In 2180, travel to neighbouring star systems has been mastered thanks to quantum teleportation using the ‘entanglement’ of sub-atomic matter; astronauts on earth can be duplicated on a remote world once the dupliport chamber has arrived there. In this way a variety of worlds can be explored, but what humanity discovers is both surprising and disturbing, enlightening and shocking. Each alternative to mankind that the astronauts find, sheds light on human shortcomings and potential while offering fresh perspectives of life on Earth. Meanwhile, at home, the lives of the astronauts and those in charge of the missions will never be the same again.
Best described as philosophical science fiction, Entanglement explores our assumptions about such constants as death, birth, sex and conflict, as the characters in the story explore distant worlds and the intelligent life that lives there. It is simultaneously a novel and a series of short stories: multiple worlds, each explored in a separate chapter, a separate story; every one another step on mankind’s journey outwards to the stars and inwards to our own psyche. Yet the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts; the synergy of the episodes results in an overarching story arc that ultimately tells us more about ourselves than about the rest of the universe.
Douglas Thompson’s short stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, most recently Albedo One, Ambit, Postscripts, and New Writing Scotland. He won the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007. His first book, Ultrameta, was published in August 2009, nominated for the Edge Hill Prize, and shortlisted for the BFS Best Newcomer Award. His critically acclaimed second novel, Sylvow, was published in autumn 2010. Two more novels Apoidea and Mechagnosis were published earlier this year. Entanglement is the first of Douglas’ novels to be published by Elsewhen Press.