Still from the film Citizen Kane

Still from the film Citizen Kane

S+ Stimulant: Quantum Fiction

 

“Quantum fiction” is the realm of all possibilities. The genre is broad, and includes life because fiction is an inextricable part of reality in its various stages, and vice versa.’ – Vanna Bonta

 

Can you imagine what a literary genre inspired by quantum physics might be like? Can you even believe that such a style exists? Well it does, and its enthusiasts claim that the weird genre is as real as fiction gets. Why? Because the real is really weird.

Despite being named after and inspired by one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of recent times, the quantum fiction genre is not necessarily scientifically-themed; instead, it utilises story-telling devices that, like quantum physics, subvert our idea of reality.

Quantum fiction may include plots where reality appears to defy the laws of mechanical physics; or it may employ the use of parallel universes, or multiverses. Perhaps most intriguing of all, though, is how quantum fiction writers take inspiration from quantum physics in order subvert traditional narrative styles and the reader’s interaction with the text; for instance, texts may include characters writing their own novels which, in turn, begins to affect their own lives (a nod to the Observer effect).

Other quantum physics phenomena such as entanglement and wave-duality are also represented artistically in the genre by different authors.

But while quantum fiction may stoke interest in physics and shed some light on some of its more difficult areas, its intention is largely literary and artistic. For many quantum fiction writers, quantum physics created the possibility of a new reality and they felt compelled to capture this new view of the real. Because, of course, ‘the real’ is always changing and everyone has their own interpretation of it. The only question is: What do you do with it?

 

W.K. 2015

Published: April 23rd, 2015