A World So Close


I used to watch Star Trek with my grandma. An avid reader, if she were living today I think she would have loved genre fiction of all stripes.

I also remember watching the original Star Trek series with my dad. “Oh, I remember this one,” he’d say — and I would be amazed that he could recall every single episode. We watched the show in re-runs, so of course he’d already seen all seventy-nine episodes when they had originally aired, but my ten-year-old self couldn’t fathom remembering all of that information.

I vividly remember watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series – of the “billions and billions” fame — and being fascinated with a world beyond the night sky that we were only beginning to understand. Then I read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series with my mom. Later I discovered Arthur C. Clarke, a man well known for his quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I was hooked.

All of these experiences (and more: Star Wars, Blade Runner, the list goes on) infused in me that “sense of wonder” science fiction readers crave. The universe was vast and wonderful and I devoured stories offering some explanation of that. When I sat down to write THE SPIRAL PATH, I wanted to create a story that captured those early and treasured experiences. I wanted to share that “sense of wonder.”  Of course, my favorite science fiction stories also offer some romance. Who can forget Star Wars’ Princess Leia and Han Solo? The Terminator’s Sarah Connor and Kyle Reece? The Matrix’s Trinity and Neo?

The Spiral PathTHE SPIRAL PATH, however, twists the usual idea of space opera, where enormous spaceships travel faster than light across the vast distances of space. Instead, this story explores not planets in far off galaxies, but the possible worlds just under our noses — so close to us that our universes are separated by fractions of millimeters. In other words, parallel universes.

Scientists in my fictional world soon realized that people and objects didn’t fare so well in the opposite dimension. In fact, after a short time, objects and even people began to fall apart. Turns out, at the Big Bang every dimension vibrated at its own frequency and never the twain shall meet. In the meantime, some travelers had developed relationships. Some had even conceived children.

This is the world Lara and Raphael Soto were born into, rare live births and even rarer twins. Children like them, called Chimerans, could live in both dimensions, but not their parents. So they grew up in fractured families, something many of us today — in our living rooms right here on planet Earth — can relate to.

Lara grew up and fell in love not with another Chimeran, but with a Star Union officer named Mitch Yoshida. Neither dimension knows just what to make of the Chimerans, but both also want to use them to their own advantage. The situation turned sour enough to force a mass Chimeran defection with Lara at the helm, but she had to leave Mitch behind. Not all Chimerans defected, however, and Raphael stayed on to serve with Mitch in the Star Union. When he goes missing on a dangerous mission, Lara and Mitch must team up to find him and dredge up their feelings for one another all over again.

If you’re new to science fiction romance, I hope THE SPIRAL PATH’s other world draws you in with its “sense of wonder” and that the love story keeps you interested. We all want to be loved, whether we live on a mid-western farm at the turn of the century, solve crimes in a giant metropolis, or travel faster than light to start a colony on Mars – or even in another dimension.

What about you? What science fiction books, movies or TV have captured your attention? Who are some of your favorite couples from science fiction romance?


Lisa Paitz SpindlerLisa Paitz Spindler is a science fiction author, web designer, blogger, and pop culture geek. Her debut space opera novella, THE SPIRAL PATH, will be released March 28, 2011 from Carina Press. In addition to contributing book reviews and television recaps to SF Signal, she also maintains the Danger Gal Blog hosted by her alter ego, Danger Gal, whose stiletto heels are licensed weapons and whose ninja stars travel faster than light. Lisa, however, gets through each day on caffeine and science blogs. Lisa can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Buy THE SPIRAL PATH now: AmazonBarnes & NobleCarina Press

Out Of This World Blog Tour Giveaway

Retro Saturn Tshirt As part of the Out Of This World Blog Tour, Lisa is giving away a copy of THE SPIRAL PATH and this Retro Saturn T-shirt to one lucky reader.

Everyone who enters will receive a door prize: THE SPIRAL PATH electronic trading cards depicting the four main characters in the story. Click here to enter.

On Sunday, April 3 Lisa will draw and announce the winning name on her blog.

18 thoughts on “A World So Close”

  1. Tia Nevitt says:

    Wow. You hooked me with all the intertwined relationships, and for understanding that science fiction fans are after that sense of wonder. Guess I’ll be downloading this one!

  2. Glad to hear that, Tia. I hope you love it! I also tried to infuse that sense of wonder into the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4qFQWYp900

  3. Stacey says:

    Cheers on your debut, Lisa!! Been looking forward to reading this one :) Now see, I watched Bonanza and a ton of John Wayne with my parents and grandparents, must be why I write westerns, dang early childhood impressions ;-) But I do love me some fantasy and sci-fi!

    Cool shirt! I want!! :)

  4. I grew up watching Star Trek with my dad. We’d watch the re-runs every evening before dinner. Love those memories.

    I love the different dimensions you created in THE SPIRAL PATH…it just makes me think. Could it be possible? Are there other worlds? Could we ever find them?

    Congrats on your new release!!

  5. C.L. Wilson says:

    gotta lurve me some sci-fi! That and fantasy/paranormal remain some of my all time favorites in books, movies and TV.

    Favorite sci-fi shows/movies – Dune (the sci-fi channel series, esp); Battlestar Galactica- both versions; Star Trek, Star Trek Next Gen, Star Trek Voyager, Star Trek Enterprise! The new star trek movie finally turned my children to become Trekkies – what a gorgeous film. And of course, the most recent sci-fi spectacular (and a great romance too) – Avatar.

    Other faves in movies include The Terminator, Starman (just the best sci-fi/alien romance ever – Yay Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen), Star Wars, Logan’s Run, I-Robot, Enemy Mine, The Matrix, and the Aliens movie franchise (Aliens – the 2nd movie – remains one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all times.)

    And for a bit of nostalgia – Moonbase Alpha anyone? When I was a kid, I was utterly hooked on Space: 1999 and the adventures of the crew from Moonbase Alpha.

  6. I loved Star Trek & Fringe’s other dimension has been fascinating
    Best of luck, Lisa, with this great book!

  7. Amanda Alvarez says:

    The book sounds really interesting, I love the entwined character plot lines. Congrats on your release.

  8. P. Kirby says:

    Babylon 5, because I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet.

    I love the idea of parallel universes vibrating at their own frequencies. I’ve had the same thoughts when watching a PBS show about string theory.

    Science-y stuff and romance. Will have to add this to my TBR list.

  9. Shawn Kupfer says:

    Sounds awesome. And I, too, was in awe of my dad for remembering pretty much everything about the original series. ;)

  10. I am SO proud of you, Lisa. I have to admit I don’t understand all that you talk about because I haven’t followed the stars like you. How wonderful you have the memories with your Dad. I can see why you do so well with your story telling.

    Under duress from our writer friends, I finally did watch the first three Star Wars movies and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. It’s fun to expand my horizons and go into space with you. Best of luck with lots of sales. Your story is a great read.

  11. Angi Morgan says:

    You got me at SPACE ROMANCE.
    Woo Hoo. Congrats, Lisa !


  12. Ilona says:

    I love science fiction and your story fits in with the parallel universes that is one of my favourite themes :D

  13. I can’t believe no one said Firefly yet! :) I also loved Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlein back in high school.

    Lisa, I’ve been intrigued by this book since I first heard about it. It sounds like it has elements from some of my favorites, like Sliders and Fringe, but in a totally unique presentation. Can’t wait to read it!

  14. Hi Lisa,

    I’m so happy you described the plot of The Spiral Path in more detail; I had no idea Chimerans were dimension straddlers. Terrific idea!

    Oh yes, and I’m a Trekkie from way back, too.

  15. Mona Risk says:

    Lisa, your bookcover is gorgeous and the story reminds me so much of Star Trek. So proud of your succes.

  16. Janice Lynn says:

    Great post, Lisa!! I’m excited about your book, love the cover, and know this is going to be a fabulous read!!!

  17. Yep, I watched Star Trek in re-runs and I read all those books you mention. Looks like I’ll have to read Spiral Path, too! Congratulations on your debut, Lisa.

  18. Anna Sugden says:

    I admit – I used to be a scifi junkie. I grew up reading Asimov and Ray Bradbury et al.

    I love Star Trek and always wanted to own a Tribble. I wasn’t too sold on the spin-offs or the movies until the most recent one – which I loved.

    Also loved movie’s like Logan’s Run and Starman and that cartoon The Jetsons.

    So excited about The Spiral Path!

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