In this interview, author David Walton discusses the high-tech concepts behind his new sci-fi thriller, “Supersymmetry.” Walton, an engineer with Lockheed Martin, has also written the award-winning “Terminal Mind” and “Superposition.” Walton describes his latest novels as “quantum physics thrillers.”
It may seem odd, but the idea for Walton’s latest quantum physics thriller came not from some scientific journal or super-secret lab, but from a stint as a juror at his local courthouse. “The trial I was picked for was a doozie: a grown brother and sister were illegally spying on their father, trying to catch him having an affair. The father had plans to fake his own death, collect his own life insurance, and flee the country with his mistress, a Russian native with mob connections.”
The police became involved in the case when the father turned up as a murder victim. “I didn’t use any of the actual details from the trial, but the experience of watching a mystery unfold piece by piece, through the viewpoints of multiple witnesses, inspired the original concept behind ’Supersymmetry.’ And the non-fiction books I was reading on quantum physics gave me an idea that fit perfectly into that structure.”
Walton describes “Supersymmetry” as a thriller that follows the lives of two young women, Alex and Sandra, who tell people they are twins. “In actual fact, they are two versions of the same person, a girl named Alessandra who split into two fifteen years before Supersymmetry begins, by a quantum technology that connected them to a strange aspect of the subatomic world.
“The concept fascinated me. What would it be like to grow up with a sister who was you, but not you? I imagined both of them looking across the breakfast table every day and seeing the girl each would have been if her life had gone differently at just one point. How would that affect how they viewed themselves? Would they get along? Memories are notoriously malleable…what if they started remembering things differently? What kinds of different choices might they make?”
At the beginning of Supersymmetry, Alex and Sandra are leading two separate lives and following different careers. Walton said, “Each of them secretly fears that the other is the ‘real’ version, and that a quantum wave collapse would mean her own annihilation. Enter Ryan Oronzi, neurotic physicist, with a repeat of the same quantum technology, designed to make American soldiers invincible in the field. Before long, the Secretary of Defense is assassinated, it’s Alex who’s holding the gun…and her sister is the only person in the world who might believe her.”
Learn more about David Walton on his website at davidwaltonfiction.com and in The story behind new David Walton thriller.