Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel

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Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel
Book cover, paperback edition Flight: a quantum fiction novel, by Vanna Bonta, 1996; Cover Art: Corey Wolfe.
Book cover, paperback edition Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel, by Vanna Bonta, 1996.
Author Vanna Bonta
Cover artist Corey Wolfe
Country United States
Language English
Genre quantum fiction, magical realism, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy, Conspiracy fiction, Adventure
Publisher Meridian House
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Audiobook
Pages 397
ISBN 978-0912339108 (hardcover)
978-0912339177 (paperback)
813/.54
Preceded by "Rewards of Passion (Sheer Poetry)" (1981)
"Shades of the World. Dora Books" (1985)
"Degrees" (1989)

Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel is a novel by American writer Vanna Bonta.[1]

First published in 1995, Flight is about Mendle J. Orion, a writer who notices that elements from the science fiction novel he is writing begin to manifest in the real world. Bonta claimed that she invented the term and the literary genre known as quantum fiction.[2]

Setting[edit]

Overview[edit]

The novel takes place at the end of the 20th century and spans into the beginning of the 21st century. It utilizes an array of literary devices to highlight the illusory aspect of reality. The story is set primarily in Los Angeles, California, where Mendle Orion lives and works as a writer. Other cities are mentioned, such as San Diego, where Mendle attends the World Science Fiction Convention. The action ends on a farm in rural Kentucky.

Multiverse[edit]

A secondary plot takes place in other-world parallels to the main plot. This subplot presents as a novel-in-progress being written by the character Mendle Orion. The story's action is a multiverse.

Z Zone[edit]

A fictional universe called Z Zone (the "Sleep Zone") where individuals commit self-betrayal to escape being awake and functioning creatively is an allegory for the perils of mind control.

Main characters[edit]

  • Mendle Orion - Mendle is a solitary writer who questions everything. He is disenchanted with loveless biological sex. He feels caged and trapped by what he perceives as a cold and solid world. His rebelliousness against Newtonian physics that define a locked and set reality worries his friends who fear he is bordering on delusional. Mendle Orion finds solace for his loneliness in his latest creation, a novel that stars an interdimensional traveler named Aira Flight, whom he endows with virtues and qualities that his superficial and manipulative girlfriend lacks.
  • Aira Flight – (pronounced AIR'-ah) Aira is the heroine of Mendle Orion's latest book. She is an intrepid interdimensional being who brings knowledge and aesthetics to various star systems. She can shape shift and assume forms, or not, at will. She is kind but fiercely courageous. She possesses the ability to love unconditionally, so life thrives around her. 'Aira Flight' is also the name Mendle Orion gives a young woman he discovers in his hotel bathroom after it becomes obvious she eerily has no memory of any past. He believes she is a light being but she appears completely human, until the discovery that she has no navel heightens the mystery of the young woman's origin.
  • Onx - Onx is a miniature dragon that travels with Aira Flight in the novel Mendle is writing. Mendle also assigns the name Onx to a stray white Samoyed dog he finds the night he meets the mysterious stranger he believes is Aira Flight come to life.
  • Jorian - A light being character in the novel Mendle is writing who is Aira Flight's true love. As light beings, they can take on different forms, human and nonhuman, to love each other and interact. In the beginning of Mednle's novel, Aira is searching for him after his strange disappearance.
  • Sandra Wilford - Mendle's former girlfriend. She is a journalist dedicated to grooming her already impeccable body. She is consumed by getting back with and saving Mendle, whom she believes is on the brink of losing his connection to reality.
  • Dr. Alfred Kaufkiff - the psychoanalyst who offers services to sort out how people live their lives.
  • Paul Toor | Loptoor - Toor is a government employee who bears an uncanny resemblance and name similarity to a cowardly, somnambulist character (Loptoor) in Mendle's novel.
  • Lauryad - Aira Flight's shuttle spacecraft that travels by manipulating space fabric. The spaceship is a transport of art and communication missions to free planetary populations enslaved by ignorance and somnambulism.

Plot summary[edit]

First edition hardcover Flight, 1995

A lonely science fiction writer, Mendle J. Orion, is disillusioned in the dystopic world of current event headlines. One stormy night, his life is forever changed when he finds a mysterious young woman with intense blue eyes in his hotel bathroom at a science fiction convention. The soulful stranger has no memory of any past before the moment of their meeting.

It's love at first sight as the writer notices the young woman's resemblance to the heroine in his new novel. He euphorically introduces her to his friends as "Aira Flight," the name of the dimension-traveling super heroine of his latest novel.

His friends are shocked and question Mendle's weird conviction and already dubious sanity. They become suspicious of the strange young woman who behaves as though she has no past. Orion's former girlfriend, the impeccably gorgeous Sandra Wilford, is especially concerned. Fueled by the desire to get Mendle back and save him from himself, she starts to investigate the disheveled woman's identity.

Mendle Orion transfers the love for the character in his novel, Aira Flight, to the blonde, wide-eyed stranger he takes home. The companionship he once found only in worlds of his creation are now his daily life. Orion is protective as Aira discovers urban life with the innocence of a newborn. Crime, war, and poverty appear unfamiliar to her. She experiences love, Nature, music, food, fashion with childlike wonder, as if seeing it all for the first time. Despite her mundane penchant for playing video games, Mendle's conviction about the young woman's unearthliness is sealed the day they go swimming with dolphins and, as she pulls off damp clothing, he discovers the mysterious stranger has no navel.

Even when sober, Orion notices the uncanny resemblance between the stranger and his descriptions of the superheroine in his book-in-progress. As he writes the chapters, particulars eerily coincide with real events throughout his day. Mendle becomes obsessed with synchronicity and the peculiar interplays of his fictional creations with reality.

Sandra Wilford's obsession with determining the real identity of "Aira Flight" escalates. She contacts an associate in the government, Paul Toor, and entices him with claims she knows an extraterrestrial. The two are finally successful in uncovering leads about Aira Flight's real identity. Sandra Wilford vindictively presents Mendle evidence that his “Dream Lover” is a mere mundane mortal: A driver's license identifying his mystical Aira Flight as a woman from Illinois. Sandra takes perverse pleasure in shattering the fantasy that was Mendle's solace.

Mendle insists it doesn't matter to him what the girl's real name or past is. He insists he knows her soul, and that he is in love. Just as Mendle begins to accept that the girl he named Aira Flight is probably a missing person somewhere, and in need of help, her memory begins to return in flashes — and when it does, the pieces are oddly straight out of the novel Mendle is writing.

Sandra places doubt in Mendle's mind that the girl may have read the work and could be a fan just playing into his fantasies, pretending to be Aira Flight. Aira swears to Mendle she has not read his notes or the novel-in-progress. She has no idea why and how the flashes of her past are straight out of the book Mendle Orion is writing.

As Mendle reviews his work for clues, the similarities between Paul Toor, Sandra’s government friend, and Lop Toor, a character in his novel who is Aira Flight's, strike him.

As the characters seek reasons to explain the spooky synchronicities, Sandra uncovers that the evidence Paul Toor produced about the "real identity" of the girl named Aira Flight is a fabricated phony ID. When Sandra sets out to find out why, she uncovers more than she ever imagined possible. As her cool composure unravels, the misfit Mendle Orion by contrast suddenly seems to have a handle on reality.

The novel Orion has been writing, which in the beginning appeared as some far-fetched fantasy of an interdimensional being who materializes in his universe, overlaps and overtakes the main plot. What was once mere fiction begins to add up as possible and plausible reality. Pieces of the puzzling mystery finally fit together to reveal the truth behind identities and events. Love prevails and a portal to the world of ultimate superheroes and possibility is unveiled, where fairy tale (fiction) and the real world (physics) meet.

Publishing History[edit]

Bonta attempted to find a traditional publisher for the novel, but was unsuccessful.[3] She eventually accepted an offer for partnership in a boutique publishing agency[who?] staffed by a former Doubleday editor and film investor.[who?] Flight: a quantum fiction novel was published in hardcover in 1995.

In 2008, Bonta recorded an audiobook version of the novel, featuring herself as the narrator.[4]

Reception[edit]

Initial reviews were promising. Publishers Weekly wrote "Whatever 'quantum fiction' is, we need more of it."[5] The American Library Association reviewed it as "auspicious" and "genre-bending."[6] Bonta was invited to The Ricki Lake Show to discuss the novel and extraterrestrial life.[7]

In 1996, the novel was presented by the commune of Florence, Italy's Camerata dei Poeti. Among the panel of presenters was Gabriella Fiori, a professor of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Padua and Italian biographer of Simone Weil. Fiori described Flight as "genius," "revolutionary," and "a masterpiece."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Library of Congress Catalog Record - Flight: a quantum fiction novel - LC control no. 94093844
  2. ^ An Interview With Author, Vanna Bonta Regarding Flight, A Quantum Fiction Novel November, 2007; "I told them, It's quantum fiction."[dead link]
  3. ^ An Interview With Author, Vanna Bonta Regarding Flight, A Quantum Fiction Novel November, 2007; "I told them, It's quantum fiction."[dead link]
  4. ^ AudioFile Audiobook reviews AudioFile (magazine), June 2008
  5. ^ Publishers Weekly - Book review Flight: a quantum fiction novel, by Vanna Bonta; "Whatever 'quantum fiction' is, we need more of it." January 2, 1995
  6. ^ Flight, by Vanna Bonta American Library Association (ALA)| Booklist; June 1995. 400p. Meridian House, hardcover, $23.95 (0-912339-10-1)
  7. ^ The Ricki Lake Show 1992 - 2004[better source needed]
  8. ^ Poetry Society (Florentine Camerata), Prof. Gabriella Fiori, Otello Pagliai, Italian Minister of Culture present the works of poet and writer Vanna Bonta. September 1996 Audio recording; Conferenze - Camerata dei Poeti

External links[edit]