The Pulse

Contents, Maps, & Characters

The Pulse is a story — in progress — about the danger of talking to intergalactic strangers. It contains different locations and styles, and explores oddities in perception and belief.

Because of its rather sprawling design, I’ve provided a table of contents with brief plot points, maps, and a list of characters. While the basic structure isn’t likely to change, I’m still writing the second half, which requires some reworking of the previous chapters.


Locations - Paris - Italy - Alberta - BC (British Columbia) - Lactar8 - Baulis Prime - Fallar Ultima - Vicino Lontano - The Soul Star

Part One

Paris The Actress - Martine, a Parisienne actress and intellectual, tells her story about ESP to Kenneth, a skeptical lecturer at the Latin Quarter’s Collège de France

Paris  Equations - Kenneth ponders Martine's story

Lactar8 On Lactar8 - K, a Lactari astronomer, explores the meaning of two alien images - Lady Madonna - The Cultists of Lacter27

BC Dinner Guests from Baulis Prime - Berry wonders what the neighbours would think if they knew he was an alien - Roots - Soil - Light

BC On Becoming Human - Berry confesses a soft spot for humans - Mammary Glands - The Infraction

Alberta / Fallar Ultima Fairy Tales - Antonio, a Fallarian in a human body, plots against his earthly father - Summerland, BC, 1967 - Natural Selection - The Brothers from Göttingen - Vulcan, Alberta, 1999

Alberta Quest - Antonio searches for the perfect victim - Black Diamond, 2007

The Soul Star The Hidden Star - astronomers try to pinpoint the Soul Star within the Corona Borealis Void

Italy Di Parma - Lucia, an art student in Parma, goes to a cafe on her day off

Alberta Seduction - Antonio uses black magic to entice Beatrice - Vulcan, 1999

Baulis Prime The Ascendancy of Baulis Prime - the Baulians rise from pink water to create an Empire - Time & Place - The Great Temple - History

Paris  The Academic - Martine's Ph.D. thesis mirrors her life

Baulis Prime Fractal Masters & Fractal Mystics - Rablanar, a Fractal Mystic on Baulis Prime, considers a frightening possibility

Paris  Probabilities - Kenneth thinks about probability while waiting for Martine 

Part Two

Italy  Di Firenze - Lucia suffers from a rare condition - Ganglia - Fra Sole - Febbre Fiorentina

Alberta And Carbunkle His Eyes - Antonio stalks the garden outside of Beatrice’s home - Vulcan, 1999

BC The Stories They Told Themselves - Berry ponders the solipsistic oddity of the human brain

Paris  Lestatique - Kenneth mocks Martine's ex by creating an anime Dracula scenario

Alberta Mirror, Mirror - Antonio uses a magic mirror to hypnotize Beatrice - Vulcan, 1999

BC / Vicino Lontano At Sea - Berry ponders religion, unaware of the greater designs of Vicino Prossimo - The Bright Shore - The Book of Fractals - The Religion of Art

Italy The Outskirts of Rome - Sandra, a Canadian student, meets a gypsy in Rome - Campo de' Fiori - Le Differenze - The Gypsy - Mei-lin - Zigana

BC Still Waters - Berry compares human and Baulian views on outer space

Alberta Prester John - Antonio enacts his evil plans, while Beatrice takes advice from Prester John, the local priest - Vulcan, 1999

Italy Times New Roman - Matthew, a writer from Vancouver, wonders about the future of writing - Uno - Due - Tre 

Paris  Madame Dupont - Madame Dupont, an elderly French widow, returns to the Collège de France

Alberta On Becoming Alien - Prester John’s theology resembles science fiction -Vulcan, 1999

Paris  All Shook Up - Kenneth botches a lecture at the Collège de France & Alikiko encounters the Devil - On the Podium - Akiko & the Devil - Off the Pedestal

Alberta Güsfreude - Güsfreude gives advice & confronts her destiny - Vulcan, 1999 - Oneiricana - The Holy Grimmble - Eden Valley, 1997

BC Virus - Berry thinks about human limitations

Italy Di Roma - Lucia and her boyfriend stroll into the Pantheon - Avoidance - The Pantheon

BC Alien Extraction - Berry feels conflicted about the value of humanity - Virus - Coronary Issues

BC Total Collapse - Earth gets a re-make - Frame by Frame - An Elusive Metaphor

Part Three

BC In the New Beginning - Berry finds a way to live a double life - The Common Good - The 7% Solution -

Paris Les Mouches - Madame Dupont finds herself on the banks of the Seine - Ultralight Beam - Le Pont Notre-Dame

BC En Route to the Old Cafe - Berry contemplates his next move

Vicino Lontano The Anunnaki - Lucia and Sandra find themselves far from home - On Vicino Prime - Under the Dome - Connection

Paris At First Sight - Madame Dupont walks to Notre-Dame

BC Screen Time - Matthew realizes that he didn’t have the poetic death he imagined

Paris First Contact - Madame Dupont meets the new master race

Fallar Ultima The Condensation of Demon Saints - Farenn gives counsel to the Demon Saints of the Black Horde - The Sacred River - Farenn of Caldemar - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive

BC Dear Matthew - Matthew receives information about his new life

The Soul Star The Soul Star - Madame Dupont goes to a novel reunion

Paris Au Bord de la Seine - Matthew reads about the design of Paris 2.7

Paris Rivers of God - Jean-Luc, a priest in Paris, has reservations about the Church -  Presbyteros -  L'Écriture Sainte - La Géographie

The Soul Star The Crazy Diamond - cosmographers speculate on the nature of the Soul Star

Paris Pinpoints of Light - Jean-Luc tries to reconcile Christianity with history

Fallar Ultima Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive - Farenn gives confusing counsel to the Black Horde

Part Four

Alberta / The Soul Star The Ties That Bind - Güsfreude determines to help Beatrice - Güsfreude’s Awakening - Vulcan, 2000

Italy In the Field of Flowers - In Rome, Lucia and Sandra take stock of their situation - Introductions - The Convocation of Trunks

… in progress …


The Cosmos - The Black Pulse - Baulopolis & Baulis Prime - B.C. & Alberta

The Cosmos

In the real world there’s only one universe that we know of, although its dimensions have greatly expanded since the discovery of other galaxies a hundred years ago. It seems inevitable that this known universe will continue to expand as our ability to detect faraway objects improves. In the novel I assume that just as we eventually found other galaxies, so we’ll eventually find other universes, even clusters of universes. This is a very speculative assumption, yet this is after all a science-fiction novel.

In The Pulse there are 13 known universes in a 4-dimensional cosmos. It’s not known if this cosmos is the only one that exists, yet there are no indications of any overlapping, alternate, or mirror universes.

The Purple Pulse and The Black Pulse universes are the most ancient universes and are also the furthest apart. The elliptical lines indicate rotational paths (resulting from the combination of mass, momentum, and gravity). While many of the solar systems and galaxies have dense central cores (or black holes) which determine centripetal force, the cohesion of the larger structures is a function of binary or ternary gravitational pull.

cosmos 3.jpeg

The distances between ellipses are far greater than represented on the map. For instance, The Yellow Sky universe is thousands of times further from The Black Pulse than it is from The Frozen Skiff.

The distances involved in this version of the cosmos are literally and metaphorically astronomical. While we presently understand our known universe to be about 28.5 gigaparsecs in diameter (93 billion light-years), in the novel our universe (The Violet Hoop) is about three times that wide — 85 gigaparsecs (277 billion light-years). (A parsec equals about 3.26 light-years; a light-year equals about 9.46 trillion kilometres).

The Great Triangle — consisting of The Green Buzz, The Violet Hoop, and The Orange Hoop — is so large that instead of using gigaparsecs (billions of parsecs) it would make more sense to use ‘exaparsecs’ (quintillions of parsecs). Similarly, the distance between the Purple Pulse and the Black Pulse would require the use of ‘yottaparsecs’ (septillions of parsecs). One yottaparsec would equal 10 to the power of 24 parsecs, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 parsecs. Exaparsecs and yottaparsecs aren’t used in real-world astronomy because there’s nothing that large in the known universe.

The Black Pulse Universe

fallar grab.jpeg

Baulopolis & Baulis Prime

baulis map 1 with sea.jpg

B.C. & Alberta

bc alta map cropped.jpeg


^ Paris

Kenneth - an Oxford scholar lecturing at the Collège de France in the Latin Quarter

Martine - a doctoral student and ex-actress

Madame Dupont - a widow, previously married to Conrad, an English scholar from Oxford

Balazan - a Baulian integration specialist who helps orient Madame Dupont

Jean-Luc - a priest Matthew writes about to illustrate human struggle with religion

^^ Italy

Lucia - an art student from Parma

Sandra - a Canadian who studies in Geneva and meets Lucia in Rome

>> British Columbia

Berry - a UBC student who was born on Earth yet was “infracted’ at age 13 to become a Baulian

Juniper - Berry’s girlfriend at UBC

Matthew - a writer

Beelzebannur - a Baulian integration specialist who helps orient Matthew

> Alberta

Antonio - the devil from The Black Pulse who seduces Beatrice

Beatrice - the belle of the prairies, duped by the cosmopolitan image of Antonio

Prester John - a priest in the town of Vulcan

Güsfreude - Beatrice’s grandmother, living in Eden Valley (south-west of Calgary)

^ Lactar8

K - the elderly Lactari who first sees evidence of alien life

Glontar - the Lactari rebel who writes disturbing stories about alien life forms

^^ Baulopolis

Rablanar - a Fractal Mystic who warns the Fractal Masters about their vulnerability

^^^ Fallar Prime

Farenn of Caldemar - a philosopher whose counsel is sought by the demon saints of the Black Horde

The Black Horde - the most powerful beings in the Black Pulse

^^^^ Vicino Lontano

The Anunnaki - the most powerful beings in the Purple Pulse

^^^^^ The Soul Star