Elysia spirits readers to vivid, otherworldly landscapes. It introduces them to brilliant, colorful people. It builds a future world where an unbelievable technology of the ancient past has become magic. It weaves a plot of redemption and hope, of personal growth and friendship—of love, hubris, time travel, and chess.
No barrier is too great to overcome, a dedicated group of people with faith in the future can change things, and even in the darkest times a light can be found.
Imagery and Visual Storytelling
Elysia's scenes are unique.
Crystal spires crowned by lush mid-air parks and waterfalls.
A merchant metropolis of quartz domes on the surface of the ocean.
A pirate den suspended over a rocky ravine.
A desert oasis full of life and greenery.
A dawnlight paradise with a dark secret… and an airship with gleaming sails, filled with pirates and a corgi mascot!
Magic as Forgotten Technology
Elysia has a “soft,” or “mysterious,” magic system. Will knows nothing about it at the beginning, and his understanding grows alongside the reader’s.
Magic’s costs are clear from the start. Use of too much power causes headaches, seizures, and insanity. But there are no explicit rules as to the scope of what it can do. This makes the world seem larger, especially when Will faces an ancient and unfathomable foe.
“Magic” isn’t magic. It’s lost technology from a different age. The speculative fiction element is revealed slowly through the book, adding a new dynamic to the worldbuilding.
Time Travel with Rules
Weaving a Self-Consistent Narrative
Elysia features time travel. It uses the Novikov Self-consistency Principle. Although time travel is possible, it is not possible to change the past. There is only one timeline, and any time travel is and has always been a part of it. It is not possible for a time traveler to kill her grandfather because she never killed her grandfather.
On first blush, this idea may seem dull. After all, if you can’t change time, what’s the point of time travel? It’s anything but. Self-consistent time travel is perfect for a mastermind/architect character like Elle, who can use certainty and foreknowledge to her advantage in crafting the future she desires. It also allows all kinds of interesting philosophical questions about free will/fate.