Tag Archives: AmyBeth Inverness

Explaining the Inexplicable

by AmyBeth Inverness

On Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park in California, there are rocks that move seeming of their own volition, sometimes even sliding uphill. They leave long trails behind them. It is a well-documented phenomenon, and numerous scientific studies have attempted to solve the mystery. An abundance of theories have been proposed over the years, such as some kind of interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field or hurricane force winds. With no conclusive evidence, the sailing stones remained a mystery until 2014 when a pair of investigators used GPS to solve the puzzle. When conditions are just right, a combination of daytime rain and nighttime freezing followed by high winds pushes the rocks along on thin sheets of ice. Several scientific authors wrote an article on the phenomenon in August this year.

One might think that this news would be greeted with enthusiastic cheers by the world at large. However, there were some who expressed a certain disappointment that the mystery was no longer a mystery. There is a sense of loss that something once thought to be fantastic has turned out to be, if not exactly normal, mundane.

Humans are fascinated by the paranormal. The sailing rocks are no longer in that category.

As humans, we strive to understand the world around us. For millennia, scientists have performed careful studies while self-proclaimed intellectuals fabricated theories based on speculation instead of evidence. Junk science is alive and well, where investigators use questionable methods to reach their often paranormal conclusions.

Explaining Paranormal Activity

Paranormal phenomena abound on Earth. An anomaly does not have to be proven to involve aliens, ghosts or gods to be considered paranormal, it only has to lack an explanation related to what scientists know about our world. These mysteries are the perfect inspiration for speculative fiction. The Stargate franchise, for instance, is based on the idea that aliens once lived on Earth and enslaved humans. The show points to the pyramids at Giza and hypothesizes that the ancient Egyptians did not have the technology to build them, therefore it must have been aliens with superior technology.

Reality television also jumps on the bandwagon of pseudoscience. Several shows claim to hunt for and even find evidence of ghosts. For thousands of years, humans have postulated that, sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit lingers on Earth in some kind of other state of being. With such equipment as infrared cameras and EMF meters, investigators attempt to prove their existence.

Sherlock Holmes, a popular fictional character, is known for saying “Eliminate the impossible; whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” A good speculative fiction writer can come up with near infinite explanations for any scenario, whether mundane or abnormal.

Introducing The Incorporeum

The Incorporeum stories (included in the Biblical Legends anthology series from Garden Gnome Publications) postulate a single theory to explain multiple phenomena. The Incorporeum are non-corporeal creatures that exist symbiotically with humans. They are sentient and benevolent, referring to their human hosts as ‘Beloveds.’

The Incorporeum are not constrained by time. They move forwards and backwards at will, slipping seamlessly from a host in one era to a host in another and then back again. Ghosts are not the spirits of the dead, they are incorporeum who linger for a time after their hosts have died. A person remembering past lives is not reincarnated. They are simply sharing the memories of their incorporeum’s other hosts. Someone who hears a voice in their head is simply having a conversation with their symbiote.

In this purely fictional scenario, not all humans have an incorporeum, and those who do have one don’t always know it. Without evidence to the contrary, humans form mundane explanations for Incorporeum-related phenomena. They postulate that a person is mentally ill, or a charlatan, or that they are recalling something fictional and believing it is real. Sometimes humans attribute the Incorporeum’s presence to something supernatural, such as communion with an angel or a telepathic link with aliens.

Science Vs. Speculative Fiction

Real science and speculative fiction will forever be interrelated. A science-fiction writer looks at the science of their time and imagines how life would be different if the technology was much further advanced. Real scientists look at science fiction and sometimes find ways to turn the imagined science into something real and useful.

The purpose of science is the advancement of human knowledge and betterment of the human condition. The purpose of speculative fiction is to entertain and inspire. Both make valuable contributions to our world. The key is to always know which is which.

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth Inverness is a creator of Speculative Fiction and Romance. She can usually be found tapping away at her laptop, writing the next novel, or procrastinating by posting a SciFi Question of the Day on Facebook and Google Plus. When she’s not writing she’s kept very busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids and many pets with her husband in their New England home. AmyBeth Inverness is a featured writer in Garden Gnome Publications’ Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah anthologies.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Gnome Bomb: Interloper

Submitted by AmyBeth Inverness

gnome bomb vignette

Can you identify this mysterious interloper taking time to check in on the garden gnomes?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Bible As Literature

by AmyBeth Inverness

AmyBeth Inverness Bible as literatureThe Christian Church was central to my upbringing. No one could beat me at Bible trivia. I could recite the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments (I can’t anymore) the twelve sons of Jacob (still can) and I was pretty good with the books of both the Old and New Testaments. I can still name all the minor prophets, but I have to sing them. (I prove this via Youtube.)

It wasn’t until I was in high school and allowed the indulgence of choosing an English class that went beyond basic grammar and sentence structure that I began to put together the random trivia and assorted stories into some kind of perspective. The class was “The Bible as Literature.”

I had never before realized how much an author’s own society and environment affect their writing. It’s not something that can be avoided, unless the story is reduced to a set of inarguable facts. Even then, a writer might describe something they see in terms they and their contemporaries can understand, even though it is not entirely accurate. We don’t know whether the ladder in Jacob’s vision (Genesis 28:10-17) was a literal ladder, an analogy, or his best description of something else that was beyond his comprehension.

My husband and I read some not-so-ancient fiction out loud to our youngest daughter starting on the day she was born. I’ve always loved L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, but it wasn’t until reading them out loud as an adult that I realized just how different the language is. These books were written in my own language in my own country only a hundred years ago, yet the sound and the flow of the words is markedly different from anything written today.

The stories in the Bible were written not just hundreds but thousands of years ago. It’s not just the flow of words that is vastly different. Rather, it is the very way that ideas are conveyed in those words that has changed across time and cultures.

In my high school English class, one book we read in its entirety was the story of Job. Job is unique in that it isn’t written as a historical account but as a story with God, Satan, and the angels as characters with dialog. This story meant something else to the ancient Hebrews than it means to me. For example, I’m not okay with the idea that all Job’s children died, even if he did end up with more offspring at the end of the story.

The Christian Church is still a large part of my life today, but it’s no longer just a collection of neatly encapsulated narratives to me. I can see the words that ancient peoples were inspired to record, both for their contemporaries and for history. The New Testament’s letters were written specifically to individual churches in various cities. Yes, there are lessons to be learned from them, but the reader must keep in mind who was writing the letter, to whom it was written, and why it was written. Paul wasn’t sitting around thinking “Well, I’d better make darn sure this thing is still relevant two thousand years from now!” He was writing to his fellow Christians in fledgling churches.

Whether studying the Bible from the point of view of a Christian believing it to be the inspired Word of God, from the point of view of a secular scholar who does not believe God exists, or from anywhere in between, the Bible as literature is a varied, epic work. From the straightforward listing of who-begat-whoms (which held extreme importance for the ancient peoples) to the wild visions of Revelation, seeing what our ancestors chose to preserve for posterity and how they chose to present it informs us when we strive to do the same.

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth Inverness is a creator of Speculative Fiction and Romance. She can usually be found tapping away at her laptop, writing the next novel, or procrastinating by posting a SciFi Question of the Day on Facebook and Google Plus. When she’s not writing she’s kept very busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids and many pets with her husband in their New England home. AmyBeth Inverness is a featured writer in Garden Gnome Publications’ Garden of Eden Anthology.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Genesis of the Incorporeum

“Did you have that dream again?”

It took Briallen a minute to figure out which crewmate was asking the question. She was still lost in her painting, being extra careful not to let a single drop of pigment escape in the null gravity.

Briallen placed her brush in the hollow palette where the tiny machinery would extract the paints and leave the bristles clean and ready for the next color. She looked up and saw a man of average height with hair buzzed close to his scalp. That described about half the men on the station.

“I was trying to be a tree, but the tree didn’t fit,” she explained. Briallen went through her mental records, trying to remember what the man’s name was. There were two engineers whose names sounded alike, and she was pretty sure he was one of them. Alec? Eric? It was something like that. “Or not exactly trying to be a tree, per se, but …” she paused, sighing, knowing that a moment ago, lost in her painting, she had the word and the concept on the tip of her tongue, but now it was lost. “I was trying to mind-meld with it or something.”

The man who might be Alec or Eric laughed. He was nice; she wished she could remember names better.

“This one’s different,” he said, maneuvering into her art space and examining her painting. “Less tree-like than the others.”

Briallen turned to look at the previous paintings she’d done, all arranged poetically on one wall. In some, the tree was large and symbolic, with roots that mirrored the spread of the branches. In others, the tree went through the seasons, enduring the winter and celebrating spring.

Her latest work was more impressionistic. She could still tell it was a tree, although the shape was not immediately obvious. “What bothers me most is the knowledge that it isn’t really a tree … it’s analogous to something we can’t yet comprehend …” She put the last of her painting supplies neatly away. “And I have no idea how I know that. I just do.”

The co-worker whose name began with a vowel regarded her with curiosity. Or maybe he thought she was nuts … Suddenly, Briallen felt uncomfortable. It felt too intimate, talking about her paintings and her dreams. She changed the subject.

“What’s Eve doing?” she asked.

“The same thing she’s been doing. Gathering energy, getting ready to unload her pent-up misery on anything that gets in her way.”

“Briallen, Archie …” a blonde head peeked in the door, curls forming a halo around her face. “The Commander wants everybody up top in fifteen minutes,” she said before vaulting right past. “I hear there’s going to be cake!”

Finish reading this story by AmyBeth Inverness in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS