Thursday, August 11, 2016

Enchanted Assemblages: Phase Shift

...and it goes on and on and on and...

Reveal time! My Gawain-adaptation takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth. I know, it is cliched to the 'umph' degree. But at least here me out: it involves the multiverse.

Okay, so obviously I am aware that both the end of the world and the multiverse are well-trodden concepts. But tell me this, how many such end of the world stories do you know of which feature the apocalypse as a result of several conflicting dimensional planes crashing into one another? That is right-- none!

But to get to the actual idea... to me, I wanted my adaptation to take place in such a hellish landscape as the 'end times,' to appropriate a phrase from Biblical literature, because it is an idea which I am not aware of any other Arthurian adaptation perusing. I cannot recall any Arthurian tale-- modern or otherwise-- which hosts the narrative in a destroyed world. Especially one which was formally based off of our own contemporary world. So, throw in some oddities from alternate realms and we have a unique idea.

Essentially, a phase shift is where several 'versions' of the same plane of existence collide into one another, collapsing all of each plane of existence's social-materiality into a new, unified totality. Of course, this precipitates a mass-extinction for all of the universes involved-- civilization collapses and takes centuries to rebuild. This new civilization takes cues from the old and whatever is leftover from the collapse.

This enables me to use history from our own life and neologisms from 'other' universes. So, yea me, I can have my cake and eat it too! Moreover, however, this phase shift is more than a sci-fi cliche rendered new, it is my excuse to introduce mild fantasy elements; floating continents, gravitational wells, new species of intelligent lifeforms? All check!

What a phase shift represents is a new rendering of reality and I hope to use that to great effect, though I know that it will take some time to master. But, in the meantime, I have found a way to depict an apocalyptic realm without recourse to biological terrorism, End of Days prophecy, or Artificial Intelligence fear-mongering. Though it is not the most original of creations, once you deconstruct its nuance, it is better, I feel, than many end of life tales.

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