The Dynamicist Trilogy, 2
Robert thought becoming a dynamicist would enable him to change the world, starting with saving all his friends from being slaughtered. He was wrong.
Acts of genuine creativity used to bring mortal punishment. But now, wizardry is dead and Robert, Koria and Eloise live in a world where change and invention is possible.
Robert hopes that mathematically-framed dynamics will enable him to change the new world. But he keeps having prophetic dreams where his friends are all murdered by a mysterious cloaked man, and the grain protestors are more menacing than ever. They declare dynamics is dangerous and that the changes must stop. They are right about one thing: dynamics is dangerous, especially for someone so hopeful, angry and impetuous as Robert.
Soon Robert's horrific nightmares come true and a cloaked man appears on campus, stalking and murdering students --his friends are next.
Desperate to change the future, Robert recklessly pushes the bounds of both dynamics and reason. Every crushing failure dampens Robert's hope for the future and pushes him a step closer to the powerful, nihilistic, and merciless Lonely Wizard.
Release Date: Tuesday, May 25 2021
Cover Artist: Jeff Brown
Word Count: 148,000
Tropes: Fighting fate, unintended consequences, evil mentor, heroes' journey
Keywords/Categories: Magic school, Prescience, Doomed love, Difficulty of change, Price of memory, post modernism versus science, Fighting fate, unintended consequences, evil mentor, heroes' journey, epic fantasy, fantasy, giveaway, audiobook
Warnings: Warnings: There is violence and mathematics
Amazon Audiobook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0942LRVP2/
Amazon eBook US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088X1NBJ5/
Amazon eBook UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088X1NBJ5/
Amazon eBook CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088X1NBJ5/
Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/herald/
How to Make a Real Magic Sword
In Lee Hunt’s Dynamicist Trilogy, there exists an exceedingly rare class of nearly indestructible swords and shields called entropic weapons. They are variously described as hard, sharp or tough, and are so superior to other armaments that they are treated as “magical”. The Lonely Wizard’s sword, Expectation, or Gregory’s sword, Justice, can easily cut other blades in two. The shield that Robert makes repels even the most ferocious assaults in Herald. Ensorcelled devices such as the magic sword belong to an old and favored trope in the fantasy genre, and for good reason. It is part of the archetypical dream of having a special power to smite our enemies. Who would not want their own magic sword and shield? These spectacular weapons in Herald are made more amazing by the fact that the science behind them is real.
To conceptually understand how Herald’s entropic swords work, we must consider material properties and the sciences of metallurgy and amorphous metals.
What properties should your magic sword have?
A sword should be sharp, it needs to be hard so that it cuts and is not itself cut, it needs to be able to withstand tremendous impact with other hard objects. The properties of a shield should be similar, except that it would not have the same need for sharpness, and the ability to withstand impact would be prioritized even higher. To craft our superior weaponry, we need to first understand these properties, which unfortunately involves some jargon. Tensile, shear and compressive strength are the ability of an object to resist pull-apart, shearing or push-together stresses, respectively, before the object begins to deform. This deformation begins when elastic limits are exceeded and can be plastic or brittle. Strength is measured in force per area. The hardness of an object is its ability to resist indentation such as scratching. There are various hardness scales in existence, many of which are defined by destructive experimentation. The Mohs hardness scale is ordinal, with diamond being the hardest unit, and having a value of 10. Impact toughness is the ability of an object to resist collision energy (imagine your sword smiting, or your shield being smote) without cracking or fracturing. Toughness is the property that will expose brittleness. Toughness is usually expressed in terms of energy and is also determined experimentally. Imagine the fun in the lab over this. We now know that we want our weapons to be hard, strong and tough, and we know what these terms mean.
Being the best at everything really is magic.
Finding the hard, strong, and tough material for our magic sword is no easy thing. Diamonds are the hardest material on earth, but their toughness is poor. A common hammer swung by an eight-year-old child could shatter the toughest diamond. And diamonds are expensive. Our magic weapons are likely to be made predominantly of metal. Iron, and iron alloys (steel) are reasonably strong, hard, and tough. Tungsten is much stronger than steel but is brittle. Titanium is even stronger per weight but is softer. No one element seems to work perfectly, so metallurgists have learned to combine them through a variety of processes to try to create the perfect, magical, alloy for their specific purposes. But recently, a new method of combining metals and other elements to make super alloys has been invented. This method involves an understanding of why materials fail and how to create them so they do not fail. The magic in the magic sword lies not just in the “what” but also in the “how”.
The magic is in the method, and it is entropic.
Most metals and metal alloys form crystalline structures, or ordered, repeated arrangements of atoms. These structures can have missing atoms (defects), or misaligned planes (dislocations). This is a problem for our magic weapon. A dislocation plane might cause the explosive, brittle, failure of your sword. Scientists have recently discovered a way of virtually eliminating defects and dislocations in materials through a rapid cooling process, which creates a random, amorphous, or entropic structure. This strange, disordered structure does not fail in the same way that other crystalline materials do. Entropic materials can be very hard, flexible, and tough depending on what elements are used in their manufacture. This near magical concept in materials science is undergoing rapid progress today, and—in line with our fixation on magic weapons—amorphous knives are one of the things being developed.
Figure 1. Comparison of the crystalline lattice (left) of most alloys with that of an entropic material (right). The lattice has both a dislocation and a defect. Either are prone to failure under stress or collision. The entropic alloy on the right has a random structure, where the atoms are disordered and cannot move. This can create new possibilities for the material’s property.
Dynamics and the cost of magic
Unfortunately, there is a cost to magic. Entropic materials must be cooled rapidly, and by rapidly, we are talking about millions of degrees per second. Without this rapid cooling, the materials will begin to form crystalline structure. This is a problem that is being solved at present, but that would have been insurmountable in the recent past. Entropic weapons would have been impossible to make in the days of knights in armor. The science (or magic) of dynamics in Lee Hunt’s Herald, involves the near instantaneous manipulation of heat and probability. When Robert and Gregory make their entropic shields, they are choosing elements according to a knowledge of metallurgy belonging to the Endicott family and they use rapid cooling of the alloy as well as probability manipulation to form a perfect, random structure. They even perform a crude and entertaining toughness test with a sledgehammer. These magic armaments could actually exist someday. For now, look for them in Herald.
Davyn’s whistle tore the air again, but someone lunged at him and the big man stumbled and swallowed the thing. He staggered back, choking.
“He is liar!” roared one of the bald, stocky men in his thick accent, pointing at Endicott. “We’ll beat the truth out of him!” He stepped forward and began drawing his sword.
Cyara rallied from her shock. “No one beats anyone here!”
His bald, stocky companion pushed Cyara roughly, and she stumbled backwards into the crowd. This was too much for Endicott. His heart leapt, and without thinking, he grabbed the heavy iron bacon pan and swung it, bacon-outwards, at the thug who had struck Cyara.
Bacon, grease, and pan connected ferociously, and as a unit, with the man’s rotund head, knocking him heels over cartwheeling head to the ground. His sword clattered to the floor. The other bald man came on, lunging with his sword. Endicott turned the blade aside with the pan and tried to step back, but he stumbled over Purple Hat, who was arguing with someone else behind him. The swordsman saw his opportunity and rushed forward, sword raised for an overhead strike, but stopped short with a puzzled look on his fat face. Something had caught hold of his foot. It was Cyara. She had him by the ankle in a surprisingly strong grip.
Endicott struck him in the face with the pan before the swordsman could kick Cyara loose. As his attacker fell back, Endicott looked for Cyara, but she was hidden by a shift in the crowd. Then he saw Davyn. His big friend was surrounded by a group of people who were trying to help him cough out the whistle. Endicott almost laughed and was about to return to the two bald protestors when he was savagely struck on the temple by a blow he did not see.
Lee is giving away an Amazon gift card with this tour
Would it kill you to create something genuinely new? In Robert's world, it used to. Supernatural vengeance for invention is now a thing of the past. Young, optimistic, quick of mind and quick to act, Robert thinks being invited to the New School is an invitation to change the world. But change is difficult when there is no history of innovation. He is initially successful in his studies, but nothing is as simple as he naively imagines. His classmates confuse and frustrate him. One is a drunk, while another two constantly stalk him. Is it for love or something more sinister? Robert's optimism is further tested by protestors who circle the campus, decrying the newly invented breed of grain. They claim it is poison and that the New School should be punished by Nimrheal, the god who formerly murdered inventors. Robert suspects foreign business influences are behind the protests, but he quickly finds that investigating their cause is dangerous. Robert's most difficult challenges are his unresolved childhood issues. His mother died while he was a child. Robert's formative helplessness and inability to remember her face projects into a powerful and blinding protectiveness towards all women. When a campus assault pushes Robert over the edge, his hopes of even staying at the New School are jeopardized. He cannot aspire to change the world if he does not even know himself. At the same time as Robert struggles on campus, a powerful, ruthless and emotionally closed man known only as the Lonely Wizard journeys across an empty wilderness to return home. As Robert and the Lonely Wizard move closer together, Robert finds that instead of entering a golden era of invention, he may instead be on the brink of a cold war and an endless, unchanging dark age.
Dynamicist (Dynamicist Book 1)
Amazon Audiobook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZQ8G2SS/
Amazon eBook CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/B088CSXGQL/ Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dynamicist-lee-hunt/1135664463?ean=9781777050511 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dynamicist-1
Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/dynamicist/
Knight in Retrograde (Dynamicist Book 3)
Amazon eBook CAN: https://www.amazon.calimi/dp/B089DW696B/
Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/knight-in-retrograde/
After having the Last Rights read to him at the age of twenty-five, Lee Hunt came to appreciate the power of catharsis. He was born on a farm with only one working lung but has gone on to become an Ironman triathlete, sport rock climber, professional geophysicist, and writer.
As a scientist, Lee has published close to fifty papers, articles, or expanded abstracts, has been awarded numerous technical awards, and was even sent on a national speaking tour. He enjoys discussing the amorality of science and is useful at parties in explaining the physics of whether fracture stimulation might be a risk to the fuzzy, cuddly things of nature. After 28 years trying to understand the earth as a geophysicist, Lee turned to writing fiction. He now spends time hiking, cycling, floundering in a lake, clinging desperately to a wall, or at his desk trying to write an entertaining story.
Author Website: https://www.leehunt.org/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052376555360
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/DynamicistAuthor
Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lee-hunt/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B082YFTMCK