Dark Matter was everywhere in 2016: in the news, on television, and in several books.
At the beginning of the year I read Lisa Randall’s Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. This accessible look into the relationship between life on Earth and the large-scale parts of the universe that seem disconnected but are as joined at the hip as so many of the forces that have a bearing on our planet is quite the absorbing read. It lays out understandable explanations of Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and other elements of cosmology often mentioned in passing in multitudes of science fiction properties with hand-wavy zeal. I’m a fan of accessible science writing, and Lisa Randall’s book is both enlightening on current theories and engaging.
This summer brought the second season of the science fiction series Dark Matter to the Syfy Channel and was one of the few shows I kept up with, as its endearing cast and forward moving plot has me hooked. I wrote about it here: https://capriciousnarrator.com/2016/08/22/dark-matter-a-shipload-of-antiheroes/ Season three is in production and will air in 2017.
To finish the year, I read Dark Matter: A Novel by Blake Crouch. I heard the author on the Science Friday podcast and am always curious as to what kind of science fiction a thriller writer will produce. Blake Crouch’s other works include the Wayward Pines trilogy. So how are the science fiction aspects of Dark Matter?
Dark Matter: A Novel centers on the invention of a drug/ machine combo that might allow the user to step between the many worlds of the multiverse, opening literal doors to every fork in life’s road where each decision marks the division of possible outcomes. Here is a thriller which explores themes visited before in many time travel adventures, time travel without the time if you will. It’s quite the page turner, and it sacrifices depth for action, but engaged me and had me hurry through to the finish to see what would happen. I’m currently reading his book Abandon, and I enjoy his focus on character and dialogue. This makes for a fast moving read.
So 2016 was a good year for dark matter, even if the actual stuff only featured in one of the three items found here.