One of the fun things about writing a book is that you can hide “Easter eggs” in the story. Some are personal that only close friends will recognize, others are there for anyone to find. One good place to find hidden meaning is in character names. One of the characters in The Quantum Contingent is Dean Dalek. The name Dalek is derived from a character from Dr. Who. Similarly, the names Jack and Sarah are tied to some famous characters. Jack is tied to Jack Bauer and Jack Reacher. Sarah is tied to the outstanding spy, Sarah Walker, from the TV Show, Chuck. In The Quantum Contingent, the character known as the Lion has the last name Clayton, the same as John Clayton II, or Tarzan. In the Disney movie version, Clayton is a villain, Tarzan’s biological younger cousin. Tasha, the president’s daughter is the namesake of Tasha Yar from Star Trek, The Next Generation. Star Trek is just one of the many popular culture references in the book. Of course, Martin Austin is a reference to the Aston Martin, James Bond’s preferred ride. Did you notice any other good character name connections? (Just a warning, many are just “names”… and don’t have a backstory!)
As you know, each chapter from The Quantum Contingent has an associated song. The songs provide another opportunity for hidden connections in the book. There is a line from the song Starship in it’s corresponding chapter. The diner in Castle on the Hill’s chapter is named none other than Castle on the Hill. Have fun finding the song to chapter connections.
One of the other popular culture references hidden in the book is LOST. The JJ Abrams hit TV Show. If you are a LOST fan, you’ll find the numbers, Hugo’s van, and even a fitting character name. (There is a Marvel reference in the character names as well.)
The drone ship that SpaceX uses in the book is called “Flexible Demeanor.” This is because the real drone ships that SpaceX uses are named after spaceships in the legendary Sci-Fi author Iain M. Banks books. I selected another spaceship from his novels for the name of the SpaceX drone ship in the The Quantum Contingent to keep up the tradition.
Some of the home descriptions are based on my own home. For example, the photos at the chapter headings of Sarah’s Smile and The Capture are described as hanging in Sarah and Desmond’s home. I have them hanging in the foyer of my home. (And they are shown below)
If you need a good novel for some spring break reading, Try The Quantum Contingent!.
The cover of The Quantum Contingent is filled with imagery tied to the book. Much of it won't have meaning until you read the book. In this post, I'll highlight many of the images while avoiding spoilers.
First, the cross like structure at the bottom of the cover. As it says on the back of the cover, this is the rock church of St. George in Lalibela, Ethiopia. A key location in The Quantum Contingent.
Next, look up toward the top of the cover. This is the bottom of a rocket ship. The flame coming out of the rocket ship is in the form of a quotation mark. This symbolizes that it is a literary work.
The prominent circle is the moon, representing space. What is that circle in front of the moon? Why does this look like an eye? What else does is resemble to you?
Sunsets and water play significant roles throughout the book. Hence the clear water and sunsets placed behind the words Quantum Contingent. However, not all of those rays are sunshine... could the ray going to the edge of the book represent another rocket? Oh, and the top rocket fins bring images of a crown overtop of that thing that looks like an eye.
Finally, note how the imagery fits inside the form factor of a smartphone... there is even a notch at the bottom, like your smartphone.
So the point of this blog is simply to make sure you take a closer look at the cover after you read the book. There are many messages in the cover!
I want to thank my son, Jason, for masterfully designing the cover!
Talk again soon!
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.