The Third Dimension appeared on-line in Plasma Frequency Magazine. PFM re-emerged in 2016 with help from Kickstarter, and they’ve introduced a number of new features including a rookie author program, revamped editorial process, and broad reading choices with stories free on-line as well as in print and ebook editions.
Note: Unfortunately PFM has now sunk again and all that is left is a terrible spam site.
‘The Third Dimension’ is pretty much sci fi, as long as you can suspend your disbelief—I find a glass of wine helps, except with politicians—and it owes something to Ian R MacLeod’s magical novel The Light Ages, plus a few other works that I won’t name to avoid spoilers.
When I was young, I spent time collecting various things—rocks, shells, stamps, and even leaves—and that also plays into ‘The Third Dimension.’ I had books to help me identify my finds, but I couldn’t figure out what some of the rocks were. Later I realized that the interesting specimens I’d found on suburban streets were actually lumps of bitumen and concrete that didn’t feature in my amateur geology handbook.
Finally, ‘The Third Dimension’ makes reference to Rupert Sheldrake‘s concept of morphic resonance. Sheldrake has made various claims about morphic resonance—for example, if an idea has been thought of once it’s more likely to be thought up again, because of something called the morphogenetic field.
If you want to test your ability to suspend disbelief, reading up on Sheldrake’s ideas could be useful, but one glass of wine definitely won’t be enough. Like Fox Mulder, we all want to believe, but I suspect that spec fic writers tend to be better than average at distinguishing fact from fiction. Writers can recognize speculative fiction even when it isn’t called that.