ISBN: 978-0-9943704-1-9 Kindle edition
Published worldwide, 22 June 2015, by Russell Kightley, Canberra
CREATING THE BOOK: I wrote it over about 18 months, mainly using the brilliant writing software SCRIVENER by Literature and Latte. This allowed for plenty of shuffling about, and ultimately a very easy export to an ePub file. I also used their Scapple software for mind-mapping and working out timelines and plots. It is difficult to keep the twisted histories and causal loops of a time-travel novel clear, and Scapple helped a lot. Another excellent tool was Aeon Timeline which I used to get dates and ages right. There were also plenty of hand-drawn diagrams using multi-coloured pens. Continuity editing (and a lot of advice) by Phill Berrie.
CREATING THE COVER: The neurons on the book cover were modelled in 3D-Coat and imported into Cheetah3D, my 3D companion for many years. This particular arrangement of the model is unique to this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This is my first novel. Time travel has always been my favourite (sub-) genre and this book explores that and consciousness (my other favourite thing).
I was, and still am, a scientific illustrator, and have been since 1981. I worked at Stanford University (Medical Center) in California in the early 80s and studied at the Australian National University (Graduate Diploma in Electronic Arts in 1997). I spent many years making medical videos (scripting, directing and illustrating), and those productions won lots of awards. My first one was a CINE Golden Eagle in 1984. I now work chiefly in 3D, creating science graphics. And writing. I'm working on a second story. About parallel universes (aren't they all...).
It took me a little while to adjust to the format of Time Aerials, as I was expecting a contiguous novel where I needed to keep track of the characters. Once I accepted it as more of a collection of short stories, with a few connecting threads, I relaxed into it more. Actually, the jumpy format perfectly suits the subject matter, and the fractured version of time that Kightley presents.
Overall, the book is a very enjoyable read. And sprinkled here and there are snippets which I think are absolutely brilliant. It had me laughing hard in spots, admiring the author's insight and creativity in others, and sometimes just appreciating a beautifully phrased sentence-quotes that would not look out of place amongst the great writers. It didn't quite hold that level of enjoyment consistently, as some chapters and subplots didn't interest me as much as others, but I don't know if that's a criticism as much as a testament to the book's diversity of subject and genre. It's a smorgasbord of science fiction, philosophy, humour, drama, and horror; and other readers might very well prefer the chapters that didn't grab me as much.
If you're looking for a leisurely and predictable read, with beginning, middle and end-the way we assume time flows-this book may not be for you. But if you're up for a bumpy adventure, and open to something a bit different, I say get a copy now-this very minute!-before The Great Mind of Kightley's imagination deems the book's secrets too sensitive, and you forever miss your chance.
(4 stars) posted 13/4/2016