User:Tlogmer/Quantum fiction

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Quantum Fiction is a new literary genre that blurs the lines separating science fiction, fantasy, and quantum mechanics.

Characteristics of quantum fiction[edit]

This genre is characterized by:

  • The use of quantum mechanics to explain, or make plausible, the supernatural, paranormal, or fantastic.
  • The fusion of science and an unquantified animating force (e.g., spirit).
  • A theme, character, or plot pivots on any element of quantum mechanics.
  • Synchronistic adventures, multiple dimension reality, interactive metaverses, or consciousness is a participant in the creation of physical reality.

The genre quantum fiction was coined by American novelist Vanna Bonta to define stories in which consciousness affects physics and determines reality; in her words, "the genre is broad and includes life."[1] Bonta further explains her development of this new genre: "I don't write science fiction. Science fiction is a niche genre, defined by Ray Bradbury as depiction of the real. 'Quantum fiction' is the realm of all possibilities, and that is a core passion of my work. The genre is broad, and includes life because fiction is an inextricable part of reality in its various stages, and vice versa."[2]

Summary of Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel[edit]

The book that labeled and introduced quantum fiction as a genre to readers was Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel (1996) by Vanna Bonta.[3] [4] [5] In the novel, the protagonist struggles to sort intertwining plot points of a fiction he is writing within the story, and the unfolding realities within the novel's plot.

Quantum Theory and Quantum Fiction[edit]

Quantum fiction brings quantum theory forward as the explanation behind the concept of life imitating art and art imitating life. Guyanese novelist and essayist Wilson Harris describes that since his first novel, he has been writing what he was eventually to realize as "quantum fiction".[6]

New art of fiction: Linear vs. Quantum[edit]

Describing quantum fiction as giving witness to "realities hidden from the world you see," Wilson Harris defined analogies between his fiction and quantum physics. "The quantum concept is that if one fires out an object, it breaks into particles and waves. Conventional novelists go along a linear road, but the quantum split can bring the past into the present in a new art of fiction."[7]

Emerging Genre[edit]

In Fiction in the Quantum Universe (June 2002)[8], Susan Strehle argues that new fiction has developed from the influence of modern physics. This book explores and advances a pluralistic view of the meaning of contemporary fiction as it relates to the quantum-defined view of "reality."

According to Strehle, who also terms this new fiction "actualism," the actualists balance questions of art with engaged meditation on the external, actual world.

While quantum fiction novels diverge markedly from a previously held view of reality, Strehle argues that they do so in order to reflect more acutely that aspect of reality which, only the advent of quantum mechanics evidenced as real, or actual; i.e., Reality is no longer "realistic." In in the new physical or quantum universe, reality is discontinuous, energetic, relative, statistical, subjectively seen, and uncertainly known—all terms taken from new physics.

The genre became subject of controversy. In 2007, leveraging by a small press community ended a heated debate that led to the removal of Quantum Fiction from Wikipedia. Despite multiple votes that the decision to remove the page was driven by professional conflict of interest and personal bias against the quantum fiction creator, it was removed. The page was saved by a Wikipedia User.

Since the inception and coining work of quantum fiction recognized by Publishers Weekly in 1995[9], the influence and definition of literature by this genre continues in the creation of novels, short fiction and film.[10]. The genre is the also the subject of academic papers and editorial reviews that recognize and analyze the defining and qualifying elements of the genre, which vary from work to work.[11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

Quantum fiction (as "Actualism")[edit]

Strehle further defines quantum fiction as actualist fiction. It is characterized by incompletions, indeterminacy, or "open" endings that involve the reader or some undetermined element to continue or resolve the work. Within that framework, Gravity's Rainbow is cited as an example, as it ends not with a period but with a dash.

Within this framework, Strehle's book also presents a critical analysis of major novels by Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover, William Gaddis, John Barth, Margaret Atwood, and Donald Barthelme.

Strehle argues that such innovations in narrative reflect on twentieth-century history, politics, science, and discourse.

The perception of a changed reality reaches into philosophy, psychology, literary theory, and other areas. The final chapter extends the discussion beyond North American borders to African, South American, and European texts, suggesting a global community of writers whose fiction belongs in the quantum universe.[18]


  1. ^ quantum fiction definition
  2. ^ What Is Quantum Fiction?, by Vanna Bonta
  3. ^ Publishers Weekly June 1995; "Whatever 'quantum fiction' is, we need more of it."
  4. ^ St. Petersburg Times April 14, 1996, by Delilah Shapiro Jones; "FLIGHT: A Quantum Fiction Novel may be the first work of 'quantum fiction' in recorded history."
  5. ^ Quantum Fiction quando la quantistica detta le leggi della scrittura, by Maria Zuppello; Panorama Mondadori, January 16, 2008
  6. ^ Theatre of the Arts: Wilson Harris and the Caribbean, by Hena Maes-Jelinek (2002)
  7. ^ A Life in writing, by Maya Jaggi; The Guardian Dec. 16, 2006
  8. ^ Fiction in the Quantum Universe, by Susan Strehle (Scholarly Book Services, June, 27, 2002)
  9. ^ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - June 1995; Book Review Flight: a quantum fiction novel, by Vanna Bonta
  10. ^ A Quantum Fable: Fiction and Physics on Film by Barbara Stahura; Scienza e Conoscenza Magazine; issue 10, English and Italian
  11. ^ Quantum Fiction: A review of Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Running Away ,a review by Kathleen Brazie; Charlotte's View, Metropolitan Ideas and Art
  12. ^ Reality, the New Fiction, by Scott Henderson
  13. ^ The new nature of the multiverse - a quantum fictionMichael Moorcock
  14. ^ Inner/Outer fiction/operating manual: Linear Shouting Tsogblogsphere January 22, 2010
  15. ^ Quantum Fiction, by Ranse Parker
  16. ^ Changing Planes, by Laurie Brenner; quantum fiction
  17. ^
  18. ^ [1] aLibris

Further Reading[edit]

  • Fiction in the Quantum Universe, by Susan Strehle (Scholarly Book Services, June 2002)
  • Quantum Enigma (Physics Encounters Consciousness), by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • The Composition of Reality: A Talk with Wilson Harris, by Vera M. Kutzinski; Callaloo - Volume 18, Number 1,1995
  • Weaving the Tapestry of Memory: Wilson Harris's "The Four Banks of the River of Space, by Jean-Pierre Durix

Callaloo, Vol. 18, No. 1 (1995)