Book Review | A #LuminisBooks special focus on #stringtheory with Chris Katsaropoulos. Two stories, two books, and a world of thought: “Antiphony” & “Entrevoir”.

Posted Monday, 28 December, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to review “Entrevoir” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of Entrevoir direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Whilst I was discussing reviewing Entrevoir, I enquired about Antiphony as to the best of my understanding although the two stories are independent of each other, I felt it would behoove me to read them in tandem rather than to attempt to read Entrevoir without knowledge of Antiphony. Therefore, I received a complimentary copy of Antiphony without obligation to post a review as I did so for my own edification.

On my fascination with the Quantum World:

The following is an excerpt of my response to the JKS publicist who contacted me. I elected to share most of this conversation as it illuminates my interest in Quantum Physics and how relevant my curiosity has remained me with me ever since I first started researching the field; both in my early twenties and previously as a young adult teen.

I am keenly interested in this author and his works, as I personally love string theory and quantum physics — I started to collect books on the subject in my early twenties, including but not limited to “Lucifer’s Legacy” and the works of Dr. Brian Greene. I approach it through Copernicus, Aristotle, and Einstein’s legacies of thought and dimensional observations on the subjects, but I have a keen interest in da Vinci as well, who was a bit ahead of his time across all fields. It isn’t often quantum physics is a featured subject for either non-fiction or fictional releases, and I’m always giddy as a cat when I discover a new author or physicist, who is endeavouring to have us enlarge our perspective and point of view on the world and realms by which we live inside.

I pulled up the author’s Twitter feeds and liked the esoteric and metaphysical tweeting he was projecting inasmuch as the clarity of his thoughts being conveyed in such a small space! I love introspective and thought-provoking texts, especially when your shifting from how we view and understand our world and the cosmos above us.

I was going to ask, can “Entrevoir” be read and understood without having read “Antiphony”? Sometimes physicists carry forward their thoughts from one release to another, so I wasn’t sure if perchance this is the case here or if they are substantially heading off in different directions from one release to the other?! [the key reason I requested to read both of these titles together]

Anything to do with the quantum world, either in fiction (esp hard science fiction) or non-fiction is going to appeal to me, as I love black hole science, string theory, quantum mechanics, dimensional space and the theory of the time continuum, as well as straight-up quantum physics and the curious attraction I have to studying symmetry vs asymmetry in both design and elemental physics. I started to soak inside the theories after picking up “A Wrinkle in Time” which opened the door to understanding the projections of the theories inside “Flatland” by Edwin Abbott. From these two explorations as one was rooted in fact and the other was expressed in fiction (fiction is a beautiful gateway to the imagination, to help us harbour a direct connection in how to purport what was not able to be fathomed by granting us the grace of familiarity), I moved forward into the works I mentioned above: “Lucifer’s Legacy” and the works of Dr. Greene.

You have a keen eye to notice [in reference to the publicist] where my interests lie, as Dr. Brian Greene is one contemporary physicist alongside Dr. Michio Kaku I have my eye on. Another is a mathematician: Dr. Clifford Pickover, where I get to explore where mathematics have a sublet of inspiration on the bearing of how art is seen, produced, and explored — especially when it comes to fractals!

Sometimes I just like to “browse” the science shelves in book shoppes to see what jumps out at me, and therein, I discover other wicked sweet things like ‘quasars, quirks, and the little bits’ which make up the interior fabric and framework of outer space possible. Mathematics is the language of how the design of our world is possible but it also bears understanding to become closer to God. He left behind such a prism of insight just by the science of how everything kinetically works together. Most scientists (i.e. Issac Newton, Einstein, etc) were attempting to understand God through the language of mathematics and the intricacies of quantum physics; this fascinates me, and as I follow their paths, I start to see what they discovered too. The infinite beauty of how all of what we know and everything we have yet to know is plausible; it’s joy doubled and bound through eternity.

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Book Review | A #LuminisBooks special focus on #stringtheory with Chris Katsaropoulos. Two stories, two books, and a world of thought: “Antiphony” & “Entrevoir”.Entrevoir

The unveiling of a new work of art by Jacob Marsteller is typically one of the most highly anticipated events in the international art scene—but not this time. Jacob's new piece is a labyrinth of gossamer fabric perched on the peak of a mountain called Entrevoir in a remote corner of the south of France. It looks as if nobody except Jacob's teenage children and a few neighbors from the village will bother to show up at the gallery.

As Jacob finishes dressing for the party, he and his wife Marya begin to argue. She warned him that moving from the vibrant art scene of New York to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere would be a fatal mistake for his career. As she turns her back to him and walks down the stairs, Jacob tells her there was a reason he had to come here to create this piece—and that's when Jacob's whole world begins to unravel. Without realizing what is happening, he is lifted out of his body and taken to another dimension, where he becomes the watcher, the witness, and experiencer of lives he lived six decades ago and thousands of years ago, on other planets and as the highest forms of life.

In the span of one instant and over the course of millions of years, Jacob comes to understand that he is not his body, he is not his mind, and he is not even his soul. By the end of the amazing unveiling of Jacob's true self, he will experience the greatest transfiguration any human being has ever known: the realization of the ultimate nature of human life, and of spirit itself.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

on 15th April, 2015

Pages: 208

Book Synopsis for Antiphony:

Chris Katsaropoulos dramatically depicts the downfall of Theodore, a String Theory physicist who commits the biggest faux pas in the world of science, proposing to his colleagues at a major international conference that perhaps consciousness—God—could be the missing piece in discovering the Final Theory of the universe. To the horror of everyone at the meeting, Theodore proposes, “What if the Universe is really a giant thought?”

ANTIPHONY traces the downward spiral of Theodore’s career in the wake of what he has said, and the remarkable transformation that leads him into the depths of madness . . . or the revelation of the Final Theory, the ultimate secret of the universe.

Katsaropoulos explores Theodore’s downfall with a depth of feeling and meaning that is expressed in a lyrical style that challenges readers to think beyond what is readily apparent and on the surface of things. As novelist Al Riske put it in his recent review of ANTIPHONY, “Katsaropoulos has a way of delving deeply into what seem like small moments—the whole novel takes place in just three or four days—and capturing all their nuances and vibrating tension.”

As Riske says in his review, “Throughout Antiphony, the protagonist experiences dreams and visions that fill pages the way a flash flood fills a ravine—a torrent of words flowing into the space between the margins and pressing onward to the next page and the next. It makes me wonder how he did it.”

Is there a God, and if so, is science fighting a losing battle in its search for the ultimate Theory of Everything? In the end, ANTIPHONY lets each reader decide for themselves…

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Antiphony via Midpoint Trade Books (Luminis Books)

[ Antiphony ] Add to Riffle | Public Library

Genre(s): Science Fiction based on Science Fact | Quantum Theory

Spiritual Metaphysics | String Theory | Hard Sci-Fi | Literary Fiction

Published By: Luminis Books (@LuminisBooks) | Blog

Available Formats [for both]: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via Twitter: #StringTheory, #SciGeek,

#LuminisBooks and #JKSLitPublicity

About Chris Katsaropoulos

Chris Katsaropoulos is the author of more than a dozen books, including two critically acclaimed novels, Fragile and Antiphony, and Complex Knowing, the first collection of his poems. He has been an editor at several major publishing houses and has published numerous trade books, textbooks, and novels over the course of his publishing career. He lives in Carmel, Indiana.

Interview on Luminis Books Blog | About "Antiphony"

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Reflections on ‘Antiphony’:

Atmosphere has a lot to do with reading – which is why I pulled up a new music website I discovered a few months back when I realised I couldn’t renew my subscription to ‘Hearts of Space‘: Earbits. I settled on the ‘Ambient Electronica’ station for my readings of Katsaropoulos novels. I deferred to the Classical Renaissance station half-way through Antiphony.

We enter into Theodore’s life on the verge of an intersection, wherein it is made clearly apparent to him his original feelings of being tied to his wife and her to him are in jeopardy. In regards to what was singularly important for him to seek her acceptance of his achievements were now being re-evaluated on her end as being a bit more trivial than imperative. Two lives at a cross-roads and each of the persons involved opting to take a different route of where they feel they need to be in the moment they have arrived.

The philosophical perceptive analysis Theodore likes to initiate during his observational thinking experiments (as he likes to dissect ordinary moments out of ordinary life and juxtaposition them against what is ‘seen’ and what can be purported through a lens of physics; what is truly happening vs how what is happening aligned with an understanding of physics and the order in which things affect each other) gives a grounding clue into his character’s approach to living. He cannot merely observe for the will to understand the object of movement but rather wants to understand the underscored metrics of how what is affected can be altered based on another cause of effect.

Katsaropoulos gives credence of thought to writing this as a drinking narrative of science with the narrative grace of a novel emerging through a vortex of theory against the strength a novel can curate for a reader to envision. He counter-balances the science with just enough of a fictional story to arch over the theories and philosophy to where an everyday reader can find connection with his lead character and a will to remain rooted in the story’s heart. I would say it helps if you have a healthy curiosity about the nature of physics and the manner in which our world is explained through quantum mechanics and theory, but even without prior knowledge or readings therein, I believe a layperson reading this for the first time would become quite a bit stoked to pursue their readings into other offerings by today’s physicists because he curates a niche of fiction out of the reality of science.

The best dramatic moment at the beginning of Antiphony is how improbable it is to truly divest yourself from an improbable equation when in truth of fact, the solution being sought is not one easily wrought out by common factors of knowledge but rather an infinite sea of variables that render you a bit befuddled to know which route to pursue towards any sort of clarity of ‘thought’. This cross-applies directly to a real-life endeavour that doesn’t restitute itself to having an end-result that is apparent; rather than a probing articulation of viable potential as it’s hidden inside the infinite realm of quantitative choice.

Writ with an intricate vein of conscience thought interspersed by random dialogue, Katsaropoulos transitions the reader from eclipsed human emotions, science-based observational research, and a keen awareness of the hours within a human’s life (partial here to saying he could have skipped over some of the descriptive details of the washroom; but being a bloke wrote this, it’s a choice this girl would have made however, I am not sure a bloke would have; hence this is one part of the story I felt was definitely from the point of view of the opposite sex) giving us unparalleled insight into the inner workings of his lead character. This is a thinking man’s novel – wherein you follow the tangents of thought, theory, and spirit of discovery right alongside Theodore. His thoughts still inside your own mind, as you turn over what is being expressed and explained; to knit out a thread of thought where you can connect to why he’s adamant about finding the source of his anxiety. (here I refer not to the anxiety of the day but of his life; to solve the unsolvable equation)

Antiphony is part soliloquy of one man’s pursuit of truth and the entangled weaving of thoughts a married man thinks about as he’s attempting to put things into order inside his mind. Theodore overthinks most of his life, but he has the propensity to even organise the romance inside his marriage; he is a man who loves to house things by compartment or by comparison of order. He examines what is, what could be, what is not, and seeks to understand the whys and hows therein. He’s constantly seeking and resolving everything that sets his mind afire to understand ‘the one’ thing that he is lamenting about on any given second of drawn breath. No topic is off limits. No subject taboo. He internalises everything and attempts to seek a logical prospective for everything even for things which are innately illogical.

Reality and light can spiral inward and outward at a rate of speed not normally countable to man, and it is how this bent version of reality can be experienced (or a theory of how we ‘step’ outside of time) is a good way of expressing what you will find happening to Theodore. Thought. Sound. Light. Energy. Intricate threads of connective experience woven together through what cannot be felt except by sensory trace. What projected Theodore onto this new discourse of curious thought is a simple phrase he stumbled across which when turnt in and on itself because a different phrase altogether. He used it as a catalyst to extract out other thoughts he was already considering and used it as a threading needle towards seeking if his other understandings on the theories his work is based had merit afterall.

For those of us who appreciate Einstein and come into the Quantum realms through his vision of understanding will appreciate the route Katsaropoulos has carved into Antiphony. For those of us who were struck by the instant beauty of a ‘word’ and the dimensional space between the constants and vowels where you can find new meaning and a new identity of changing letters within the folds of the ‘word’ itself, you will appreciate the dexterity of where the novel disappears inside. Theodore’s vulnerability to accept a new concept of where his current work might have distorted his sensory instincts to explore a truer aspect of his research, is what is leading the story forward. He is allowing himself to become entwined with the experience set outside the journey and thereby propelling himself into uncharted territory. Not to forsake science, but to embrace there are places where science is limited and there is a circle of insight just outside science which can breathe in a a new tangible thought of enlightenment. Again, think about Einstein and you will understand Theodore. The two are akin of being twins in how their yearnings to understand led them to consider a radical thought not entirely acceptable in the academic world in which their research lived.

Fly in the Ointment:

Beginning on page 86, Katsaropoulos descends into a rambling ‘thoughts in motion’ soliloquy of Theodore’s reaction to a substantial life change. There are parts of these passages where I felt he grabbed a hold of something tangible and relatable to be shared. Yet, for the most part, I found this part to be a bit weighty on the level of non coherent ramblements where I felt the author’s vision for this section of the book is not equal to how a reader might view these sequences. I understood the gist of what he was attempting to prove a point about, but it’s hard to keep yourself focused when everything is swirling away from where that particular chapter had left off. It was a dream sequence, this I understood quite well, but it’s how that sequence was fused to the context of these pages that I felt were a bit out of step with the current pace of the story. I personally felt the section from page 86 to 96 could have been omitted and the story would have been built just as strong without it’s inclusion.

Katsaropoulos has a keen strength in his narrative voice lent to science and science-driven fiction; I simply felt the dream sequence took me out of that sphere of thought and place he had built from the first chapter.

He proceeded this section with such a unique perspective on symphonies and how the music we listen too can transcend speech for it connects to us within the measure of the chords. It was by far one of the more clever ways of expressing musical note and musical thought; wherein as a reader you could nearly ‘hear the music’ as it was resonating with Theodore.

My Reflections of Entrevoir:

Entrevoir begins on similar footing as Antiphony, to go so far as to find a compliment of both tone and voice of the narrative. Equal to the character’s journey found within Theodore’s pursuit of universal truths, so too, does Jacob start to embark on a journey to understand dimensional space, time and the lengths of how a living soul can understand knowledge that it has yet to bridge forward into it’s human’s experience on earth. This is a metaphysical story whose forbearance was brightly highlighted quite strongly in Antiphony giving the reader a bevy of insight they might not have otherwise had if they hadn’t read both novels back to back. Katsaropoulous is writing stories to seek a higher truth and to creatively tell a story where his characters seek to understand something altogether not of themselves but of a truth only the universe understands before we do ourselves.

I had trouble gaining traction with Entrevoir as the imagery was a bit graphic for me in the opening sections, as there is a portion of the story where art and light are being cross-compared to slaughtered animals, which after coming through Antiphony I was more than a bit surprised by how this story did not go back through a more innovative journey of introspection. I simply held on to what I enjoyed about the prior installment but could not continue to read Entrevoir due to feeling a bit jostled out of the the pace and flow of his writing style.

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This book review is courtesy of:

JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm

JKS Communications Reviewer Badge

Regrettably I was delayed in sharing my thoughts and ruminations on behalf of this author’s works, as this double-showcase was held over from late Spring/early Summer due to health reasons and subsequently lightning storms which took away my joy of reading this past Summer. It was a true honour to get a proper chance to soak inside the breadth of what Katsaropoulos left behind for readers to find inside his novels, as I felt posting this review now during Sci Fi Experience might help other readers of hard science fiction find a renewed joy in his curiously unique style of science-based fiction!

It should be noted I previously hosted stories and authors published by Luminis Books, where I quite happily discovered the beautiful story-telling of Marcia Strykowski with her series about Amy. The showcases I hosted include the following:

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Reader Interactive Question:

What appeals to you the most about hard science fiction and speculative science fiction that takes on the theories of quantum physics whilst exploring a narrative that is rooted in contemporary life?

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Posting in conjunction with my contributions on behalf of:

Artwork Credit: Chris Goff on behalf of the Sci Fi Experience hosted by Used with permission.
Artwork Credit: Chris Goff

{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “Antiphony” and “Entrevoir”, Author Biography, Author Photograph, Book Synopsis for both books, and reviewer badge were provided by JKS Communications and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Comment Box banner made by Jorie in Canva. Artwork Credit: Chris Goff on behalf of the Sci Fi Experience hosted by; used with permission.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 28 December, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, ARC | Galley Copy, Astrophysics, Asymmetry, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Literary Fiction, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Quantum Physics, Scribd, String Theory, Superstrings, Supersymmetry, Vulgarity in Literature

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