these fantastic worlds, jake jackson, photon pairs

Concepts | Event Horizon

event horizon illustration for These Fantastic WorldsIn the sf and fantasy fiction of Jake Jackson’s These Fantastic Worlds the event horizon is used in two distinct but inter-related ways. Firstly as a metaphor for imprisonment, and the impossibility of escape, secondly as an event in the physical universe where the action of its super-gravity on a photon pair can cause a momentary break in the conservation laws of a system.

An Event Horizon is the point or series of points beyond which escape from a heavy gravitational force is impossible. The gravity of the super-dense mass of a Black Hole in space creates an event horizon around it so that even light emitted cannot escape, and so, to the external observer, creating the impression of the absence of light (i.e. photons).

The conservation laws of physics, which hold that there is always a balance of energy within a system (in this case, the universe) allows that if the one of the photons in a photon pair created momentarily within the area of a black hole, near the edge of the event horizon, falls back and is absorbed, while the other is not, then the mass of the black hole is reduced by the mass of the single photon, because the other photon has not been cancelled out. So the energy of the surviving photon can be considered to have escaped.

Being not Being

In the various novels and short stories of These Fantastic Worlds, the event horizon represents a balance in the universe, a manifestation of the concept of Being not Being, Within and Without, Bound and Unbound. The undermining of this balance, by those who seek to ignore it, or master it, creates a narrative tension because the prime motivating force, the Will to survive and thrive, contrives with the laws of conservation to restore the balance.

Silence, stillness and motion are manifestations of this tension as Hunter and Bain track across Space and Time returning creatures of pre-eternity to their rightful place, a pre-Dawn realm held back by the super-gravitational force of a singularity, surrounded by an event horizon which, apparently, cannot be breached.