|Submitted by Molly Elias |
(Oct 29, 2001)
Something More About Sci-Fi When all possible explanations finish, the impossible is the possible one! --Sherlock Holmes Before you dive deeply into the depths of Timeship we would like to share some of our archetypal reactions and impressions while editing this extraordinary novel for the publisher. The Pilgrimage is Book One of the Timeship Trilogy, which, of course, is only laying (hinting at!) the foundation of a massive underground intrigue. It looks a bit like a private detective's mystery in which the assigned specialists are misled from the investigation and later are detached without even understanding if they were assigned to investigate anything at all, or did they just assume so' The assignment is very intriguing, therefore they react by intuition, with a professional nose, motivated by the bizarre possibility of being involved in something expressly unique and unbelievable'a chance of a lifetime they don't want to miss for anything in the world. The secret character of their work' But stop! Before we continue, here's a little warning: If you prefer solving intricate stories do not read this preface further! Let it not sound as an excuse and an attempt to hide some writer's weakness or some unclear fable of the novel. We still have to read two more parts of the trilogy, which are promising to put everything in place. The intrigue of The Pilgrimage requires that the reader first plunge into the great confusion in which every character of this book gets involved. This literary "knack" is designed to establish a relationship with the reader, i.e., to let you give birth to your version of the ongoing enigma. Allow me to explain: First of all, sci-fi lovers are getting used to any unnatural plot surprises. Actually, this is the very zeal of sci-fi'to bring us to where no man has gone before; to elevate our human level of thinking above the thing which we call, "level of present scientific-technological development of our civilization!" In other words, sci-fi is our tribune for stating the unnatural and often unrealizable'from our human and only nowadays perspective! Here Borislav Belovarski gets "windy"; he feels like a free fish in his own waters and overflows from style to style: drama, thriller, suspense, action, mystery, fantasy, horror, the supernatural' In order to fully understand his author's point, we shouldn't forget that we are on the battlefield of the sci-fi, where anything is possible, even the very impossible (like Sherlock Holmes, he loves to surprise us). Here myths and legends have their own values. But about this'later. Second, it is obvious from the quality of the descriptions and dialogues that Belovarski isn't a writer who sounds unable to describe once and for all what's wrong. To the contrary, he purposely doesn't want to dish up the things already served the way they are in real life. Instead of "chewing the food for us," he places us in the position of his characters and provokes us to taste their puzzlement and actually become them. Belovarski makes us partake of his character's problems and thus he cleverly constrains us to feel the absurdity of all situations! Here the author's idea (and not only Belovarski's) is that we'the human beings'are not all-powerful and all-knowledgeable. Man in his philosophy is nothing else, but a researcher, seeking and longing for knowledge, and a believer in the cause he chooses to pursue. We do not know and cannot predict everything, especially if we are pulled into such a conspiracy game where the strict rule is "top-secret!" In there'against our sovereign free will'we become marionettes of the powerful hand, etc. Nevertheless, in several places we sense the author's hidden messages, echoing between the lines: Those who pull the end of the strings know how to do it! Surely such things happen secretly, unknowingly, and mysteriously performed behind the curtains'not the way everyone can understand all the tactics, machinations, and manipulations. This isn't a crossword puzzle from the last page of a sweetly entertaining Sunday newspaper. This is the anxiety of a reality, which for many is mythology only because they were never involved in any conspiracy, nor were chased by secret agents, Mafia members, and so on. But the writer of this book was, and we will talk about this later. Third. On top of it all, together with the fact that the characters are victims of an untraceable conspiracy, lacking knowledge about what's going on, another interesting fact arises'those whom we believe to be the conspirators and their opposition also become victims of their own deep secrecy. Thus we are ready to believe that behind them lurks another "institution" with other "goals". This is not a game and those not ready to fight it'fail by falling into a well entangled deception. Next, it happens that no one is in charge of the new thing that soon arrives on the scene'the unstable unpredictability. As usually happens in such complicated situations, the game goes to its own resolution. Why' Well, simply because behind one secret institution appears another, then a third, a fourth... and so we believe the whole story is designed as an entrapment for those who are willing to decipher who's who and what's what. It simply is the thing we call a "cover-up." Now we know that somebody else is the real author of everything! Here mankind always comes up with the question, are we alone in the universe' Are God and Satan fighting invisible wars around us in which we are involved without being able to prove it clearly to everyone' Are they, actually, incomprehensible to our science and senses alien races, called by us "spiritual beings'" Do they really use us for their goals, designing what we call "miracles" or "irrational solutions'" The number of the readers' versions for solving the enigma of The Pilgrimage increases, until the strings of all marionettes finally disappear into the unknown. And according to the unwritten rule of this multi-literary genre, nobody must find or ever sense the real truth! Otherwise it wouldn't be a conspiracy. But as you will notice from Captain Ion Vander's strange behavior, there is always "someone" who mixes up the strings of the puppet show and thus the secret plans fail. They fail because of one individual who dares to oppose the "order" of the system. Vander explains it best: "Someone, who's pissed off waiting for the standard procedures to come up with their standard solutions!" Indeed, all conspiracies would be perfect and remain uncovered only if they were designed by supernatural intelligence, using figures, tested to survive against every possible move of their enemy. But we know there are characters in the literature who would use the power of God to trick Satan; ordinary people with an extraordinary desire to bring light into the backstage, called by some "the kitchen of all mysteries." Indeed, they give birth to a totally new approach and come up with an impossible solution, which gives them the rank of saints in our eyes. Fourth, whoever "they" are'the most secret bosses of international terrorism, the masters of the black-ops or the very Illuminati--they believe they pull the puppet's strings. In fact, while trying to play gods, manipulating even time-space, someone or something dupes and outwits them'a happy junction of unforeseen happenings, which we like to call unidentifiable! In their immodest ambition to control time, they use something that even they don't know that well. Is this alien or human experimental technology' Belovarski won't let us clearly understand, simply because his characters do not know and cannot find out this detail, except privately'only in the deepest of their souls. So much for The Pilgrimage, where an unpredictable time-travel separates the hostile parties from one another and transports the novel into an absolutely different fable. European literature critics call this method "novel-in-novel" or "internal culmination." Well, this is what time-travel does with every individual involved in it! Suddenly, everything turns into a new story, with new characters and new challenges. To be more precise, in this time our main characters don't know anybody. This is a different life here, a different saga, but also apart from "us"'the unknown history of our world. To add to their confusion, the crew members of Timeship don't even know if they are in the past or in the future. Therefore, here the main theme receives its second and third culmination. To the contrary, this is not the genre's mistake but the very intrigue in which the sci-fi of Borislav Belovarski flows from style to style, offering us an abundant Swedish Smorgasbord with many outlandish dishes. Fifth, speaking in the spirit of Sherlock Holmes, the author demonstrates that the unknown is able to attack with the most impossible outcomes and solutions, like a Gordian knot. Here comes everything that the world calls inexplicable and supernatural. In Timeship-I it is not based on superstitions, nor on traditional religious forms, but steadily on personal experience'irrational and inconceivable only for those who never had a chance to walk through it. Here Belovarski's agenda is to locate and install for discussion the pain of the entire humankind: Is there a world beyond the stars' Is there a life beyond the grave' What is the logical explanation' And whose logic are we talking about'' When an astronaut experiences something like that in orbit, the explanations could be way beyond belief. For him the "beyond" is an alien civilization, about which'let's hope so'we'll read more in Timeship-II. For the time being it will remain truth only for those who had the privilege to overpower death and escape from her clutches undiminished and unscathed'who came back informed! According to Belovarski (of course, inferring from the words of his characters) the supernatural is based on our full comprehension of the natural, which even now is textured with suppositions, hypotheses and theories about origin of life and space, and so on. In other words, here the author demonstrates one of his writer's revelations: science fiction has no boundaries, only our very human cognition! His characters speak about Erich Von Deniken, whose name they mention in one of the most sublime moments of the novel, when touching the great enigmas and technologies of the lost civilizations. By the way, the author does not handle his plots with contrived curiosity, but refers to empirical data and hypotheses. Every visionary, at some level, is inspired by innumerable myths and legends, sagas and spiritual ideas, religions and Holy to some humans, Scriptures, which are not at all intestate in the 21st century. Belovarski, as you'll notice, remains faithful to the end to that hunger and thirst for knowledge, and he installs many unwieldy, cumbersome questions. But let's finish here. We could say much about the fact that the Timeship Trilogy is a novelized movie idea, more with visual dexterity, than psychological "maneuvers" of writing. But this is not a weakness'this is a new style, manifesting in European literature. We could also say much about the fact that the first version of this novel, entitled in 1980 The Very Dead Artisans of Happiness had been confiscated by the Secret Police of the then Communist Bulgaria. Now you know why this is the author's "painful" subject. But for the author and his former enemies this is a shelved past; the Cold War is quickly forgotten and the democratic reforms are yelling today for brotherly reconciliation. Today the old novel is under restoration and rewriting from acute memory and some surviving early pieces. You may read more about this on the Internet, at http://timeship.tv We'd better be finishing with what all authors deserve in the preface to their books. It could help you not to hurry with your conclusions before at least the Second Book of the Timeship saga is released, Raptor Rhapsody, which is currently in restoration. Borislav Belovarski belongs to the newest generation of visionaries, molded in the last few decades of the 20th century. For this generation, terms like digital technology and genetic engineering are science fiction, which actually came to life in front of their very own eyes. This is not only the age of virtual reality. This also is the time of Dr. Raymond Moody, who first officially used the term of NDE in medical diagnosis'the term that formulates for our contemporary science the fact of resuscitation (resurrection) of patients who were declared "clinically dead," some after days, some even after a basic dissection. For the intellectuals of this generation of writers, nothing else remains but to turn back with a new approach to the spiritual quests of mankind. With the arrival of the so-called 'wind of change' in international politics, which put an end of the Cold War era (Berlin, 1989), the same phenomenon revealed itself in the Communist science. Terms like "perestroyka and glasnost", or the less popularized "depolitization and deideologization" (of empirical data!) have been issued, constantly reforming modern thinking. Later this phenomenon received international recognition and in science and philosophy was called "liquidation of political boundaries in cognition!" It is enough only to see the movie Contact, based on the never before revealed ideas of Carl Sagan, in order to understand the spirit of this new generation of sci-fi writers which now has its own Bulgarian representative in the Western world, Borislav Belovarski.