My second novel, The Awakening, is the first book in a trilogy about the end of the world. The concept that our world will one day draw to a close fills us with dread, mostly because we live an existence that is extremely literal with a very finite perspective.
Imagine that you had a time machine and, as you raced back through the ages, you found yourself standing right where you are now - but in a time long forgotten. Let's say that your visit took you to a time that existed one million years before today. Your modern world filled with cars and electronics, with people and textiles, is nowhere to be found. In a way, you could say that the world of long ago ended to create this one.
Likewise, the world of horses and carriages ended to make room for the world of automobiles and airplanes. The world of black and white televisions and going to the movies was replaced by high-definition broadcasts and home theaters. A world where leeches and bloodletting were the height of medical technology made way for one where we embrace designer drugs and gene therapy. Throughout history, our world has become smaller and smaller until some breakthrough pushes the boundaries outward once more, changing the world as we know it.
Depending on your interpretation, the Mayan Calendar doesn't end - it returns to its beginning. The Hopi refer to this as The Fourth World, believing that we've already seen the end of the world come three times before. Other religions, such as Christianity, hold to the concept of a final accounting - an end that is final.
If "The End" is a world-wide event, what phenomena could possibly embrace all of these perspectives?
She began to imagine countless scenarios. A war, even on the scale of the biblical Armageddon would be simply that; a war. How would the experience of surviving a final battle be any different from that of someone who had survived the First World War? Or the Second? And a natural disaster, even one on a global scale, would be something from which the human race would simply strive to recover. They would never recognize it as the end. She imagined the news reports, the body counts and dollar figures that tried to summarize the damage that had been done. "But that's all it would be," she realized. "Just news. We'd never even know." Jenny stared, unblinking, letting the thoughts drift through her mind, not realizing that she waited for the second phrase to reappear.
It was from her chemistry class. "Matter can never be destroyed, only changed from form to form." The two sentences revolved around each other in her thoughts, like reluctant dancers appraising a partner.
When the realization struck, it left her so shocked that she stopped breathing, that the only sound that filled her ears was the slow rhythm of her own heart. The pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place, assembling themselves in her mind.
When we talk about the end of the world, what we are really referring to is a change so extraordinary that it rewrites the world as we know it. Is the transformation one that simply alters the landscape and heralds in a new era? Does it transmute the physical to the spiritual? Is it only a significant change when seen from a human perspective? Is it an end so complete that it impacts not only the Earth but all of reality? Does it offer a second chance or is it the final exam?
These are the questions we encounter when we consider "The End." As the story that begins in The Awakening slowly unfolds, you'll find an answer to those questions that embraces the common ground between science and the world's religions.
The Awakening (May 13, 2011) sets the stage for A Tide of Shadows (May 2012), which in turn builds to the climax found in Days of the Fallen (May 2013). You can read the first three chapters online for free. The Awakening will be published on Friday the 13th in both paperback and ebook formats.
Secret One: Aleph (May 1st)
Secret Two: The End (May 2nd)
Secret Three: Angels (May 3rd)
Secret Four: The Bloodline (May 4th)
Secret Five: Heaven and Hell (May 5th)
Secret Six: What Does God Look Like? (May 6th)
Secret Seven: Working Miracles (May 7th)
Secret Eight: The Four Horsemen (May 8th)
Secret Nine: Small Town Mysteries (May 9th)
Secret Ten: Photographing the Paranormal (May 10th)
Secret Eleven: Blood on the Threshold (May 11th)
Secret Twelve: Find the Thread (May 12th)
Secret Thirteen: How Does the World End? (May 13th)