for me!
Perhaps one moment when I really got hooked was when I made a film about avalanches. I discovered that an avalanche containing millions of tons of snow can be triggered by a single snow flake. That was an incredible thing to get my head around.
Basically we are all connected. Chaos Theory dictates it. In fact if you go back far enough in human history it seems we all came from the same single female…the universal eve. From that simple moment Chaos has spun us all off in different directions, creating opportunities for some, plunging others into war, famine or disaster.
That’s what I am trying to capture in the Mortal Chaos series, the dynamic energy of Chaos Theory, the way it can’t stop having a knock on effect.
We are children of Chaos and so is everything else in the universe. The tiniest imaginable rippled in the moments after the big bang were the ‘Chaos’ that led to matter forming and to life being possible at all.
My life has often been radically flipped upside down by tiny events. A lost piece of equipment on a mountain can set back an entire expedition or even lead to someone getting hurt. A phone call can lead to a whole new adventure…or not if you happen to be out at the shops when the phone rings!
The really exciting thing about Chaos Theory, and a big part of the inspiration for Mortal Chaos, is that it makes our lives totally unpredictable. Imagine if we always knew what was going to happen to us! How tedious would that be? Also, as technology links us in ever more intricate ways, Chaos finds new and exotic ways to weave its effects. In the third edition of Mortal Chaos, which I am currently writing, a brief video shot on a bullet train in Japan leads to mayhem in South America when it is uploaded to twitter and facebook.
Chaos never sleeps. Even when we are not thinking about it, it is silently affecting us.
The series has been great fun to write. I’ve had many sleepless nights trying to pull the plotlines together but I’ve always enjoyed the challenge. I like to explore the lives of people in the forgottten corners of the earth. A boy in a village in Malawi guarding his fields against baboons, a young monk living in an Asian dictatorship on the run from persecution. Many of the stories have been taken from real life…things I have witnessed on my film making expeditions.
In fact I’d better get back to work. More Chaos to squeeze onto the page!
PS watch out for flapping butterflies! If you see one—-run for your life!
Look out for my review of Mortal Chaos in the next few weeks!