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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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A continuing Interview with John Schettler - Author Of the Kirov series novels.

The Kirov Saga
Season 1

INTERVIEW: On  Doppelganger and Nemesis (Continued…)

Doppelganger was  a real wall banger. Two Karpovs
!
Twice the fun, and twice the danger too.

But I thought it would be impossible for two people to reside in the same time.
Generally, under the Dorland Time Theory, it is impossible, but these are very extenuated circumstances, a very rare event. It was such a thorny problem, that only Dorland himself could try and explain it. I begin this exposition in his quiet private discussion with Maeve Lindford, the head of Outcomes & Consequences on the Meridian Team.

She’s a formidable lady. Almost reminds me of the woman who led the time travel project in the 12 Monkeys Sci-Fi series. Did that influence you here?
12 Monkeys? I loved it, but no, it had no influence on my own time travel theory or characters. Remember, I wrote the entire Meridian Series many years ago! The original movie was out by then, but it presented nothing of Dr. Jones character in the 12 Monkeys TV Series. In fact, the TV Series was nothing like the original movie at all. In any case, my time travel theory preceded the 12 Monkeys thing by about 15 years.

Ok, so Karpov survives because of the Dual Heisenberg Waves?
Yes. The wave coming from the changes initiated in 1908 strikes the Paradox, splits in two, and this energy creates the circumstance capable of producing a Doppelganger. The other thing that enabled both versions of Karpov to survive is the fact that they were both in a Nexus Point when the hour struck. The Captain was shifting aboard Kirov, and protected by the Nexus Point of that imperative event. It had to happen, so Time could not touch him. The Siberian was aboard Tunguska, and protected by the strange energy field created by the exotic particles in the skeleton of the airship’s frame.

What about the first Kirov, and all the people on that ship?
They vanished into the fog of infinity. For now I will not try to explain their actual fate, but I may do so later.

Yet Fedorov survives, and somehow appears on Kirov’s second coming! How is that possible? Why not any of the other characters aboard the first Kirov?
Because Fedorov had something in his pocket…

The Key! Kamenski’s key!
Correct. I dropped a few hints about that on the mouth of Kamenski earlier in the series. The first occurs way back when Kamenski first tries to explain things to the Inspector General, Kapustin. He tells him that his history books keep changing, yet he remembers everything as it was. This is a clue that Kamenski is remaining stable, with all his memories intact, and not subject to the effects of the Heisenberg Wave. That key in his pocket had everything to do with that, and he wisely decided to pass it on to his young protégé, Mister Fedorov, as Paradox Hour approached.

So that is how the original Fedorov survived?
Yes. The Key, and it is one reason why these keys are so important. Keyholders become immune to the effects of Heisenberg Waves. I’ll explain that in more detail later, but that is the gist of it. So Time had a choice to make. Which Fedorov would survive? The key determined that outcome, and since Time really wanted only one Fedorov to persist, the choice was easy.

But wasn’t the ship and crew on the original Kirov also in a nexus when they shifted?
No… This is why I had them shift in May, not at the moment of the Paradox Hour in July.

Ahhh. I see. Then if they were not in a Nexus Point, where were they?

Elsewhere… That is all I can say about that for the moment. Dorland will tell you about it later in the series.

OK… So now we have two Karpovs due to this odd set of circumstances. What happens if they meet one another? Do they annihilate each other like anti-matter and matter colliding?
That question will be answered in Nemesis.

Fair enough. We can’t reveal things about that story just yet. But can you tell us a little about it?
Well, it practically wrote itself. I had placed Fedorov aboard the second coming of Kirov, with all his memories intact, and did so to place all the readers right there with him. They also know everything that happened, and so there was going to be some suspense in how this second arrival would play out. In effect, we were right back in Book I again, only this time things were going to be very different. The one thing that would persist, would be the inevitable conflict between Fedorov and Captain Karpov. So Fedorov’s struggle to convince the Admiral of what has happened becomes the reader’s struggle too. Because they know what Karpov was going to do, and could easily try to do again. That is where the  suspense lies at the end of Doppelganger, and that carries over into Nemesis. In fact, that plot line continues for two thirds of this novel—one continuous line until I resolve the issue.

This is what you meant about thinking like a time traveler earlier—thinking in cycles.
Yes, and it’s also what I meant when I said you could have your cake and eat it too! So here we go again, only in the first part of the story I skipped the first 6 months of 1942. In Fact, I only presented two little slivers of the war in 1942, Operation Pedestal in the Med during Cauldron of Fire, and the alternate History Campaign by the Japanese in Pacific Storm. Otherwise, nothing of that history has been rendered. This time around I’ll cover all of 1942 in more detail.

Is that where Nemesis takes us?
Not quite yet. I still have to cover some important events in late 1941, particularly on the Russian Front. Barbarossa was so massive that it could simply not be covered in detail. Yet the decisive decisions of late 1941 will be covered, and so after I resolve the situation on the ship, and Karpov’s little plan, then I take the story to the Russian Front—Operation Typhoon.

Is it going to be broad strokes, like the planning meetings with Hitler, Volkov and Sergei Kirov we’ve been invited to earlier, or will it be battle scenes?
Both. I will start at the strategic level in those meetings, then move to operational level, and eventually tactical battles, right down to tank on tank action. You’ll see. That action begins here in Nemesis, and then continues in the next book, Winter Storm.

Ah! You’ve revealed the title of the next book!
Yes. It will cover the important action on the East Front in the winter of 1941-42, and also the major events that take place when Japan enters the war. I once designed a war game by that title. In fact it was my first published simulation design, way back in the 1980s, so I decided to steal the title, as it seemed appropriate for the storms of war that raged in both Europe and the Pacific during those months. It was really the name of the German operation to try and relieve Stalingrad…. But that never happens in these altered states—at least not as it did in Fedorov’s history books.

So run down the action we can expect this season.
We’ll see how far I can get, but I expect we will be well into 1942 by the end of the season. I will start covering Operation Typhoon here in Nemesis. Then the Battle of Moscow will be covered in Winter Storm, and the Soviet counterattacks. This was the first real turning point in the war, the first major crisis  faced by Germany, and Hitler sacks his generals and takes personal command of the Army in the history we know. But remember, Barbarossa started on May 15 in the altered time line here, and so it is well ahead of schedule in many places.  The Battle of Moscow is the key first turning point, and so it will be covered in detail. I’ll also take us to the Pacific to cover Japan’s entry into the war, and of course, Karpov has plans within plans… Down the Road, we’ll see Rommel  again, and all the new weapons start to appear, new tanks, missile technology, jet aircraft. 1942 is going to be a whirlwind of warfare, and the rest of Season 3 will take us into that storm!

I’ll be there! The action in Russia alone will be great to see, and there was also a lot going on in North Africa at Tobruk and El Alamein.

That all depends on Kinlan. The presence of his Brigade is an absolute check on Rommel’s offensive power. Yet he is a limited resource, and so the decision will be made to turn the war over to the British, and only use Kinlan in an emergency. This way I can still show some of the 1942 action there. Then, eventually, the allies will have to decide what to do about the Vichy French colonies in North Africa, and whether an Operation Torch should be mounted, or perhaps an attack aimed at recapturing Gibraltar. Also, the German fleet is in French ports now, and so that sets up more action in the Atlantic. The French will move their heavy assets to Casablanca, so the Royal Navy, and Tovey, will have a lot on his hands.

And the Keyholder thing?
That too. There’s the mission to try and find the key that was lost on Rodney. That leads to Gibraltar, and so it will all tie in. You’ll see. But for now, meet the nemesis that now has a duplicate version of himself, an edge that not even Napoleon ever had!


 

The Kirov Saga
Season 3

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