Author’s name: K.M. Carroll
Title of book and/or series: Chronocrime, book 2 of the Spacetime Legacy
Brief summary of the story:
When his girlfriend’s corpse from the future appears in the present, Indal, exiled chronomancer, is summoned to solve the crime. But what at first appears to be a simple murder turns deadly when the corpse rises and tries to kill Carda, Indal’s friend and Strider of Chronos–at the behest of a confederate of criminals.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The characters are all young adults living in Phoenix, Arizona. I only know of one major urban fantasy writer who sets books in Phoenix–it’s like this place nobody ever thinks about.
There are also several major worlds the heroes visit over the course of the series. In Chronocrime, we visit Bythia, a parallel world with a hotter climate–so their version of Phoenix is quite a bit nastier, with a much lower population.
Tyrona, on the other hand, is a shattered world of floating continents. It’s held together by the blood, sweat and tears of the space and gravity mages–while the factions living on the continents wage a perpetual world war. It’s a bit harder to wage war when the continents drift around, but they manage it. We glimpse it in Chronocrime, and visit it in depth in book 3: Wraithblade.
There’s also the Chronostrider Council, an entire governing body housed inside a cube the size of a city, floating in the fifth dimension.
If we were to visit the world of Spacetime as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Definitely take a spin around the multiverse! Hang out with some chronomancers, and maybe have them check your timeline to help you avoid unpleasant obstacles. Then find a strider, or space mage, to teleport you around to various landmarks.
Tyrona, despite its dangers, is amazingly rugged and beautiful. Very few semi-destroyed worlds are inhabitable, and sunset over the Rift Sea is one of the wonders of the worlds. If you’re lucky, you’ll glimpse the star shard at the planet’s core, which generates the gravity that holds the world together.
What dangers should we avoid in the world of Spacetime?
Be careful who you cross! Among the various otherworldly races running around, the Nevelves are a world of magic-starved people who have figured out ways to drain a mage of their powers.
While the magic is force magic only–time, space, and gravity–it’s quite enough to kill you in a number of unpleasant ways. As Indal found out, it’s possible to have your body interwoven with a second body on a higher dimensional level, a process called splicing. He was spliced with a lycanthrope, and is now a functional werewolf. But instead of his change being triggered by the full moon, it’s triggered when he tries to work magic.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Spacetime multiverse?
Depends where you go. Carda gained several pounds after he discovered the famous pastries crafted by Rothdaran chefs. The hot peppers cultivated by the dragons of the Twin Draconia make our terrestrial peppers look positively anemic.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Spacetime multiverse?
Many mages combine magic with more practical firearms or knives. While magic can do many things, no one can conjure a spell faster than a bullet can travel.
A magic battle is something to see, however. Space magic manifests as green fire, while time magic manifests as violet lightning. A skilled mage can use those elements to maim an attacker, while altering time or bending space. A space mage can wrap space around themselves, bending light and all attacks around them. They can’t move while wrapped in space, but they’re also invisible and untouchable.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Spacetime multiverse?
Lots of people favor portals, since they’re a door that can open wherever you want it to. There’s also the Highway, an interdimensional road that stretches in an infinite loop through nothing. Speaking your destination causes the Highway to direct you to a portal to your destination.
This also means that it’s possible to drive a car from one world to another. Sometimes this is very useful, if a neighboring world has, for instance, really awesome road infrastructure.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Spacetime multiverse that we don’t see on Earth?
There are the Felicians, or cat-people, whose world was destroyed, and now are scattered across the worlds as refugees. Their women look exactly like human girls, but with cat ears and tails. Their men have a more feline look, with heavier noses and jaws, and sometimes their fingernails resemble claws.
There are the Angeli, a race of mortal angels who act as guardians for strategic people. They are constrained to lead moral lives, or their semi-corporeal wings will darken from gold to black. A blackwing angelus is one of the most dangerous beings in existence.
There is also Ben, a black lizard the size of a house cat. He’s a time elemental who is addicted to shiny things. He may or may not become a giant black dragon in his future.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Spacetime multiverse? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
For time and space mages, magic is useful for all sorts of shortcuts in day to day life. For instance, teleporting all the groceries from the trunk of the car into the house. Or locking that newly-poured cup of coffee in a time-stop when one has to rush off and answer the phone. A quick teleport will save you a cumbersome drive across town. For fun, try trapping a friend in a magic circle and see if their magic is strong enough to break your spell.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in the Spacetime multiverse? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Technology usually means an artifact imbued with magic. For instance, in book 2, we encounter a cube like a silver playing dice, but it contains a huge amount of healing power, contributed by an angelus.
In book 3, we’ll see a wraithblade–a dagger with a semi-phased blade that can open doors between worlds. It’s also very effective at killing people.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in the Spacetime multiverse.
In book 2, Carda and Xironi get their hands on a videogame system from the world Ramand–it functions purely in holographic projections, which the player passes their hands through.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Spacetime multiverse as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Since our heroes are based on Earth, they celebrate typical American holidays. But many worlds celebrate the birth of Christ, as well as the summer and winter equinoxes, and various seasonal festivals.
Is there a particular religion practiced in the Spacetime multiverse? Please describe what it involves.
All typical Earth religions apply. Several of our heroes are quietly Christian–and there are no atheist chronomancers. They can look into the timeline probabilities, and see the hand of God at work. This is universally terrifying.
What is the political or government structure in the Spacetime multiverse? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Chronostrider Council is a governing body and bureaucratic office. They facilitate trade agreements between worlds, negotiate peace treaties, and otherwise try to keep everyone playing nice together. The High Council is four senior mages–two space mages, two chronomancers–and the Strider of Chronos, a person possessing the Spacetime Legacy, which gives them the powers of both time and space.
In addition, there is the Lower Council, a fluctuating number of elected officials who represent various worlds.
In general, the Council is fair enough, but of course there is some corruption. And there are those who would love to seize all that power for themselves.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the world of Spacetime?
Among mages, it’s immensely rude to teleport into someone’s house uninvited. Many people set up wards to prevent such an intrusion.
Among chronomancers, it’s frowned upon/borderline illegal to check your own timeline. Besides the fact that it’s almost impossible to see your own timeline, it messes up a person’s mind to know what will happen to them, as well as how they’ll die, if they’re foolish enough to look that up.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
My husband invented the Spacetime world in high school, because he grew up in Phoenix and always considered it home. I now have the privilege to write its books, and we collaborate closely on plots and characters. We now live in Phoenix, so I get to experience the heat, monsoons, and freeways first hand. I can also drive out and explore places I want to put in a book.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Not so many of those–yet. While Storm Chase and Chronocrime mostly deal with immense magical threats, Wraithblade deals with a character who has been on mind-controlling drugs most of her childhood. She’s experiencing a cold-turkey detox over the course of the story, which, I suppose, becomes a commentary on such drugs. I didn’t set out to make a statement, though. That was simply one of the many ways the antagonists kept her tractable.
Kessie Carroll lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and four children. In between homeschooling and otherwise managing a household, she writes in odd moments. Writing is her TV.
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