No one knew where the gates came from, the wondrous multifaceted globes that led to destinations across the Universe. And no one knew where the ancient civilizations had gone, only that they had all disappeared.
Shadows was the next book I wrote after The Deep Dark Well. I again wanted to feature a strong female lead, after reading of some small presses that were looking for such. When I finally dealt with them I found them to be fly by night organizations that couldn’t even keep their hard drives working. In fact on of them lost my submission twice due to crashes, and I finally settled on the three big time publishers I had always tried before. After the last submission I was really expecting some personal rejection letters in the least, but instead just got the form letters. I eventually sent it to fifty agents and got a mixture of this is good but not for us, interesting idea, but not for my list, and the thanks for the look form rejections. I thought it was a damned good novel, as did some people who read it before I sent it out for submission. So it was back to the hard drive and on to the next project, until I started self publishing.
With Shadows I decided to do something different. The last novel I had written had been about black holes and wormholes, subjects that have gotten a lot of coverage in literature. Larry Niven used black holes in many of his stories, including quantum black holes. I decided to explore some of the other really weird topics in modern cosmology, like string theory and multidimensional space, with some of the spookiness of quantum physics thrown in for good measure. And since most novels about star travel confine themselves to the local neighborhood or local arm of the story, I decided to throw the entire Universe into the mix. I thought that the gates, which have been done before but not as I treated them, would open up the entire Universe. Set beyond the edge of the solar systems they served, each rotating ball had three million openings that would propel any object entering them to another sphere somewhere else in the Universe. By going through multiple gates it was possible to go to trillions of possible destinations. Aliens had discovered them as well, and the race was on to grab what could be colonized. Other groups from Earth established their own colonies and broke away into independent governments, much as was done on the planet in earlier ages. And civilization spread across the stars, and to the stars of Galaxies billions of light years away. No one knew who built this system, or even if it was a construct, but it only seemed to go to planets which were habitable, or had been at one time or another.
I thought I had another science fiction with science spectacular like the last book, one that might take off. It didn’t, but when it came time to self publish this was a natural to put out there. More to follow.