More Diplopia–CSFF Tour Day Three

I finished reading Double Vision yesterday (see my earlier review), and author Randall Ingermanson continued to wow and raise the bar on craftsmanship in it’s genre, although my reading materials of late have shown I take honesty about as seriously as Dillon, who I found it easy to identify with, except for politics, and especially on bathing suits. I think some ladies will be surprised by Dillon’s reaction as he would have been dismayed to learn today’s young women have been trained by culture to intentionally flaunt their assets and literally dress to kill.

On the science, if you can make it through the initial explanations early on, the sailing will get much smoother later on. He’s got this aspect about as air tight as one could expect, given God’s sovereign omnipotence (translation: there is nothing He can’t do with the caveat that He also won’t contradict His own character and will) makes the theory the universe splits in two every time we roll the dice a bit dubious, as God certainly has the power to hold His creation together.

The theory is also a delicious what-if I’m tempted to explore from some angle myself. And besides, the potential for this without God’s intervention could very well exist in the nature of the universe, which ought to be sufficient enough to support the application in the novel to quantum computing, and who knows the mind of God well enough to declare with all certainty that He’d never allow or create more than one universe?

Still, I do wonder, according to this theory, would not the universe have split over the choice of Eve whether or not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Or what about God’s choice whether to make the woman first or the man? Finally, at the risk of coming across as snarky or insincere, will the universe really split in two over me debating what to cook for dinner?

With all the questions it stirs, at the same time, it opens fascinating literary doors, to alternate history as well as alternate universes and earths.

Without criticizing the plot point, I did find it ironic that a die-hard Calvinist (Dillon) would be such a strong supporter of a rather Arminian theory. For non-religion majors, the short explanation of the two terms is Calvinist doctrine emphasizes the sovereignty of God and Arminian doctrine emphasizes the free will of man. The latter position is favored by the majority of Evangelicals today. In direct contrast to Arminianism, strict, traditional Calvinist doctrine has no room for random chance, but rather the dice always land in accordance with God’s providence.

For the record, I’m an official fence rider on this centuries-long debate and quite happy to remain there, thank you.

From a woman’s holistic perspective, Dillon’s Calvinism would seem to contradict his scientific belief. But it’s not unbelievable when we consider the way the male mind functions, which assumes even men with Asperger’s compartmentalize, which given his buying into a certain popular and culturally lethal political myth, that’s likely.

Did I forget to mention Ingermanson cracked me up? To get the full depth of a particular running gag, be sure to read his acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, and that’s all the hint I’ll give, lest I spoil it too much. You’ll either die laughing, or, if you’re a writer, make Ingermanson the “designated corpse” in your next murder mystery. Keryn Wills would thank you and a restraining order isn’t all that big a deal, right? 😉

In my case, I’ve made a mental note to avoid doing anything to my characters that would make them want to spring out of the book and wring my neck, and to use Ingermanson to excuse pulling the same kind of stunt in my own work someday. Or maybe we both need to turn our novels over to psychoanalysts. They’d have fun with us for sure.

Regardless, Double Vision is an insightful roller coaster (my apologies to any readers with Asperger’s) that will keep the reader guessing—and hoping—until the end. It may just quietly show you something new about yourself as well.

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