A New Look for the Website
Those of you who follow this blog occasionally will have already noticed that the website has a new look. In fact, while the content remains unchanged, only three graphic elements from the original website are still present: my portrait photo, the graphic of the book cover for Vanessa’s Curve of Mind, and the Calabi-Yau manifold. If you look very closely at my name at the top of the page, you’ll see the light blue lines of another Calabi-Yau manifold against the dark blue of the letters, as though the letters were windows looking out into the darkness in which a manifold is suspended.
If you follow the link to my author website, you’ll find the same overall look, graphic themes and colors. Also users who in the past tried to access the website with mobile devices like smart phones and tablet computers will find the website is compliant, ie, it will format to the optimum display for your device. The person responsible for all these improvements is May May Gong of Northwest Digital Design. I decided that a new website design was needed to reflect the look of the new book cover design, which was done by Karen Parker of Karen Parker Designs.
New Vanessa Novel in the Works
In news of a more personal kind, I have begun work on a second novel that will be a continuation of Vanessa’s Curve of Mind. After developing and publishing a revolutionary theory of the “mind-brain continuum,” which is already gaining recognition as a ground-breaking innovation in both psychology and neuroscience, Vanessa Trippett has found in neurologist Lin Xuan a collaborator for an ambitious project to provide crucial empirical support for the theory. This is an immense challenge because the theory makes precise numerical predictions about activities both in the brain and in the mental world. She and Lin are undertaking a search for at least one objective mental event with no reliable, measurable counterpart in the brain, the ultimate evidence for Vanessa’s theoretical approach.
The working title of the second book is “Vanessa’s Tornado of Mind.” I’ve also completed work on a rough outline of a third novel with the working title, “Vanessa’s Maelstrom of Mind.” The titles reflect both the geometry of mental anomalies such as obsessions and addictions found in many people’s minds as well as the kind of events that take place in Vanessa’s personal life during the course of each novel. Don’t expect to see a book for at least a year. However, if you’re interested in establishing a critique partnership over the internet, please send me a message through the contact link on the “About Kirk Smith” page of my author website. Stay tuned!
The Sensory Deception by Ransom Stephens Published
Ransom Stephens, whose first novel, The God Patent, I reviewed for Lab Lit, has a second quite different story to tell in his second, titled The Sensory Deception. Stephens likes to take on big issues in his books: patent law, The Big Bang, and religion in his earlier one; the culture of venture capitalists, the effects of global warming and the environmental movement in the recent one. As in The God Patent, Stephens assembles a diverse cast of fascinating people and turns them loose with technology that allows them to experience the effects humans are having on the environment by mentally becoming endangered animals in a kind of video game. This explosive mixture leads them into the depths of the Indian Ocean to attach sensors to a male sperm whale, imprisonment in a pirate village in Somalia, and the holocaust of a fire set in the rain forest of Columbia to clear land for agriculture. From the opening sentence, “Gloria sees blue sparks emerge from the rifle and watches mud splash at the feet of the woman and the little girl…” to the four-page romantic epilogue, there’s never a dull moment. All this with plausible neuroscience and feasible technology!