Introducing MAGISTERIUM!

So it’s finally time for me to tell you a little bit about my new book, Magisterium! Yay!

Here’s my handy dandy official synopsis.....

On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery.

Sixteen-year-old Glenn Morgan has lived next to the Rift her entire life and has no idea what might be on the other side. Glenn's only friend, Kevin Kapoor, insists there’s monsters and witchcraft, but magic isn't for Glenn. She has enough problems with reality. Ever since her mother abandoned them years earlier she and her scientist father have led nearly separate lives. He obsessively pursues “The Project,” a patched-together heap of technology whose importance only he seems to grasp, while Glenn dreams of the day she can escape.

But when her father’s work leads to his arrest, he gives Glenn a simple metal bracelet that sends her and Kevin on the run—with only one place to go.

On the other side of the Rift, Glenn and Kevin find the Magisterium, a fundamentally different reality that’s both more wondrous and more terrifying than they could have imagined. They also find themselves in the middle a hundred-year-old conflict that will force Glenn to reassess everything she thinks she knows about the world, her family, and even herself.

That captures it pretty well, but man, there’s so much more I want you to know. I want to talk about the connection between Kevin Kapoor and a dead revolutionary named Cort Whitley. I want to talk about Aamon Marta and the Miel Pan and an intrepid cat named Gerard Manley Hopkins. I really want to talk about Affinity. But all of that stuff would seriously spoil things so it will just have to wait until the book comes out in October.

What I can say though is a bit about where this book came from.

I actually remember the precise moment when I had the idea. I was on an N train coming home to Astoria from my job in Manhattan flipping through the list of podcasts on my iPod when I realized something. You could look at the list of podcasts I listened to and get a pretty solid idea where I stood in terms of politics, social issues, science, entertainment preferences, it was all there. And then I thought about the magazines I read and the news programs I watched and the websites I looked at and it occurred to me how consistent all my choices were. How they all clearly reflected a particular, well, identity.

Now, one side of this is just me picking out things I'm interested in. We all do this. But I think theres another side to this coin. These days we have more media choices than ever and am I using this near infinite variety to seek out new and challenging to voices? Honestly, when I look at it, no, I'm pretty much picking out familiar voices that are saying things I already think and believe. And the thing is, I think that's probably pretty common. Look at our politics, for instance. Whether you’re a right wing Republican or a far left Democrat you can now arrange it so you never have to hear any voices other than the ones that reinforce beliefs you already hold.

It's like we all make our own gardens and then we build nice high walls to keep everyone else out. Pretty soon, it starts to seem like we aren’t all living in the same America anymore, heck, the same world anymore.

Magisterium came when I wondered what would happen if you took that metaphor and made it literal. What if there was a world where two realities existed side-by-side, but never interacted with each other?

And what if there was a brilliant but deeply troubled girl named Glenn who was very secure in the reality she had built up for herself? And what if she finds herself in possession of an object that throws all of her plans into chaos and puts her in then middle of a conflict between two realities?

Magisterium will be released this year on October 1st!  There’s so much more info to come, so please, follow me on twitter @jeff_hirsch or on facebook and keep up with the story!

And how about you all? How often do you actively seek out voices that challenge your own beliefs? Ever been changed by doing it?

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LM Preston said...

Oh this sounds yummy! I love the title also.

Alba said...

I LOVE the tittle of your new book! And really wish I had already read your debut one T___T
~hope to do so soon!~

Jen Bigheart said...

I love the title too! Sounds so interesting and you ask a lot of great what if questions.


Unknown said...

Excellent point, how often do any of us bother to listen to the "other side of things" anymore, other than to scoff? Neat premise, I hope it sparks some dialog. I have to admit it is rare that I intentionally look for information from those opposite of my POV. Last time I did, reading the book "Jarhead", I found it incredible that my perception of that life (of Marines in the Gulf War) could be so different from the reality.

Tez Miller said...

intrepid cat

Inspired by any cats you live with? ;-)