Future Comes from Behind
Paradigm Shift, #1
Paradigm Shift, #1
by STK Chan
GENRE: Science Fantasy
An ancient dimension of dark echoes from the past.
Lisa and her family barely manage to escape an invasion from the Rebel army in their home of Malta. Shortly after this episode, she discovers Exo, the ancient dimension she cannot understand until her late 20s. Exo is made of memories of the past; it brings forth all the strong echoes we leave behind. Lisa desperately wants to resolve the conflicts of this inner world peacefully, but quickly learns she must fight the shadows in people's hearts, materialized through battle re-enactments, warfare and emotional turmoil.
Soon the windows revealed smaller buildings and less crowded streets. The train grew emptier too. Lisa heard the monotonous hum of the wheels more clearly; it slowed her heartbeat down to a peaceful pace. In a flash, as she had done many times before, she crossed into what she believed to be a dreaming state of mind.
A dense forest surrounded her. It was cold, and patches of snow covered the ground.
It feels so real… But I wanted a nice view of wild, untamed mountains. And a waterfall. And why can’t I better control the season or the clothes I’m wearing? Lisa wondered, shivering a little. There! She finally spotted an exit from the curtain of trees.
Below, a large lake covered with floating sheets of ice lay at her feet. She was indeed on a mountain. The fresh air was freezing, but she breathed it in eagerly, ignoring the abundant vapors of her warm breath.
What could this resemble? Canada? Alaska? Lisa had learned that, by focusing very deeply with closed eyes, she could sometimes change her clothing or some of the details around her.
This time, only a long scarf appeared on her shoulders after she opened her eyes. “Not enough,” she said, shivering, but proceeded to walk along the cliff regardless. Minutes later, she stopped to take a better look into the distance. A boat? I don’t want to come across any other people this time...Ah, it’s just a log. She could not stand the cold any longer, so she thought about getting back.
Greg raised an eyebrow when he noticed her repeated blinking.
“Your lucid dreams again?”
Lisa nodded in confession.
“Where did you go this time?”
“Far…far from these many babylons.”
“Just another reason why we are a perfect match.” He smiled.
“They are so real. And they feel so long, though they really last just a fraction of a second.”
“Do you meet any people in there?”
“Yes, but I avoid them. It scares me to death how intense and unpredictable they are. Last week I met a tribe in Africa and before that I was in the middle of a medieval city.”
“Lucky you,” said Greg. “It’s a strange yet blissful anomaly, to escape reality like that.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A fan of nourishing SF&F fiction. Seeker of essential truths in historical non-fiction. Exploring life for almost half a century. Delivering action and matters of the inner self. "Chan has license to be more philosophical and issue-oriented, and on the whole he blends together different genres well." (John Staughton, SPR)
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3.5 out of 5 stars
future comes from behind by S.T.K. Chan depicts the journeys that a female named Lisa participates in as she becomes fully immersed in experiencing the dimension of Exo and learns how to interact with her fellow shamans as they attempt to battle evil by subtly altering past events.
This thought-provoking science fantasy tale is the first book in the ‘Paradigm Shift’ series. Through a series of vignettes, the author shows how a specially talented female hones her skills by participating in various key battles throughout history.
Unfortunately, the abrupt shifts between time and location interspersed with the snapshot looks at the main couple’s lives was disconcerting to me and sometimes it was difficult to discern when and where we were in Lisa’s existence. The cast of characters keeps growing even as the hints about Lisa’s power and role are gradually doled out, and it was sometimes difficult to figure out what was going on, especially with the folks who may be at different levels of expertise or power in the mysterious realm of Exo. The various rules governing what may or may not be shared and the mysteries hinted at regarding Lisa’s (and the world’s) future are somewhat nebulous and hopefully will continue to be revealed in subsequent books.
I think that the premise is good, and the creative way of distilling key conflicts around the world during various eras of history will undoubtedly appeal to those who enjoy analyzing the permutations of the butterfly effect on historical battles.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review